I Am Wikileaks (Open Letter / Petition)

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beans Haiti disappeared Metanoia

Posted in General, Urgent

The Avalanche – Snapshot 44 – Aug 23, ’19

Sydney Nestel

An email that I received (Thursday, August 22, 2019) from Independent Jewish Voices Canada follows:

[::::
Dear friends,

There is a major international effort underway by Israel and its lobbyists to brand criticism of Israel and Palestine solidarity activism as antisemitic.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably in the know about this. But I wanted to make sure you fully understand what is at stake here. And that you know what YOU can do to help.

This month’s big targets have been US congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who–with Trump’s blessing–were banned from going to Israel on account of their criticism of Israel, and more to the point, because of their alleged antisemitism (“they hate Israel and hate Jewish people” says Trump).

We all know who the real antisemites are, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Israel and its lobbies around the world are set on shutting down support for Palestinian human rights, no matter how low they need to go. Their strategy: equating anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel as the “new antisemitism”. Their chosen tool: the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The IHRA definition is sold to public officials as “the gold standard” in defining and fighting antisemitism–when, in fact, it is actually a poorly written document, whose main purpose is to silence supporters of Palestinian human rights. The aim is to have it adopted by as many public institutions as possible, in hopes that this will make challenging Israel on its racist policies beyond the pale of acceptable discourse, and ultimately to shut down our movement.

Unfortunately this tactic has proved effective. Which mainstream politician, after all, does not want to fight–or at least be seen as fighting–antisemitism? Especially now when real incidents of antisemitism (mostly associated with white supremacy and having nothing to do with Israel-Palestine) are on the rise. So when Zionist organizations, like the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) or B’nai Brith Canada, suggest to Canadian politicians that they should help fight antisemitism by adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, most politicians agree–without looking too hard at the details or implications of the IHRA’s text.

This strategy, has been used most successfully in the UK where demonstration have been banned, events shut down, and individuals dismissed–all based on the IHRA’s equating advocacy for Palestinian rights and criticism of Israel with antisemitism. It has also been introduced in the U.S. in proposed laws at both the federal and state levels.

This strategy is now being aggressively promoted here in Canada. Recently the federal government adopted the IHRA definition as part of its “Anti-racism Strategy”. While this does not have the force of law, it will be used to allocate–or deny–federal funds to nonprofits and it will be used to “develop educational materials”.

Even more worrisome is that CIJA and B’nai Brith have set about a campaign to have the IHRA definition adopted by municipalities, police forces and universities. These institutions will be encouraged to deny permits and facilities to any individual or organization that crosses their red-lines. So any organization–like IJV and many of our allies–that calls Israel racist, or points out that it was founded on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, could be denied the right to rent a room in a library, or a permit to use a park. Police would be trained to understand anti-Israel demonstrations as a form of antisemitism/racism and hate speech.

Last month, a motion to adopt the IHRA definition was recently proposed at Vancouver City Council. Thanks to quick and effective mobilization by IJV-Vancouver and our allies, the motion was defeated! The issue has now been referred to committee with the goal of developing recommendations to stamp out all forms of racism. This was a HUGE preliminary victory for us that sent a strong message to the Israel lobby! But Vancouver was just the beginning.

We have reason to believe that a motion to adopt the IHRA definition will soon be introduced at provincial and municipal governments, and at universities throughout the country. And we need your help to make sure they’re defeated, just like in Vancouver.

Rather than wait to hear about motions passing after the fact, I encourage you all to get in touch with your public representatives–municipal councillors, provincial MPPs/MLAs/MNAs, university reps–ASAP to express your concerns and ask them to keep you in the loop on this file. You can find all you need on our #noIHRA campaign website, including helpful resources and a grassroots lobbying toolkit featuring specific instructions for what to ask and say.

Let us know about your plans and how it goes, or if you need help and/or coaching. You can contact us via our #noihra campaign email: noihra@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance!
::::]

The bolding in the above email is mine.

“Finland “Winning the War on Fake News” By Teaching Children To Believe Mainstream Propaganda” by ? (South Front)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(O
In May 2019, in Helsinki, Finland at the Espoo Adult Education Centre, lecturer Jussi Toivanen, who is the Chief Communications Specialist at Finnish Prime Minister’s Office spoke about misinformation and “Russian propaganda.”

Jussi Toivanen’s course is part of a program of the Finnish government which has been on-going since 2014. Two years before Russia allegedly meddled in the US elections, thus Finland was ahead of the curve on Russian hysteria…

Allegedly, Russian trolling ramped up in 2015, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto called on every Finnish citizen to take responsibility and fight false information. That, of course, by itself wasn’t enough, so American help was needed.

Toivanen then said something that’s been becoming and more apparent – the targets of propaganda need to taught from very young age to only believe the Western propaganda, any other kind is inherently wrong and evil, but the US-fabricated one can’t possibly be fake news.
O)

related: “US experts gird Finnish officials for information war” by ? (RT News)

Jonathan Cook

“Sur Baher home demolitions illustrate a vicious spiral of oppression in Palestine” by Jonathan Cook (Jonathan Cook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

([([
Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.

The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House two-and-a-half years ago has emboldened Israel as never before, leaving it free to unleash new waves of brutality in the occupied territories.

Western states have not only turned a blind eye to these outrages, but are actively assisting in silencing anyone who dares to speak out.

It is rapidly creating a vicious spiral: the more Israel violates international law, the more the West represses criticism, the more Israel luxuriates in its impunity.

This shameless descent was starkly illustrated last week when hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, many of them masked, raided a neighbourhood of Sur Baher, on the edges of Jerusalem. Explosives and bulldozers destroyed dozens of homes, leaving many hundreds of Palestinians without a roof over their heads.

During the operation, extreme force was used against residents, as well as international volunteers there in the forlorn hope that their presence would deter violence. Videos showed the soldiers cheering and celebrating as they razed the neighbourhood…

Rather than end such criminal practices, Israel prefers to conceal them. It has effectively sealed Palestinian areas off to avoid scrutiny.

Omar Shakir, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, is facing imminent deportation, yet more evidence of Israel’s growing crackdown on the human rights community.

A report by the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign last week warned that Israel is systematically denying foreign nationals permits to live and work in the occupied territories, including areas supposedly under PA control.
])])

“The real threat to our democracy is…” by Maude Barlow (The Council of Canadians)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|||\-
You have probably heard about the disturbing documents the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently released that reveal that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, and the RCMP shared information about peaceful protestors with corporate oil executives.

The heavily redacted text – where the Council of Canadians was named repeatedly – showed these public agencies not only gathered information about people who attended community meetings and joined rallies to speak out against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, they put the information directly in Enbridge’s hands…

The collusion between CSIS, a publicly funded agency, and Big Oil is deeply disturbing – this agency is spoonfeeding the already-too-powerful fossil fuel industry even more tools to quell our dissent. And what’s even more disturbing? The BCCLA had to fight for five years to get this information released.
-/||

Indeed. Maude is right, but the Council of Canadians clings to certain myths and I’d love to hear Maude explain why. The Council of Canadians isn’t at all alone in refusing to acknowledge that ‘our democracy’ doesn’t exist. Her’s isn’t the only org that clings to the myth that there isn’t a global government called Corporatocracy even as all these supposedly leftwing and/or progressive orgs themselves shovel out tons of articles proving it! Another myth that the liberalish Council clings to, according to Yves Engler, is the myth of Lester Pearson the peacekeeper.

