Monday, June 29, 2009

A Suicidal Mistake

Reflections by comrade Fidel

Three days ago, in the evening of Thursday 25th, I wrote in my Reflections: “We do not know what will happen tonight or tomorrow in Honduras, but the courageous behavior adopted by Zelaya will go down in history.”

Two paragraphs before I had indicated that: “The situation that might result from whatever occurs in that country will be a test for the OAS and the current US administration.”

The prehistoric Inter-American institution met in Washington the following day and in a halfhearted and spiritless resolution promised to immediately make the necessary efforts to bring about harmony between the contending parties; that is, a negotiation between the putschists and the Constitutional President of Honduras.

The high ranking military chief who was still in command of the Honduran Armed Forces was making public statements different from the President’s position while recognizing his authority in a merely formal way.

The putschists needed barely anything else from the OAS. They couldn’t care less for the presence of a large number of international observers who had traveled to that country to bear witness to a referendum and who had been talking with Zelaya until late into the night. Today, before dawn, they launched on the President’s home about 200 well-trained and equipped professional troops who roughly set aside the members of the Guard of Honor and kidnapped Zelaya --who was sleeping at the moment-- taking him to an air base and forcibly putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.

At 8:30 a.m. we learned from Telesur of the assault on the Presidential House and the kidnapping. The President was unable to attend the initial activity related to the referendum that was to take place this Sunday and his whereabouts were unknown.

The official television channel was silenced. They wanted to prevent the early spread of the news of the treacherous action through Telesur and Cubavision Internacional, which were reporting the events. Therefore, they first suspended the broadcasting centers and then cut off electricity to the entire country. At the moment, the Supreme Court and the Congress involved in the conspiracy had yet to make public the decisions that justified the plot. They first carried out the indescribable military coup and then legalized it.

The people woke up to a fait accompli and started to react with growing indignation. Zelaya’s destination was unknown. Three hours later the people’s reaction was such that we could see women punching soldiers with their fists and the latter’s weapons falling off their hands as they were nervous and confused. At the beginning, their movements resembled a strange combat with ghosts; later, they tried to cover Telesur’s cameras with their hands and nervously aimed their guns at the reporters. Sometimes, when the people advanced the troops stepped back. At this point, armored vehicles carrying cannons and machineguns were sent in as the people fearlessly discussed with the crews of the armored vehicles. The people’s reaction was amazing.

Approximately at 2:00 in the afternoon, a tamed majority in Congress --in coordination with the putschists—toppled Zelaya, the Constitutional President of Honduras, and appointed a new head of State announcing to the world that the former had resigned and showing a forged signature. A few minutes later, from an airport in Costa Rica, Zelaya related everything that had happened and categorically refuted the news about his resignation. The plotters had placed themselves in a ridiculous situation in the eyes of the world.

Many other things happened today. Cubavision took all of its time to expose the coup and keep our people informed.

Some events were purely fascist in nature and even if expected they are still astonishing.

Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was the putschists’ main target, second only to Zelaya. Another detachment was sent to her residence. She was brave and determined, and she acted quickly; she did not waste time and started denouncing the coup in every way possible. Our ambassador contacted Patricia to learn about the situation; other ambassadors did likewise. At a given moment, she asked the diplomatic representatives of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with her since she was being fiercely hounded and required diplomatic protection. Our ambassador, who from the first moments was authorized to offer the minister all the constitutional and legal support, proceeded to visit her in her own residence.

When the diplomats were already in her house, the putschist command sent Major Oceguera to put her under arrest. The diplomats stood between the woman and the officer and claimed she was under diplomatic protection and could only be moved accompanied by them. Oceguera discussed with them in a respectful fashion. A few minutes later, 12 or 15 men in uniform and covering their faces with ski masks rushed into the house. The three ambassadors embraced Patricia but the masked men using force managed to separate the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan ambassadors; Hernandez held her so strongly by one arm that the masked men dragged them both to a van and drove to an air base where they finally separated him and took her away. As he was there in custody, Bruno, who had news of the kidnapping called him to the cell phone; one of the masked men tried to violently snatch the phone out of his hands and the Cuban ambassador, who had already been punched in Patricia’s home, shouted: “Don’t push me, cojones!” I don’t remember if the term was ever used by Cervantes, but there is no doubt that ambassador Juan Carlos Hernandez has enriched our language.

Later, he was abandoned in a road far from the Cuban mission not before being warned that something worse could happen to him if he talked. “Nothing can be worse than death,” he answered with dignity, “and still I’m not afraid of you.” Then people from the area helped him to return to the embassy and from there he immediately called Bruno again.

There is no way to negotiate with that putschist high command. They must be asked to abdicate while other younger officers, uninvolved with the oligarchy, take charge of the military command; otherwise, there will never be in Honduras a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

There is no hope for the cornered and isolated putschists if the problem is faced with determination.

Even Mrs. Clinton stated this afternoon that Zelaya is the only President of Honduras and the Honduran putschists can’t even breathe without the support of the United States of America.

Zelaya, a man who was in his pyjamas just a few hours ago, will be recognized by the world as the only Constitutional President of Honduras.

Fidel Castro Ruz
June 28, 2009
6:14 PM.

Obama's First Coup

Coup d'Etat Underway in Honduras
by Eva Golinger

President Zelaya of Honduras has just been kidnapped

[Note: As of 11:15am, Caracas time, President Zelaya is speaking live on Telesur from San Jose, Costa Rica. He has verified the soldiers entered his residence in the early morning hours, firing guns and threatening to kill him and his family if he resisted the coup. He was forced to go with the soldiers who took him to the air base and flew him to Costa Rica. He has requested the U.S. Government make a public statement condemning the coup, otherwise, it will indicate their compliance.]

Caracas, Venezuela - The text message that beeped on my cell phone this morning read “Alert, Zelaya has been kidnapped, coup d’etat underway in Honduras, spread the word.” It’s a rude awakening for a Sunday morning, especially for the millions of Hondurans that were preparing to exercise their sacred right to vote today for the first time on a consultative referendum concerning the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform the constitution. Supposedly at the center of the controversary is today’s scheduled referendum, which is not a binding vote but merely an opinion poll to determine whether or not a majority of Hondurans desire to eventually enter into a process to modify their constitution.

Such an initiative has never taken place in the Central American nation, which has a very limited constitution that allows minimal participation by the people of Honduras in their political processes. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the Reagan Administration’s dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure those in power, both economic and political, would retain it with little interference from the people. Zelaya, elected in November 2005 on the platform of Honduras’ Liberal Party, had proposed the opinion poll be conducted to determine if a majority of citizens agreed that constitutional reform was necessary. He was backed by a majority of labor unions and social movements in the country. If the poll had occured, depending on the results, a referendum would have been conducted during the upcoming elections in November to vote on convening a constitutional assembly. Nevertheless, today’s scheduled poll was not binding by law.

In fact, several days before the poll was to occur, Honduras’ Supreme Court ruled it illegal, upon request by the Congress, both of which are led by anti-Zelaya majorities and members of the ultra-conservative party, National Party of Honduras (PNH). This move led to massive protests in the streets in favor of President Zelaya. On June 24, the president fired the head of the high military command, General Romeo Vásquez, after he refused to allow the military to distribute the electoral material for Sunday’s elections. General Romeo Vásquez held the material under tight military control, refusing to release it even to the president’s followers, stating that the scheduled referendum had been determined illegal by the Supreme Court and therefore he could not comply with the president’s order. As in the Unted States, the president of Honduras is Commander in Chief and has the final say on the military’s actions, and so he ordered the General’s removal. The Minister of Defense, Angel Edmundo Orellana, also resigned in response to this increasingly tense situation.

But the following day, Honduras’ Supreme Court reinstated General Romeo Vásquez to the high military command, ruling his firing as “unconstitutional’. Thousands poured into the streets of Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, showing support for President Zelaya and evidencing their determination to ensure Sunday’s non-binding referendum would take place. On Friday, the president and a group of hundreds of supporters, marched to the nearby air base to collect the electoral material that had been previously held by the military. That evening, Zelaya gave a national press conference along with a group of politicians from different political parties and social movements, calling for unity and peace in the country.

As of Saturday, the situation in Honduras was reported as calm. But early Sunday morning, a group of approximately 60 armed soldiers entered the presidential residence and took Zelaya hostage. After several hours of confusion, reports surfaced claiming the president had been taken to a nearby air force base and flown to neighboring Costa Rica. No images have been seen of the president so far and it is unknown whether or not his life is still endangered.

President Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, speaking live on Telesur at approximately 10:00am Caracas time, denounced that in early hours of Sunday morning, the soldiers stormed their residence, firing shots throughout the house, beating and then taking the president. “It was an act of cowardness”, said the first lady, referring to the illegal kidnapping occuring during a time when no one would know or react until it was all over. Casto de Zelaya also called for the “preservation” of her husband’s life, indicating that she herself is unaware of his whereabouts. She claimed their lives are all still in “serious danger” and made a call for the international community to denounce this illegal coup d’etat and to act rapidly to reinstate constitutional order in the country, which includes the rescue and return of the democratically elected Zelaya.

Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela have both made public statements on Sunday morning condeming the coup d’etat in Honduras and calling on the international community to react to ensure democracy is restored and the constitutional president is reinstated. Last Wednesday, June 24, an extraordinary meeting of the member nations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), of which Honduras is a member, was convened in Venezuela to welcome Ecuador, Antigua & Barbados and St. Vincent to its ranks. During the meeting, which was attended by Honduras’ Foreign Minister, Patricia Rodas, a statement was read supporting President Zelaya and condenming any attempts to undermine his mandate and Honduras’ democratic processes.

Reports coming out of Honduras have informed that the public television channel, Canal 8, has been shut down by the coup forces. Just minutes ago, Telesur announced that the military in Honduras is shutting down all electricity throughout the country. Those television and radio stations still transmitting are not reporting the coup d’etat or the kidnapping of President Zelaya, according to Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas. “Telephones and electricity are being cut off”, confirmed Rodas just minutes ago via Telesur. “The media are showing cartoons and soap operas and are not informing the people of Honduras about what is happening”. The situation is eerily reminiscent of the April 2002 coup d’etat against President Chávez in Venezuela, when the media played a key role by first manipulating information to support the coup and then later blacking out all information when the people began protesting and eventually overcame and defeated the coup forces, rescuing Chávez (who had also been kidnapped by the military) and restoring constitutional order.

Honduras is a nation that has been the victim of dictatorships and massive U.S. intervention during the past century, including several military invasions. The last major U.S. government intervention in Honduras occured during the 1980s, when the Reagain Administration funded death squads and paramilitaries to eliminate any potential “communist threats” in Central America. At the time, John Negroponte, was the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras and was responsible for directly funding and training Honduran death squads that were responsable for thousands of disappeared and assassinated throughout the region.

On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS), convened a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Honduras, later issuing a statement condeming the threats to democracy and authorizing a convoy of representatives to travel to OAS to investigate further. Nevertheless, on Friday, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Phillip J. Crowley, refused to clarify the U.S. government’s position in reference to the potential coup against President Zelaya, and instead issued a more ambiguous statement that implied Washington’s support for the opposition to the Honduran president. While most other Latin American governments had clearly indicated their adamant condemnation of the coup plans underway in Honduras and their solid support for Honduras’ constitutionally elected president, Manual Zelaya, the U.S. spokesman stated the following, “We are concerned about the breakdown in the political dialogue among Honduran politicians over the proposed June 28 poll on constitutional reform. We urge all sides to seek a consensual democratic resolution in the current political impasse that adheres to the Honduran constitution and to Honduran laws consistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”

As of 10:30am, Sunday morning, no further statements have been issued by the Washington concerning the military coup in Honduras. The Central American nation is highly dependent on the U.S. economy, which ensures one of its top sources of income, the monies sent from Hondurans working in the U.S. under the “temporary protected status” program that was implemented during Washington’s dirty war in the 1980s as a result of massive immigration to U.S. territory to escape the war zone. Another major source of funding in Honduras is USAID, providing over US$ 50 millon annually for “democracy promotion” programs, which generally supports NGOs and political parties favorable to U.S. interests, as has been the case in Venezuela, Bolivia and other nations in the region. The Pentagon also maintains a military base in Honduras in Soto Cano, equipped with approximately 500 troops and numerous air force combat planes and helicopters.

Foreign Minister Rodas has stated that she has repeatedly tried to make contact with the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens, who has not responded to any of her calls thus far. The modus operandi of the coup makes clear that Washington is involved. Neither the Honduran military, which is majority trained by U.S. forces, nor the political and economic elite, would act to oust a democratically elected president without the backing and support of the U.S. government. President Zelaya has increasingly come under attack by the conservative forces in Honduras for his growing relationship with the ALBA countries, and particularly Venezuela and President Chávez. Many believe the coup has been executed as a method of ensuring Honduras does not continue to unify with the more leftist and socialist countries in Latin America.

Global Research, June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran Crisis

Saturday, June 27, 2009

To Sit in the Dark

By Gilad Atzmon

I am sure that some of you are familiar with the old Jewish joke: What does it take for a Jewish mother to change a light bulb? Then, impersonating an elderly Jewish mother and applying a high pitch East European accent, you spit it out: "No vorries, I vill sit in the dark". The Jewish mother embodies the essence of modern Jewish existence. To be a Jew is to sit in the dark, to be a Jew is to be a victim and to enjoy your symptoms. If we analyse this bizarre tendency in the light of Freud's pleasure principle, we might mistakenly deduce that the Jewish mother finds pleasure in inflicting pain on herself. Some may even diagnose the Jewish mother as a mythical masochistic figure. In fact, it is the other way around. The Jewish mother doesn't enjoy her own suffering at all. The Joke is supposed to reveal a very different message. The Jewish mother, instead of improving her general state of being, rather than enjoying reading the 'Jewish Chronicle' in the light, voluntarily offers to sit in the dark; she thereby gains satisfaction by initiating some feeling of remorse within the Other, whoever the Other is. Usually it is her beloved kind (son) but it can as well be her partner, the neighbour, the social worker, the Swiss banker or even the United Nations. The Jewish mother vill sit in the dark as long as someone is there to feel guilty about her sitting in the dark.

To be a proper Jewish mother means to daily exploit the entire victim vocabulary. But it isn't really the Jewish mother; it seems the victim mentality occupies the hard nucleus of modern Jewish identity. As we all know, many of those who call themselves Jews are far from being religious. Some are even atheists. Many of our Jewish friends are far from being Zionist (at least that's what they say), some are even anti-Zionist, but then once a Jew drops his victim status he becomes an ordinary boring human being. To be a Jew is to believe in the holocaust, to be a Jew is to believe in a historical narrative constructed around endless sagas of merciless persecution and harassment. To be a Jew is to believe that all that suffering is far from being over — in fact a new holocaust may be relaunched tomorrow morning, today, this very minute! To be a Jew is to put oneself in a state of self-imposed paranoia. Thus to be a Jew is to believe in 'us and them' rather than in just 'being amongst others'. To be a Jew is to believe that anti-Semitism is an irrational tendency intrinsically symptomatic to Gentile existence. But who are the Gentiles? Ladies and gentleman, the Gentiles are the human family, thus to be a Jew is to believe that the human family behaves irrationally, at least when it comes to Jews.

But, then, what is so appealing about being a 'victim'? I assume that most people would be embarrassed when being blamed for victimising themselves or even suspected of being paranoid. Somehow, this wouldn't happen with most Jews. A Jew would be offended when it is suggested that he is victimising himself. Moreover, an accusation as such would be perceived by him as a clear anti-Semitic assault, not to say a form of a 'holocaust denial'. When it comes to Jewish common self-perception, being a victim is not an act, it is rather a state of being. Within the contemporary Jewish world view, the Jews are the only real ultimate genuine sufferers. If this is not enough, the fact that they are 'the true real and only genuine sufferers' is now legally imposed [in some countries]. To doubt this very fact may result in a court case. For instance, in case you happen to be a historian, and you doubt some 'facts' having to do with the latest Nazi Judeocide, you will probably find yourself behind bars or at least removed from your academic post.

When it comes to the unique case of the Jewish family, the Jewish-mother strategies are found to be very effective. Sitting in the dark 'pays off'. The Jewish mother maintains her absolute hegemony within the family. Consequently, the guilt-ridden Jewish child (no doubt the real victim) will attend medical or law school just to keep his mother happy. He will bring home the highest possible marks to make her feel better about sitting in dark. By the time he finally realises that he himself had been the real victim he is ready to join his father's business, and in any case, he is too old to rebel. By now he himself becomes a victim and the rest of the world should feel guilty for him. But then, he is far from being happy, rather than being out there amongst others, he is now pushed back to the ghetto, tied for the rest of his life with a clannish knot. Funny enough, this is enough to make him a neurotic character as well an astonishingly good accountant or psychoanalyst.

