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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 25, 2019, 05:55:59 pm »

Trump Offers No Evidence of Iranian Threat or Terrorism

May 24, 2019

Eugene Puryear and Paul Jay discuss the hypocrisy of Trump allying with 👹 Saudi Arabia, the largest sponsor of global terror, over concerns about alleged Iranian terrorism

Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

On Friday, President Trump announced that he’s going to use a special provision of some old law to allow him to sell arms to Saudi Arabia without having any approval from Congress. And he’s also sending 1,500 more troops to the Middle East to “protect U.S. interests in the region,” we’re using the word ‘alleged,’ because he didn’t, Iranian threats. Earlier this month the Trump administration already sent thousands of additional troops to the region, along with an aircraft carrier strike group, four bomber aircraft, and fighter jets. Here’s what Trump had to say at a Rose Garden press conference.

DONALD TRUMP 🦀: We want to have protection in the Middle East.   We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective, aome very talented 🦍 people are going to the Middle East right now. And we’ll see how. And we’ll see what 😈 happens. Well I think it’s going to be very good in the Middle East. Iran has been a as you know they staged terror all over the world. They’re a much different country now than when I first got here when I first got here. They were at 14 different locations fighting.

PAUL JAY: I don’t know what he’s talking about about the 14 different locations. I wish someone in the press corps had actually asked them to name the 14. I think it’s questionable if he could name 14 countries. Number two, what are these terrorist acts that Iran is responsible all over the world? It’d have been nice if someone in the press corps had asked him to name, say, three terrorist acts that Iran’s responsible, all over the world. And of course, the threat is coming from Iran, as the United States moves an aircraft carrier, jet fighters, and thousands of troops towards Iran. So the question is who’s threatening who, here.

Now, there’s the idea that the threat level from Iran has increased. It was dismissed by a British general. His name is Major General Chris Ghika, if I’m pronouncing it correctly. Here’s what he said.

CHRIS GHIKA: No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.

PAUL JAY: So where’s the evidence? And it’s quite remarkable that in the media now, in CNN and other media, because they have been on such an anti-Trump bandwagon, there’s a very interesting moment taking place where they’re not completely buying into all this anti-Iranian rhetoric, because they’re so out to get Trump. So there’s something–I find that there’s something positive in all the craziness that’s been going on in the corporate media.

Anyway, to talk about all of this, now joining me from Washington is Eugene Puryear. He’s a journalist and author and activist, a regular contributor to The Real News Network. He’s also the co-founder of Stop Police Terror Project DC. Thanks for joining us, Eugene.

EUGENE PURYEAR: Happy to be here, Paul. Thanks for asking me.

PAUL JAY: So the Middle East, again, is even more a tinder box. What do you make of what’s happening?

EUGENE PURYEAR: Well, you know, the first thing I thought seeing the increase in troops and the arm sales is sort of shades of Desert Shield in the wake of Desert Storm. It was clear then that the George H.W. Bush administration, they knew what they wanted to do, but they had to create this posture of defensiveness, the line drawn in the sand. They were selling Patriot missile batteries to Saudi Arabia. They were sending all these troops there. And I think as we’ve seen in the commentary from the British general, there’s been no change in the status quo. And quite frankly, I mean, what possible threats has Iran done? I mean, in fact, most of the Iranian activity in countries like Iraq, for instance, has been in the direction of what President Trump said he wanted over several years, which was the fighting against ISIS.

So I think we’ve seen relatively consistently here that it’s a complete and total canard. Given the forces that Iran has in the region, if they wanted to do something they certainly could have by now, and certainly have not. Have consistently said they do not. But this sort of defensively-based military buildup to me seems very much like shades of war, and an attempt to provide an alibi ahead of time, or whatever may happen, a Gulf of Tonkin incident, or maybe something more real than the Gulf of Tonkin incident. But by upping the escalation ladder, as they say in military parlance, puts themselves in a better position to be able to launch an offensive war against Iran.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. I mean, again, the corporate media has completely not been on this story sinceTrump became president. But at Real News we’ve been saying from day one of his presidency, frankly even before, during the campaign, that this administration is focused on bringing down the government of Iran. It’s the number one foreign policy priority for a lot of reasons, not the least of which, if you want to be the global hegemon, it means you have to be the hegemon in every region. And most particularly you’ve got to be the hegemon in the region where there’s oil. And if the bigger picture foreign policy objective is, I don’t know, the containment of China, whatever that means, then again you want to control all the oil from the Middle East so you can use that as leverage against China, as well. And from the beginning, Trump has been appointing cabinet ministers, secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, national security advisers, and each appointment is a more rabid advocate of overthrowing the government in Iran. And of course now with John Bolton, you have the most rabid advocate of that you could possibly find in the foreign policy establishment. But why do you think they’re pushing this so much now, interestingly enough, after he supposedly got cleared by the Mueller report?