Andrew MacLeod

“You Must Be This Conservative To Ride: The Inside Story of Postmedia’s Right Turn” by Sean Craig (Canadaland)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:::::—
It was not out of the ordinary at Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, for editors to have their knuckles rapped for failing to meet the political expectations of the company’s conservative management.

In 2015, after the federal election that brought Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to power, Andrew Potter, then editor-in-chief of the Ottawa Citizen, was called to the company’s head offices in Toronto.

There, Lou Clancy — then Postmedia’s senior vice president of content — told Potter that his paper was too “anti-conservative,” according to three sources. When Potter asked for specific examples of coverage that could be improved upon, Clancy could only cite a single editorial cartoon…

But October 2018 was different. October 2018 was the start of something unprecedented.

Several editors at the National Post — Postmedia’s flagship newspaper with an explicitly conservative political mandate, where I reported on media from 2016 to 2017 — were summoned to a meeting on the 12th floor of the company’s headquarters.

There, according to three sources familiar with the meeting, company president Andrew MacLeod told them that their paper — which launched in 1998 to serve as the voice of thoughtful, modern Canadian conservatism, and which many would argue remains so — was insufficiently conservative…

“But really!?” one editorial employee remembers thinking when they were briefed on the meeting. “The National Post not conservative enough?!”

Postmedia has declined to comment on most of the details in this story…

What has happened, according to interviews with over 30 current employees and more than a dozen former employees — ranging from reporters to editors to corporate staff — is that Postmedia has given a directive for all of its papers to shift to the political right, in an unprecedented, centralized fashion…

Not one staffer would speak on the record, almost universally due to fear of reprisal from management. “Write that in your story,” said a former senior employee. “That says it all, everyone is afraid to talk.”
—:::::

This perhaps speaks to confusion I have experienced, and which I think it’s safe to assume others experience, over the labels that individuals and groups apply to themselves and to others. As Noam Chomsky explains, The Republican Party was once a genuine Party – as opposed to a radical insurgency – and Conservatives used to be a lot more reasonable. They still believed in inequality but, at the same time, took some ownership toward the poor. Neoliberal capitalism, in which social safety nets have been shredded, has seen the Right become compassionless and simply maladjusted and inhuman. Now, If there are those who still self-identify as Conservative, who hew to pre-neoliberal Conservative ideas such as genuine compassion for the needy, Why can’t they make it clear that they are not rightwing, as in fascist? Are they faking it? I think in some cases they are. There are clues. They are happy to spread confusion about terms like ‘progressive’ and ‘socialism’. I view those who self-identify as Conservative, but sow such confusion and do nothing to dispel it (where they have some control, which they do, for example, on their own websites where there’s commenting by visitors allowed.) as rightwing, which is not a moral equivalent of leftwing. Rightwing is evil. It’s fascist. Progressives do their part in sowing confusion, letting the Right off the hook by treating it as a moral equivalent of the Left.

Real progressives do not claim that Bernie Sanders is a socialist. He’s not. People, however they self-identify, who call (without qualification) Bernie Sanders a socialist are liars. I watched a recent Project Veritas show, hosted by James O’Keefe, in which he interviewed a brave Google whistleblower, Zach Vorhies (a keeper show, for sure), and was flabbergasted when he referred to Google’s censorship operation as “progressive.” He didn’t qualify his statement. Whatever motivated him to describe something that’s the opposite of progressive as progressive, that is an example of what I call brain rot. It’s dishonest and it’s evil. It’s an attack on goodness. What’s next? Will James condemn some evildoer’s behavior and describe it as “good” at the same time? Dave Cullen, on Bitchute, talks about a confab of fake socialists (Democratic Socialists of America) in one of his shows, making fun of their weirdness (and boy are they weird!). He exclaims Aterall, They are socialists!” They are no more socialists than Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Donald Trump are socialists. Or Christians. Dave doesn’t want to think about, and talk honestly about, that. That’s his call, but that makes him a faker. That’s a subscription I know longer have on my Bitchute channel.

Darkness is its own reward. You may start off clever enough, or clever enough in your own mind, when you go down the cramped and narrow road of no rules or boundaries (which leads to destruction), for personal gain, but you will only end up dumb as a post eventually. You can’t take up the practice of lying, to yourself and to other others – disconnecting from reality – and not end up utterly clueless.

“Media Blackout on Brazil’s Anti-Bolsonaro Protests” by Brian Mier (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

-\\\-
Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system. It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions affiliated with the Central Ùnica de Trabalhadores (Unified Workers Central/CUT)—the second-largest labor union confederation in the Americas…

In short, it seemed like the perfect feel-good event for newspapers like the Guardian and the New York Times to share with their liberal readers. After all, after the US, Brazil is the most populous, largest in area and wealthiest nation in the Americas. After all, both newspapers have taken editorial positions against Bolsonaro, and regularly criticize his environmental and human rights abuses. After all, both papers have run numerous articles celebrating the spirit of the young protesters in Hong Kong and Venezuela in recent months, complete with inspiring quotes and photographs from the ground.

Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out to be the case. The Guardian, which ran two articles about smaller pro-Bolsonaro protests in May, with photos of protesters shot from below to make them appear heroic, did not even mention it. The New York Times ran a 129-word stub from the AP that low-balled the number of cities where protests took place, and says they were smaller than the Education Tsunami protests in May (factually correct, but contextually misleading, since they were still huge)…

Underreporting of left protests is such an ongoing problem in the Brazilian media that for the last five years, activist/media collectives like Midia Ninja and Jornalistas Livres, which have millions of social media followers, have sent volunteers to all of the major protests around the country to film and photograph crowd sizes. Labor unions now do the same, and everyone shares the information online.
-///-

Liberals are usually dogs, but not because liberalism is bad. When Chris Hedges wrote “Death Of The Liberal Class,” it wasn’t because liberalism became evil or changed. The thinking and behavior of many of those who self-identified as ‘liberal’ changed. Chris Hedges doesn’t rail at liberalism. He rails at betrayal (and then betrays God by embracing the darkness of Babylon The Great, which is global false religion, which includes fake, mainstream Christianity.) This kind of reporting adds to the confusion being deliberately sown by agents of chaos.

