The Avalanche – Snapshot 50 – Dec 2, ’19

An injured protestor is rushed to a hospital during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

“The bloodbath in Baghdad” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The death toll in the mass protests that have shaken Iraq for the last seven weeks has risen to over 330, with an estimated 15,000 wounded. Young Iraqis have continued to pour into the streets in defiance of fierce repression to press their demands for jobs, social equality and an end to the unspeakably corrupt political regime created by the US occupation that followed the criminal American invasion of 2003…

Forced disappearances have been reported, while families of victims shot to death by security forces have been compelled to sign statements acknowledging the deaths as “accidental” in order to receive the bodies of their loved ones…

Only in the predominantly Sunni northern areas of Anbar Province and Mosul, which were bombed into rubble during the so-called US war against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has the protest movement failed to bring masses into the streets. This is not for any lack of sympathy, but rather the threat of a renewed military offensive against any sign of opposition. Even those in the region who have expressed their solidarity on Facebook have been rounded up by security forces, while the authorities have made it plain that anyone there who opposes the government will be treated as “terrorists” and ISIS sympathizers.

If anything approaching this level of both mass popular revolt and murderous repression were taking place in Russia, China, Venezuela or Iran, one can easily imagine the kind of wall-to-wall coverage they would receive from the corporate media in the US. Yet, the Iraqi events have been virtually ignored by the broadcast networks and the major print media…

The reaction of the American mass media is a guilty, shame-faced silence. The events in Iraq are a stark expression of the abject criminality and failure of the entire US imperialist project in that country, so the less said about them the better.

“Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit” by Ramin Mazaheri (The Greanville Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

For many years to come France will be divided into two periods – before the Yellow Vests, and after the Yellow Vests. It’s widely believed in France that things can never go back to the way they were.

I’m not sure there can be a better yardstick of domestic success – a better gauge of sociocultural impact – than that?

Outside of France the Yellow Vests have given the world a precious gift, and at a huge sacrifice: nobody will ever view “French-style democracy” with the respect their government arrogantly demands as the alleged “birthplace of human rights”. For a generation or longer, “What about the Yellow Vests?”, will be a conversation-ending question to anyone who claims the moral superiority of the “Western-style” political system…

France is not England, but 53 weeks ago I don’t think anyone imagined that the French could possibly muster the stamina, dedication and self-sacrifice to protest amid massive state-sponsored repression every weekend for one year.

It’s an amazing achievement, and only those full of spite and hate could deny them a modest present of honest recognition on their birthday.

But Western mainstream media coverage in English and French was just that – they claimed the Yellow Vests achieved nothing…

Quickly, here are a few tangible victories of the Yellow Vests: they prevented Emmanuel Macron from presenting a 10th consecutive annual austerity budget, they prevented Macron from de-nationalising the three airports of Paris, and the 10 billion euros in so-called “concessions” was credited with keeping French economic growth in the positive in the last quarter…

What did the Occupy Movement “achieve”, after all? They prevented no bailouts, they folded after infinitely less state repression and there is no direct movement linked with them today. However, only a Burkean conservative would insist that the Occupy Movement didn’t wake many people up to the struggles of class warfare, and of egalitarian right and greedy wrong. It’s never mentioned in the Western media – which only adores far-right, nativist, anti-socialist movements like in Hong Kong – but Algerians have protested for 39 consecutive weekends as well.

The Yellow Vests have not failed – they have much to celebrate on their birthday, and this article serves as a rare reminder of that reality.

Mark Zuckerberg

“Facebook Bans All Content On Vaccine Awareness, Including Facts About Vaccine Ingredients” by ? (Natural News via ZeroHedge)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Just as we warned would happen, the tech giants are now moving aggressively to ban all speech that contradicts whatever “official” position is decided to be “the truth” by the corrupt establishment. This week, Facebook announced it would block all content on Facebook that questions the official dogma on vaccines, which falsely insists that vaccines have never harmed anyone (a hilarious lie), that vaccines contain only safe ingredients (a blatant deception) and that vaccines always work on everyone (another laughable lie).

Tyler Durden (not his real name) gets a lot right. But now and then, he fails. I would say that his recent article about Chinese re-education camps is a fail. It relies on a corrupt organization called “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists” for its central assertion. There’s any number of articles that look at that organization and find it not right. There’s “Pierre Omidyar’s Funding of Pro-Regime-Change Networks and Partnerships with CIA Cutouts” by Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal and there’s “The ‘Panama Papers’ and ‘Regime Change’: Who is Behind ‘The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ)?” by Timothy Alexander Guzman and there’s “Why the new Silk Roads Terrify Washington” by Pepe Escobar. See also “No, the UN did not report China has ‘massive internment camps’ for Uighur Muslims” by Ben Norton and Ajit Singh.