Looking at the Jewish family cell we see a successful operating machine; the parents volunteer to take on some insignificant suffering, in return the guilt-ridden younger generation brings home excellent academic results. But this mechanism goes far beyond the Jewish family cell or even the segregated Jewish community. In fact, post-WW2 Jewish western affairs are based on the very same philosophy. This may well be the hidden layer behind the current misleading contemporary presentation of the complementary Judeo Christian bond: The Judeo subject insists to be the ultimate victim and the Christian world is enthusiastically endorsing the opportunity to celebrate guilt. As bizarre as it may sound, in 1948, while the Israelis ethnically cleansed the Palestinian population, the 'guilty' West was sitting and praising 'Jewish heroism'. Very much the same happened following the miraculous Israeli victory in 1967. For many years 'guilt' became the core of the European parliamentary left's blind support of Israel. As revolting as it may sound, the modern Jewish identity is copying the role of the Jewish elder mother and the European parliamentary left is taking the role of the Jewish guilt-ridden toddler. Take a look at British contemporary politics: On the right end we find the Christian prime minister, Mr Tony Blair, the guilty Gentile. Being the leader of a once-socialist institution, he is now publicly supporting a bourgeoisie racist, nationalist, colonialist state. Michael Howard, on the very same end, being a secular Jew, doesn't bother to share with us any deep spiritual Jewish insights; instead, he tells us about his Jewish grandmother, the Holocaust victim.

Today I am talking about Jewish Identity. In practice, I am talking about Jewish identification, I leave out Judaism, or any reference to Jewish cultural heritage. I don't even talk about the Jewish people. Instead, I ask what does it mean to be a secular Jew. I try to find out what Jewish secular people identify with when they call themselves Jews. I would argue that as far as contemporary Jewish identity is concerned, two major ideological schools are offering a clear answer. One is Zionism and the other is Jewish leftism.

Let's start with the Zionist school.

Following the 19th century European national awakening some Jews decided that Jewishness is actually a manifestation of nationalistic aspiration. Although European nationalism intrinsically associated the patriotic subject with the land he dwelled on, Jewish nationalism was based on a mere fantasy. It associated the Jew with the land he was supposed to dwell on. The early Zionists' popular slogan at the time was: 'A land with no people for a people with no land'. While many historians justly ridicule the above statement, proving beyond doubt that the land of Palestine was in fact overwhelmingly occupied with indigenous Palestinians, the main problem with the slogan has to do with the fact that a people with no land can never establish a genuine nationalistic movement. Zionism was and still is as groundless as, let's say, an Italian claim for ownership of the land of England just because England was once a part of the Roman empire. Jewish nationalism was always an ideologically baseless utopian belief. It is an invalid nationalistic movement simply because the Jews are not a nation. Moreover even in their alleged 'homeland', they are about to become a minority. And yet Zionism was a sign of a change; the Jews decided willingly to change their doomed fate, to become 'normal' people, people who love their land, people who engage with nature and live in nature. The Zionist Jew desired to redeem himself from the state of victimhood. The Zionist Jew desired to take his own fate in his hands. This reformed perception held till 1967; until then the Zionist Jew regarded himself as a proud self-sufficient colonialist. Until 1967 the holocaust had merely an instrumental role, it was something to capitalise on rather than a major tragic event. If anything, for my parents' generation, the holocaust was something to be ashamed of. The image of 'cattle led to the slaughter' filled them and even my generation with contempt towards anything that smelled like Diaspora. Tom Segev was very articulate in conveying the story of Israelis' disdain towards the 'Seventh Million' (those who managed to survive the war). Needless to say, the current state of Israel clearly reveals how unsuccessful Zionism proved to be. The transformation of the Jewish people into a modern western civilised society failed completely. The Israelis are far from being attached to the land which they apparently shred with apartheid walls. Not only that, Israelis didn't even manage to establish a civilised society. It is hard to think of any current modern state as morally corrupted and as racially motivated as the Jewish state. And yet Zionism was an attempt to transform the Jew into a dignified being, a strong, blond athletic productive subject rather than one who prefers voluntarily to sit in the dark.

The alternative Jewish ideological answer to Zionism is provided by the Jewish left thinkers. On the surface it sounds poetic and peaceful but in practice it is at least as devastating as Zionism. The left Jew would roll his eyes up and state with sheer defeat that "it was Hitler rather than Moses who made him into a Jew". Basically, it is the Other, the Gentile, who makes the Jew into a Jew. As funny as it may sound, most of those righteous Jews would argue in the same breath that the Palestinians should enjoy the right of 'self determination'. I ask myself how it is that when it comes to themselves those left Jews are far from being generous. Somehow, so it appears, the left Jew is reluctant to self-determine himself. Apparently, for the left Jew, WW2 never ended; daily they are all defeated by Hitler, or more generally speaking, by the Gentile world. But isn't this an absurd proposition? In fact, there is no Gentile world. Gentile world is in itself a Jewish invention. Gentile people do not identify themselves as 'non-Jews'; there are far more interesting predicates to embrace. Hence we can clearly see that Jewish leftism is in itself a form of 'sitting in the dark', it is an exercise in victim practice. In short, like the Jewish mother, they are sitting in the dark (probably not too far from their mothers). They are self-appointed victims. Thus we must admit then that it is not Hitler who turned them into Jews. They are Jews because, enthusiastically, they endorse the Jewish identity. They prefer to be victims. It is their own preference not to change the light bulb.

But then why is it necessary? Surely the Jewish leftist knows that these days he can express his calling without presenting any ethnic traces, we are supposed to live in a multi-cultural society. Your voice is supposed to be heard regardless of your ethnic origin, your religious background, your sexual preferences or any other social grouping. I would argue that the voluntarily tendency to sit in the dark is the new Jewish religion. It is a sophisticated ideological mechanism that makes the Other, the Western Gentile, feel unwelcome or inferior in any political discourse to do with Palestine. In practice it locates the humanist Jews in the centre of Palestinian affairs. But then, in practice it provides Israel with an ideological and moral body armour. As soon as those humanist Jews become recognised as a genuine voice for Palestine we learn from them that one-state solution is utterly impractical. Somehow, for them, the Jewish cause is slightly more important than the Palestinian one. At the end of the day the Jews really suffered.

The victim strategy is the latest and most sophisticated form of Jewish supremacist segregation. Not only that I surround myself with walls, I even make the other feel guilty for my building those walls around myself. (By the way, I don't know whether you are aware of the bizarre fact that within Israeli discourse it is the Palestinians who are blamed for the Jews building the apartheid wall.) You can take from the Jew his religion, you can take away the chicken soup, you can even put 'sea fruit' on his plate, but once you take away the victim tendency, the Jew isn't a Jew anymore. Once you lift the colossal threat of Hitler then the Jew becomes an ordinary boring human being. Let me tell you, this is not going to happen.

(A talk given at the London SOAS Palestinian Society, 2005-03-23)

Friday, June 26, 2009

José Manuel Zelaya

A gesture that will not be forgotten

I am halting for a moment the work on a historic episode that I have been writing for the last two weeks to express my solidarity with the constitutionally-elected president of Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya.

It was impressive to see him on Telesur, haranguing the people of Honduras. He energetically denounced the blatantly reactionary attempt to prevent an important popular referendum. That is the "democracy that imperialism defends. Zelaya has not committed the slightest violation of the law. He did not engage in any act of force. He is the president and commander-general of the Armed Forces of Honduras. What is happening there will be a test for the OAS and for the current United States administration.
Yesterday a meeting of the ALBA took place in Maracay, in the Venezuelan state of Aragua. The Latin American and Caribbean leaders who spoke there shone out both for their eloquence and for their dignity.
Today I was listening to the solid arguments of President Hugo Chávez, denouncing the coup action on Venezolana de Televisión.
We do not know what will happen tonight or tomorrow in Honduras, but the brave conduct of Zelaya will go in history.
His words reminded us of the speech by President Salvador Allende as warplanes bombarded the Presidential Palace, where he heroically died on September 11, 1973. This time we were seeing another Latin American president entering an air base with his people to demand the ballots for a popular referendum, spuriously confiscated.

That is how a president and a commander-general acts.
The people of Honduras will never forget that gesture!

Fidel Castro Ruz
June 25, 2009
8:15 p.m.

North Korea

"Sanity" at the Brink

by Michael Parenti

Nations that chart a self-defining course, seeking to use their land, labor, natural resources, and markets as they see fit, free from the smothering embrace of the US corporate global order, frequently become a target of defamation. Their leaders often have their moral sanity called into question by US officials and US media, as has been the case at one time or another with Castro, Noriega, Ortega, Qaddafi, Aristide, Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, and others.

So it comes as no surprise that the rulers of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) have been routinely described as mentally unbalanced by our policymakers and pundits. Senior Defense Department officials refer to the DPRK as a country "not of this planet," led by "dysfunctional" autocrats. One government official, quoted in the New York Times, wondered aloud "if they are really totally crazy." The New Yorker magazine called them "balmy," and late-night TV host David Letterman got into the act by labeling Kim Jong-il a "madman maniac."