© Reuters / Kim Kyung-Hoon

“YouTube axes anti-protest channels as US Ministry of Truth battles China over Hong Kong” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

)=–
YouTube has disabled 210 channels for posting content related to the Hong Kong protests “in a coordinated manner,” following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter in restricting its arbitrary censorship to pro-China accounts.
–=(

© Reuters / Dado Ruvic; Reuters / Aly Song

“‘Sowing discord’ again? Twitter wades into Hong Kong protests with hunt for ‘Chinese bots’” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:\:
In another high-profile purge, Twitter has announced the deletion of nearly 1,000 accounts from its platform, citing fears that “Chinese bots” are “sowing discord” in Hong Kong after months of heated protests there.
:/:

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lawlessness / Ruined – part 59

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

\\\
Five years after the colonial massacre unleashed by Israel on Gaza, known as Operation Protective Edge, Israeli politicians are still eyeing the enclave for ultimate destruction. Former IDF Chief and leader of the Blue and White Party, Benny Gantz, is promoting the same violent tactics that formed part of his earlier electoral campaign: invade Gaza and assassinate Hamas leaders if the conditions Israel demands are not accepted…

While attempting to portray himself as different from Netanyahu, Gantz is merely offering another trajectory of implementing Zionist colonial violence. Israeli media is already running reports of a possible coalition government between Likud and the Blue and White party, thus signalling that despite alleged differences, Netanyahu and Gantz are still in accordance over political issues, notably Gaza, settlement expansion and the prevention of any form of a Palestinian state.
///

The Israelis promise to fix the humanitarian situation in Gaza by destroying its leadership and remaining infrastructure. A short while ago it was reported, and I pointed it out here, that a rabbi suggested that Palestinians who have survived the long drawn-out holocaust inflicted on them by nazi Israel should be adopted as slaves to Israelis. No one who can still think would say that Israelis who do any of that to Palestinians, or support that, have ANY positive connection with God. God has never rewarded evildoers and will never do so. On the contrary, there are grave consequences for the kind of behavior that nazi Israel has been engaging in.

“The fascist attack on Guardian journalist Owen Jones” by Chris Marsden (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

[=-
The brutal assault on Guardian journalist Owen Jones must be taken as a grave warning of the dangers to the working class from the far right.

At around 3.00 am on Saturday morning, Jones left a pub in Islington, London, with six friends, when four men “charged directly towards me: one of them karate kicked my back, threw me to the ground, started kicking me in the head and back, while my friends tried to drag them off, and were punched trying to defend me.”

Jones suffered relatively minor injuries, but the assault could easily have been fatal given that he was kicked in the head. Yet despite the availability of CCTV footage and the names of those who have threatened him in the past being known, no arrests have been made. The Metropolitan Police instead issued a statement that they were examining whether this “senseless attack” was indeed a hate crime. The media has already relegated the story to its inside pages.

Jones is only the latest prominent left-wing figure to suffer a premeditated physical assault in the UK…

In the United States, ABC News and Mother Jones have both identified the close link between mass shootings and other violent acts and the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump. ABC News lists at least 36 criminal cases where Trump’s name was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault. According to Mother Jones, there have been at least six mass shootings since last October motivated by far-right ideology resulting in 41 deaths and at least 52 wounded. Trump supporters have violently threatened Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, threatening to “put a bullet” in her skull.

The efforts by the ruling elite to cultivate the far right has objective roots. The gap between a fabulously wealthy elite and the great mass of the population struggling to survive has never been wider. Class tensions internationally have reached a breaking point. Fearing the emergence of social and political opposition, the ruling class everywhere responds by turning ever more sharply to authoritarian forms of rule and by cultivating far-right forces as a weapon against the working class.
-=]

Julian Assange

“Julian Assange’s father warns WikiLeaks’ publisher’s health is “declining rapidly” in Belmarsh Prison” by Oscar Grenfell (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|==
In an interview on August 16 with 3CR, a Melbourne community radio station, Julian Assange’s father John Shipton stated that the WikiLeaks founder’s health is continuing to deteriorate in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

Shipton revealed that Assange had received a visit from his brother Gabriel several days earlier. “Julian is emaciated and not in tip-top order or health,” Shipton said. “He is suffering anxiety. He is still in fighting spirits, but his well-being is declining rapidly.”

Shipton said there was a danger that “we will lose Julian” if action is not taken to end his incarceration. His warning followed a statement by world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger on Twitter earlier this month, who wrote: “Do not forget Julian Assange. Or you will lose him. I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated…”

Shipton explained that Assange was “in a cell 20 hours a day and has two social visits a month. Lawyers are allowed there other times. These social visits can be arbitrarily cancelled or reduced in time.”

He related that when he travelled from Australia to London two-and-a-half months ago, “we waited and were told that we couldn’t come” into the prison for a pre-arranged visit with Assange.

“No reason was given,” Shipton said, except that “there were conflicting appointments made with prison doctors to come and see him. So, they use the visiting times to have his medical examiners examine him, which means that a social visit needs to be cancelled.”

Shipton, along with a WikiLeaks staff member and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, returned the following week for another arranged visit. “We waited 46 minutes for Julian to arrive,” he said. The prison authorities claimed that they had “forgotten” to notify Assange of the visit, “so they had to go and find him and bring him down.”
==|

Have a good look, people, at the ‘character’ of Julian’s enemies, as seen in this snippet. They are merely paid to do to Julian what they are doing, but who pays people to be so evil? Those are not just jailers doing their paid jobs. They are torturing Julian, and those who support and love him. Take a good look, people, at the meaning of ‘law & order’, as mouthed by those with power in this dark world.

The Atewa Forest is at the heart of a conservation battle in Ghana. Arocha Ghana photo

“Ghana’s pact with China to explore bauxite threatens a unique forest” by Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (The Conversation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

::::-
Ghana’s Atewa forest is one of the most beautiful and scenic landscapes in the country. It is seen as the better of only two Upland Evergreen forests left intact in the country, forming part of the six dominant vegetation zones of Ghana based on different climates zones.

The Atewa forest is part of the Guinean Forests of West Africa which stretch from southern Guinea into eastern Sierra Leone and through Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana into western Togo. Deforestation has massively reduced the size of the forests and the Upper Guinea Forest is now restricted to a number of more or less disconnected reserves and a few national parks acting as man-made refuges for the region’s biodiversity.

The Atewa forest landscape is remote and pristine, providing the habitat for a major collection of Ghana’s biodiversity. It has been named as one of Ghana’s 30 globally significant biodiversity areas.

But the forest is under threat. Last year Ghana signed a memorandum with China to explore Ghana’s deposits of bauxite – the primary ore in aluminium. The deposits are found in two locations – Awaso with very high deposits in the moist semi-deciduous forest zone of western region of Ghana, and Atewa, with minimum deposits and located in the Upland Evergreen forests in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Under the memorandum Ghana will cede 5% of its bauxite resources to the Chinese. In turn, Beijing will finance $2billion worth of infrastructure projects that include rails, roads and bridge networks. The Ghanaian Parliament has passed the Ghana Bauxite Integrated Aluminium Industry Act which would provide a legal framework to exploit country’s bauxite deposits.

