Professional Scam Artists – part 76

“Why has El Salvador expelled diplomats from Venezuela?” by Les Blough (Quora via Axis of Logic)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Thanks for asking me this important question, Chris. El Salvador’s new government under president Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez expelled Venezuela’s diplomats for 2 reasons.

The first, to put it succinctly, is that Bukele is a US pawn doing his job for Washington. He’s the wealthy owner of Yamaha Motors El Salvador, touted as a successful entrepreneur – but really his wealth is inherited. He was expelled from the FMLN, El Salvador’s political party on the left, for “promoting internal division and performing defamatory acts” against the party which has the familiar ring of US/CIA intervention in many Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. Bukele then ran for president as an independent with US backing and won. Upon winning the election he stated,

“For us, the United States is not only a partner and an ally, but also a friend. And we’re going to show that friendship. That’s one of the reasons we signed the agreement – because we want to show the friendship to our most important ally, which is the United States.” (source: NPR).

The second reason El Salvador expelled Venezuela’s diplomats is the the US held a cocked pistol to the country’s head with one hand and a piece of cake to it’s mouth with the other.

Axis is one of the most genuine progressive sites out there. I visit frequently. The editors are absolutely not pretentious and, if you’re normal, they will welcome you and make you feel like you’ve known each other forever. I’m not sure that they’ve liked some of my recent comments having to do with the Green New Deal and with the coup in Bolivia. There’s nothing I can do about that. Best friends can disagree. Although there are limits. Promoting the GND, very clearly, involves promoting both capitalism and the capitalist exploiters behind the Green New Deal. Cory Morningstar has done extensive research on the Green New Deal. I have read much, but not all of it. She will leave you in no doubt about the nature of the Green New Deal.

A statue is covered in paint and donned with a mask of President Sebastian Pinera wearing horns, during an anti-government protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Chile has been facing days of unrest, triggered by a relatively minor increase in subway fares. The protests have shaken a nation noted for economic stability over the past decades, which has seen steadily declining poverty despite persistent high rates of inequality. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

“Media Backs Billionaire President as Chileans Protest Privatization” by Mnar Muhawesh (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Chile’s right-wing President Sebastian Piñera recently declared war. He wasn’t referring to a foreign government, but to his own people. He even ordered tanks and the military to the streets.

An estimated 20 protesters have been killed and over 500 injured…

Since October 14th, millions of Chileans have taken to the streets, rocking what is normally one of Latin America’s most stable countries.

Chileans are in an uproar over rising taxes on public transportation, growing income inequality, and a broken pension system…

On average, a Chilean worker earns around $9,000 per year.

Chile’s President Piñera is worth 2.4 billion dollars.

Piñera is taking lessons from Chile’s former US-backed dictator Augusto Pinochet to hold onto his authority.

The state is behaving like a security force for the country’s privatized industries. Unarmed protesters are being met with brute military force. Soldiers and police are shooting at protests at point-blank range.

In addition to those killed or injured, over 5,000 have been detained.

Several detainees have formally reported being tortured by security forces.

American corporate media have described the protests as “riots” and “violent”.

“‘NY Times’ report on killing of Gaza family is part damage control for Israel’s military” by James North (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Times article does start with a quick first-hand report from an eyewitness to the terrible Israeli midnight aerial attack on Deir-El-Balah, in Gaza. Ismail al-Swarka lost eight of his relatives, five of whom were children.

But then the paper detours into a joint damage control exercise with the Israeli military. The Times says the military explains that “civilian casualties are unavoidable in Gaza’s teeming neighborhoods.” It adds that “Israel accuses militants of using civilians, including their own relatives, as human shields. . .” And, hammering home the propaganda point, the paper says Israel “takes numerous precautions to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.”

The paper also muddies the actual news, by insinuating that despite the civilian deaths, there might actually have been “an Islamic Jihad military infrastructure” in the area that Israel attacked. The reader is left confused, with the impression that Israel’s air force may have made a mistake, but maybe not, and in any case such mistakes are rare…

The Haaretz reporters, Yaniv Kubovich and Jack Khoury, continued to do actual reporting, instead of taking stenography from official Israeli military spokespeople. It turned out that:

“The building where the family [the 8 Gazans killed in the attack, including 5 kids] lived was on a list of potential targets, but Israeli defense officials confirmed to Haaretz that it had not been looked at over the past year or checked prior to the attack. . . Defense sources confirmed that at no stage was the area checked for the presence of civilians.”

So much for the Israeli military’s “numerous precautions” to avoid harming Palestinian civilians.

Please read the entire above article. It’s important. It’s not lengthy.