To be sure, there are things about the DPRK that one might wonder about, including its dynastic leadership system, its highly dictatorial one-party rule, and the chaos that seems implanted in the heart of its "planned" economy.

But in its much advertised effort to become a nuclear power, North Korea is actually displaying more sanity than first meets the eye. The Pyongyang leadership seems to know something about US global policy that our own policymakers and pundits have overlooked. In a word, the United States has never attacked or invaded any nation that has a nuclear arsenal.

The countries directly battered by US military actions in recent decades (Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, then again Iraq), along with numerous other states that have been threatened at one time or another for being "anti-American" or "anti-West" (Iran, Cuba, South Yemen, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, and others) have one thing in common: not one of them has wielded a nuclear deterrence-until now.

Let us provide a little background. Put aside the entire Korean War (1950-53) in which US aerial power destroyed most of the DPRK's infrastructure and tens of thousands of its civilians. Consider more recent events. In the jingoist tide that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President George W. Bush claimed the right to initiate any military action against any "terrorist" nation, organization, or individual of his choosing. Such a claim to arbitrary power-in violation of international law, the UN charter, and the US Constitution-transformed the president into something of an absolute monarch who could exercise life and death power over any quarter of the Earth. Needless to say, numerous nations--the DPRK among them-were considerably discomforted by the US president's elevation to King of the Planet.

It was only in 2008 that President Bush finally removed North Korea from a list of states that allegedly sponsor terrorism. But there remains another more devilishly disquieting hit list that Pyongyang recalls. In December 2001, two months after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney referred chillingly to "forty or fifty countries" that might need military disciplining. A month later in his 2002 State of the Union message, President Bush pruned the list down to three especially dangerous culprits: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, who, he said, composed an "axis of evil."

It was a curious lumping together of three nations that had little in common. In Iraq the leadership was secular, in Iran it was a near Islamic theocracy. And far from being allies, the two countries were serious enemies. Meanwhile the DPRK, had no historical, cultural, or geographical links to either Iraq or Iran. But it could witness what was happening.

The first to get hit was Iraq, nation #1 on the short list of accused evil doers. Before the Gulf War of 1990-91 and the subsequent decade of sanctions, Iraq had the highest standard of living in the Middle East. But years of war, sanctions, and occupation reduced the country to shambles, its infrastructure shattered and much of its population drenched in blood and misery.

Were it not that Iraq has proven to be such a costly venture, the United States long ago would have been moving against Iran, #2 on the axis-of-evil hit list. As we might expect, Iranian president Mahmoud Amadinijad has been diagnosed in the US media as "dangerously unstable." The Pentagon has announced that thousands of key sites in Iran have been mapped and targeted for aerial attack. All sorts of threats have been directed against Tehran for having pursued an enriched uranium program-which every nation in the world has a right to do. And on a recent Sunday TV program, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the United States might undertake a "first strike" against Iran to prevent its nuclear weapons development.

Rather than passively await its fate sitting in Washington's crosshairs, nation #3 on the US hit list is trying to pack a deterrence. The DPRK's attempt at self-defense is characterized in US official circles and US media as wild aggression. Secretary Clinton warned that the United States would not be "blackmailed by North Korea." Defense Secretary Robert Gates fulminated, "We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia-or on us." The DPRK's nuclear program, Gates warns, is a "harbinger of a dark future."

President Obama condemned North Korea's "belligerent provocative behavior" as posing a "grave threat." In June 2009, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a US-sponsored resolution ratcheting up the financial, trade, and military sanctions against the DPRK, a nation already hard hit by sanctions. In response to the Security Council's action, Kim Jong il's government announced it would no longer "even think about giving up its nuclear weapons" and would enlarge its efforts to produce more of them.

In his earlier Cairo speech Obama stated, "No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons." But that is exactly what the United States is trying to do in regard to a benighted North Korea--and Iran. Physicist and political writer Manuel Garcia, Jr., observes that Washington's policy "is to encourage other nations to abide by the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty--and renounce nuclear weapons--while exempting itself." Others must disarm so that Washington may more easily rule over them, Garcia concludes.

US leaders still refuse to give any guarantee that they will not try to topple Pyongyang's communist government. There is talk of putting the DPRK back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, though Secretary Clinton admits that evidence is wanting to support such a designation.

From its lonely and precarious perch the North cannot help feeling vulnerable. Consider the intimidating military threat it faces. The DPRK's outdated and ill-equipped army is no match for the conventional forces of the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The United States maintains a large attack base in South Korea. As Paul Sack reminds us in a recent correspondence to the New York Times, at least once a year the US military conducts joint exercises with South Korean forces, practicing a land invasion of the DPRK. The US Air Force maintains a "nuclear umbrella" over South Korea with nuclear arsenals in Okinawa, Guam, and Hawaii. Japan not only says it can produce nuclear bombs within a year, it seems increasingly willing to do so. And the newly installed leadership in South Korea is showing itself to be anything but friendly toward Pyongyang.

The DPRK's nuclear arsenal is a two-edged sword. It can deter attack or invite attack. It may cause US officials to think twice before cinching a tighter knot around the North, or it may cause them to move aggressively toward a confrontation that no one really wants.

After years of encirclement and repeated rebuffs from Washington, years of threat, isolation, and demonization, the Pyongyang leaders are convinced that the best way to resist superpower attack and domination is by developing a nuclear arsenal. It does not really sound so crazy. As already mentioned, the United States does not invade countries that are armed with long-range nuclear missiles (at least not thus far).

Having been pushed to the brink for so long, the North Koreans are now taking a gamble, upping the ante, pursuing an arguably "sane" deterrence policy in the otherwise insane world configured by an overweening and voracious empire.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Bolivarian Way

ALBA proves the Construction of a New World, said Ecuador´s Rafael Correa

The Bolivarian Alternative for Our Americas (ALBA) is the proof of the ongoing construction of a new world, said Ecuador´s President Rafael Correa after signing the document that made official his country´s joining of the regional integration mechanism.

During the extraordinary ALBA Summit, underway in Maracay, Venezuela President Correa said that “some 200 years ago our republics started their march towards independence and today we understand that the best homage we can pay to that independence effort is subscribing our membership to this integration mechanism.”

Following the reading of a document of intention by Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Fander Falconi, Correa stamped his signature making his country the seventh member of the regional integration bloc, Venezuelan media reported.

After the resounding failure of the US-led Free Trade Area of the Americas we will negotiate treaties in the interest of our countries´development, said the Ecuadoran President, who considers the ALBA a historic process aimed at promoting equality and the best use of natural resources by Latin American countries.

Along with Ecuador Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda joined the Bolivarian Alternative for Our Americas, which now has nine member states.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on Tuesday that the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) represents an opportunity for the peoples of the continent to build a united Americas.

According to the Bolivarian News Agency, upon arriving at the Libertador Air Force Base in the Venezuelan state of Aragua for the 6th ALBA Extraordinary Summit that takes place in Maracay today, Correa added that the advantage of belonging to this regional bloc for integration and cooperation is that its members have a space to defend, with one united voice, the interests of the region and thus build a new world order.

Correa stressed that, with Ecuador’s entry into ALBA, the dream of Simon Bolivar and so many other Latin American independence leaders, who fought for “our big homeland, our united Americas,” is coming true.The South American head of state affirmed that Ecuador’s incorporation into the regional bloc also serves to consolidate the integrationist mechanism.

The Ecuadorian leader highlighted the importance of unity for Latin American and Caribbean peoples and, in this sense, he recalled the experience of the recently held General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in San Pedro Sula, El Salvador, where they led a successful struggle to pass a resolution lifting the OAS’s 1962 suspension of Cuba.

During the ALBA meeting on Wednesday, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, will officially become full members of the organization that is already comprised of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominica.

The meeting has a symbolic element as it coincides with another anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, which sealed Venezuela’s independence from Spain in 1821.

The ALBA initiative was launched for the first time by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Association of Caribbean States in Margarita Island, Venezuela, in December 2001.

The Bolivarian Alternative for The Americas (ALBA) is currently working on a grand-national plan to unite efforts in the basic industry sector.

In an interview with Prensa Latina news agency, Venezuela’s Minister for Basic Industry and Mining, Rodolfo Sanz, affirmed that there are good perspectives for cooperation beyond trade.

I’ve received instructions from President Hugo Chavez to explore all potential areas in the fields of mining and basic industry feasible for integration and cooperation, pointed out Sanz, who is participating in the Extraordinary Summit of ALBA, underway in Maracay, Venezuela.