Yet the government says it still has to validate the true worth of the bauxite deposit in the forest.
-::::

Lesley Green, a commenter who attached a comment on the above Conversation entry (who announces himself as Professor of Anthropology and Deputy Director: Environmental Humanities South, University of Cape Town), notes that “Kudos to the writer for taking up the need to protect the forest. However, that the writer offers a mining metaphor as the best possible argument (“As a botanist I view the Atewa landscape as a scientific gold mine”), and makes no links with local community struggles, underscores the need for African environmental scientists to challenge and change the political argument.” The remark about the use of a gold-mine metaphor might be nitpicking, but other than that, Mr Green strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about the planned ruin facing Ghana here. As for the Conversation, it’s a horrible organization. You just have to look at the funders and that requires you to examine the various branches of The Conversation to know that. They disappear comments left and right, just the way Spot.IM does on RT News.

photo by Reuters

“Shell Union Coerced into Attending Trump Speech, or Lose Pay” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

|||:::—
Union workers at a Royal Dutch Shell manufacturing plant were put between a rock and a hard place, threatened with loss of pay if they refused to attend U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday at the company’s Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

According to the Pittsburgh Gazette, union leaders received a letter from their contractor at first informing them their attendance at the event was voluntary. However, a supervisor later revised the memo, saying only those who sat through the lengthy event would be paid, writing explicitly, “NO SCAN, NO PAY.”

Although “America’s Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival” was listed as Trump’s main talking point, the president instead focused on criticizing his Democratic competitors campaigning for a bid in the 2020 elections. He took credit for the US$6 billion plant’s construction, though the Obama administration was the one responsible for approving the structure in 2016.

“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ’I hope you’re going to support Trump.’ If they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job,” the U.S. head of state told Shell employees.
—:::|||

Can you think of someone who should switch places with Julian Assange?

protesters being brutalized in Harare, Zimbabwe | Reuters

“Police Brutality Brings Zimbabwe Protests to Halt, 80 Arrested” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(—
A demonstration in Zimbabwe was brought to a screeching halt when riot police entered the scene, armed with tear gas and batons Friday to enforce a ban on protests.

Africa Unity Square in Harare was filled with concerned Zimbabweans, protesting the ban and the current economic situation under the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration. They chanted songs of police brutality as officers took aim and fired water cannons. Officers cornered a group of protesters and beat them, sending one woman to the hospital in a Red Cross ambulance. Eighty others were arrested, said Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party…

Zimbabwe’s growing tension is driven by the growing inflation — which currently stands at 175 percent, daily 19-hour power outs, economic and political reforms and shortages of food and water.

Spokesman for the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said Friday, “With opposition demonstrations still likely to take place in Zimbabwe in the near future, we urge the government to find ways to continuously engage with the population about their legitimate grievances on the economic situation, and to stop cracking down on peaceful protesters.”
—)

The fact of the matter is that I don’t know a whole lot about Zimbabwe. I’m rather trusting teleSUR to report this as an accurate reflection of what’s going on there. (Corporate media is perfectly willing to use exactly the same language to describe completely different situations, such as we see in the case of Hong Kong.) teleSUR is not a rightwing organization.

“Trump calls for naval blockade of Venezuela” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called upon his national security officials and senior military commanders to draw up plans for a US naval blockade of Venezuela to stop all goods from either entering or leaving the country.

Such an illegal military intervention would come on top of a set of unilateral US sanctions that already amount to an effective embargo, tantamount to an act of war.

Earlier this month, according to Reuters, when asked by a reporter whether he was considering a naval embargo, he responded, “Yes, I am,” without elaborating on his plans.

Citing five unnamed administration officials, the Axios news web site reported that Trump has been advocating the blockade for the past year and a half…

The flailing about for a plausible “military option” reflects the increasing frustration of the White House over the failure of the regime-change operation launched last January with the self-swearing-in of the virtually unknown right-wing opposition politician Juan Guaidó as “interim president” and his speedy recognition by Washington and its allies.

Repeated provocations and appeals for a military coup have failed to achieve the desired result of ousting the government of Nicolás Maduro and installing a US puppet regime that would assure Washington’s control of Venezuela’s oil reserves, the largest on the planet, while denying them to the country’s current chief economic partners, China and Russia.
–\\

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Professional Scam Artists – part 67

“Jake Tapper – A Zionist Propagandist at CNN” by Ludwig Watzal (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(O
CNN’ Jake Tapper is not only one of the fiercest anti-Trumpster but also an ardent supporter of the Zionist regime in Israel. To blame President Donald Trump for his wild rhetoric against immigrants from Central and South America as “invaders” is one thing. To link the mass murderer of El Paso to the Palestinians is the last straw.

The rampant racism and the murderous weirdoes in the US have nothing to do with the Palestinians. The Palestinian People are themselves victims of Zionist racism and Apartheid in Israel. Tapper’s behavior stands in toto for the bias of almost the whole US mainstream media.

Wasn’t CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill fired by CNN boss Jeff Zucker, a Zionist himself, for talking about Israel occupation and colonization before the United nations? What about Tapper, Mr. Zucker?
O)

United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton addresses the autoworker’s convention in Detroit, Thursday, June 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

“UAW corruption scandal: Former union VP Joe Ashton reportedly took $550,000 in illegal kickbacks” Jerry White (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(+
Former United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton is the anonymous “Union Official 1,” who federal prosecutors say took $550,000 in kickbacks in an illegal scheme involving the jointly operated UAW-GM Human Resources Center in Detroit, according to sources who spoke to the Detroit News .

Ashton would be the highest-ranking UAW officer implicated in the corruption scandal that has already led to the conviction of UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell and three other top UAW officials on the 2015 UAW-Chrysler Bargaining Committee. The federal probe into illegal payoffs to UAW officials by Fiat Chrysler executives is now netting union officials bribed with General Motors money and could soon catch UAW-Ford officials.
+)

“German daily defends right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski” by Johannes Stern (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

-\\-
Following the abject failure in June of right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski’s attempt to establish a reactionary center for the research into dictatorships at Berlin’s Humboldt University, it was only a matter of time before his house organ, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.), published an angry opinion piece on the subject.

This finally occurred earlier this month. In the August 8 edition of F.A.Z., the headline emblazoned on the front page of the newspaper’s cultural section read, “The cowardice of scholarship.” The author, Hannah Bethke, not only attacks the opposition among students to Baberowski’s project. She also attacks university management for having capitulated to them in a “cowardly” manner.

Bethke described the criticism from the students as “a consciously targeted campaign of defamation against a politically uncomfortable professor,” i.e., Jörg Baberowski, and asked whether university officialdom “should in this case have a duty to care for its tenured staff and employees.” She rages at the end of her article, “It would do the university good to stand up for academic freedom and progress instead of cravenly capitulating to the zeitgeist, which wants to confine them to a political straightjacket.”

This mantra of the far-right is all too familiar. While Bethke considers militarist, authoritarian and anti-refugee propaganda to be protected by academic freedom and even deems such positions to be “progressive,” she describes any criticism as defamation. Although she complains that university officials have “never explained the content of the considerations that in their opinion spoke for or against the creation of such a research centre,” she never utters a single word about the content and character of Baberowski’s project.
-//-

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo and Benjamin Netanyahu

“Paraguay Labels Hamas, Hezbollah ‘Terrorist Groups’; Israel Applauds” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

===== == =
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Paraguay’s decision Monday to label Palestinian organization Hamas and Lebanese militant group and political party Hezbollah, as “international terrorist organizations,” a move that comes shortly after Argentina first blacklisted Hezbollah…

Several states have already listed both groups as terrorists, among them Israel, the United States, and Canada. Washington designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997. However, the U.S. has been recently leading a fierce campaign in the backdrop of its warmongering against Iran and has been pushing more and more countries to designate the Hezbollah (which is backed by Iran) as a terrorist group.

