Tag Archives: Venezuela

US Global War Of Terror destabilization operation opens the ball in Venezuela


To “open the ball” is a dance expression the US cavalry borrowed to describe the initiation of a military engagement. Against Native American prey this usually meant to wake the village by firing into the teepees. The US has long been covertly trying to destabilize Venezuela, but recent developments indicate they’re escalating “opposition protests” to Syrian proportions. Tunisia and Egypt may have been more spontaneous than the US-coordinated “Color Revolutions” along the former Soviet Bloc and in Iran, but the rollout of Arab Spring into Libya and Syra was entirely US-EU covert ops. With renewed “populist” uprisings cementing the encirclement of Russia, the US has detonated unrest in South America, determined to push the Venezuelan government to extremes. Next the UN will decide someone has exceded the bounds of human rights violations, ignoring of course the real Goliaths of that game.

Chavez has double-digit lead going into Venezuela’s election this Sunday


Yes, Hugo Chavez is still popular in Venezuela precisely because conditions have improved during his time in office. The US corporate media is calling it ‘a close race’ despite the polls mainly showing quite the contrary? Why? Because the pro US government opposition to Chavez plans to scream fraud no matter how bad they actually lose, and the US and international corporate and government backers of regime change in Venezuela want to verbally back up the Right Wing’s hysteria no matter what? Why wouldn’t Hugo Chavez be ahead in the race? His opponent is even more creepy and slimy than Mitt Romney is here in the US, while Chavez is no Barack Obomber. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on the election trail. He is expected to win again, but has pledged to abide by the popular vote.

So-called ‘Human Rights Watch’ inserts itself against Hugo Chavez right in the middle of the Venezuelan election

Human Rights Watch doesn’t actually much watch out for human rights and defend them where they are really really under attack, because that would expose the Pentagon and Washington D.C. as being the world’s major violator of human rights world wide. You won’t see them highlighting Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Bahrain, and Afghanistan in any major manner while the US government is riding roughshod over human rights the most through its incessant promotion of killing and war in these areas of the world.

Where you do see them, is inserting themselves with US government-constructed propaganda, in the middle of the Venezuelan election campaign, on the side of the US government-backed guy! Human Rights Watch attacks 'abuse of power' in Venezuela.

Now here is what the Human Rights Fund ITSELF says about where their funds to operate come from…

Who funds Human Rights Watch?
We are a fully independent non-governmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. In order to maintain our independence, we accept no money from any government, directly or indirectly.

Here is what Wikipedia says their monies to operate come from….

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 Million of $128 Million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year.

This is not an honest broker of human rights in the world at all! It is Geroge Soros, rich guy, telling us what human rights are, where he thinks they are being violated, and where he finds no problems in them being violated. That last where he finds little violation of human rights is where the Pentagon is operating making its wars at. What a racket has going, and the American corporate media and the Pentagon love the group he funds!

Lest anybody forget, it was George Soros funded groups that were largely behind the previous US government supported military coup that tried to topple Chavez, too, and failed.

All Venezuelans have access to medical care while we in US don’t! Why is this?

‘The right to health care is guaranteed in the Venezuelan Constitution, which was written and ratified by the people in 1999. Through implementing a state-funded social program called Barrio Adentro, or inside the barrio, free comprehensive health care is available to all Venezuelans.’ See A Look at the Venezuelan Healthcare System

But funding to give medical care to the poor is something that burns upper Middle Class American and Venezuelan doctors off. They hate it! here from Lancet, the English speaking world’s most important medical magazine we can read this…

***Olga Machado de Castillo, a member of the board of directors and secretary of labour relations in the Venezuelan Medical Federation, a staunch opposition group to Chavez, believes the neglected public hospitals have worsened under the current government. The presence of Cuban doctors in the country, she says, forms part of an active discrimination campaign against Venezuelan health professionals. She calls the arrival of Cuban doctors “an invasion”.

“One of the problems in the country is the presence of supposed Cuban doctors. We have determined through studies that only one in every ten of these doctors is really qualified to be practising in medicine while the others are simple technicians”, said Castillo.

The Federation refuses to acknowledge any advancements or improvements in health under Chavez; it also claims preventable diseases are on the rise, and diseases that had been eradicated in the past have returned once again. The government denies these allegations, saying that reports of tuberculosis and dengue fever outbreaks are media-provoked slander. They also defend Barrio Adentro saying no Venezuelan doctors would do the work of the Cuban medics in impoverished and violent city slums.

But the equipment, personnel, and propaganda that has been used in Chavez’s social missions has come at a steep financial cost, and has left the staff of the country’s long-established public hospitals asking about their share of the money.***

The Venezuelans medical establishment has fought giving access to poor Venezuelans all the way! For these suited upper Middle Class types of doctors, it is a lot easier to make money treating wealthier clients with next to no real medical problems than to actually treat really sick ordinary working people who have limited funds to pay for their care. See Lancet’s complete article for all of their report.. Venezuela: Two competing health care systems

The article in Lancet is from 2007, but the medical establishment of Venezuela largely fought Chavez all the way, and many of them have become major supporters of the political opposition against the reformer, Chavez, and his reforms. They will tell you that the current Venezuelan medical system is now a disaster. Yes, In a way they are right, because it is a disaster for them! …though not for Venezuela’s poor.

So Are Venezuelans better off under Chavez? ___Yes, of course they are, if you are from a poorer barrio and trying to get medical care for yourself or your kids. That’s because Venezuelans have access to medical care now, while in the US we don’t.

Dueling election rallies in Venezuela

The world corporate media claims that Hugo Chavez’s opponent for the October presidential election had hundreds of thousands of people rally for their candidate on Sunday. I even saw one report claim that it was a rally of 1,000,000 people against Chavez. But the same media is basically staying quiet about the rally one day later of Chavez supporters, where it is said in reports that only ‘thousands attended’ and that Chavez looked ‘swollen’ and still sick. However no matter how many rallied for who though, what remains is that Chavez is far ahead of his competitor according to the polls. It seems that even a still sickly Chavez is preferred by the majority of the poorer portion of the population in Venezuela over a healthy and obnoxious, 39 y/o pretty boy of the upper middle class candidate, the Señorito Henrique Capriles. REPORT- Hugo Chavez launches re-election bid

2 AM, time to piss off the Navy.

So this is the USN “crackerjack” work uniform blouse, from behind. Notice the two stars on a broad field of blue. That’s, according to my brother the Sailor, symbolic. The stars stand for the two times the USN fought the Royal Navy, and won. The extra large field is to make room for more stars as needed. A wonderful imperial gesture, yes? “We are mighty, you shall obey us!”
 
Then there’s BP. Which was founded as an adjunct to the Royal Navy and had the Royal Navy and even the U.S. Navy fight to secure their supply sources, which, surprise surprise surprise, none of which are actually in England. The propaganda bit they put out when they helped launch World War One, “That small nations might have the same rights as the Great Powers…” purest bullshit. Then as now, it was all about the Rich getting richer and using the blood and labor of the poor to do it. The kicker of it came down this past spring… when British Petroleum, that ol’ devilish offshoot of the British Royal Navy, Bitch-slapped the U.S. Navy in American territorial waters. Guess you kids in Uncle Sams Canoe Club should take those stars off?

May God have mercy on the next nation who is so unfortunate to discover that they, too, have United States and British oil buried under their sands.

They’ll be reduced to puppet dictatorships like Iraq and Kuwait and Nigeria and Ghana and Texas and Colorado have. There will be a top social layer of Kiss-Ass Experts like al Maliki and a vast underclass who will either be slaves to the Korporatisch Imperium or hunted, and their children as well, for the “crime” of being insurgents and resisting the Mighty United States and British Military.
They’ll be “free” do obey, conform, comply.

Panama Banana say that three times real fast…

But there was a strike against the Government run Banana Industry which unlike the traditional “Banana Republic” isn’t a government owned by the Banana Industry. Close enough though, they’re bought and Paid (on long credit terms) for by American Fat-Cats who believed and their descendants still do that their money and American (not Rich) soldiers providing the Assassinations necessary to maintain that money entitles them to own the whole world. Especially those nations physically closest to our Arbitrarily assigned borders.
By the way, Corporate Warfare and Corporate Welfare are two of the key components of Fascism.
The government forces attempted to take the Union leaders prisoner, and killed two union members and wounded 120 others (by Government count) three of whom are in hospitals in comas. And under arrest. Probably for violently attacking a Police Billy Club or Gun Muzzle with their foreheads. Repeatedly throwing their heads under the stomping Jack-boots of the Police even after being handcuffed. The workers, Indigenous people mostly, (that’s code for “held in perpetual povertyslavery on the basis of Race” by the way) responded by taking 4 of the cops prisoner. Only the Right Wing code for that is “hostages”. One of the causes of the strike was the Puppet Government of Panama (guess which American Corporate Government holds the puppet strings) trying, of course not on American orders, that would be silly to contemplate… passed laws forbidding Union Activity especially strikes.

The government “graciously” suspended enforcement of the law, temporarily until they can find some way to get enough American gunboats and Marines into the country to put the Union down for good errr… I mean, find some way to Legally enforce it.

Panama wasn’t the Original “Banana Republic”, although it follows the model, have U.S. Corporations, backed by the Military, which they’ve exempted themselves from paying the bills thereof, incite a “revolution” in the country which doesn’t have strong laws to force the people to surrender their lands, resources, freedoms and especially their labor to the corporate Overlords. The “revolutionaries” run into resistance from the non-cooperative government, then call for the United States government to send soldiers to come and rescue them. It’s how the Republic of Texas was formed. How the U.S. took over Hawaii. Puerto Rico. Panama. Iraq….
How we got a third of the land area of the Republic of Mexico after our Former Puppet General Antonio Jose y Maria Lopez de Santa Ana didn’t provide quite the level of cooperation they had expected.

Why Panama was re-taken from the Former Puppet Dictator Manuel Noriega refused to cooperate with the Reagan-Bu’ush Regime, in yet another arranged Coup. Panama was taken from the Republic of Colombia in the exact same manner because Colombia was leaning toward allowing a French firm to build the Canal (which was going to be built regardless)

Noriega helped finance the Banana Republic attempted coup in Nicaragua allegedly by being a go-between for Oliver North and the Medellin cocaine growing and marketing industry. The part about the North connection is “erased” in the American Memory Hole OR WAS IT?

The original “Banana Republic” was Honduras. Honduras which has ONCE MORE been taken down in a Coup against a populist “dictator” who made the horrendously Anti-American decision that the labor and resources of the Nation of Honduras belongs to the PEOPLE of Honduras, and not to the American Corporate Overlords. The true and exact reason the U.S. government condemns the nations of Cuba and Venezuela as “rogue states” because they actually stand for the national interests of THEIR OWN nations rather than the Corporate Owners of the United States.

And anybody who resists Corporate Fascism anywhere in the world is declared under the still-in-effect Bu’ush Regime directives like the so-called “Patriot” act to be a Terrorist.

US to send 46 Navy ships to Costa Rica

That’s right, it was not Puerto Rico, but Costa Rica, whose congress approved the mobilization of 46 US Navy vessels in its harbors, including the billeting of 7,000 uniformed US Marines to conduct humanitarian and drug-war operations. Did permission come with conditions? It did, but ours, not theirs. Before the US is to visit Costa Rica with 200 helicopters and combat planes, we stipulated that “US personnel in Costa Rica shall enjoy freedom of movement and the right to engage in activities they may consider necessary to fulfill their mission.”