From WSWS:
Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias speaks as Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez looks on after signing an agreement at the parliament in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul White)

“Podemos party backs Spanish internet censorship law” by Alejandro Lopez and Alex Lantier (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As part of its agreement to form a government with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) after the November 10 elections, the Podemos party has decided not to oppose the caretaker PSOE government’s internet censorship law, the so-called “Digital Security Law.” It is yet another lesson in the treachery of this petty-bourgeois, “left populist” party.

On Wednesday, Podemos deputies suddenly reversed their public position against the law and declined to oppose it in Congress. They abstained in the vote as PSOE, Popular Party (PP) and Citizens deputies approved the law, which imposes far-reaching attacks on the Internet and on basic democratic rights.

Julian Assanage | photo by AP

“Australian Labor Party shuts down parliamentary discussion on Assange” by Oscar Grenfell (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In a highly revealing incident, the Labor Party’s manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, shut-down a discussion in the federal parliament’s House of Representatives on the plight of persecuted WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange on Tuesday evening.

Burke interrupted a speech by Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce calling for Assange to be defended as an Australian citizen and journalist. Using provisions that allow for speeches to be ended if they extend beyond allotted time, or if the majority of the parliament wishes that they conclude, Burke “moved that the speaker no longer be heard.”

The motion was carried by a voice vote, silencing Joyce and preventing any further discussion. Burke’s motion was doubtless supported by Liberal-National Coalition MPs, who have rejected calls for their government to uphold its responsibility to intervene on Assange’s behalf.

You may react to reports like this by thinking that those gangster, fascist politicians will regret their actions at election time. They would – if electoral systems were free. They aren’t. They’ve been captured by powerful special interests. If they worked, the deep State would find a way to cripple them. Fascism (which is capitalism on steroids, as Christopher Black reminds us, and is the system that we all live under) cannot tolerate democracy. You can have democracy that doesn’t interfere with the fascist global capitalist system, such as you get a garage sales or farmers’ markets. But that’s about it.

“The clear US role in Bolivia’s tragic hard-right coup” by Fiona Edwards (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

====== =
With the backing of the US government, a highly sophisticated and well-resourced coup has succeeded in overthrowing Bolivia’s legitimate and democratically elected president Evo Morales. This massive blow against democracy and social progress comes after more than a decade of US intervention aimed at destabilising Bolivia and overthrowing its successful socialist government.

A wave of fascist violence

On 10 November, Morales resigned after escalating violent attacks from the right and the Bolivian military’s demand that he step down. Under threat of being illegally arrested by the organisers of the coup, and with serious concerns that he would be assassinated by fascist thugs, Morales left Bolivia for Mexico. What the US-backed right-wing opposition could not achieve at the ballot box, they had finally attained through violence and military pressure.

The fascist groups that took the lead in overthrowing Morales’s government did so by unleashing a wave of racist violence. As the coup plot unfolded, there was a large-scale, coordinated operation to kidnap relatives of prominent left-wing politicians to force them to resign their positions. At the same time, the homes of some members of the ruling Movement For Socialism (MAS) were burnt as arsonists went on the rampage. Hours after Morales stepped down, his own home was invaded and vandalised. The Bolivian police did nothing to prevent this lawlessness, giving a clear green-light to the coup.

Around 24 hours before the Bolivian military made the decisive ‘request’ that Morales resign, the coup plotters shut down Bolivia TV and Nueva Patria Radio. The director of the radio station, José Aramayo, was even tied to a tree by right-wing activists. As a result, there has been a media blackout of progressive TV channels in the country since 9 November. Freedom of speech has been suppressed by the far right in order to prevent the truth from getting out to the population…

Donald Trump has enthusiastically welcomed the coup, applauding the role played by the Bolivian military. The pro-US mainstream Western media has also actively assisted the coup by spreading disinformation, outrageous lies, and slanders against Morales. The overwhelming majority of the press has failed to accurately report the situation in Bolivia, and has meticulously avoided characterising the events as a “coup”. And the role of US intervention in Bolivia has barely been mentioned at all.
= ======

This is what ruined people look like. And this is what the ruined American political class looks like. To the entertainment-military industrial complex: Thanks for helping to ruin American citizens and others. How’s that movie about the terrorist propaganda construct, the White Helmets, going George Clooney?

If you actually believe in democracy, and ‘free’ elections therefore, you’re a communist and evil and need to be destroyed. If you’re a fascist, racist, lying coward, and trained to murder and torture, then you’re Godly, pure and admirable. Those who want us to believe that will also call those fascists peace-loving and democratic. Darth Sidious thinks all of that is peachy.

related: “Evo Morales: How could you fail to defend yourself and your people from the coming coup?!!!”