Sanz stressed that this scheme goes not only through the integration of markets, but that it’s also productive in a complementary framework, taking the potential of each member of the organization as a starting point.

Now we have to identify what Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia can produce that we can’t, so Venezuela can be their market and vice versa, a kind of intra-ALBA market, underlined Sanz.

In this regard, the Venezuelan Minister pointed out that there are good perspectives, considering each nation’s riches, among which he mentioned Bolivia’s gas and iron reserves; Ecuador’s gold, tin and other minerals; Nicaragua’s forest reserves, and Cuba’s nickel and other lines.

In the field of basic industry we have a whole world to explore, a group of possibilities for the setting up of joint ventures that will deepen cooperation and production between our countries, he said.

Ecuador, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbuda, will join ALBA as full members during this Extraordinary ALBA Summit, underway at some 100 kilometers from Caracas.

Along with Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, these nations will be included in this social and economic cooperation mechanism for member nations to complement each other, based on the principle of mutual respect.

Cuban News Agency

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flying The Flag

Of The Shah

Demonstrators protest against the election in Iran in front of the White House in Washington June 21, 2009.

Flying The Flag

Look carefully at the flags in this demo. They are not the ones of today’s Iran. They are from the days of the Shah; America’s last official representative over there.

This particular flag has not been used for 30 years. It is not like they were sitting in a warehouse someplace. Someone had to order them to be manufactured ahead of time for this protest!

Flag of the Pahlavi Dynasty

Flag of today's Iran

Monday, June 22, 2009

Robert Dreyfuss

The Nation’s man in Tehran: Who is Robert Dreyfuss?
By Bill Van Auken

In its coverage of the recent political upheavals in Iran, the position of the Nation magazine, the self-styled voice of progressive politics, has become increasingly indistinguishable from that of the US political establishment.

Robert Dreyfuss, the magazine’s principal correspondent on the Iranian events—and on “politics and national security” generally—has parroted the unverified charge of a stolen election and characterized the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as his supporters, as a “virtual fascist movement.”

In a June 17 column entitled: “Battle Lines in Iran,” Dreyfuss, who had just returned from covering the election in Tehran, speculated on the trajectory of the Iranian “showdown.”

He wrote: “Thirty years ago, it was the decision of the Shah of Iran not to confront the revolutionaries with violence that allowed the anti-Shah movement to grow strong enough to oust the Shah. Then, as now, a relatively small number of deaths—‘martyrs’—triggered a traditional, Shiite forty-day cycle of memorial marches and ceremonial protests and led to a crescendo of protest by the end of 1978.”

This is an astonishing statement. While the number killed by the Shah’s troops and the notorious SAVAK secret police is disputed—the government today puts it at 60,000, while its opponents claim only about 3,000—there is no question that virtually every one of the demonstrations that erupted in 1978-79 saw scores, if not hundreds, of workers and students mowed down by automatic weapons fire in cities across the country.

SAVAK, trained by the CIA, was among the most sadistic secret police forces in the world, known for its systematic and hideous torture of anyone suspected of being an opponent of the monarchial regime. Its victims numbered in the tens of thousands.

How is one to account for this whitewashing of a brutal dictatorship by a journalist now posing as a champion of democracy? Who is this man?

Iran is not a new subject of inquiry for Robert Dreyfuss. He authored a book in the wake of the Iranian Revolution entitled “Hostage to Khomeini.”

The book’s foreword, addressed “to the American people,” describes it as “an indictment of President Carter’s role in contributing to the downfall of the Shah and Khomeini’s seizure of power.”

It speaks favorably of the “incoming government of Ronald Reagan,” presenting the change in administrations as an opportunity “for the entire Khomeini regime to be swept away during 1981 and replaced with a government of sanity.”

Dreyfuss exhorts his readers: “Let the officials in Washington know that the American people will not tolerate our government treating the Khomeini regime as anything but the outlaw dictatorship that it is.”

The book presents the Iranian Revolution not as a movement of millions against a hated dictatorship, but rather as a vast conspiracy orchestrated from within the Carter administration, in collaboration with British, Israeli and even Soviet intelligence.

“The Carter administration—with deliberate malice aforethought—had given aid to the movement that organized the overthrow of the Shah of Iran,” he wrote. The White House, he continued, “was involved every step of the way ... from behind-the-scenes deals with traitors in the Shah’s military to the final ultimatum to the beaten leader in 1979 to leave Iran. Perhaps no other chapter in American history is so replete with treachery to the ideals upon which the nation was founded.”

Precisely what “ideals” were violated by Washington’s failure—not for want of trying—to keep the Shah on his Peacock Throne, Dreyfuss did not spell out.

The book was put out by New Benjamin Franklin House Publishing Co., which had produced other volumes that year, including “What every Conservative Should Know about Communism,” written by Lyndon LaRouche.

Dreyfuss held the title of “Middle East Intelligence Director” for LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review, the flagship publication of what the Washington Post described in 1985 as a network which “had more than 100 intelligence operatives working for it at times, and copies the government in its information-gathering operation.”

Political Research Associates, a think tank that specializes in tracking the activities of the extreme right, wrote of Dreyfuss’s former employer: “The LaRouche organization and its various front groups are a fascist movement whose pronouncements echo elements of Nazi ideology.”

The PRA added that the organization had built: “an international network for spying and propaganda, with links to the upper levels of government, business, and organized crime. The LaRouchites traded information with intelligence agencies in the United States” as well as in other countries.

According to published reports, one of the agencies with which it traded information was SAVAK, during the period in which it was carrying out its most murderous repression in Iran, while hunting down student opponents of the regime abroad.

After being driven into exile by the revolution, Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi, the Shah's widow, told the West German magazine Bunte: “To understand what has gone on in Iran, one must read what Robert Dreyfuss wrote in the Executive Intelligence Review.” The magazine used the quote in its promotional advertising, aimed principally at corporate executives and right-wing politicians.

The Nation describes Dreyfuss merely as “an investigative journalist in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in politics and national security.” Nowhere does it inform its readers that its principal correspondent on Iran is a former member of a fascistic organization who publicly defended the Shah’s dictatorship.

These credentials should have disqualified Dreyfuss from saying anything about the events in Iran. Nothing this man writes has any credibility.

The real question is: how has an individual of this character surfaced as the Nation’s correspondent in Tehran and its principal commentator on international affairs?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

US Hand In Iran

By Trish Schuh, Asia Times, 2005

Like the color-coded terror alert system, the technicolor "velvet invasions" blink a warning. Despite receiving an ugly bruise in Uzbekistan, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)and its non-governmental organization (NGO) regime-change industry hope to stage another cardboard coup in Iran. But it could be a black and blue revolution.

Citing a "mission accomplished" in Iraq, President George W Bush told 25,000 soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas: "The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. That success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran."

Tasked by the Bush administration with sending that message from America to Tehran, and "winning hearts and minds" is author and "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" member Jerome Corsi. On May 16, Corsi's NGO, the Iran Freedom Foundation (IFF), inaugurated a 12-day "Iran Freedom Walk" from Philadelphia's Liberty Bell to Washington, DC.

Dipping two fingers in red paint, Corsi waved a peace sign in solidarity "with the blood of oppressed Iranians" and called on "the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King". He declared, "I love the Iranian people. America does not hate the Persian people. We love the Persian people. We want peace and we love the Persian people." Corsi's voice then dropped to a whisper; "We stand here today and we pray in the name of the gods. I embrace Jesus Christ as my savior - and we also pray in the name of Allah, Zoroaster and the B'hai."

But Corsi has expressed very different opinions on Islam in the past. According to his own postings on, on November 18, 2001 Corsi used a racial slur to define Arabs: "Ragheads are boy-bumpers [sodomizers] as clearly as they are women haters - it all goes together."

Using the incendiary style he perfected for "Swiftboat veteran" television attack advertisements, Corsi declares, "Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels killed." Comparing Islam to a disease, he added, "How's this for an analogy? The Koran is simply the 'software' for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings' and Islam is like a virus. It affects the mind. Maybe even better as an analogy: it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body." In April 2004 Corsi said, "Let's see why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion. Where's the proof to the contrary?"

Surrounding Corsi at his walk were three dozen Los Angeles Iranian dissidents and pro-monarchists interviewed by an Orthodox Jewish journalist and by the CIA-backed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Farda. The Los Angeles Times of March 20 revealed that "Tehrangeles" has become a crucial recruiting ground for Iranian expatriates who gather information for the US intelligence community. Also providing assistance are various Farsi language media which broadcast messages against the Iranian government into Iran.