Opposition parties in Costa Rica complain that such a huge military fleet in their waters will be disproportionate to the requirements of fighting the drug trade, and appears to have its sights further ashore.

Meanwhile the US armada off the coast of Iran is being joined by Israeli warships. Fidel Castro wonders at the likelihood they’ll move any direction but escalation sooner than retreat with tail between their legs if Iran complies with the latest UN demands.

The Caracas Commitment Si Se Puede

You might imagine the multinational corporate media would blackout the talk of a 5th Socialist International. They are most determined to censor the issues which the world’s leftist parties are resolved to address. Where Obama 2008 and Copenhagen 2009 project a vacuum of ideological momentum, check out the Caracas Commitment.

The Caracas Commitment
November 25, 2009?
By Declaration from World Meeting of Left Parties?
November 19-21 Caracas, Venezuela

Political parties and organizations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania commemorate and celebrate the unity and solidarity that brought us together in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and from this libertarian city we would like to express our revolutionary rebelliousness. We are glad of and committed to the proud presence of the forces of change in a special moment of history. Likewise, we are proud to reaffirm our conviction to definitively sow, grow and win Socialism of the 21st century.

In this regard, we want to sign the Commitment of Caracas as a revolutionary guide for the challenges ahead of us. We have gathered with the aim of unifying criteria and giving concrete answers that allow us to defend our sovereignty, our social victories, and the freedom of our peoples in the face of the generalized crisis of the world capitalist system and the new threats spreading over our region and the whole world with the establishment and strengthening of military bases in the sister republics of Colombia, Panama, Aruba, Curacao, the Dutch Antilles, as well as the aggression against Ecuadorian territory, and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We consider that the world capitalist system is going through one of its most severe crises, which has shaken its very foundations and brought with it consequences that jeopardize the survival of humanity. Likewise, capitalism and the logic of capital, destroys the environment and biodiversity, bringing with it consequences of climate change, global warming and the destruction of life.

One of the epicentres of the capitalist crisis is in the economic domain; this highlights the limitations of unbridled free markets ruled by private monopolies. In this situation, some governments have been asked to intervene to prevent the collapse of vital economic sectors, for instance, through the implementation of bailouts to bank institutions that amount to hundreds of billions of dollars. Said governments have been asked to stimulate their economies by increasing public expenditure in order to mitigate the recession and the private sector decline, which evidences the end of the supposedly irrefutable “truth” of neo-liberalism that of non-intervention of the State in economic affairs.

In this regard, it is very timely to promote an in-depth discussion on the economic crisis, the role of the State and the construction of a new financial architecture.

In summary, the capitalist crisis cannot be reduced simply to a financial crisis; it is a structural crisis of capital which combines the economic crisis, with an ecological crisis, a food crisis, and an energy crisis, which together represents a mortal threat to humanity and mother earth. Faced with this crisis, left-wing movements and parties see the defence of nature and the construction of an ecologically sustainable society as a fundamental axis of our struggle for a better world.

In recent years, progressive and left-wing movements of the Latin American region have accumulated forces, and stimulated transformations, throwing up leaders that today hold important government spaces. This has represented an important blow to the empire because the peoples have rebelled against the domination that has been imposed on them, and have left behind their fear to express their values and principles, showing the empire that we will not allow any more interference in our internal affairs, and that we are willing to defend our sovereignty.

This meeting is held at a historic time, characterized by a new imperialistic offensive against the peoples and governments of the region and of the world, a pretension supported by the oligarchies and ultraconservative right-wing, with the objective of recovering spaces lost as a consequence of the advancement of revolutionary process of liberation developing in Latin America. These are expressed through the creation of regional organizations such as ALBA, UNASUR, PETROCARIBE, Banco del Sur, the Sao Paulo Forum, COPPPAL, among others; where the main principles inspiring these processes are those of solidarity, complementarity, social priority over economic advantage, respect for self-determination of the peoples in open opposition to the policies of imperial domination. For these reasons, the right-wing forces in partnership with the empire have launched an offensive to combat the advance and development of the peoples’ struggles, especially those against the overexploitation of human beings, racist discrimination, cultural oppression, in defence of natural resources, of the land and territory from the perspective of the left and progressive movements and of world transformation.

We reflect on the fact that these events have led the U.S administration to set strategies to undermine, torpedo and destabilize the advancement of these processes of change and recuperation of sovereignty. To this end, the US has implemented policies expressed through an ideological and media offensive that aim to discredit the revolutionary and progressive governments of the region, labelling them as totalitarian governments, violators of human rights, with links to drug-trafficking operations, and terrorism; and also questioning the legitimacy of their origin. This is the reason for the relentless fury with which all the empire’s means of propaganda and its agents inside our own countries continuously attack the experiences in Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Paraguay, as with its maintenance of the blockade against revolutionary and independent Cuba.

Part of the strategy activated by the U.S. Empire is evidenced by the coup in Honduras, as well as in other destabilizing initiatives in Central America, attempting to impose the oligarchic interests that have already left hundreds of victims, while a disgusting wave of cynicism tries to cover up the dictatorship imposed by the U.S. administration with a false veil of democracy. Along with this, it is developing a military offensive with the idea of maintaining political and military hegemony in the region, for which it is promoting new geopolitical allies, generating destabilization and disturbing peace in the region and globally through military intimidation, with the help of its allies in the internal oligarchies, who are shown to be complicit in the actions taken by the empire, giving away their sovereignty, and opening spaces for the empire’s actions.

We consider that this new offensive is specifically expressed through two important events that took place this year in the continent: The coup in Honduras, and the installation of military bases in Colombia and Panama, as well as the strengthening of the already existing ones in our region. The coup in Honduras is nothing but a display of hypocrisy by the empire, a way to intimidate the rest of the governments in the region. It is a test-laboratory that aims to set a precedent that can be applied as a new coup model and a way to encourage the right to plot against the transformational and independent processes.

We denounce the military agreement between the Colombian government and the United States administration strengthens the U.S.’s military strategy, whose contents are expressed in the so-called “White Book.” This confirms that the development of the agreement will guarantee a projection of continental and intercontinental military power, the strengthening of transportation capability and air mobility to guarantee the improvement of its action capability, in order to provide the right conditions to have access to energy sources. It also consolidates its political partnership with the regional oligarchy for the control of Colombian territory and its projection in the Andes and in the rest of South America. All this scaffolding and consolidation of military architecture entails a serious threat for peace in the region and the world.

The installation of military bases in the region and their interrelation with the different bases spread throughout the world is not only confined to the military sphere, but rather forms part of the establishment of a general policy of domination and expansion directed by the U.S. These bases constitute strategic points to dominate all the countries in Central and Latin America and the rest of the world.

The treaty for the installation of military bases in Colombia is preceded by Plan Colombia, which was already an example of U.S. interference in the affairs of Colombia and the region using the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism as an excuse. However, it has been shown that drug trafficking levels have increased in Colombia; therefore, the plan is no longer justified given that no favourable results have been obtained since its implementation, that would justify a new treaty with the U.S.

Today, the global strategy headed by the U.S. concerning drug trafficking is a complete failure. Its results are summarised by a rapid processes of accumulation of illegal capital, increased consumption of drugs and exacerbation of criminality, whose victims are the peoples of Latin America, especially the Colombian people. This strategy should be revisited and modified, and should be oriented towards a different logic that focuses on drug consumption as a public health issue. In Colombia, drug trafficking has assumed the form of paramilitarism, and turned into a political project the scope of which and persons responsible should be investigated so that the truth is known, so that justice prevails and the terror of the civilian population ceases.

We, the peoples of the world, declare that we will not give up the spaces we have managed to conquer after years of struggle and resistance; and we commit ourselves to regain those which have been taken from us. Therefore, we need to defend the processes of change and the unfolding revolutions since they are based on sovereign decisions made by the peoples.

Agreements

1. Mobilization and Condemnation of U.S. Military Bases

1.1.
To organize global protests against the U.S. military bases from December 12th to 17th, 2009. Various leftwing parties and social movements will promote forums, concerts, protest marches and any other creative activity within the context of this event.

1.2.
To establish a global mobilization front for the political denouncement of the U.S. military bases. This group will be made up by social leaders, left-wing parties, lawmakers, artists, among others, who will visit different countries with the aim of raising awareness in forums, press conferences and news and above all in gatherings with each country’s peoples.

1.3.
To organize students, young people, workers and women in order to establish a common agenda of vigilance and to denounce against the military bases throughout the world.

1.4.
To organize a global legal forum to challenge the installation of the U.S. military bases. This forum is conceived as a space for the condemnation of illegalities committed against the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples and the imposition of a hegemonic imperialist model.

1.5.
To organise a global trial against paramilitarism in Colombia bringing testimonies and evidence to international bodies of justice.

1.6.
To promote a global trial against George Bush for crimes against humanity, as the person principally responsible for the genocide against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.

1.7.
To promote a campaign for the creation of constitutional and legal provisions in all of our countries against the installation of military bases and deployment of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

1.8.
To promote, from the different social organizations and movements of the countries present in this meeting, a political solution for the Colombian conflict.

1.9.
To organise solidarity with the Colombian people against the imperial aggression that the military bases entail in Colombian territory.

2. Installation and Development of a Platform of Joint Action by Left-Wing Parties of the World

2.1.
To establish a space of articulation of progressive and left-wing organizations and parties that allows for coordinating policies against the aggression towards the peoples, the condemnation of the aggressions against governments elected democratically, the installation of military bases, the violation of sovereignty and against xenophobia, the defence of immigrants’ rights, peace, and the environment, and peasant, labour, indigenous and afro-descendent movements.

2.2.
To set up a Temporary Executive Secretariat (TES) that allows for the coordination of a common working agenda, policy making, and follow-up on the agreements reached within the framework of this international encounter. Said Secretariat undertakes to inform about relevant events in the world, and to define specific action plans: statements, declarations, condemnations, mobilizations, observations and other issues that may be decided.

2.3.
To set up an agenda of permanent ideological debate on the fundamental aspects of the process of construction of socialism.

2.4.
To prepare common working agendas with participation from Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

2.5.
To organize solidarity of the people’s of the world with the Bolivarian revolution and President Hugo Chávez, in response to the constant imperial attacks.

2.6.
To commemorate the centenary of Clara Zetkin’s proposal to celebrate March 8th as the International Day of Women. The parties undertake to celebrate this day insofar as possible.

2.7.
To summon a meeting to be held in Caracas in April 2010 in commemoration of the bicentenary of our Latin American and Caribbean independences.

3. Organization of a World Movement of Militants for a Culture of Peace

3.1.
To promote the establishment of peace bases, by peace supporters, who will coordinate actions and denouncements against interventionism and war sponsored by imperialism through activities such as: forums, cultural events, and debates to promote the ethical behaviour of anti-violence, full participation in social life, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, acknowledgement of the cultural identities of our peoples and strengthening the framework of integration. This space seeks to raise awareness among all citizens in rejection of all forms of domination, internal or external intervention, and to reinforce the culture of peace. To struggle relentlessly for a world with no nuclear weapons, no weapons of mass destruction, no military bases, no foreign interference, and no economic blockades, as our peoples need peace and are absolutely entitled to attain development. Promote the American continent as a territory of peace, home to the construction of a free and sovereign world.

3.2.
To organize a Peace Parliament as a political space to exchange common endeavours among the world’s progressive and left-wing parliamentarians, and to know the historical, economic, legal, political and environmental aspects key for the defence of peace. Hereby we recommend holding the first meeting in February 2010.