Argentina was the first Latin American country to take the step, gaining recognition from Washington’s neoconservatives, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Following Argentina’s move, a group of Republican lawmakers called on Pompeo to pressure Brazil and Paraguay to act the same and to designate Hezbollah…

Hezbollah and Hamas leaders say their movements are resistance movements. The Palestine Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was created out of the military occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, while the Lebanese Party of God (Hezbollah) rose to oppose the presence of Israel in the south of Lebanon.
= == =====

Those political leaders (Netanyahu et al) are all about making our world a badder place. They certainly aren’t part of the solution.

Sudan’s former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir stands guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan August 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

“Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir Received Millions From Saudi Arabia” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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Sudan’s ousted president Omar Hassan al-Bashir acknowledged receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a police detective told a court Monday at the start of a corruption trial that most Sudanese thought they would never see.

ashir listened to the testimony without comment, sitting in a metal cage and wearing traditional white robes and a turban in his first appearance in a Khartoum courtroom.

He is charged with illicit possession of foreign currency and unofficially accepting gifts. Bashir’s lawyer dismissed the accusations, telling reporters after the hearing it was usual for leaders to hold amounts of foreign currency…

Bashir was overthrown by the military in April after mass protests against his 30-year rule. His trial will be seen as a test of how serious authorities are about trying to erase the legacy of a rule marked by widespread violence, wars, economic collapse and the secession of South Sudan…

Bashir was also charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, and prosecutors also want him questioned over suspected money laundering and terrorist financing.

Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of masterminding genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.
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“How Canada emerged as a haven for Ukrainian Nazi collaborators” by Roger Jordan (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:||:-
Earlier this month, Canada hosted the third Ukraine Reform Conference, a gathering of diplomats and officials from over 100 countries aimed at bringing Kiev even more directly under the geopolitical and economic domination of the western imperialist powers.

After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the conference sidelines, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed “to stand with Ukraine against Russian interference and aggression,” and to support it in the struggle to end Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea.

Trudeau’s portrayal of Russia as the aggressor in Ukraine and Eastern Europe turns reality on its head. It conceals the fact that Canada played a major supporting role in the US-orchestrated, fascist-spearheaded February 2014 coup that chased Ukraine’s elected president from power and brought a far-right, pro-western regime to power in Kiev; and that the 2014 coup was the continuation of a longstanding US-led, Canadian-backed drive to expand NATO to Russia’s borders and harness Ukraine to the West…

But Canada’s intimate alliance with far-right Ukrainian nationalists did not begin in 2014, or even Dec. 1991, when Canada became the first western country to recognize Ukraine as a sovereign state. In the decades following World War II, Canada became a haven for far-right Ukrainian nationalists, many of whom had collaborated with the Nazis both in their drive to find “lebensraum” (living space) through the conquest of the Soviet Union and their genocidal “final solution to the Jewish problem.”
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“Trump-Boris Trade Deal”

*edit, Aug 18, 2019 – I added a bit more below, including a screen grab of my email to 21st Century Wire.

“Trump-Boris Trade Deal: The Brexit Endgame is Becoming Clear” by Patrick Henningsen (Radio Sputnik via 21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

===== == =
The Brexit endgame is now becoming clear – the US-UK bilateral trade deal will make Britain an economic outpost for US transnational corporate interests.

To achieve this, the Trump Administration needs Boris Johnson in power, so John Bolton is not shy in openly backing Boris for the upcoming general election… Make no mistake, this is TTIP by fiat.
= == =====

My online response to the above linked-to article was marked by spam almost automatically. I then decided to redo it and screen grab it in order to show you what kind of dirty tricks uncaring gatekeepers are up to. I ‘do not’ believe that having my comment marked as spam was something that 21st Century Wire did or would do. This is the work of some trouble-maker, possibly Disqus-connected. I will ‘never’ quit dissing Disqus. We so very badly need to ditch it.

The following comment was my second attempt to respond online to Patrick Henningsen’s comments on Boris Johnson et al:

(+
A few minutes after I posted my comment here it was marked as spam. By who? Disqus?

I’ll make the same point and screen capture it.

“Make no mistake, this is TTIP by fiat.”

Indeed. When the lawless, murderous uncle Same doesn’t get the free trade agreement he (or any of his fellow Corporatocracy governments) wants, he just goes at it in a different way until he gets it. If the American ruling class (fascists) didn’t get what they wanted, initially, because of pushback from the people, rather than that being seen as acceptable, the undemocratic, fascist ruling class gets busy, openly and/or behind the scenes, working toward getting what it wants. The capitalist model is: dominate, dictate and take. The capitalist motto is: ‘Take what you get whether your like it or not and even if it hurts you.’ Isn’t that so Monsanto?

When uncle Sam doesn’t get the regime change he wants, because people don’t like being fed to the monstrous gangster Corporatoracy (that, in fact, devours all), the US ruling class just goes at it in some other way until it gets it. Democracy is in the way.

My first online experience with activism (inactive activism perhaps), was during the pushback against the efforts (led by Maude Barlow and The Council of Canadians) by special interests and gangster politicians to foist the multilateral agreement on investments (MAI) on us. We succeeded in having that ‘form’ of the agreement stopped. That’s all that we accomplished.

We are hopelessly outgunned. (We? The 1% of the 99% I’m sorry to report) The war-making Corporatocracy State has no compunctions about breaking rules, agreements in the pursuit of corporate freedom and profits. That gives it freedom that its victims, to the extent that they care about law & order, do not possess. Additionally, it is resource-rich. We can’t defeat that darkness. It will take a higher, perfect power.
+)

I emailed 21st Century Wire (bottom of post) to let them know that Disqus is disappearing my perfectly acceptable comments on their website. I’d very, very much like to hear back from them. Are we to quietly accept it when our voices are silenced? Following the above evil, I again popped into 21st Century Wire to check things out. I had a listen to some of today’s live broadcast titled “Trouble in River City” and left a couple of comments. I seem to indeed be getting automatically flagged on 21st Century Wire. I haven’t had a chance to check on whether it’s just this site or a global thing. (I’m gratified, losers! Yes, You’re annoying. That is important to you, now that you’ve self-modified. So, Knock yourselves out – while you are free to.) Here’s a screen grab from my Disqus account:

Posted in Disappeared | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lawlessness / Ruined – part 58

Eliezer Kashtiel, from Youtube as aired by i24 news. Screenshot.

“‘Come be my slave’ — Israeli rabbi at military academy says Palestinians should be enslaved for their own good” by Yossi Gurvitz (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

===== == =
A prestigious religious institute for Israeli army officer candidates is embroiled again in anti-human rhetoric. A rabbi at the school has been exposed (Hebrew) calling for the enslavement of Palestinians. The text was discovered by blogger/lawyer Yair Nehorai, who’s been documenting the scandalous teaching of the Bnei David religious college rabbis for over a year.

Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, the head of Bnei David, a military religious college in the settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank, was lecturing about “slavery and the position of workers according to Judaism”, and offered a justification of Jewish supremacy and the enslavement of Palestinians under occupation:

“Yes, we are racists, of course we are. There are races in the world and nations that have genetic attributes, and that demands that we [the Jewish people] will think of how to help them. The fact that someone is your inferior is not a reason to deride him or eliminate him, but help him. Yes, there are differences between races and that’s precisely the reason who should offer aid. Just as we know there are genetic defects within society, for instance when a child is, alas, born with a defect. Is that a reason to deride him? To taunt him, insult him? No. It calls for helping him.

“When I see that I reach much more impressive heights than he does, in the moral, intellectual, personal fields, I reach much greater achievements – then it is my duty to aid him. Not leave him poor and helpless, but to lend him my hand and say ‘come’, come be my slave, be a partner in my success. […] Do you know how it is today? A prosperous country sees a backwards country, and it turns it into its garbage heap. This is how it is today. There are countries in Africa, backward countries, and what do the superpowers do? They make it worse for them.

“[…] If occupation means to humiliate you, to deride you, to taunt you, to eliminate you – than it is bad. But if occupation means ‘I am successful, come to me’, I am calling you to join a partnership, why are you alone, why are you apart from me, I want to occupy you, to merge you – then you’d be a part of a great success. You will benefit from being my slave. You live such miserable life. Come be my slave, see what life you’ll have, to what spiritual and ethical stage [you’ll climb…].

“[…] There’s an objective genetic defect here, what can you do? The bible is full of that, the Talmud is full of that…”
= == =====

My online response to the above linked-to article: “So, holocaust survivors would be better off going to live, as slaves, with those exterminating them? Oookay. The world isn’t ruined, Is it?”

The thing about articles like the above, however, is it risks giving readers the idea that I endorse the fakey Democratic Party. I don’t know whether the author does. I hope not. It doesn’t detract from the important point being made about the vile Jewish characters here. And, no, they are not vile ‘because’ they are Jewish. They are vile because they are vile.

Lisa Lis, philanthropist, from the Jewish Federations of Detroit website.

“Shocking report on leading Jews’ effort to defeat Rashida Tlaib” by Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:||:-
In recent days a shocking report about powerful Detroit Jews using money to try to defeat Rep. Rashida Tlaib has been circulating on the web; and Tlaib says the attitudes in the story are evidence of “hate” and dehumanization of Palestinians.

Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on a gathering of Jewish power brokers in Detroit last week, arranged by a leading Jewish organization, at which they vowed to raise money to get rid of Tlaib because she supports boycott of Israel.

Tlaib is a Muslim woman of color, and Palestinian-American. The commentary at the meeting included race-tinged language, one person saying “the darker one is” the more “right” they’re perceived to be.
-:||:

From Mondoweiss:
CCTV images of the gunman identified as Patrick Crusius, 21, as he entered the Cielo Vista Walmart store in El Paso, YX. Crusius was armed with an assault rifle and opened fire on shoppers, killing 20. (Image: KTSM 9)

“Like Israeli settlers, white mass shooters are a manifestation of their society” by Nada Elia (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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One needs to be cautious of the calls for designating white nationalist mass killers as “terrorists too,” because putting white supremacists in the same category as “terrorists,” that selective construct hitherto reserved for people of color, does not address the racism that allows the mainstream to turn a blind eye to its own violence,.

While it is tempting to point the finger at the likes of Dylann Roof, Patrick Crusius, and Connor Betts, and call them terrorists, let us remember that they are simply amplifying official social norms and government policy, a policy that has always been racist — from the genocide of the Indigenous people to the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, to the internment of the Japanese Americans, and the criminal justice system, from its inception to the present day. These white killers are simply rogue militiamen magnifying, rather than challenging, the country’s official racism…

Just as there is an understanding amongst most progressive Americans that Israeli settlers are simply the rogue manifestation of Israel’s official policy of expansionism and land theft, so we must understand that white killers are also a rogue manifestation of the US government’s inherent white nationalism.

As we denounce today’s militant white supremacists, we need to associate it with its source — violent settler-colonialism. The United States has a long history of racism in the service of a white nation, as evidenced in its treatment of communities of color throughout the existence of this country. People of color are no more in the crosshairs of white supremacist violence today than we were under the conquest of “the West” (of Europe, of course), under slavery and the runaway slave patrols, under Jim Crow, under the Chinese Exclusion Act and NSEERs, all of which were “legal,” or protected by the government–just as Israeli settlers are protected by the Israeli army.
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John Bolton

“Washington Escalates Venezuela Sanctions into Full-Fledged Embargo” by Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz (Venezuelanalysis)

An excerpt from the above linked to article follows:

\#\#\#\
The Trump administration has imposed a sweeping economic embargo against Venezuela in its efforts to oust the Maduro government.

An executive order signed by Trump on Monday declares all Venezuelan state assets in the US “blocked,” prohibiting them from being “transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in” unless specific exemptions are issued by the Treasury Department. All transactions with Venezuelan state entities are likewise forbidden.

Crucially, the executive order likewise authorizes the Treasury Department to issue secondary sanctions against non-US third parties deemed to have “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services” to the Venezuelan government…

The executive order includes an exemption permitting transactions involving “articles such as food, clothing, and medicine intended to be used to relieve human suffering.”

However, analysts such as Torino Capital Chief Economist Francisco Rodriguez have warned that humanitarian exemptions have “tended to be ineffective when applied to other countries facing similar regimes.”

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN Human Rights Chief to condemn what he termed a “human rights” violation against the Venezuelan people. He added that Venezuela is working on an “alternative architecture” to counter US sanctions, but which makes transactions more costly.

For his part, the head of the Russian upper house’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said Tuesday the US policy amounts to “international banditry.” He told the state RIA Novosti news agency that the move constitutes “open meddling into Venezuela’s internal affairs.”
/#/#/#/

The lawlessness of the US on display here is extreme. The cruelty is extreme. The perversity is to be expected from that ruined ruling class. The hypocrisy is astounding. When rightwingers complain about countries who resist absorption into the US-led Corporatocracy, one of the things that they complain about is the ‘rogue’ State’s seizure of foreign companies.

“Trump starves Venezuela, Democrats are silent” by Aaron Maté (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(o
Aaron Maté: The Trump administration is intensifying its economic warfare on the people of Venezuela, and Democrats are pretty much silent…

Aaron Maté: Even before this embargo was imposed, experts were already warning of massive suffering and death in Venezuela. Venezuela has suffered the largest economic collapse in a country outside of war since at least the 1970s. Francisco Rodríguez, a leading Venezuelan economist and critic of the Maduro government, says the sanctions have cost Venezuela at least $16.9 billion dollars per year. His research links a major decline in oil production – which accounts for nearly all of Venezuela’s export revenue – to the imposition of US sanctions in 2017 and 2019. Speaking recently to Pushback, Rodriguez warned that US sanctions could cause a famine in Venezuela and possibly hundreds of thousands of deaths…

Aaron Maté: To John Bolton and the Trump administration, starvation apparently can’t come fast enough. The Venezuelan government claims that a ship carrying 25 tonnes of soy for Venezuela was recently detained in the Panama Canal and prevented from reaching its destination. At the same time, Bolton is ensuring that ongoing talks between the Venezuelan government and the far-right opposition are sabotaged. Even if Maduro agrees to new elections, Bolton has told the opposition that that won’t be enough. And Bolton rolled out the embargo on the eve of talks between the two sides in Barbados, leading the Venezuelan government to pull out – most likely as Bolton intended.