According to the March 4 Los Angeles Times, the US currently spends US$14.7 million a year on Farsi "opposition broadcasts" into Iran. The Voice of America's Farsi service reaches an estimated 15 million Iranians with news programs and websites, and the Bush administration has recently requested an additional $5.7 million for 2006 to expand the hours of transmission.

Los Angeles Farsi radio station KRSI noted the similarity between current US efforts and the CIA's 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected premier Mohammed Mossadeq. When asked if he was CIA-affiliated, Corsi replied: "No, I'm not. I've never held a government position, never had any government position at all. I've been in universities. I'm an author. I'm in business. I'm not related to the CIA. It's just not true."

But when later asked how he became so committed to Iranian liberation, he explained, "When I was a young man I was an expert in antiterrorism and political violence. I had a top secret clearance when I was in universities and I worked to assist the State Department and the government." Corsi's publisher, Cumberland House, states in his biography that Corsi's top secret clearance came from the government agency US Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID has often served as a conduit for American covert operations funding, under humanitarian auspices.

This writer asked Corsi about the Iran Freedom Foundation's funding. He said the money came from sales of his book Atomic Iran and from private donations, adding that the IFF would apply for government funding when it became available.

That funding may be on the way. On February 11, a promoter of the IFF,, announced that Corsi had helped Republican Senator Paul Santorum write the Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2005. The legislation was to authorize $10 million in assistance to pro-democracy NGOs that challenge the Iranian regime. Corsi called that figure a "starting point".

It was an accurate projection. In a May 5 Financial Times article, "US offers grants to help oppose clerics", Guy Dinmore reported that lawmakers demanded a bill aimed at overthrowing the Iranian government be increased to $50 million. This did not include the millions of dollars provided by the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative. "We have turned opposition into a profession," commented Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations. "This money is going to go up."

Such "soft power" opposition activities are escalating. The May 29 New York Times quoted Nicholas Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs, as saying the Bush team was "taking a page from the playbook" of colored revolutions where US-funded pro-democracy NGOs helped nonviolently overthrow noncompliant governments.

The IFF lists several such activities on its website. Corsi's book, Atomic Iran, is being translated into Farsi for clandestine distribution in Iran, there is an online petition targeting the mullahs, IFF university associations are mobilizing college students, and a national speakers bureau to educate Americans on Iranian atrocities has been deployed.

The IFF is also filming a documentary and has begun running TV ads entitled; "An Atomic 9-11: When Evil is Appeased", accusing Iran of plans to detonate a 150 kiloton nuclear bomb in New York City. (When Corsi was reminded that it was the US that began Iran's nuclear program in the 1970s, and that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of ABB, which sold North Korea its nuclear reactors in the 1990s, he refused to address the issue.)

The IFF's efforts are supplemented by an array of related sister organizations, such as Regime Change Iran, Alliance for Democracy in Iran, Iran of Tomorrow Movement, the Iranian Opposition Council, and The 70 Million People of Iran, which are organizing an election for a secular interim government in exile "ready to assume Iran's governmental functions". The group has also issued an ultimatum letter to world leaders, demanding they void all contracts with Iran. (Halliburton contracts in Iran were not mentioned). This small US-backed group, presuming to speak for 70 million Iranians, even borrowed the State Department lingo by urging "the removal of the Islamic republic to win the war on terror".

The goal of these strategies, Corsi announced at his event, was to incite mass protests against Iran's June 17 presidential elections and thus try to destabilize the regime.

As early as 2003, Reuters printed allegations that the US had infiltrated several million dollars into the country to bribe officials and pay protesters. The Economist of June 13, 2003 headlined; "More unrest on the streets of Tehran. Is America pulling the strings?"

America is pulling strings, with Israeli assistance. The former head of Mossad's foreign intelligence division, Uzi Arad, told "Support of Iranian opposition by the international community could be an effective way to handle the current regime" and that "its stability can be greatly reduced by the people themselves." Pro-Israel lobbyist Michael Ledeen wrote for the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, "Mr Bush is correct that we should actively help the brave Iranians who are leading demonstrations against the regime ..."

Israel's Student Solidarity Movement and The Jewish Agency recently staged protests at Iranian embassies worldwide. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported the "AIPAC [American Israel Political Action Committee] spurring Congress to pass a sanctions bill against Iran". AIPAC is also pressuring the US to support the Iranian Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) for use against Iran's mullahs.

MEK has been legally designated a terrorist organization since 1997 for killing US citizens, for its role in the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran and for attacking coalition troops in Iraq. Human Rights Watch recently condemned them for use of torture, bombings and assassinations. Nevertheless, 150 congressmen have petitioned Bush to remove them from the terrorism list, and several lawmakers spoke at their 2005 convention in Washington, DC.

The Israeli Communication Ministry's R R Sat provides transponder capability to the MEK to broadcast programming on its two channels. even hints that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon personally approved funding for the broadcasts, because of his alliance with the MEK's influential Maryam Rajavi.

On May 28, the IFF's walk reached the White House. The closing rally featured Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense and pro-Israel architect of Bush's Middle East policy. Corsi then phoned the White House, where Bush congratulated the marchers and offered support. Vice President Dick Cheney's office also thanked the IFF. Corsi vowed, "If we can find sufficient monetary resources, we plan to send funds inside Iran to support those oppressed."

In response, USA Today reported that Iranian ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denounced these types of US measures as a violation of the Algiers Accords. The accords freed 52 American Embassy hostages in exchange for a US promise "not to intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs". Iran may file a complaint with the International Court of Justice in the Hague to stop US interference.

According to Reuters, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi threatened: "Iran has always defended its interests with full power and will continue to do so. It won't hesitate even for a fraction of a moment to defend itself" and Iran's government has pledged harsh resistance. If the CIA and its associated regime change NGOs succeed, it could be very bloody black and blue coup.

Trish Schuh has worked with ABCnews, al-Arabiya, Tehran Times, MehrNews, Syria Times, Iran News Daily and Muslim's Weekly. She studied Arabic and Islam in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, and recently observed the presidential elections in Iran.

Kissinger On BBC:

Regime Change In Iran

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama's Wars

These Are Obama’s Wars Now

On Monday the Democrat controlled House voted 226-202 to approve a rushed $106 billion dollar war spending bill, guaranteeing more carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan (and lately Pakistan) until September 30, 2009, which marks the end of the budget year. The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill’s first draft last month, with the final vote on a compromised version to occur in the Senate sometime in the next couple of weeks.

The majority of opposition in the House came from Republicans who opposed an add-on to the bill that would open up a $5 billion International Monetary Fund line of credit for developing countries. This opposition in the House led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday to quip, "It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. Are my Republican colleagues [in the Senate] going to join with us to fund the troops? I hope so."

No longer can the blame for the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan rest at the feet of George W. Bush alone. This is now Obama’s War on Terror, fully funded and operated by the Democratic Party.

The bill that passed the House on Monday, once approved by the Senate, will not be part of the regular defense budget as it’s off the books entirely. Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress has passed similar emergency spending bills to finance US military ventures in the Middle East. The combined "supplementals" are fast approaching $1 trillion, with 30% going to fund the war in Afghanistan.

In addition to the latest increase in war funds, Obama is also asking for an additional $130 billion to be added on to the defense budget for the new fiscal year starting on October 1. The president is upholding his campaign promise to escalate the war in Afghanistan, which also means increasing the use of remote controlled drone planes in neighboring Pakistan that are to blame for hundreds of civilian deaths since Obama took office last January.

Despite Obama’s historic (albeit rhetoric filled) speech in Cairo, the new Commander in Chief is still not about to radically change, let alone reform, the US’s long-standing role in the Middle East. A master of his craft, Obama is simply candy coating the delivery of US imperialism in the region. Given the lack of opposition to Obama’s policies back home, it is becoming clear that he may well be more dangerous than his predecessor when it comes to the US’s motivations internationally.

Had Bush pushed for more military funds at this stage, the antiwar movement (if you can call it that) would have been organizing opposition weeks in advance, calling out the neocons for wasting our scarce tax dollars during a recession on a never-ending, directionless war. But since Obama’s a Democrat, a beloved one at that, mums the word.

Certainly a few progressive Democrats are dismayed by what the Obama administration is up to, but how many of these Democrats that are upset now will be willing to break rank and oppose their party when it matters most, like during the midterm elections coming up next year? Obama had the majority of antiwar support shored up while he ran for the presidency, with absolutely no demands put on his candidacy. And not surprisingly, antiwar progressives have little to show for their fawning support.

All this begs a few questions: If not now, when exactly will Obama’s policies be scrutinized with the same veracity that Bush’s were? When will the media end its love affair with Obama and hold his feet to the fire like they did Bush once the wheels fell off the war in Iraq? When will progressives see their issues as paramount and oppose Obama and the Democratic Party until they embrace their concerns?