4. Artillery Of International Communication to Emancipate Revolutionary Consciousness

4.1.
To discuss a public communication policy at an inter-regional level that aims to improve the media battle, and to convey the values of socialism among the peoples.

4.2.
To promote the creation and consolidation of alternative and community communication media to break the media siege, promote an International Alternative Left-wing Media Coordination Office that creates links to provide for improved information exchange among our countries, in which Telesur and Radiosur can be spearheads for this action.

4.3.
To create a website of all of the progressive and left-wing parties and movements in the world as a means to ensure permanent exchange and the development of an emancipating and alternative communication.

4.4.
To promote a movement of artists, writers and filmmakers to promote and develop festivals of small, short and full-length films that reflects the advancement and the struggle of peoples in revolution.

4.5.
To hold a meeting or international forum of alternative left-wing media.

5. Mobilize All Popular Organizations in Unrestricted Support for the People of Honduras

5.1.
To promote an international trial against the coup plotters in Honduras before the International Criminal Court for the abuses and crimes committed.

5.2.
Refuse to recognize the illegal electoral process they aim to carry out in Honduras.

5.3.
To carry out a world vigil on Election Day in Honduras in order to protest against the intention to legitimize the coup, coordinated by the permanent committee that emerges from this encounter.

5.4.
To coordinate the actions of left-wing parties worldwide to curb the imperialist pretensions of using the coup in Honduras as a strategy against the Latin American and Caribbean progressive processes and governments.

5.5.
To unite with the people of Honduras through a global solidarity movement for people’s resistance and for the pursuit of democratic and participatory paths that allow for the establishment of progressive governments committed to common welfare and social justice.

5.6.
To undertake actions geared towards denouncing before multilateral bodies, and within the framework of international law, the abduction of José Manuel Zelaya, legitimate President of Honduras, that facilitated the rupture of constitutional order in Honduras. It is necessary to determine responsibility among those who participated directly in this crime, and even among those who allowed his aircraft to go in and out Costa Rica without trying to detain the kidnappers of the Honduran president.

6. Solidarity with the Peoples of the World

6.1.
The Left-wing Parties of the International Meeting of Caracas agree to demand the immediate liberation of the five Cuban heroes unfairly imprisoned in American jails. They are authentic anti-terrorist fighters that caused no harm to U.S. national security, whose work was oriented towards preventing the terrorist attacks prepared by the terrorist counterrevolution against Cuba. The Five Heroes were subject to a biased judicial process, condemned by broad sectors of humanity, and stigmatized by a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media. Given the impossibility of winning justice via judicial means, we call upon all political left-wing parties of the world to increase actions for their immediate liberation. We call on President Obama to utilize his executive power and set these Five Heroes of Humanity free.

6.2.
The International Meeting of Left-wing Parties resolutely demands the immediate and unconditional cessation of the criminal U.S. blockade that harmed the Cuban people so badly over the last fifty years. The blockade should come to an end right now in order to fulfil the will of the 187 countries that recently declared themselves against this act of genocide during the UN General Assembly.

6.3.
To unite with the people of Haiti in the struggle for the return of President Jean Bertrand Aristide to his country.

6.4.
We propose to study the possibility to grant a residence in Venezuela to Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was kidnapped and overthrown as Haiti’s president by U.S. imperialism.

6.5.
We express the need to declare a permanent alert aimed at preventing any type of breach of the constitutional order that may hinder the process of democratic change underway in Paraguay.

6.6.
We denounce the neoliberal privatizing advance in Mexico expressly in the case of the Electric Energy state-owned company, a heritage of the people, which aims through the massive firing of 45,000 workers to intimidate the union force, “Luz y Fuerza”, which constitutes another offensive of the Empire in Central and North America.

6.7.
To declare our solidarity with the peoples of the world that have suffered and are still suffering imperial aggressions, especially, the 50 year-long genocidal blockade against Cuba; the threat against the people of Paraguay; the slaughter of the Palestinian people; the illegal occupation of part of the territory of the Republic of Western Sahara and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan which today is expanding into Pakistan; the illegal sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe and the constant threat against Iran, among others.

Caracas, November 21st, 2009

Declaration of Solidarity with the People of Cuba

The Left-wing Parties of the International Meeting of Caracas agree to demand the immediate liberation of the five Cuban heroes unfairly imprisoned in U.S. prisons. They are authentic anti-terrorist fighters that caused no harm to US national security, whose work was oriented towards preventing the terrorist attacks prepared by the terrorist counterrevolution against Cuba. The Five Heroes were subject to a biased judicial process, condemned by broad sectors of humanity, and stigmatized by a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media.

Given the impossibility of winning justice via judicial means, we call upon all political left-wing parties of the world to increase actions for their immediate liberation. We call on President Obama to utilize his executive power and set these Five Heroes of Humanity free.

The International Meeting of Left-wing Parties resolutely demands the immediate and unconditional cessation of the criminal U.S. blockade that harmed the Cuban people so badly over the last fifty years. The blockade should come to an end right now in order to fulfill the will of the 187 countries that recently declared themselves against this act of genocide during the UN General Assembly.

Caracas, November 21, 2009

Special Declaration on the Coup D’état in Honduras

We, left-wing parties of Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania, present in the international encounter of left-wing parties, reject the coup d’état against the constitutional government of citizen’s power of the President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Cognizant of the situation of repression, persecution and murder against the Honduran people and the permanent military harassment against president Manuel Zelaya Rosales, which represents a breach of the rule of law in the sister nation of Honduras:

We support the actions of the national resistance front in its struggle to restore democracy.

We demand and support the sovereign right of the Honduran people to call for a national constituent assembly to establish direct democracy and to ensure the broadest political participation of the people in public affairs.

We denounce the United States intervention and its national and international reactionary right-wing allies and their connection with the coup, which hinders the construction of democracy in Honduras and in the world.

We condemn and repudiate the permanent violation of political and social human rights as well as the violation freedom of speech, promoted and perpetrated by the de facto powers, the Supreme Court of Justice, the National Congress of the Republic, the Ministry of Defence and Security since June 28, 2009.

We reiterate our demand to international governments and bodies, not to recognize the results of the general elections to be held on November 29, 2009 in Honduras, due to the lack of constitutional guarantees and the legal conditions necessary for a fair, transparent and reliable electoral process, the lack of reliable observers that can vouch for the results of this electoral process, which has already been rejected by most international governments, bodies and international public opinion.

To propose and promote an international trial against coup plotters and their accomplices in Honduras before the International Criminal Court, for the illegal actions, abuses and crimes they committed, while developing actions aimed at denouncing to the relevant bodies and in the framework of the international law, the violation of the rights and the kidnapping of the legitimate president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya Rosales, because it is necessary to establish the responsibility of those who participated directly and internally in the perpetration of this crime.

We urge national and international human rights organizations to support these measures, to carry on the campaign of denunciation and vigilance with permanent observers in face of the renewed human rights violations, particularly the persecution and sanction through the loss of jobs for political reasons against the members and supporters of the resistance and president Manuel Zelaya.

We repudiate and condemn the attacks against the diplomatic corps of the embassies of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Argentina, and the embassies of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA); and express our solidarity with the heroic work of the staff of these diplomatic missions, who have been victims of harassment and hostility by the coup plotters.

We agree to establish coordination among left-wing parties of the world to exert pressure to oust the de facto government and for the restoration of the constitutional president and the right of the Honduran people to install a national constituent assembly that allows for deepening direct democracy.

We urge governments, international bodies and companies to maintain and intensify economic and commercial sanctions to business accomplices and supporters of the coup in Honduras, and to maintain an attitude of vigilance, to break all relations that recognize the coup plotters and the de facto government officers, as well as to take migration control measures that hinder the movement of people who have the purpose of voting in another country where elections are held with the aim of changing the results through the transfer of votes from one country to the other.

We agree not to recognize the international and national observers of the electoral process who are aligned and conspire to attempt to give legitimacy to an electoral process devoid of legality and legitimacy. We demand that rather than observing an illegal and illegitimate process, the return of the state of democratic law and the constitutional government of citizen power Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is guaranteed.

Caracas, November 21, 2009

Special Decision

The international encounter of Left-wing Political parties held in Caracas on November 19, 20 and 21, 2009, received the proposal made by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias to convoke the V Socialist International as a space for socialist-oriented parties, movements and currents in which we can harmonize a common strategy for the struggle against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism by socialism and solidarity based economic integration of a new type. We assessed that proposition in terms of its historical dimension which calls for a new spirit of internationalism and agreed, for the purpose of achieving it in the short term, to create a WORKING GROUP comprised of those socialist parties, currents and social movements who endorse the initiative, to prepare an agenda which defines the objectives, contents and mechanisms of this global revolutionary body. We call for an initial constitutive event for April 2010 in the City of Caracas. Furthermore, those parties, socialist currents and social movements who have not expressed themselves on this matter can subject this proposal to the examination of their legitimate directive bodies.

Caracas, November 21, 2009

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA.

1. Ukrainian Partisans
From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out.

2. Chinese Brigade in Burma
After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade.

3. Guatemalan Rebel Army
After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine.

4. Sumatran Rebels
In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured.

5. Khamba Horsemen
After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen – fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama – as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970.

6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force
In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army – complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers – landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days.

7. L’armee Clandestine
In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit – paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA – grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975 the Meos – who had numbers a quarter million in 1962 – had been reduced to 10,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

8. Nung Mercenaries
A Chinese hill people living in Vietname, the Nungs were hired and organised by the CIA as a mercenary force, during the Vietnam war. Fearsome and brutal fighters, the Nungs were employed throughout Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Nungs proved costly since they refused to fight unless constantly supplied with beer and prostitutes.

9. Peruvian Regiment
Unable to quell guerrilla forces in its eastern Amazonian provinces, Peru called on the US for help in the mid-1960s. The CIA responded by establishing a fortified camp in the area and hiring local Peruvians who were trained by Green Beret personnel on loan from the US army. After crushing the guerrillas, the elite unit was disbanded because of fears it might stage a coup against the government.

10. Congo Mercenary Force
In 1964, during the Congolese Civil War, the CIA established an army in the Congo to back pro-Western leaders Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. The CIA imported European mercenaries and Cuban pilots – exiles from Cuba – to pilot the CIA air force, composed of transports and B-26 Bombers.

11. The Cambodian Coup
For over 15 years, the CIA had tried various unsuccessful means of deposing Cambodia’s left-leaning Prince Norodom Sihanouk, including assassination attempts. However, in March, 1970, a CIA-backed coup finally did the job. Funded by US tax dollars, armed with US weapons, and trained by American Green Berets, anti-Sihanouk forces called Kampuchea Khmer Krom (KKK) overran the capital of Phnom Penh and took control of the government. With the blessing of the CIA and the Nixon administration, control of Cambodia was placed in the hands of Lon Nol, who would later distinguish himself by dispatching soldiers to butcher tens of thousands of civilians.

12. Kurd Rebels
During the early 1970s the CIA moved into eastern Iraq to organize and supply the Kurds of that area, who were rebelling against the pro-Soviet Iraqi government. The real purpose behind this action was to help the shah of Iran settle a border dispute with Iraq favourably. After an Iranian-Iraq settlement was reached, the CIA withdrew its support from the Kurds, who were then crushed by the Iraqi Army.