Bolton makes no secret of his goals: just as the US has done to other defiant countries, make the Venezuelan people suffer into submission.

John Bolton: It worked in Panama, it worked in Nicaragua once — and it will work there again — and it will work in Venezuela and Cuba. The United States has also used similar and even more aggressive tools like these in Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Now Venezuela is part of this very exclusive club of rogue states.

Aaron Maté: When Bolton says that it worked in Nicaragua once, he means that the US waged a terror war throughount the 1980s until Nicaraguans gave up and voted out the leftist Sandinista government. This how one former CIA official described that tactic.
o)

“‘John Bolton tried to assassinate me’: Interview with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro” by Max Blumenthal and Nicolás Maduro (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

-///-
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Six months ago, the United States government recognized an unknown opposition leader as interim president of Venezuela. But here in Caracas today, it’s pretty clear who’s in charge.

I’ve just concluded a conversation with the elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We talked about the US government’s attempts to delegitimize him as leader, to destroy his country’s economy, and to even end his life.

Mr. President, the last US journalist you spoke to I believe was Jorge Ramos, of Univision. And when I actually was leaving Venezuela I was on the same flight as Jorge Ramos, and I confronted him and challenged him on his reporting…

NICOLAS MADURO: Welcome, this is a conducive environment for reflection. This is a beautiful mountain, you can see all of our lovely Caracas.

If you ask me, that journalist came here to provoke. I gave him an opportunity. I knew he was a provocateur. He’s one of those journalists that’s an agent for US intelligence agencies.

He’s an agent. Jorge Ramos is a US Intelligence agent and he plays a role. They’ve tried to turn him into an anti-Trump journalist, but the Hispanic, the Latino community in the US should know that he’s a paid agent…

Regarding the second part of your question, we had the ministerial summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Venezuela has presided over the Non-Aligned Movement for the last three years, since the September 2016 Margarita Summit.

It was our responsibility to hold the ministerial summit. We held it. It was successful. Representatives from governments of 120 countries attended. We approved fundamental documents for strengthening the United Nations system, advancing important causes such as climate change.

As you know, climate change is affecting all the regions of the world. President Trump refuses to acknowledge climate change. It’s craziness! Climate change is affecting warming, it’s harming the planet.

The Non-Aligned Movement ratified the Paris Accord and every commitment on climate change.

We also ratified the 2030 agenda, that’s what it’s called, the 2030 agenda for social equality, for investment in public education, public health, housing, in work — the entire 2030 agenda for development and other key issues.

We received great support against the aggressive measures, the sanctions and blockade by the government of the United States against Venezuela. We received great solidarity.

I believe it has been very successful from a diplomatic perspective. Recently, a few days ago, we received the Sao Paulo Forum. Over 150 social and political movements, political parties, from over 70 countries attended. 720 leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean and the world.

We had the opportunity there to analyze the global situation, the geopolitical situation of Latin America and the Caribbean, and there too we received full, absolute support for Venezuela in its struggle for independence, sovereignty. In its struggle against the blockade, against financial persecution, against everything related to the Trump administration’s economic aggression.

I think these two international events were carried out at a high level.

Now in the months of August, September, October we will have global meetings about indigenous peoples, women and feminism, the labor movement and unions, and more.

Venezuela is a meeting place for debating ideas, and for dreaming about the future, which is the most important thing.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: These events were totally ignored in US media. And I think one of the most interesting aspects of the Non-Aligned Movement is that 21 of the countries out of the some 120 countries that came to Caracas for this event are targets of US sanctions. And these sanctions are essentially a form of hybrid warfare. It’s about regime change…

NICOLAS MADURO:

They stole Citgo from us. In the United States, you see Citgo gas stations – those are Venezuelan and the government of the United States expropriated it. They expropriated it.

They have frozen accounts worth over $20 billion in banks in Europe and around the world. It is persecution.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: $1.3 billion from the Bank of England.

NICOLAS MADURO: Just in gold reserves of the Central Bank of Venezuela. You know that central banks in countries have special immunity – that’s a post-war agreement. Special immunity for central banks.

And all the gold reserves they have around the world have special immunity according to international law. Well, the U.S. Government, in complicity with the British government, have frozen, have stolen over 1.4 billion dollars from Venezuela in gold reserves. Venezuela’s gold reserves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Many Americans are familiar with the events since January, when the US enacted a coup against your government, through Juan Guaidó. But they don’t know about a lot of crises and the really grisly events that led up to it.

In 2017, the city that you see behind us, Caracas, was on fire, with the guarimbas. And many people were killed, including Chavistas like Orlando Figueroa, who was burned alive because he was black.

You called a Constituent Assembly, which many people, including on the Chavista side, didn’t expect. You were branded a dictator by the US for doing so, because of the National Assembly and its role — it lost its role.

In August of 2018, you faced an assassination attempt. Drones strapped with explosives attempted to detonate during a military parade, when you were standing with your ministers. So it was an attempt to kill you and many of your ministers.
-\\\-

“Hong Kong, Kashmir: a Tale of Two Occupations” by Pepe Escobar (Strategic Culture Foundation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

(+
The big story in Hong Kong is not even the savage, counter-productive protests (imagine if this was in France, where Macron’s army is actually maiming and even killing Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests). The big story is the rot consuming HSBC – which has all the makings of the new Deutsche Bank scandal.

HSBC holds $2.6 trillion in assets and an intergalactic horde of cockroaches in their basement – asking serious questions about money laundering and dodgy deals operated by global turbo-capitalist elites.

In the end, Hong Kong will be left to its own internally corroding devices – slowly degrading to its final tawdry status as a Chinese Disneyland with a Western veneer…

While China identified “Occupy Hong Kong” as a mere Western-instilled and instrumentalized plot, India, for its part, decided to go for Full Occupy in Kashmir.

Curfew was imposed all across the Kashmir valley. Internet was cut off. All Kashmiri politicians were rounded up and arrested. In fact all Kashmiris – loyalists (to India), nationalists, secessionists, independentists, apolitical – were branded as The Enemy. Welcome to Indian “democracy” under the crypto-fascist Hindutva.
+)

“Demonising the Left” by David Miller (BSNEWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:||:-
In a worryingly-McCarthyite new government-funded paper people on the left, including members of the anti-war movement, have been labelled potential sympathisers with “violent extremism.” The paper is one of thirty being published by the government’s new Commission for Countering Extremism headed by Sara Khan…

So what does it counter? Many regard it as an instrument of ideological warfare against British Muslims. Just like the Cameron-era Extremism Analysis Unit, the Home Office’s Research, Information and Communication Unit (RICU), and the various astroturf initiatives established as part of the Home Office’s Prevent programme, the Commission is seen as attempting to depoliticise Muslim communities and beliefs.