If these questions are not answered soon, we are in many more years of war and bloodshed, funded by US taxpayers and approved by a Democrat controlled White House and Congress.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Americas God

Their last president talked to god, this one is god. That's Amerikans for you.

Thieving Cheney

Cheney Tied to Cash Theft and Possible Murder in Iraq

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jun 16, 2009,
(WMR) -- According to an informed source, Dick Cheney, while vice president, amassed a fortune in cash stolen by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq from Saddam Hussein and some of his leading officials and advisers.

Sources report to WMR that U.S. troops confiscated “billions” in currency found stored in aluminum containers in various secret caches in Baghdad and elsewhere. Our sources report that the seized cash was transferred to accounts run by Cheney and the money is now being partly used to fund Cheney’s growing political opposition movement to the Obama administration, including secretive payments to a “stay behind” group of Cheney loyalists who burrowed into senior civil service positions from political appointee jobs during the Bush administration. Cheney’s loyalists are now in key positions to stymie Obama’s programs and policies within a variety of cabinet departments and federal agencies.

The recent intelligence about Iraqi cash ending up in the coffers of American officials is not the first time WMR has reported on the theft of Iraqi cash by U.S. forces.

On November 14, 2005, WMR reported: “In one of the worst intelligence fiascoes carried out by the neocon administration of Iraq under Paul “Jerry’ Bremer, Saddam Hussein’s chief money mover and financial adviser was beaten to death by US interrogators in Tikrit after the U.S. invasion . . . As Saddam’s chief financial adviser and money mover, Abu Seger [Sa’ad Hassan Ali], a man who was fluent in American-style English, knew where all the “financial skeletons” were buried -- details of Halliburton’s involvement with the UN’s Oil-for-Food program, the purchase by Iraq of VX nerve gas and other WMD components from US and British sources in the 1980s, and various counter-intelligence operations run by Saddam against the United States and Britain. Abu Seger was also one of Saddam’s trusted counter-intelligence agents . . . After Samara was occupied by US forces, it was discovered that Abu Seger lived in a home on the Tigris River just 200 yards from the main U.S. military position in the city. It did not take long for U.S. troops to break down Seger’s door and haul him off to a detention center. Seger’s wife Sada, an English teacher, and U.S. military intelligence officers were witnesses to what soon transpired. U.S. forces discovered $30 million in plastic garbage bags in an armoire in Seger’s bedroom. Contained in the bags was $14 million in US currency, $28 million in convertible Iraqi dinars, and $12 million in euros. Although the money was counted, signed for by two U.S. military witnesses, and transported to U.S. military headquarters in Samara, it was never seen again. A knowledgeable source present at the time revealed that the $30 million was stolen by U.S. authorities in Iraq.”

Amid the other scandals surrounding Cheney, including his countenance of torture, the theft of cash and his possible involvement in the murder of Abu Seger may be added to the former vice president’s rap sheet of crimes perpetrated in Iraq and in the United States.

Cheney recently built a multi-million dollar home in McLean, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the CIA headquarters. He also owns luxury houses in Jackson, Wyoming, and St. Michael’s, Maryland.

Corporate U.S. news media drastically downplayed the amount of cash stolen from Iraq by U.S. forces and that the maximum amount of cash discovered in “cottages” was around $760 million, when, in fact, it was much higher. A handful of U.S. troops were charged with stealing some bundles of $100 bills. According to the May 28, 2004, Los Angeles Times some of the troops who admitted to stealing Iraqi cash tried to tell Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID) investigators that “higher-ups” stole much more, but their information was ignored.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trojan Horse:

The National Endowment for Democracy

By William Blum

How many Americans could identify the National Endowment for Democracy? An organization which often does exactly the opposite of what its name implies. The NED was set up in the early 1980s under President Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA in the second half of the 1970s. The latter was a remarkable period. Spurred by Watergate—the Church committee of the Senate, the Pike committee of the House, and the Rockefeller Commission, created by the president, were all busy investigating the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years. The Agency was getting an exceedingly bad name, and it was causing the powers-that-be much embarrassment.

Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Of course not. What was done was to shift many of these awful things to a new organization, with a nice sounding name—The National Endowment for Democracy. The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities.

It was a masterpiece. Of politics, of public relations, and of cynicism.

Thus it was that in 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to "support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts". Notice the "nongovernmental"—part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."{1}

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."{2)

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

The Endowment has four principal initial recipients of funds: the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; an affiliate of the AFL-CIO (such as the American Center for International Labor Solidarity); and an affiliate of the Chamber of Commerce (such as the Center for International Private Enterprise). These institutions then disburse funds to other institutions in the US and all over the world, which then often disburse funds to yet other organizations.

In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of numerous foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, faxes, copiers, automobiles, and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED typically refers to the media it supports as "independent" despite the fact that these media are on the US payroll.

NED programs generally impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy, and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free-market economy is equated with democracy, reform, and growth; and the merits of foreign investment in their economy are emphasized.

From 1994 to 1996, NED awarded 15 grants, totaling more than $2,500,000, to the American Institute for Free Labor Development, an organization used by the CIA for decades to subvert progressive labor unions.{3} AIFLD's work within Third World unions typically involved a considerable educational effort very similar to the basic NED philosophy described above. The description of one of the 1996 NED grants to AIFLD includes as one its objectives: "build union-management cooperation".{4} Like many things that NED says, this sounds innocuous, if not positive, but these in fact are ideological code words meaning "keep the labor agitation down ... don't rock the status-quo boat". The relationship between NED and AIFLD very well captures the CIA origins of the Endowment.{5}

NED has funded centrist and rightist labor organizations to help them oppose those unions which were too militantly pro-worker. This has taken place in France, Portugal and Spain amongst many other places. In France, during the 1983-4 period, NED supported a "trade union-like organization for professors and students" to counter "left-wing organizations of professors". To this end it funded a series of seminars and the publication of posters, books and pamphlets such as "Subversion and the Theology of Revolution" and "Neutralism or Liberty".{6} ("Neutralism" here refers to being unaligned in the cold war.)

NED describes one of its 1997-98 programs thusly: "To identify barriers to private sector development at the local and federal levels in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and to push for legislative change ... [and] to develop strategies for private sector growth."{7} Critics of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, a socialist, were supported by NED grants for years.{8}

In short, NED's programs are in sync with the basic needs and objectives of the New World Order's economic globalization, just as the programs have for years been on the same wavelength as US foreign policy.
Interference in elections

NED's Statement of Principles and Objectives, adopted in 1984, asserts that "No Endowment funds may be used to finance the campaigns of candidates for public office." But the ways to circumvent the spirit of such a prohibition are not difficult to come up with; as with American elections, there's "hard money" and there's "soft money".

As described in the "Elections" and "Interventions" chapters, NED successfully manipulated elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and Mongolia in 1996; helped to overthrow democratically elected governments in Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991 and 1992; and worked to defeat the candidate for prime minister of Slovakia in 2002 who was out of favor in Washington. And from 1999 to 2004, NED heavily funded members of the opposition to President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to subvert his rule and to support a referendum to unseat him.

Additionally, in the 1990s and afterward, NED supported a coalition of groups in Haiti known as the Democratic Convergence, who were united in their opposition to Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his progressive ideology, while he was in and out of the office of the president.{9}

The Endowment has made its weight felt in the electoral-political process in numerous other countries.

NED would have the world believe that it's only teaching the ABCs of democracy and elections to people who don't know them, but in virtually all the countries named above, in whose electoral process NED intervened, there had already been free and fair elections held. The problem, from NED's point of view, is that the elections had been won by political parties not on NED's favorites list.

The Endowment maintains that it's engaged in "opposition building" and "encouraging pluralism". "We support people who otherwise do not have a voice in their political system," said Louisa Coan, a NED program officer.{10} But NED hasn't provided aid to foster progressive or leftist opposition in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Eastern Europe—or, for that matter, in the United States—even though these groups are hard pressed for funds and to make themselves heard. Cuban dissident groups and media are heavily supported however.

NED's reports carry on endlessly about "democracy", but at best it's a modest measure of mechanical political democracy they have in mind, not economic democracy; nothing that aims to threaten the powers-that-be or the way-things-are, unless of course it's in a place like Cuba.

The Endowment played an important role in the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s, funding key components of Oliver North's shadowy "Project Democracy" network, which privatized US foreign policy, waged war, ran arms and drugs, and engaged in other equally charming activities. At one point in 1987, a White House spokesman stated that those at NED "run Project Democracy".{11} This was an exaggeration; it would have been more correct to say that NED was the public arm of Project Democracy, while North ran the covert end of things. In any event, the statement caused much less of a stir than if—as in an earlier period—it had been revealed that it was the CIA which was behind such an unscrupulous operation.