13. Angola Mercenary Force
In 1975, after years of bloody fighting and civil unrest in Angola, Portugal resolved to relinquish its hold on the last of its African colonies. The transition was to take place on November 11, with control of the country going to whichever political faction controlled the capital city of Luanda on that date. In the months preceding the change, three groups vied for power: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). By July 1975, the Marxist MPLA had ousted the moderate FNLA and UNITA from Luanda, so the CIA decided to intervene covertly. Over $30 million was spent on the Angolan operation, the bulk of the money going to buy arms and pay French and South African mercenaries, who aided the FNLA and UNITA in their fight. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, US officials categorically denied any involvement in the Angolan conflict. In the end, it was a fruitless military adventure, for the MPLA assumed power and controls Angola to this day.

14. Afghan Mujaheedin
Covert support for the groups fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was stepped up during the administration of Ronald Reagan. The operation succeeded in its initial goal, as the Soviets were forced to begin withdrawing their forces in 1987. Unfortunately, once the Soviets left, the US essentially ignored Afghanistan as it collapsed into a five-year civil war followed by the rise of the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban. The Taliban provided a haven for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

15. Salvadoran Death Squads
As far back as 1964, the CIA helped form ORDEN and ANSESAL, two paramilitary intelligence networks that developed into the Salvadoran death squads. The CIA trained ORDEN leaders in the use of automatic weapons and surveillance techniques, and placed several leaders on the CIA payroll. The CIA also provided detailed intelligence on Salvadoran individuals later murdered by the death squads. During the civil war in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992, the death squads were responsible for 40,000 killings. Even after a public outcry forced President Reagan to denounce the death squads in 1984, CIA support continued.

16. Nicaraguan Contras
On November 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a top secret National Security Directive authorising the CIA to spend $19 million to recruit and support the Contras, opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. In supporting the Contras, the CIA carried out several acts of sabotage without the Congressional intelligence committees giving consent – or even being informed beforehand. In response, Congress passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the CIA from providing aid to the Contras. Attempts to find alternate sources of funds led to the Iran-Contra scandal. It may also have led the CIA and the Contras to become actively involved in drug smuggling. In 1988, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism, and International Operations concluded that individuals in the Contra movement engaged in drug trafficking; that known drug traffickers provided assistance to the Contras; and that ‘there are some serious questions as to whether or not US officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua’.

17. Haitian Coup
In 1988, the CIA attempted to intervene in Haiti’s elections with a ‘covert action program’ to undermine the campaign of the eventual winner, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, Aristide was overthrown in a bloody coup that killed more than 4,000 civilians. Many of the leaders of the coup had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-1980s. For example, Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the head of FRAPH, a brutal gang of thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, admitted to being a paid agent of the CIA. Similarly, the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS), supposedly created to combat drugs, functioned during the coup as a ‘political intimidation and assassination squad.’ In 1994, an American force of 20,000 was sent to Haiti to allow Aristide to return. Ironically, even after this, the CIA continued working with FRAPH and the NIS. In 2004, Aristide was overthrown once again, with Aristide claiming that US forces had kidnapped him.

18. Venezuelan Coup Attempt
On April 11, 2002, Venezuelan military leaders attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, Hugo Chavez. The coup collapsed after two days as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and as units of the military joined with the protestors. The administration of George W. Bush was the only democracy in the Western Hemisphere not to condemn the coup attempt. According to intelligence analyst Wayne Madsen, the CIA had actively organised the coup: ‘The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel, headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from the US Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to help organise the coup against Chavez.

Rock Creek Free Press available in COS

The Rock Creek Free Press is available online, but if you want it in print, the DC monthly is available in Colorado Springs at the Bookman, 3163 W. Colorado. The September issue features a speech given by legendary Australian journalist John Pilger on July 4th in San Francisco.

Here’s the RCFP transcript:

Two years ago I spoke at “Socialism in Chicago” about an invisible government which is a term used by Edward Bernays, one the founders of modern propaganda. It was Bernays, who in the 1920s invented public relations as a euphemism for propaganda. And it was Bernays, deploying the ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud, who campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry for women to take up smoking as an act of feminist liberation calling cigarettes “tortures of freedom”. At the same time he was involved in the disinformation which was critical in overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala. So you have the association of cigarettes and regime change. The invisible government that Bernays had in mind brought together all media: PR, the press, broadcasting, advertising and their power of branding and image making. In other words, disinformation.

And I suppose I would like to talk today about this invisible government’s most recent achievement, the rise of Barrack Obama and the silencing of much of the left. But all of this has a history, of course and I’d like to go back, take you back some forty years to a sultry and, for me, very memorable day in Viet Nam.

I was a young war correspondent who had just arrived in a village in the Central Highlands called Tuylon. My assignment was to write about a unit of US Marines who had been sent to the village to win hearts and minds. “My orders,” said the Marine Sergeant, “are to sell the American way of liberty, as stated in the Pacification Handbook, this is designed to win the hearts and minds of folks as stated on page 86.” Now, page 86 was headed in capital letters: WHAM (winning hearts and minds). The Marine Unit was a combined action company which explained the Sergeant, meant, “We attack these folks on Mondays and we win their hearts and minds on Tuesdays.” He was joking, of course, but not quite.

The Sergeant, who didn’t speak Vietnamese, had arrived in the village, stood up on a Jeep and said through a bullhorn: “Come on out everybody we’ve got rice and candies and toothbrushes to give you.” This was greeted by silence. “Now listen, either you gooks come on out or we’re going to come right in there and get you!” Now the people of Tuylon finally came out and they stood in line to receive packets of Uncle Ben’s Miracle Rice, Hershey Bars, party balloons, and several thousand toothbrushes. Three portable, battery operated, yellow, flush lavatories were held back for the arrival of the colonel.

And when the colonel arrived that evening, the district chief was summoned and the yellow, flush lavatories unveiled. The colonel cleared his throat and took out a handwritten speech,

“Mr. District Chief and all you nice people,” said the colonel, “what these gifts represent is more than the sum of their parts, they carry the spirit of America. Ladies and gentlemen there’s no place on Earth like America, it’s the land where miracles happen, it’s a guiding light for me and for you. In America, you see, we count ourselves as real lucky as having the greatest democracy the world has ever known and we want you nice people to share in our good fortune.”

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, even John Winthrope sitting upon a hill got a mention. All that was missing was the Star Bangled Banner playing softly in the background. Of course the villagers had no idea what the colonel was talking about, but when the Marines clapped, they clapped. And when the colonel waved, the children waved. And when he departed the colonel shook the Sergeant’s hand and said: “We’ve got plenty of hearts and minds here, carry on Sergeant.” “Yes Sir.” In Viet Nam I witnessed many scenes like that.

I’d grown up in faraway Australia on a cinematic diet of John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Walt Disney, and Ronald Reagan. The American way of liberty they portrayed might well have been lifted from the WHAM handbook. I’d learned that the United States had won World War II on its own and now led the free world as the chosen society. It was only later when I read Walter Lippmann’s book, Public Opinion, a manual of the invisible government, that I began to understand the power of emotions attached to false ideas and bad histories on a grand scale.

Now, historians call this exceptionalism, the notion that the United States has a divine right to bring what it calls “liberty” to the rest of humanity. Of course this is a very old refrain. The French and British created and celebrated their own civilizing missions while imposing colonial regimes that denied basic civil liberties. However, the power of the American message was, and remains, different. Whereas the Europeans were proud imperialists, Americans are trained to deny their imperialism. As Mexico was conquered and the Marines sent to Nicaragua, American textbooks referred to an Age of Innocence. American motives were always well meaning, moral, exceptional, as the colonel said, “There was no ideology” and that’s still the case.

Americanism is an ideology that is unique because its main feature is its denial that it is an ideology. It’s both conservative and it’s liberal. And it’s right and it’s left. And Barack Obama is its embodiment. Since Obama was elected leading liberals have talked about America returning to its true status as, “a nation of moral ideals”. Those are the words of Paul Krugman, the liberal columnist of The New York Times. In the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Mark Morford wrote,

“Spiritually advanced people regard the new president as a light worker who can help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

Tell that to an Afghan child whose family has been blown away by Obama’s bombs. Or a Pakistani child whose house has been visited by one of Obama’s drones. Or a Palestinian child surveying the carnage in Gaza caused by American “smart” weapons, which, disclosed Seymour Hersh, were re-supplied to Israel for use in the slaughter, and I quote; “Only after the Obama team let if be known, it would not object.” The man who stayed silent on Gaza is the man who now condemns Iran.

In a sense, Obama is the myth that is America’s last taboo. His most consistent theme was never “change”, it was power. “The United States,” he said, “leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. We must lead by building a 21st century military to ensure the security of our people and advance the security of all people.” And there is this remarkable statement, “At moments of great peril in the past century our leaders ensured that America, by deed and by example, led and lifted the world; that we stood and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.” Words like these remind me of the colonel in the village in Viet Nam, as he spun much the same nonsense.

Since 1945, by deed and by example, to use Obama’s words, America has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and crushed some 30 liberation movements and bombed countless men, women, and children to death. I’m grateful to Bill Blum for his cataloging of that. And yet, here is the 45th (sic) president of the United States having stacked his government with war mongers and corporate fraudsters and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, promising, not only more of the same, but a whole new war in Pakistan. Justified by the murderous clichés of Hilary Clinton, clichés like, “high value targets”. Within three days of his inauguration, Obama was ordering the death of people in faraway countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. And yet, the peace movement, it seems, is prepared to look the other way and believe that the cool Obama will restore, as Krugman wrote, “the nation of moral ideals.”

Not long ago, I visited the American Museum of History in the celebrated Smithsonian Institute in Washington. One of the most popular exhibitions was called “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”. It was holiday time and lines of happy people, including many children, shuffled through a Santa’s grotto of war and conquest. When messages about their nation’s great mission were lit up; these included tributes to the; “…exceptional Americans who saved a million lives…” in Viet Nam; where they were, “…determined to stop Communist expansion.” In Iraq other brave Americans, “employed air-strikes of unprecedented precision.” What was shocking was not so much the revisionism of two of the epic crimes of modern times, but the shear scale of omission.

Like all US presidents, Bush and Obama have very much in common. The wars of both presidents and the wars of Clinton and Reagan, Carter and Ford, Nixon and Kennedy are justified by the enduring myth of exceptional America. A myth the late Harold Pinter described as, “a brilliant, witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist; partly because it is indeed extraordinary to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery. However, this is the 21st century and race together with gender, and even class, can be very seductive tools of propaganda. For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe above all, is the class one serves. George Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multi-racial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. It was also the most reactionary. Obama’s very presence in the White House appears to reaffirm the moral nation. He’s a marketing dream. But like Calvin Klein or Benetton, he’s a brand that promises something special, something exciting, almost risqué. As if he might be radical. As if he might enact change. He makes people feel good; he’s a post-modern man with no political baggage. And all that’s fake.

In his book, Dreams From My Father, Obama refers to the job he took after he graduated from Columbia in 1983; he describes his employer as, “…a consulting house to multi-national corporations.” For some reason he doesn’t say who his employer was or what he did there. The employer was Business International Corporation; which has a long history of providing cover for the CIA with covert action and infiltrating unions from the left. I know this because it was especially active in my own country, Australia. Obama doesn’t say what he did at Business International and they may be absolutely nothing sinister. But it seems worthy of inquiry, and debate, as a clue to, perhaps, who the man is.

During his brief period in the senate, Obama voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the Patriot Act. He refused to support a bill for single payer health care. He supported the death penalty. As a presidential candidate he received more corporate backing than John McCain. He promised to close Guantanamo as a priority, but instead he has excused torture, reinstated military commissions, kept the Bush gulag intact, and opposed habeas corpus.