But now the Commission has turned fire on the left. In a paper it published on Friday entitled Violent Extremist Tactics and Ideology of the Sectarian Far-left, people regarded as “very left-wing” – over half of whom were Guardian or Observer readers – were denounced as potentially sympathetic to “violent extremism.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid made it clear in a speech that accompanied the launch of the first five papers that the exercise is intended to equate the genuine threat posed by violent far-right terror groups such as Generation Identity and National Action with the peaceful activism of Muslim community organisations like the Islamic Human Rights Commission or MEND. This is a clear-cut example of state-sponsored Islamophobia. But the Commission’s work on what it describes as the “sectarian far-left” received even less media attention than Javid’s speech.

The paper’s authors — all on public record as critics of the Corbyn-led Labour Party — concede that their description of left-wing groups as extremist betokens no “realistic prospect of their direct … involvement in any sort of imminent terrorist activity in the UK.” So, instead, they reason that the anti-war politics of left-wing groups means they are “occupying a position of solidarity with terrorist organisations and violently repressive regimes.”

In the absence of analysis, the authors turn to pathologising the left, based on “a body of work within political psychology” addressing the question of “whether particular personality types are attracted to right or left-wing extremism.” By commissioning studies on the violent far-right along with left-wing or Muslim activism — defined as ‘far-left’ or ‘Islamist’ — the government is peddling its own peculiar brand of horseshoe theorywhich allows it to place its own very right-wing policies in an imaginary, reasonable centre-ground.

Furthermore, the work appears itself to be based on conspiracy theories about a so-called red-green alliance between socialists and Muslims, popularised by Islamophobic organisations such as the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Although the Commission claims its report about left-wing activism was peer-reviewed, its definition of that term would not pass academic muster. The ‘peer review’ was organised by a member of its staff who is not a career civil servant, but rather is seconded to the Commission from a neoconservative think tank.
-:||:

Former Finance Ministry chief of staff Fritz-William Michel is President Jovenel Moïse’s new Prime Minister nominee.

“As Police Capture Infamous Gang Leader, President Nominates a New Prime Minister: Fritz-William Michel” by Kim Ives (Haïti Liberté)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

:::/===
Besieged Haitian President Jovenel Moïse nominated his fourth prime minister on Mon., Jul. 22: Fritz-William Michel, 38.

Michel had been tapped to be the Planning Minister in the government of Moïse’s previous PM nominee, Jean Michel Lapin. But Lapin’s bid to be ratified by Parliament was foiled four times, leading him to offer his resignation on the morning of Michel’s nomination.

Since Mar. 21, Lapin had been acting prime minister after the House of Deputies ousted his predecessor, Jean Henry Céant, on Mar. 18…

Haiti’s rumor mill and social media has been filled with numerous unsubstantiated allegations that Michel’s champion was House of Deputies President Gary Bodeau, who met with President Moïse and Senate President Carl Murat Cantave just prior to the nomination. The rumors also allege without proof that Bodeau and Michel are close to Reynold Deeb, the COO of the Deka Group S.A., one of Haiti’s largest importers, which distributes such well-known Haitian brands as Bongú, Actimed, Nutrigu, Bonlè, and Tempo.

“Nobody understands where the guy came from,” said Steeve Khawly, a former presidential candidate of the Bouclier party which is close to the ruling Haitian Bald-Headed Party (PHTK) of President Moïse. “We’re starting to see people whom we have never seen in politics, and we’re not sure exactly where they’re coming from, what their past is. In a difficult situation like this, we should have a prime minister who is accepted by all parties, capable of doing the transition or doing things differently. But that’s not what we’re seeing here… We’re sensing that we’re going to have more trouble coming soon.”
===/:::

“Can Deregulated Charter Schools Not Be Deregulated Charter Schools?” by Shawgi Tell (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

)=–
Privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools have always been a top-down neoliberal economic project.

The main features of neoliberalism, launched at home and abroad in the late 1970s, are privatization, deregulation, and abdication of government responsibility for the well-being of people.

Charter schools meet all three criteria: they are deregulated arrangements that reflect government abandoning responsibility for education by handing it over to the private sector and the “free market,” where chaos, anarchy, and violence prevail. This is why so many millionaires and billionaires have been involved in the charter school sector for decades. For owners of capital, charter schools are a much-needed pay-the-rich scheme in the neoliberal period. Charter schools temporarily protect a section of the rich from the inescapable effects of falling profitability under capitalism…

To call for charter schools to be regulated is a bit like calling for water not to be wet. Regulation, which is what the rich and the “free market” abhor, would defeat the neoliberal purpose and rationale for the existence and expansion of privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools. Deregulation allows charter schools to be non-transparent, unaccountable, and do as they please, which means delivering poor results while fleecing the public treasury with impunity.

Eliminating charter schools would be far more beneficial to education, society, the economy, and the national interest than trying to rein them in through regulation or “better oversight,” which is not going to happen, let alone in a meaningful way.
–=(

A child sells bags of vinegar and bandanas to help protesters fight the effects of teargas in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Tuesday, August 6th, 2019. Photo | Adrienne Pine

“To Flee or Not to Flee? In Honduras, A Child Braves Tear Gas to Sell Vinegar Bags” by Adrienne Pine (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS — The epicenter of the migrant crisis is in the midst of yet another uprising after the president of Honduras was accused of drug trafficking in the U.S.

Minutes after the military and special police forces shot a first round of teargas canisters into a crowd of protesters on Tuesday, I heard a tiny sing-song voice chant “Vinegar! Bandanas!” A small child — who seemed to be about seven, my daughter’s age — waded through the crowd selling single-use plastic bags of vinegar and red bandanas.

I shed enough tears to wash out the sting of the gas, but after another ten minutes and another heavy gassing I decided to take the child up on his offer. He told me the vinegar cost 10 lempiras ($0.41 USD) and the bandana was 20 lempiras. As I searched around in my purse for the wad of small bills I knew I had, the boy wiped his eyes and looked to be suffering from the gas too. I fished out two 20 lemp bills and grabbed the bag I thought he was handing me. But he coughed and shook his head. “No, that one’s mine.”
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Jeffrey Epstein

“Who wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead?” by Patrick Martin (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

[[[
Let’s begin by stating the obvious: Jeffrey Epstein’s violent death in a Manhattan jail cell prevents a trial or a plea deal that threatened to expose business associates and political enablers who made use of the services provided by his alleged sex-trafficking activities, or who profited from this and other sordid operations of the multimillionaire money manager.

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his death, the efforts of the media—and the New York Times in particular—to dismiss out of hand any suggestion that Epstein’s death was the result of anything but a suicide reek of a high-level cover-up. Whether he was strangled in a jail cell by a hired killer or allowed to hang himself is almost beside the point.

Epstein’s life came to a violent end while in the custody of the US government. This is an undeniable fact. Even if he committed suicide, the act could not have succeeded without the direct complicity of those who were responsible for his safety.

And while Epstein was accused of deplorable crimes, it should hardly be necessary to point out that he—yes, even Epstein—had the right to a vigorous defense in a trial. That his untimely death preempts and prevents the trial from taking place is a matter of staggering seriousness.
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“Ruin”

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