NED also mounted a multi-level campaign to fight the leftist insurgency in the Philippines in the mid-1980s, funding a host of private organizations, including unions and the media.{12} This was a replica of a typical CIA operation of pre-NED days.

And between 1990 and 1992, the Endowment donated a quarter-million dollars of taxpayers' money to the Cuban-American National Foundation, the ultra-fanatic anti-Castro Miami group. The CANF, in turn, financed Luis Posada Carriles, one of the most prolific and pitiless terrorists of modern times, who had been involved in the blowing up of a Cuban airplane in 1976, which killed 73 people. In 1997, he was involved in a series of bomb explosions in Havana hotels,{13} and in 2000 imprisoned in Panama when he was part of a group planning to assassinate Fidel Castro with explosives while the Cuban leader was speaking before a large crowd, although eventually, the group was tried on lesser charges.

The NED, like the CIA before it, calls what it does supporting democracy. The governments and movements whom the NED targets call it destabilization.{14}

1. The New York Times, June 1, 1986
2. Washington Post, September 22, 1991
3. NED Annual Reports, 1994-96.
4. NED Annual Report, 1996, p.39
5. For further information on AIFLD, see: Tom Barry, et al., The Other Side of Paradise: Foreign Control in the Caribbean (Grove Press, NY, 1984), see AIFLD in index; Jan Knippers Black, United States Penetration of Brazil (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1977), chapter 6; Fred Hirsch, An Analysis of Our AFL-CIO Role in Latin America (monograph, San Jose, California, 1974) passim; The Sunday Times (London), October 27, 1974, p.15-16
6. NED Annual Report, November 18, 1983 to September 30, 1984, p.21
7. NED Annual Report, 1998, p.35
8. See NED annual reports of the 1990s.
9. Council on Hemispheric Affairs (Washington, DC), press release, June 13, 2002,; Washington Post, November 18, 2003; NED Annual Report, 1998, p.53; Haiti Progres (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), May 13-19, 1998
10. New York Times, March 31, 1997, p.11
11. Washington Post, February 16, 1987; also see New York Times, February 15, 1987, p.1
12. San Francisco Examiner, July 21, 1985, p.1
13. New York Times, July 13, 1998
14. For a detailed discussion of NED, in addition to the sources named above, see: William I. Robinson, A Faustian Bargain: U.S. Intervention in the Nicaraguan Elections and American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era (Westview Press, Colorado, 1992), passim

CIA, Iran

And The Election Riots

No More Empire

The American Empire Is Bankrupt

By Chris Hedges

June 15, 2009 "Truthdig" --- This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.
Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

There are meetings being held Monday and Tuesday in Yekaterinburg, Russia, (formerly Sverdlovsk) among Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The United States, which asked to attend, was denied admittance. Watch what happens there carefully. The gathering is, in the words of economist Michael Hudson, “the most important meeting of the 21st century so far.”

It is the first formal step by our major trading partners to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. If they succeed, the dollar will dramatically plummet in value, the cost of imports, including oil, will skyrocket, interest rates will climb and jobs will hemorrhage at a rate that will make the last few months look like boom times. State and federal services will be reduced or shut down for lack of funds. The United States will begin to resemble the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe. Obama, endowed by many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and weak. And the rage that has kindled a handful of shootings and hate crimes in the past few weeks will engulf vast segments of a disenfranchised and bewildered working and middle class. The people of this class will demand vengeance, radical change, order and moral renewal, which an array of proto-fascists, from the Christian right to the goons who disseminate hate talk on Fox News, will assure the country they will impose.

I called Hudson, who has an article in Monday’s Financial Times called “The Yekaterinburg Turning Point: De-Dollarization and the Ending of America’s Financial-Military Hegemony.” “Yekaterinburg,” Hudson writes, “may become known not only as the death place of the czars but of the American empire as well.” His article is worth reading, along with John Lanchester’s disturbing exposé of the world’s banking system, titled “It’s Finished,” which appeared in the May 28 issue of the London Review of Books.

“This means the end of the dollar,” Hudson told me. “It means China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran are forming an official financial and military area to get America out of Eurasia. The balance-of-payments deficit is mainly military in nature. Half of America’s discretionary spending is military. The deficit ends up in the hands of foreign banks, central banks. They don’t have any choice but to recycle the money to buy U.S. government debt. The Asian countries have been financing their own military encirclement. They have been forced to accept dollars that have no chance of being repaid. They are paying for America’s military aggression against them. They want to get rid of this.”

China, as Hudson points out, has already struck bilateral trade deals with Brazil and Malaysia to denominate their trade in China’s yuan rather than the dollar, pound or euro. Russia promises to begin trading in the ruble and local currencies. The governor of China’s central bank has openly called for the abandonment of the dollar as reserve currency, suggesting in its place the use of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights. What the new system will be remains unclear, but the flight from the dollar has clearly begun. The goal, in the words of the Russian president, is to build a “multipolar world order” which will break the economic and, by extension, military domination by the United States. China is frantically spending its dollar reserves to buy factories and property around the globe so it can unload its U.S. currency. This is why Aluminum Corp. of China made so many major concessions in the failed attempt to salvage its $19.5 billion alliance with the Rio Tinto mining concern in Australia. It desperately needs to shed its dollars.

“China is trying to get rid of all the dollars they can in a trash-for-resource deal,” Hudson said. “They will give the dollars to countries willing to sell off their resources since America refuses to sell any of its high-tech industries, even Unocal, to the yellow peril. It realizes these dollars are going to be worthless pretty quickly.”

The architects of this new global exchange realize that if they break the dollar they also break America’s military domination. Our military spending cannot be sustained without this cycle of heavy borrowing. The official U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2008 is $623 billion, before we add on things like nuclear research. The next closest national military budget is China’s, at $65 billion, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

There are three categories of the balance-of-payment deficits. America imports more than it exports. This is trade. Wall Street and American corporations buy up foreign companies. This is capital movement. The third and most important balance-of-payment deficit for the past 50 years has been Pentagon spending abroad. It is primarily military spending that has been responsible for the balance-of-payments deficit for the last five decades. Look at table five in the Balance of Payments Report, published in the Survey of Current Business quarterly, and check under military spending. There you can see the deficit.

To fund our permanent war economy, we have been flooding the world with dollars. The foreign recipients turn the dollars over to their central banks for local currency. The central banks then have a problem. If a central bank does not spend the money in the United States then the exchange rate against the dollar will go up. This will penalize exporters. This has allowed America to print money without restraint to buy imports and foreign companies, fund our military expansion and ensure that foreign nations like China continue to buy our treasury bonds. This cycle appears now to be over. Once the dollar cannot flood central banks and no one buys our treasury bonds, our empire collapses. The profligate spending on the military, some $1 trillion when everything is counted, will be unsustainable.

“We will have to finance our own military spending,” Hudson warned, “and the only way to do this will be to sharply cut back wage rates. The class war is back in business. Wall Street understands that. This is why it had Bush and Obama give it $10 trillion in a huge rip-off so it can have enough money to survive.”

The desperate effort to borrow our way out of financial collapse has promoted a level of state intervention unseen since World War II. It has also led us into uncharted territory.

“We have in effect had to declare war to get us out of the hole created by our economic system,” Lanchester wrote in the London Review of Books. “There is no model or precedent for this, and no way to argue that it’s all right really, because under such-and-such a model of capitalism ... there is no such model. It isn’t supposed to work like this, and there is no road-map for what’s happened.”

The cost of daily living, from buying food to getting medical care, will become difficult for all but a few as the dollar plunges. States and cities will see their pension funds drained and finally shut down. The government will be forced to sell off infrastructure, including roads and transport, to private corporations. We will be increasingly charged by privatized utilities—think Enron—for what was once regulated and subsidized. Commercial and private real estate will be worth less than half its current value. The negative equity that already plagues 25 percent of American homes will expand to include nearly all property owners. It will be difficult to borrow and impossible to sell real estate unless we accept massive losses. There will be block after block of empty stores and boarded-up houses. Foreclosures will be epidemic. There will be long lines at soup kitchens and many, many homeless. Our corporate-controlled media, already banal and trivial, will work overtime to anesthetize us with useless gossip, spectacles, sex, gratuitous violence, fear and tawdry junk politics. America will be composed of a large dispossessed underclass and a tiny empowered oligarchy that will run a ruthless and brutal system of neo-feudalism from secure compounds. Those who resist will be silenced, many by force. We will pay a terrible price, and we will pay this price soon, for the gross malfeasance of our power elite.

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