Daniel Ellsberg, the great whistleblower, was right, I believe, when he said, that under Bush a military coup had taken place in the United States giving the Pentagon unprecedented powers. These powers have been reinforced by the presence of Robert Gates – a Bush family crony and George W. Bush’s powerful Secretary of Defense. And by all the Bush Pentagon officials and generals who have kept their jobs under Obama.

In the middle of a recession, with millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes, Obama has increased the military budget. In Colombia he is planning to spend 46 million dollars on a new military base that will support a regime backed by death squads and further the tragic history of Washington’s intervention in that region.

In a pseudo-event in Prague, Obama promised a world without nuclear weapons to a global audience, mostly unaware that America is building new tactical nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war. Like George Bush, he used the absurdity of Europe threatened by Iran to justify building a missile system aimed at Russia and China. In another pseudo-event, at the Annapolis Naval Academy, decked with flags and uniforms, Obama lied that America had gone to Iraq to bring freedom to that country. He announced that the troops were coming home. This was another deception. The head of the army, General George Casey says, with some authority, that America will be in Iraq for up to a decade. Other generals say fifteen years.

Chris Hedges, the very fine author of Empire of Illusion, puts it very well; “President Obama,” he wrote, “does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another.” This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel. And so you are kept in a perpetual state of childishness. He calls this “junk politics”.

But I think the real tragedy is that Obama, the brand, appears to have crippled or absorbed much of the anti-war movement – the peace movement. Out of 256 Democrats in Congress; 30, just 30, are willing to stand up against Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi’s war party. On June the 16th they voted for 106 billion dollars for more war.

The “Out of Iraq” caucus is out of action. Its member can’t even come up with a form of words of why they are silent. On March the 21st, a demonstration at the Pentagon by the once mighty United for Peace and Justice drew only a few thousand. The out-going president of UFPJ, Lesley Kagen, says her people aren’t turning up because, “It’s enough for many of them that Obama has a plan to end the war and that things are moving in the right direction.” And where is the mighty Move On, these days? Where is its campaign against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And what, exactly, was said when Move On’s executive director, Jason Ruben, met Barack Obama at the White House in February?

Yes, a lot of good people mobilized for Obama. But what did they demand of him? Working to elect the Democratic presidential candidate may seem like activism, but it isn’t. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. Woody Allen once said, “I felt a lot better when I gave up hope.” Real activism has little time for identity politics which like exceptionalism, can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people. And not only in the United States, I can assure you.

I write for the Italian socialist newspaper, Il Manifesto, or rather I used to write for it. In February I sent the editor an article which raised questions about Obama as a progressive force. The article was rejected. Why, I asked? “For the moment,” wrote the editor, “we prefer to maintain a more positive approach to the novelty presented by Obama. We will take on specific issues, but we would not like to say that he will make no difference.” In other words, an American president drafted to promote the most rapacious system in history, is ordained and depoliticized by important sections of the left. It’s a remarkable situation. Remarkable, because those on the, so called, Radical Left have never been more aware, more conscious of the inequities of power. The Green Movement, for example, has raised the consciousness of millions, so that almost every child knows something about global warming. And yet, there seems to be a resistance, within the Green Movement, to the notion of power as a military force, a military project. And perhaps similar observations can also be made about sections of the Feminist Movement and the Gay Movement and certainly the Union Movement.

One of my favorite quotations is from Milan Kundera,

“The struggle of people against power is [the] struggle of memory against forgetting.”

We should never forget that the primary goal of great power is to distract and limit our natural desire for social justice and equity and real democracy.

Long ago Edward Bernays’ invisible government of propaganda elevated big business from its unpopular status as a kind of mafia to that of a patriotic driving force. The “American way of life” began as an advertising slogan. The modern image of Santa Claus was an invention of Coca Cola.

Today we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity. Thanks to the crash of Wall Street and the revelation, for many ordinary people, that the free market has nothing to do with freedom. The opportunity, within our grasp, is to recognize that something is stirring in America that is unfamiliar, perhaps, to many of us on the left, but is related to a great popular movement that’s growing all over the world. Look down at Latin America, less than twenty years ago there was the usual despair, the usual divisions of poverty and freedom, the usual thugs in uniforms running unspeakable regimes. Today for the first time perhaps in 500 years there’s a people’s movement based on the revival of indigenous cultures and language, a genuine populism. The recent amazing achievements in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay represent a struggle for community and political rights that is truly historic, with implications for all of us. The successes in Latin America are expressed perversely in the recent overthrow of the government of Honduras, because the smaller the country, the greater is the threat of a good example that the disease of emancipation will spread.

Indeed, right across the world social movements and grass roots organization have emerged to fight free market dogma. They’ve educated governments in the south that food for export is a problem, rather than a solution to global poverty. They’ve politicized ordinary people to stand up for their rights, as in the Philippines and South Africa. Look at the remarkable boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign, BDS, for short, aimed at Israel that’s sweeping the world. Israeli ships have been turned away from South Africa and Western Australia. A French company has been forced to abandon plans to build a railway connecting Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli sporting bodies find themselves isolated. Universities in the United Kingdom have begun to sever ties with Israel. This is how apartheid South Africa was defeated. And this is how the great wind of the 1960s began to blow. And this is how every gain has been won: the end of slavery, universal suffrage, workers rights, civil rights, environmental protection, the list goes on and on.

And that brings us back, here, to the United States, because I believe something is stirring in this country. Are we aware, that in the last eight months millions of angry e-mails, sent by ordinary Americans, have flooded Washington. And I mean millions. People are outright outraged that their lives are attacked; they bear no resemblance to the passive mass presented by the media. Look at the polls; more than 2/3 of Americans say the government should care for those who cannot care for themselves, sixty-four percent would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for everyone, sixty percent are favorable towards Unions, seventy percent want nuclear disarmament, seventy-two percent want the US completely out of Iraq and so on and so on. But where is much of the left? Where is the social justice movement? Where is the peace movement? Where is the civil rights movement? Ordinary Americans, for too long, have been misrepresented by stereotypes that are contemptuous. James Madison referred to his compatriots in the public as ignorant and meddlesome outsiders. And this contempt is probably as strong today, among the elite, as it was back then. That’s why the progressive attitudes of the public are seldom reported in the media, because they’re not ignorant, they’re subversive, they’re informed and they’re even anti-American. I once asked a friend, the great American war correspondent and humanitarian, Martha Gellhorn, to explain the term “anti-American” to me. “I’ll tell you what anti-American is,” she said in her forceful way, “its what governments and their vested interests call those who honor America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity. There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States, they are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms though they would call it common decency. They are not vain; they are the people with a waitful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” Truly exceptional, I like that.

My own guess is that a populism is growing, once again in America evoking a powerful force beneath the surface which has a proud history. From such authentic grass roots Americanism came women suffrage, the eight hour day, graduated income tax, public ownership of railways and communications, the breaking of the power of corporate lobbyists and much more. In other words, real democracy. The American populists were far from perfect, but they often spoke for ordinary people and they were betrayed by leaders who urged them to compromise and merge with the Democratic Party. That was long ago, but how familiar it sounds. My guess is that something is coming again. The signs are there. Noam Chomsky is right when he says that, “Mere sparks can ignite a popular movement that may seem dormant.” No one predicted 1968, no one predicted the fall of apartheid, or the Berlin Wall, or the civil rights movement, or the great Latino rising of a few years ago.

I suggest that we take Woody Allen’s advice and give up on hope and listen, instead, to voices from below. What Obama and the bankers and the generals and the IMF and the CIA and CNN and BBC fear, is ordinary people coming together and acting together. It’s a fear as old as democracy, a fear that suddenly people convert their anger to action as they’ve done so often throughout history.

“At a time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Thank you.

Who killed Neda Agha-Soltan?

neda soltaniThe video footage is shocking. An attractive young woman watching the demonstrations in Tehran is struck by a sniper’s bullet and dies before several video cameras. The tragedy is projected unto Facebook and Youtube, with advocates hoping it will galvanize (American) public support for the brave reform movement in Iran. News accounts blame “Basij snipers” on the rooftops. Other protesters have been killed in confrontations with Iranian riot police, without the benefit of video witnesses, much like two million Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis et al. Poor 27-year-old bystander Neda Soltani stood at the quite improbable convergence of bullet and camera –correction– cameras. I don’t have to suggest the scene was staged; whether or not the triggerman was an American is immaterial.

Think about just the improbability of your seeing this video. When was the last time the mainstream press has circulated a snuff film? The average person is embarrassed to watch a person die. It’s exploitive. Even when America was fixated on beheaded hostages, our television gatekeepers refused to broadcast the footage. Many horrific war killing moments have found their way unto Youtube, which antiwar activists could only hope would find wider distribution, if only to bring home the inhumanity of our soldiers’ deeds. It never happens.

The western press is running with this story because it demonizes the apparently naked inhumanity of Islam. Muslims stone women, hang gays, look: the bastards shoot their own people arbitrarily. Curiously our media doesn’t make hay with the hapless victims of US snipers.

neda salehi agha soltanThe Neda Soltani snuff footage hit internet shores prepackaged with a smiling mug, and a name that translated means “the voice.” Could a casting director have picked a better title character to represent Iran’s repressed? The western press is even poised to outdo the Muslims in indignant piety, already lauding Neda as a martyr, whom we are informed should launch a thousand Shiite funeral processions. Western pundits compare Neda to the first Shiite martyr, the grandson of Mohammed himself.

Of course, also showing excessive Islamic sensitivity, western reporters readily dismiss the vanishing of Neda’s body, to the Muslim tradition of hasty burials. For the record, in case you missed it, Neda dies onscreen from an apparent gunshot. We do not see the bullet strike, nor now can anyone habeas corpus.

If the scenario was acted entirely, given the success with which the girl’s face is being made into an icon, young Neda’s life is probably as utterly expendable now as already depicted. You think you’re mourning Neda now, imagine her fate if this is a hoax.

OR the gunman could just as well have been a US black-op hit-man who had his eye on the videographers approaching innocent Neda. The US military has long admitted that special forces are already operating in Iran. If the Iranian forces are shooting civilian protesters, what’s the harm of helping them out where there’s a camera ready?

When we’re not meant to see it, the soldiers shoot the cameramen too.

It could be the work of Moussavi henchmen, who are our henchmen.

The Green Revolution, or TwitterTM Revolution, rebranded a “Social Media Revolution,” is a fabrication of the US pro-democracy agents working to destabilize Iran. They are hard at work in Cuba, in Venezuela, in Bolivia, and everywhere regimes threaten US globalization by enslavement. Remember the Orange Revolution? Any movement that is color-coded is the work of organizers reading US how-to manuals or attending OTPOR training seminars.

Where are the international voices decrying election fraud in Iran? No one other than the US and its stooges is asserting that populist leader Ahmadinejad did not win by a landslide. Only Iran’s urban middle class has taken to the streets of Tehran. And to protest what? Their minority standing in Iran?

The reformists in Iran are protesting democracy, not the failure of democracy. They are protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hard line against irreligious western economic and colonial policies which traditionally benefit the secular urban elite. “Pro-Democracy” is neoliberal for pro-capitalist plunder.

See: Shah’s Son Backs Iranian Protesters.

Like the “dissidents” of Cuba, the Green greenback-seekers are marching on the CIA’s dime, and being meted the fate of foreign provocateurs. I have no doubt the majority are idealists and are well-intended, but like the Kurds who rose against Saddam Hussein, the US has set them up for slaughter, the sooner to motivate western support for military aggression against their evil regime.