The enclosing quotation mark at the beginning of the Haaretz quote was missing, so I added it.

Screenshot from Deval Patrick’s campaign announcement video (From his Twitter)

“Deval Patrick has unequivocally supported Israel at the height of its worst human rights abuses” by Michael Arria (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

===== =
Former Massachusetts Governor (and managing director of private equity firm Bain Capital) Deval Patrick has announced that he’s officially entering the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Patrick’s connections to the financial industry will presumably anger left-leaning voters, but his foreign policy record should also rankle progressives. Patrick has a long history of support for Israel and no record to show in terms of supporting Palestinian self-determination. The former governor has led delegations to Israel on numerous occasions. During a 2011 trip, Patrick met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and informed the press that his visit was one of “collaboration, friendship and steadfast support.”

In 2012, at the height of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Patrick spoke at a pro-Israel rally in the Boston area. He told the crowd:

I came here tonight to stand with my friends. To stand with my friends who are worried sick about their friends and their family, here and in Israel. … And to stand with all of those who, like me, yearn for peace. Israel will endure and survive this, as scared and worried as we all are at this moment. Israel is timeless, it was meant to be, and she will survive.

In 2014, Patrick attended another pro-Israel rally, this one taking place during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. According to the United Nations, at least 2,131 Palestinians were killed during the seven-week conflict. According to Palestinian Center for Human Rights statistics, 1660 of those killed were civilians. “I didn’t come here tonight for headlines, or for votes. I came here tonight to stand with my friends,” Patrick told the crowd.
= =====

Patrick is right where he belongs: in the Democratic Party. Those who are hankering for a replacement for the unhinged, bloodthirsty Hillary Clinton might want to give Deval (ha!) a look.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg at the Democratic debate held in Westerville, OH in October 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

“Nearly every Democratic candidate rushed to defend Israel’s attack on Gaza, Warren only one to acknowledge Palestinian deaths” by (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A ceasefire has been reached between Israel and groups in Gaza, after two days of violence that left 34 Palestinians dead. Many of the Democratic candidates have tweeted about the events, defending Israel’s actions while condemning rocket fire from Palestine. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders expressed concern for Israelis and Palestinians, while Warren was the only candidate to acknowledge that multiple Palestinians have been killed.

Pete Buttigieg, on keyboards. From his Facebook page, June 11.

“Buttigieg supports Israel’s missile attacks on Gaza, but condemns Palestinians when they respond” by Michael Arria (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Israel’s military campaign against Gaza has entered its second day and so far it has left 24 Palestinians dead (including a 7-year-old boy) and at least 70 injured. The current round of violence began on Tuesday after Israeli strikes killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta, his wife, and four others. The attack prompted retaliatory rocket fire from a number of Palestinian groups. Israel continues to attack the region…

South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has tweeted his support for Israel’s actions and a condemnation of the rocket fire from Palestine…

“It’s ‘defending yourself’ when the overwhelmingly powerful side keeping the other population under siege surgically kill people, and ‘attacks’ when the far weaker, besieged side use less powerful and precise weapons, rarely killing anyone. Got it,” journalist Abi Wilkinson tweeted at the mayor.

Michael notes that “Buttigieg has positioned himself as one of the most pro-Israel Democratic candidates in the race, but he’s also declared that he would condition military aid to Israel if Netanyahu follows through with announced plans to annex the West Bank.” Frankly, I don’t believe him. I think he’s just looking for ways to hedge his bets in the campaign, totally siding with Israel and also throwing bone to supporters who waver and might like this little streak of humanity.

Evo Morales

“US and OAS help overthrow another government: Behind the coup against Bolivia’s Evo Morales” by Leonardo Flores (Codepink via The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The United States and the Organization of American States can add another coup to their scorecards, even if U.S. media refuses to recognize it as such.

This time it was in Bolivia, where President Evo Morales was forced to step down on November 10, following weeks of pressure and extremist violence.

Morales resigned under duress in order to avoid bloodshed, and emphasized that his “responsibility as an indigenous president of all Bolivians is to prevent the coup-mongers from persecuting my trade unionist brothers and sisters, abusing and kidnapping their families, burning the homes of governors, of legislators, of city councilors… to prevent them from continuing to harass and persecute my indigenous brothers and sisters and the leaders and authorities” of the MAS (Movement towards Socialism, Morales’ political party).

His resignation has yet to take effect, as it must be approved by the legislature. This did not stop opposition party member Jeanine Añez, the senate’s second vice president, from declaring herself interim president, further proving that what’s happened is a coup.

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