Spirit Boom Cat | Shutterstock

“Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights as Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent” by Mnar Muhawesh (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It’s an open secret. The deep state is working hand in hand with Silicon Valley social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google to control the flow of information. That includes suppressing, censoring and sometimes outright purging dissenting voices – all under the guise of fighting fake news and Russian propaganda.

“The Organization of American States Has Deceived the Public, Terribly, on the Bolivian Election” by Mark Weisbrot (MarketWatch via Axis of Logic)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

What is the difference between an outright lie — stating something as a fact while knowing that it is false — and a deliberate material representation that accomplishes the same end? Here is an example that really pushes the boundary between the two, to the point where the distinction practically vanishes. And the consequences are quite serious; this misrepresentation (or lie) has already played a major role in a military coup in Bolivia last Sunday. This military coup overthrew the government of President Evo Morales before his current term was finished — a term to which nobody disputes that he was democratically elected in 2014. More violent repression and even a civil war could follow.

The Organization of American States (OAS) sent an Electoral Observation Mission to Bolivia, entrusted with monitoring the October 20 national election there. The day after the election, before all the votes were even counted, the mission put out a press release announcing its “deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results…”

Now, if you had any experience with elections or maybe even arithmetic, what is the first thing you would want to know about the votes that came in after the interruption? You might ask, were people in those areas any different from people in the average precinct in the first 84 percent? And was the change in Morales’s margin sudden, or was it a gradual trend that continued as more vote tally sheets were reported? You might even want to ask these questions before expressing “deep concern and surprise” about what happened, especially in a politically very polarized situation that was already turning violent.

The MAS-IPSP margin increased steadily through most of the quick count as more tally sheets were verified.

A look at that data shows that the change in Morales’s lead was actually gradual and continuous, and started rising many hours before the break in reporting of the quick count. You can see that in a graph of the results. Why did it happen? The answer is simple and not that uncommon: the people in later-reporting areas were more pro-MAS (Morales’s party, the Movement Toward Socialism) than those in areas that reported earlier. Hence the gradual and continuous rise in Morales’s lead, in which the votes after the interruption put him over the top…

It is difficult, almost impossible, to believe that this OAS mission, or those above them in the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, felt “deep concern and surprise” and yet were too incompetent to even look at this data. That is why I would say that they lied at least three times: in the first press release, the preliminary report, and the preliminary audit…

And the OAS isn’t all that independent at the moment, with the Trump administration actively promoting this military coup, and Washington having more right-wing allies in the OAS than they did just a few years ago. Not to mention that the US supplies 60 percent of its budget. But the OAS has horribly abused its mandate in election monitoring before, helping to reverse election results as the US and its allies wanted: most destructively, in 2000 in Haiti; and also in the same country in 2011.

More evidence: in the last three weeks, the OAS has refused to answer questions from journalists, on the record, about their statements or reports since the election.

Don Cherry

“CBC Had Employee Delete Tweet Critical Of Don Cherry” by Jonathan Goldsbie (Canadaland)

In the immediate aftermath of Don Cherry delivering his “you people…that come here” rant Saturday evening, many CBC employees were publicly circumspect.

After all, the public broadcaster had been chiefly responsible for cultivating the hockey commentator’s career, and continued to serve as the platform on which he could spout off on any subject, despite no longer controlling the program on which he appeared. Officially, he was Rogers’ problem, but CBC was still the home of Hockey Night in Canada.

And so initial reaction from network personalities tended to look something like this:

A notable exception, however, was a missive from Ahmar Khan, a reporter at CBC Manitoba…

“It [is] long due time for Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner to be cancelled,” Khan tweeted late Saturday night. “His xenophobic comments being aired weekly are deplorable. You know why black and brown kids don’t enjoy hockey? Because of the deep-rooted racism, which we get to hear EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. on national TV.” The tweet included a clip of Cherry’s comments, as shared by another user who’d observed that Cherry was “being a POS.”

The tweet went viral, racking up over a thousand retweets and 4,500 likes. But by Sunday afternoon, it had disappeared.

The CBC confirms it had Khan remove it.

The ‘actual’ offense, in the view of the fascists running the CBC, was someone objecting to the racist rants of a white supremacist pig.

“BBC News editing the audience reaction to Boris Johnson is really not okay” by Emily Apple (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Boris Johnson’s appearance on the BBC Question Time (BBCQT) Leaders Debate didn’t exactly go well. From having to sneak into the studio while Jeremy Corbyn was greeted by crowds of supporters to refusing to apologise for his previous racist and homophobic comments, the PM was on the back foot.

But it was on the issue of trust that the audience really showed how much they despise Johnson. And their reaction explicitly showed the contempt they have for him on this issue.

This was, seemingly, too much for BBC News. Because it apparently edited the clip, removing the full audience response and editing it to only show applause for Johnson.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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