Our media pundits point out that the protest banners are written in English, a sign that the Iranians are desperate to appeal to American viewers. They dismiss Iranian accusations of the demonstrations being US-backed as pure paranoia, and ignore the most simple explanation behind the English slogans, and the websites and networks amplifying the message to English speakers: these materials are being crafted by USAID advisers. This is a propaganda campaign aimed at Western ears, to call for regime change in Iran.

Neda’s Theme is tried and true: Jessica Lynch, Roxana Saberi, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, Neda Salehi Agha Soltan. Onward Christian Soldiers.

Neda Agha Soltan iranian martyr victim of US sniperThe American public won’t believe another fiction about Kuwaiti babies dumped from incubators, or of Belgian children impaled on the bayonets of the evil Hun. So Madison Avenue has upped the amperage. Today’s television armchair adjudicators have to see innocent young women snuffed on film before our eyes. Provided to us by a press too otherwise prurient to show us the mass of death we deal everyday.

The Iranians in the streets, and poor pretty Neda, are being sacrificed by heartless US strategists. I doubt even an errant Iranian bullet can match the American military for cruelty.

Cuba declines OAS offer of Trojan Horse

Over US objections, the Organization of American States (OAS, OEA) voted to invite Cuba back into the fold, from which it had been expelled in 1962 for hanging with Communists. Cuba’s reply? No thanks! Although Cuba’s acceptance by fellow nations was hailed a victory, Fidel Castro wrote: “It is naive to think that the good intentions of one president justifies the existence of a body that… supported… neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises.”

In an essay published the day before Cuba’s official repudiation of the offer to recommit to the OAS, Fidel Castro recalled a lesson from the siege of Troy. Castro was reported widely as having called the OAS a “U.S. Trojan horse.” In reality, Castro blamed the OAS for having “opened the gates” to the Trojan horse of US post-colonial despotism.

The Trojan horse

RAFAEL Correa, president of Ecuador, currently visiting Honduras, stated the day before the OAS meeting: “I believe that the OAS has lost its raison d’être, maybe it never had a raison d’être.” The news, circulated by ANSA, adds that Correa, “prophesized ‘the demise’ of that organization given the many errors it has committed.”

He affirmed “that the countries of the American continent, given their geographic conditions, cannot all be put ‘in the same basket.’ And for that reason Ecuador proposed some months back the creation of the Organization of Latin American States.

“’It is not possible for the region’s problems to be discussed in Washington; let us construct something of our own, without countries alien to our culture, our values, and obviously including countries that were inexplicably separated from the inter-American system, and I am referring to the concrete case of Cuba… that was a tremendous shame and demonstrates the double standards that exist in international relations.’” On his arrival in Honduras, both President Zelaya and Correa stated that “The OAS must be reformed and reincorporate Cuba; if not, it will have to disappear.”

Another cable from the DPA news agency affirms:

“Cuba’s reintegration in the Organization of American States (OAS) has moved from being an issue per se of the organization’s General Assembly in Honduran San Pedro Sula, to once again being turned into an excuse for a struggle of interests that goes much further than the limits of the Caribbean island and could (once again) call hemispheric relations into question.

“The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, made that very clear on describing the hemispheric meeting that begins this Tuesday in Honduras in quasi military terms.

“It will be,” he said, an ‘interesting battle’ in which if it is demonstrated that the OAS ‘continues being a ministry of the colonies’ that is not transformed in order ‘to subordinate itself to the will of the governments comprising it,’ it will be necessary to propose ‘leaving’ the organization and creating an alternative.”

“’Latin American countries are making Cuba the litmus test for the quality of the Obama administration’s approach to Latin America,” Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post on the eve of the Honduran meeting.”

In resisting the aggressions of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, our people fought for the other sister peoples of this continent. The OAS was an accomplice of all the crimes committed against Cuba.

At one moment or another, the totality of the countries of Latin America were victims of interventions and political and economic aggression. There is not one single one that can deny that. It is naive to believe that the good intentions of a president of the United States can justify the existence of that institution that opened the gates to the Trojan horse that backed the Summits of the Americas, neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises. Ignorance, underdevelopment, economic dependence, poverty, the forced return of those who emigrate in search of work, the brain drain, and even the sophisticated weapons of organized crime were the consequences of interventions and plundering proceeding from the North. Cuba, a little country, has demonstrated that it can resist the blockade and advance in many fields, and even cooperate with other countries.

Today’s speech by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at the OAS General Assembly, contains principles that could go down in history. He said admirable things of his own country. I will confine myself to what he stated on Cuba.

“…In the Assembly of the Organization of American States that begins today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we must initiate the process of wise rectifications of old errors committed.

“We, the Latin Americans who were recently here, a couple of weeks or months ago, had a grand summit within the Rio Group in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil. There we made a commitment. The commitment, which was taken down in writing and unanimously by all of Latin America, is that in this San Pedro assembly, by majority vote or consensus, that old and worn error committed in 1962 of expelling the Cuban people from this organization would have to be amended.

“We must not go from this assembly, my dear dignitaries, without repealing the decree of that 8th meeting which sanctioned an entire people for having proclaimed socialist ideas and principles, principles now practiced in all parts of the world, including the United States and Europe (Applause). Today, principles of seeking different development alternatives are evident precisely in the change that there has been in the United States with the election of President Barack Obama…

“We cannot go from this assembly without making amends for that error and that infamy because, on the basis of this Organization of American States resolution, in existence for more than four decades, an unjust and useless blockade has been maintained against this sister people of Cuba, precisely because none of its aims have been achieved, but what it has demonstrated is that here, a few kilometers from our country, on a little island, there is a people prepared to resist and to make sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty.

“… not doing so would make us accomplices of a 1962 resolution to expel a state from the Organization of American States simple because it has other ideas, other thoughts, and proclaims principles of a different democracy. And we are not going to be accomplices of that.

“…We cannot go from this assembly without repealing what was enacted in that epoch.

“An exceptional Honduran, called in our country – and one of our national heroes – José Cecilio del Valle, the sage Valle, stated on April 17, 1826, in his famous article ‘Sovereignty and non-intervention’ – we had just proclaimed our independence from the Spanish kingdom – “’The nations of the world are independent and sovereign. Whatever its territorial extension or number of inhabitants might have been, a nation must treat others with the same treatment that it desires to receive from these. A nation does not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation.’”

With those words of Cecilio del Valle and the mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Morazán, Martí, Sandino and Bolívar, he concluded his speech.

A few minutes later, at the press conference after the opening of the Assembly, he responded to questions and reiterated principles. Then he gave the floor to Daniel Ortega, who was the author of one of the most profound and well-argued papers at the OAS Assembly. At Zelaya’s invitation, Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay, and Rigoberto Menchú also spoke, expressing themselves in terms similar to Zelaya and Daniel.

The Assembly has been debating for hours. As I am concluding this Reflection, almost at nightfall, there is still no news of the decision. It is known that Zelaya’s speech was influential. Chávez is talking with [Venezuelan Foreign Minister] Maduro and urging him to firmly maintain that no resolution can be admitted that conditions the repeal of the unjust sanction against Cuba. Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.

Cuba is not an enemy of peace, nor reluctant to interchange or cooperation among countries of distinct political systems, but has been and always will be intransigent in the defense of its principles.

Fidel Castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz – June 2, 2009

Zionist Right Wing launches new effort to fire another Left university professor

William RobinsonUniversity of California- Santa Barbara Sociology and Global Studies Professor, William Robinson, is under attack from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for having spoken out against Israeli military atrocities in Gaza. Their position is quite simple and is that he should either shut up or be fired. See The Robinson Case

A quick view of his defense site shows that this professor and his supporters are quite aware of the nature of this enemy of free speech they are up against. See Academic Freedom in the News The Anti-Defamation League perversely spends much of its time trying to shut people up and defame them, so to speak. As another example of how this works, see the recent Right Wing attacks against President Obama himself for having shook hands with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Below is a passage of a news report about Obama and Hugo Chavez’s meeting last week.

‘Obama returned to Washington early Sunday evening. But even before he got back, Obama was facing condemnation from some Republicans about how he dealt with Chavez. “I think it was irresponsible for the president to be seen kind of laughing and joking with Hugo Chavez,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.’

While the Anti-Defamation League itself is not trying directly to remove Obama from office (they love Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff way too much!), they do have a campaign going full steam to falsely label Hugo Chavez as being antisemitic. See ADL’s report below…

“What is troubling about Venezuela is that anti-Semitism is being used as a political tool,” Mr. Foxman said. “Anti-Semitism is fostered by those at the highest levels of government, trickled down the government apparatus and left unchallenged by officials in the Chavez regime, the government-controlled media, and civic and religious leaders who support the regime in Venezuela.

“We are encouraged by the many expressions of support for the Venezuelan Jewish community coming from opposition politicians and independent media outlets, who we believe more accurately reflect the views and feelings of the vast majority of the Venezuelan people.”

That is an excerpt from their website’s ADL Report: Venezuelan Jewish Community Under Threat

Coming after the US coup attempt and kidnapping of Hugo Chavez, one rather imagines that the ADL has the whole situation backwards. It is not the Chavez government that is anti-Semitic at all, but rather that it is the Right Wing Zionist Movement that is anti-Chavez. They want him removed just like they want all radical Left antiwar professors removed from their academic posts inside the US. And the ADL campaign against Venezuela’s current government moves hand in hand with the Republican campaign against Obama for shaking hands and laughing alongside Hugo Chavez. Both the Republican Right and the ADL simply want to stifle all views critical of US foreign policy and Israeli government policy.

This Israeli-made campaign to silence and trash all critics of the Jewish State hegemony in the Middle East promoted in US foreign policy even has been seen down to the level of covert attacks on American blogs like this one. That is why we now express our own solidarity with UCSB professor William Robinson. We will not, and should not, let them silence us all. They have many tools of intimidation and censorship and we need to bring to the light of day all of them.

Yes, they may succeed at silencing an individual critic of Israel here and there but our Movement to expose the reactionary nature of US foreign policy use of Israeli Zionist Jewish State propaganda grows stronger over time. People around the globe are simply getting fed up with the racism and imperialism that are political cornerstones of the Israeli and US governments. The truth will continue to rise up through the blankets of neo-con and Zionist propaganda for having yet more of their bloodshed and pillage.

Visit Professor Robinson’s website

Hugo Chavez has message for Obama

Eduardo Galeano- Open veins of Latin America, 1998Hugo Chavez met Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas, and presented this gift to the American president: “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. At the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, Chavez held aloft Noam Chomsky’s “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance,” encouraging everyone to read it. Is there a common theme to the dark-skinned Chavez’s book recommendations? Chavez’ critics from the Venezuelan upper middle class think he’s no brighter than a monkey. His message, educate yourselves.

Eduardo GaleanoEduardo Galeano was interviewed by Amy Goodman on the day Barack Obama learned he had won the election. Galeano had this hope for the first US President of color: that he never forget that the White House, his new home, had been built by black slaves.

By the way, Galeano’s classic, with which Hugo Chavez hopes to bring Obama up to speed, was published in 1971.

When Obama won the 2008 election, Eduardo Galeano wrote this essay: I HOPE.

10 November 2008

Will Obama prove, at the helm of government, that his threats of war against Iran and Pakistan were only words, broadcast to seduce difficult ears during the election campaign?

I hope. And I hope he will not fall, even for a moment, for the temptation to repeat the exploits of George W. Bush. After all, Obama had the dignity to vote against the Iraq war, while the Democratic and Republican parties were applauding the announcement of this carnage.

In his campaign, the word most often repeated in his speeches was leadership. In his administration, will he continue to believe that his country has been chosen to save the world, a toxic idea that he shares with almost all his colleagues? Will he insist on the United States’ global leadership and its messianic mission to take command?

I hope the current crisis, which is shaking the imperial foundations, will serve at least to give the new administration a bath of realism and humility.

Will Obama accept that racism is normal when it is used against the countries that his country invades? Isn’t it racism to count the deaths of invaders in Iraq, one by one, and arrogantly ignore the many dead among the invaded population? Isn’t this world racist, where there are first-, second-, and third-class citizens, and the first-. second-, and third-class dead?

Obama’s victory was universally hailed as a battle won against racism. I hope he will assume, in his acts of government, this great responsibility.

Will the Obama government confirm, once again, that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are two names of the same party?

I hope the desire for change, which these elections have established, will be more than a promise and more than a hope. I hope the new government has the courage to break with the tradition of the one and only party, disguised as two parties which at the moment of truth do more or less the same thing while simulating a fight.

Will Obama fulfill his promise to shut down the evil Guantánamo prison?

I hope, and I hope he will end the evil blockade of Cuba.

Will Obama continue to believe that it is great to have a wall that prevents Mexicans from crossing the border, while money moves without anyone asking for its passport?

During the election campaign, Obama never honestly confronted the subject of immigration. I hope, now that he is no longer in danger of scaring voters away, he can and wants to break down this wall, much longer and more embarrassing than the Berlin Wall, and all the walls that violate people’s right to free movement.

Will Obama, who so enthusiastically supported the recent little gift of 750 billion dollars to bankers, govern, as usual, to socialize losses and privatize profits?

I’m afraid so, but I hope not.

Will Obama sign and comply with the Kyoto Protocol, or will he continue to give the privilege of impunity to the nation that is poisoning the planet the most? Will he govern for cars or for people? Can he change the murderous course of the lifestyle of the few who are risking the fate of all?

I’m afraid not, but I hope so.

Will Obama, the first black president in the history of the United States, realize the dream of Martin Luther King or the nightmare of Condoleezza Rice?

The White House, which is now his house, was built by black slaves. I hope he won’t forget it, ever.

American Corners: centers for organizing American government subversion

America Corner logoAmerican Corners is a US government subversion program that operates multiple centers abroad to disrupt opposition to American foreign policy. See Conspiracy and Propaganda Centers: Illegal US Consulates in Venezuela.

OK, one might think that this commentary about them exaggerates or is paranoid, or is misleading in some way, so let’s examine one of these US government ‘Corners’ of subversion located in Israel. See American Corner Jericho.

Here the effort to subvert is not directed against the Israeli government, but against the Palestinian opposition to that Jewish State dictatorship. The basic political program is- Accept our money and become corrupted by us. This is the policy everywhere they are in operation. It is the policy of dangling carrots in front of donkeys.

Just how does American government subversion via the American Corner centers work? This American Corner Serbia is very illustrativ. Notice that the multi-national country of Yugoslavia has been completely ideologically deconstructed by the US government here. It is not called ‘American Corner Yugoslavia’, though this ‘Corner’ is located in Belgrade, but merely given the deconstructed name ‘American Corner Serbia’. Notice too the cartoonish character of the site as it leads you finally to the nutty gritty of ‘discussion’ with…

U.S. & SERBIAN MILITARY COOPERATION
Colonel von Tersch
U.S. Military Attache
U.S. Embassy Belgrade

There is talk of 7 American Corners located in ‘Serbia’. The subversion level attacks at the level of the knees, to cripple and deconstruct the entire idea of a valid Yugoslavian nationhood.

At the African Regional Services of the American Corner Paris program, we are told quite directly, among the Laura Bush ‘Favorite Books’ style literary display there, that …

‘Please note that no direct order from persons in charge of American Corners will be considered:
To be valid, the order must be approved and sent by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section.’

So cute, and so direct to the point, too.

The American Corners in Okinawa operates to keep the US military base ongoing at that site in Japan national territory. Not that the idea is very popular with the people of Okinawa itself.

How about some of this American Happy Face at an America Corner in the Arab World?

Surfin’ U.S.A.! at MCBS
On February 18, Embassy Muscat’s Defense Attach Col. Mark Avery enthralled a full house of approximately 50 students at the American Corner at Modern College of Business and Science (MCBS) with tales of surfing in his home state of Hawaii. Explaining how surfing was originally permitted only for Hawaiian kings on huge boards cut from old-growth forests, the Colonel described the sport’s modern manifestations. He discussed the surfing craze of the 1960s that spurred even American Midwesterners who lived hundreds of miles from ocean waves to buy surf boards, and he introduced surfing music like the “Beach Boys.” The students especially enjoyed the Colonel’s photographs of his favorite surfing spots in Oman, and appreciated his use of Arabic during his presentation.

More of the same at the Salalah American Corner site of the US State Department.

Tex Allen The Crook joins Bernie the Bad Billionaire headed for prison

sir-allenSure, Tex Al calls himself ‘Sir Allen’ Stanford and likes to host cricket tournaments, but he’s a fifth generation ordinary Texas business crook and not some Grand British Lawdy. He’s going to jail soon!
 
US tycoon charged over $8bn fraud.

And there he will most likely join the aging Bernard Madoff, whose white crime haul was well over $50 billion. Oops! ‘Bernie’ still is not in jail despite stealing more than anybody else ever did from duh people! He is free on bail but must stay at his Upper East Side apartment. America really is a get tough on crime country, aren’t we?

‘Sir Allen’ specialized in robbing the Latin American ‘investors’. Hundreds line up at Stanford offices in Venezuela So how did our ever so lert SEC and FBI find out about this guy? He’s a tricky Texas business class criminal, sin’t he? Strangely enough, the answer may well be because Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, investigated him first? Yes he did!

‘Officials from Venezuelan military intelligence raided a branch of Sir Allen Stanford’s offshore bank over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the south American country.’ …taken from Cricket tycoon Sir Allen Stanford caught up in spying row That happened early last November and now our lert American Federal officials nabbed the big guy! Crime ever pays, Bernie! Psst… (that’s Sir Allen with another man’s wife on his knee in the pic…. Bad Boy, Sir Allen!)

Hugo Chavez will liberate the Americas

Hugo ChavezWhen I was in Venezuela, I remember President Hugo Chavez was derided for thinking himself heir to the aspirations of the great Simon Bolivar. I remember laughing myself. You don’t compare yourself to Washington, or Napoleon for that matter. Though no doubt the world laughed at their ambitions too. Affluent Venezuelans didn’t like Chavez, and as a result neither did the press. They depicted him as an uneducated monkey, a dark-skinned un-sophisticate, hoping his ego would eventually be humiliated by his inadequate aptitude for walking upright. Could the Spanish blue-blood snobs have been more wrong?

I was sweating this election, knowing that the US has been waging a full out subversive war to remove the outspoken anti-American. Chavez’s work is not done, but sitting on Venezuela’s incomparable oil reserves, he is not far from getting there. If American incumbents can hang on in the Senate until their 90s, certainly Chavez should be able to ride out his populist appeal to lengths like Fidel Castro or Mao or other bigger than life icons.

Venezuelan voters removing the term limits which would hinder a continued Chavez rule, is a victory not only for Venezuela, not only for Latin America, but for all non-aligned nations, and in the end, for all people. Finally a social-conscious reformer blessed with a big stick, big oil. Congratulations Mr. Chavez. You are indeed the Bolivarian liberator who rises against the oppressive New World Order.

Venezuelans kick D.C. in the butt

Monroe Doctrine
Venezuela’s Chavez wins vote to allow re-election All that control over the press and the Gringos still can’t convince the Venezuelans to let them back into the country once again! Don’t cry for D.C. though, since they’ll just keep trying, keep trying, and let’s hope they just keep crying, Latin America. Next election victory will be in El Salvador next month. Goodbye, D.C.! Take your Monroe Doctrine and stuff it!

Misery, poverty, unemployment are growing, and global capitalism is largely to blame

world-social-forum
“Misery, poverty, unemployment are growing, and global capitalism is largely to blame,” Chavez said in a convention center before 10,000 of the estimated 100,000 people gathered at the World Social Forum held in Belem, Brazil. Earlier in the day, advocates for landless Brazilians gathered in a sweltering gymnasium and roared in approval as Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa belted out the Cuban classic “Comandante Che Guevara.” South American leaders came together at the anti-Davos forum with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo joining Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on stage at the very large gathering of those opposed to the ravages of international capitalism in South America and elsewhere.

So who says that the anti-capitalist Left is dead? It is not at all and Latin America is the epicenter of the resistance to this diseased economic system that is destroying the Planet Earth for good. Don’t expect this information to appear on your TV screen though. The sponsors just wouldn’t except that, now would they? You’re under an information blockade here in the US, and as the saying goes… The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

(*note- the photo is from a previous World Social Forum gathering)

Nonviolent vigils will be death of Gazans

Venezuela Statue of Liberty throws a shoe!GAZA PROTESTS PROLIFERATE! Demonstrators are occupying Israeli consulates, storming embassies, harassing pro-Israeli rallies, and spilling blood on Zionist memorials. Not that anything is working so far. Meanwhile, in non-stories for the press, the usual non-confrontational passivists are lighting candles in memory of the slain. Are they anticipating, in their non-violent wisdom, the eminent extinction of the Palestinians of Gaza? Pacifists seem more comfortable to commemorate the ideological sacrifice of martyrs sooner than advocate for the survival of the endangered.

Others are not content to mourn Zionism’s ultimate triumph. Here’s the best analysis yet I’ve encountered for antiwar strategists.

Oslo protests

In Caracas, the protests have the support of the state. Venezuelan president Chavez expelled the Israeli Ambassador and called his nation’s Jews to repudiate Israel’s inhumanity in Gaza:

“Now I hope that the Venezuelan Jewish community speaks out against this barbarism. Do it. Don’t you strongly reject all acts of persecution?”

Here is the Free Palestine Alliance statement released January 9, 2008:

The Massacre Intensifies:

As we prepare this thirteenth FPA statement, the Zionist army was continuing what it does best the wholesale slaughter of children and unarmed civilians. As would be expected of the current state of affairs of the US-controlled international scene, the massacre of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is continuing despite yesterday’s feeble UN Security Council resolution that calls for Israel to immediately stop its attack. Actually, the US-Zionist leadership went the other way — more and more attacks. The Israeli Zionist army was given additional orders to escalate the conquest as it enters into a third phase of obliteration. Simultaneously as the Israeli cabinet was giving orders for a higher kill and destruction ratio, the US Senate was not going to be outdone by Zionists. It had to add to its long and shameful record. So it secretly issued a fast-tracked resolution fully supporting the ongoing massacre and giving Israel the needed cover. We ask, is this Senate resolution in the best interest of the people of the US?

But is it not the legacy and norm of the US-Israeli alliance to discard the will of the people of the US and the world. Is it not their norm to discard any and all UN resolutions that may remotely disagree with their strategic plans? The examples are far too many to list, including both UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions dating as far back as 1947.

Yesterday’s UN resolution was approved by 14 of the 15 nations that currently sit on the Security Council, with the US abstaining. As would be expected, the resolution did not address the deadly siege that has been imposed on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, nor did it condemn outright the fascistic actions of the Zionist polity.

Sadly, Palestinian victims have now reached at least 800 murdered and more than 3,300 injured. And these numbers are certain to climb substantially. Yesterday alone, fifty Palestinians were found murdered under their destroyed homes, some with their bodies already beginning to decompose. The Red Cross reported finding 4 near-death children slumped near and over their decomposing dead mothers. These children, like many others, were reported by the Red Cross to have been left without rescue in starvation and thirst for four full days around their killed mothers due to attacks on rescue workers.

On the very same day the UN Security Council resolution was issued, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that serves approximately 800,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip decided that it was forced to fully halt its services. This decision came following the killing of one of UNRWA’s truck drivers, and due to the extreme conditions imposed by the Zionist army on relief workers. The UNRWA also strongly condemned the Israeli cover-up used to justify the bombardment of the Al-Fakhoura school that murdered and injured over 100 children and their parents.

Come Out in Force Tomorrow:

The people of the US have a moral obligation to turn out in massive numbers tomorrow, Saturday, from Washington, DC to San Francisco, Los Angeles and in between, to send a clear message that this campaign of murder must stop at once. In DC, we will be right there to send a message to the Bush administration, the incoming Barak administration, and to the entire US Congress. In San Francisco, where the United Nations took its first founding steps, we can highlight the charade of UN resolutions and international diplomacy, pointing to the double standards and outright racist behavior of the US and its allies. In Los Angeles and all other cities and towns, we can and must mobilize to join in protest in the largest possible numbers. This is the time to stand for what is moral and just. We cannot continue funding Israel while the people of the US are in dire need for funds right here to rescue homes and towns from collapse.

Rather than pay for the destruction of the Gaza Strip, let us pay for the construction of roadways, parks, and schools.

Rather than destroy thousands of Palestinian homes, let us fix the collapsing housing market and keep people in their own homes.

Rather than send more people homeless, let us protect folks from evictions and foreclosures.

Rather than kill doctors, nurses, and relief workers, let us build hospitals and provide health care to the millions without it.

This is our time to let Obama know that he could very easily stimulate both the economy and the morality of the US by stopping all funds used to kill babies and their mothers. Instead, we can invest these same funds in the education and upbringing of millions of impoverished children, right here in the US.

This is indeed our time, folks, and we must come out to lead the US Congress and administrations to the moral high ground. The interest of the US and its people is best served by supporting the construction of US infrastructure, housing, schools, hospitals, and by creating jobs at a living wage. Rather than kill Arab unionists, let us support strengthening unions and their demand for a respectable life and wages.

This is our time to show that Palestine is but a symbol for ALL just struggles. Struggles we all wage every day in various forms. The massacre against the Palestinian people should focus a very bright spotlight on what is wrong with US policies: US tax dollars are being sent to the Israeli army under US diplomatic cover, and are being used to boost corporations that manufacture military hardware, to conquer and destroy countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than rescuing a failing nation from its impending economic depression.

Signs of Defeat:

We regard the UN Security Council Resolution as a fig leaf void of legitimacy. For one thing, it came 13 days following the massacre, and after more than 4,100 Palestinian casualties between killed and injured. It appears that key power-brokers at the UN had hoped that by waiting long enough (13 days) without action, the Zionists could in fact secure a political and military victory.

While the resolution attempts to provide a diplomatic cover for the Israelis and the US as a way out of their unattainable goals, it is nonetheless a clear indication that the ongoing conquest is unable to achieve any Zionist political gain. In fact, politically speaking, the US-Zionist-Arab regime tripartite axis is only achieving the very opposite of what they had intended through this massacre: (1) the Palestinians have achieved massive international, Arab, and Palestinian support; (2) the possibility for appointing a client regime in the Gaza Strip is non-existent; (3) the sustenance of the Abbas PA in its current formation has become very uncertain; and (4) the little legitimacy some Arab regimes have is that much more diminished.

To the extreme dismay of the US and Zionist leaders, the UN resolution demands an immediate stop to the attacks and the opening of all crossings; and it opens the gates for humanitarian aid. Hence, rejected by the Zionist leadership at once. Due to the weight of the pressure on US Arab allies, who could not under any circumstance return home empty-handed, the US had no choice but to abstain rather than give its usual veto — a way to give the US-supported despots a piece of paper to wave in the face of a sea of millions and millions in protest everywhere. Ironically, the gravity of the massacre made a full circle, compromising the stability of the alliance that is responsible for its implementation. The more violent the attack, the more stubborn the resistance, the more widespread the support, and the weaker the grip of despotic regimes.

Let us join the millions who have taken to the streets thus far, including today, in thousands of towns and cities in the world. There are those who are volunteering as doctors, nurses, and rescue workers, with many already killed and injured; there are those who are giving blood to hospitals and to the Red Cross and Red Crescent; those who are protesting; many are writing, painting, dancing and singing for freedom and liberation; and there are those who are holding sit-ins, and those who are giving flowers of appreciation to the Venezuelan government for their principled stance. All are out, and all are outraged.

Come and join!

Take your stand and come out tomorrow. Make it known that this massacre cannot continue!

All Out in Solidarity with the Palestinian People!

The Free Palestine Alliance

January 9, 2009

And this report from A.N.S.W.E.R. about Sunday’s march on DC:

From Washington, DC to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Worldwide–Hundreds of Thousands March to Let Gaza Live!

On Sat., Jan. 10, hundreds of cities, and hundreds of thousands of people, responded to the call for an International Day of Emergency Action to support the people of Gaza. Outside the United States, marches took place in London, Edinburgh, Cairo, Athens, Kuala Lumpur, Beirut, Seoul, Mexico City, Jakarta, Montreal, Paris, Barcelona, Marseilles, Lyon, Oslo, Berlin, Bern, Karachi, Nablus, New Delhi, Amman, Sarajevo, Ramallah, Stockholm, and Tokyo. The protests continue to grow — today, another 250,000 took to the streets in Spain and more than 100,000 in Algeria.

In the U.S., the Day of Action was initiated on just one week’s notice by a call from the ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda – International Palestine Right to Return Coalition. In Washington DC, over 20,000 took to the streets in the freezing rain to demand, “Let Gaza Live!” The streets were so backed up that thousands of people in buses and cars were still arriving after the march had left Lafayette Park.

The demonstration began with a rally at the White House. Featured speakers included former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was just on a humanitarian relief mission attempting to bring supplies to Gaza when the boat she was on was intentionally struck by an Israeli military vessel; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom; Rev. Graylan Hagler, National President of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice; Mounzer Sleiman, Vice Chairman, National Council of Arab Americans; Ralph Nader; Paul Zulkowitz, Jews Against the Occupation; Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice; and others.

The spirited march then led to the Washington Post, where demonstrators denounced the paper for its biased pro-Israeli coverage of the massacre and its complete blackout of protest activities in the United States.

In San Francisco, 10,000 took part in the march and rally. The rally included a huge outpouring from the local Arab community, and energetic participation from Bay Area youth.

A crowd of 2000 demonstrators confronted a heavy police presence in downtown Orlando for the “Let Gaza Live: Florida Statewide March for Palestine” called by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition/Florida—just six days prior. The demonstration is the largest anti-war demonstration in Florida in more than a decade and certainly the largest ever protest in Florida calling for a free Palestine. Police tried to intimidate marchers by initially searching all bags, forcing protesters to remove sticks from signs, and denying the use of amplified sound. Organizers and protesters challenged and pushed back their unwarranted scare tactics, and the protest turned out to be a powerful success.

In Los Angeles, 10,000 people participated in a regional mass march and rally to “Let Gaza Live” at the Westwood Federal Building. Hundreds of Palestinian flags and signs reading “Stop bombing Gaza!” and “The real terrorists: U.S./Israel war machine!” lined all sides of the street and the lawn in front of the federal government headquarters. It was the largest protest and the first major march in Southern California since the Israeli bombing campaign and invasion began.

A funeral procession led the march with makeshift coffins draped with Palestinian flags, representing the hundreds of people killed by Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza. Hundreds of children followed, along with a huge, hand-made Palestinian flag, in a contingent organized by the Palestinian American Women’s Association.

The worldwide movement is continuing to grow with more protests today, Jan. 11. There will be countless other actions in the days to come. Today in New York City, the police carried out a violent assault against those marching in mid-town Manhattan in support of the people of Palestine. A number of people were injured and arrested.

With the support of the United States, the Israeli military machine has expanded its invasion into urban areas of Gaza. The death toll among Palestinians is now nearly 900, with many thousands wounded. The injured and hungry of Gaza have no relief. We must do everything in our power to deepen and broaden this movement in the coming days.

Obama outed himself as a bigot when he crawled into bed with Rick Warren

Just like Clinton, Obama won’t hesitate to throw gays to the dogs if he thinks it will buy him a single vote from the rabid right. I told you he wasn’t to be trusted. And just as we saw with Prop 8, most of the black community only wants equal rights for themselves, not anybody else.
 
Say it out loud: Barack Obama is a coward.

Of course, Obama openly declared his bigotry against gays before the election, declaring they did not deserve equal rights in marriage. So this really shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would flip off the gay community like this. “Change we can believe in,” my ass.

During the campaign, I had so many arguments with his supporters, who insisted that he was the miracle that would make everything right with America. When confronted with the reality of his positions (as on gays) they would insist that was only to get elected, but, “just you watch,” once he was, then we would see the “real Obama.” Well, Ladies and Germs, the election is over, and there it is: the REAL Obama — flipping the bird to his supporters.

Only a moron would think his hiring every right winger he can find somehow doesn’t mean his is going to be a right wing administration.

What, am I the only one who realized what being a Chicago politician meant? It means he’s an asshole who can’t be trusted. But now I suspect a lot of his supporters are beginning to realize that. Though there will always be those who will defend him, no matter what — just like those Republicans who constantly made excuses for Dubya, or those born-again Christians who spend their entire lives dreaming up excuses for their “god.” People are pathetically stupid.

Disgraced: 66 nations in the UN have backed a resolution decriminalizing homosexuality.

Big hold outs: the USA, Russia, China, and the Vatican.

The nations that are more progressive than this dying backwater: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Dec 29 notes, thomasmc.com.

Noam Chomsky criticizes Human Rights Watch’s pro US government propaganda

In an open letter to the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, over 100 experts on Latin America criticized the organization’s recent report on Venezuela, A Decade Under Chávez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela, saying that it “does not meet even the most minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy, or credibility.”

Thus begins a letter signed by More Than 100 Experts (whom) Question Human Rights Watch’s Venezuela Report, including Noam Chomsky. It’s about time that this phony front for the US State Department’s foreign policy objectives, claiming to be a human rights organization, gets taken to task for its reactionary posturing.

Too often, many corporate funded ‘non governmental organizations’ (NGOs) are given a pass on the propaganda they spread, often times in the cause of supporting US governmental interventionism (sanctions, war, etc.) against other countries. Many of these organizations spout a lot of seemingly liberal rhetoric, but their goals are in line with the most reactionary US governmental goals, policies and objectives.

It’s nice to see Noam Chomsky lending his name to the list of signatories here. That means that many who might not have paid any attention to this criticism of Human Rights Watch, may now look up and take some notice about how this group is funded and operates?

US imperialism in check with Detente

First there’s Georgia, where Russia pushes back US efforts to muscle further NATO expansion. Then in our own hemisphere, Bolivia and Venezuela expel their US ambassadors, as Russian long range bombers land in South America in advance of joint naval maneuvers in the Caribbean. It’s not a resumption of the Cold War with the USSR, Russia is advancing no Communist Iron Curtain. But could a rival super power, in league with the unaligned nations, be a challenge to US hegemony? We could hope so.