EUGENE PURYEAR: Yeah, you know, it’s an interesting piece, and I’m glad you brought up Bolton. It’s worth noting that both Bolton and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been paid huge sums of money, into the six figures, to actually give speeches in favor of Iranian regime change. They’re not only advocating it, but have benefited quite handsomely from it. But you know, I think the timing here is interesting. I mean, I think certainly from the point of view of Bolton and others, I’m sure it’s one of those you’ve got to try to get it in while you can, especially before 2020. I don’t think most people want a war with Iran. And so I don’t think this is the type of thing the political hands in the White House are going to want to see, probably not now, but certainly not in 2020. But there may be sort of a political window there that it is a major issue. That was always a big issue in the Reagan administration, for instance, in terms of covert action and overt action in Central America. Election year timetables and the like.

I think also you have the issue of Trump not only being cleared from the Mueller–allegedly being cleared by the Mueller report, as it were, but then being still in a situation where, quite frankly, the only thing he’s been able to do so far to bring the media to his side, to bring any Democrats to his side, have been these military strikes. I mean, certainly we’ve seen the missiles launched against Syria, for instance. have seen some of the most bipartisan praise that Trump has gotten. So in many ways, given that the Democrats and many subsets of the Democrats who are very heavily in tune with pro-Israeli forces, would also like to see more aggressive action against Iran. It also, I think, is a way for him to shore up his own support, to create narratives around the Trump administration that are more positive for him, to tamp down criticism from elements of the Democratic Party, because he’s pursuing a major agenda for many of them.

So I think all of that plays into it. But I think also it’s just a fact that the pieces in place right now–Bolton is in place. Pompeo is in place again. His personal lawyer, which is maybe not relevant to the cabinet, but somebody he’s talking to on an everyday basis who aggressively is for Iran, they’re all lined up. They’re all ready to go. So it may just be the chorus of voices now is so consistently pro-Iran, this is why it’s ramping up at this stage.

PAUL JAY: I mean, you said the voices are so pro-Iran? I mean, pro-Iran government change. Yeah. You mentioned something I think is interesting.

You mentioned Bolton getting paid money. That’s that’s from the MEK, which is an organization even the United States has called terrorist in the past, and so has the United Nations; an anti-Iranian government organization that was based mostly in Iraq. But in fact they did, it seems, pay Bolton $50,000. And there was a very interesting moment on the Sunday morning show on Fox hosted by Chris Wallace where Chris interviews the Iranian ambassador, and–or I’m sorry, the Iranian foreign minister. And he directly accuses Bolton of taking this $50,000. And then Wallace interviews Bolton and asks him about it. Doesn’t specifically try to nail him on the $50,000. But Bolton doesn’t deny it, either. Here’s that clip.

So, Eugene, you also mentioned that the Democrats–I think we should be specific. There’s a section of the Democratic Party that’s very much for regime change in Iran. And I guess the most obvious spokesmen for it is Chuck Schumer, who went, as you mentioned, when Trump threw some missiles at Syria, he said Trump’s finally acting in a presidential way. And of course, Chuck Schumers of this world, of the Democratic Party, are very gung-ho in this anti-Iranian camp. But there are sections of the Democratic Party that really come out. I know Sanders isn’t officially in the Democratic Party, but he and others, and many of these progressive members of Congress have been quite outspoken against an attack on Iran. Don’t you think that’s significant?

EUGENE PURYEAR: I do think it’s significant. And I think Bernie Sanders has been leading the pack on this issue. I mean, it will be very interesting to me to see how it plays out in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where you have individuals like Representative Ilhan Omar, who has also been outspoken on this issue, but it’s chaired by Eliot Engel, who certainly hasn’t been as vociferous, and in some ways has at times been critical, and differing from those like Chuck Schumer, but is generally more along the lines of at least more sort of aggressive action towards Iran.

So it’ll be interesting to see inside some of those committees there will be clashes between Democrats. I do think it’s significant, because really what we saw right after President Obama left office was that many of the Democrats who actually supported the Iran deal under him really just ran in the other direction when it came under assault and came under attack from Republicans and the Trump administration. So it was unclear whether or not there would be any sort of outspoken opposition I think we have seen with one–and I mentioned Ilhan Omar–sort of the new crop of some of the younger and more progressive people who have come in and spoken out against this. I believe Elizabeth Warren, if I’m not mistaken, last week raised at least some questions-

PAUL JAY: And certainly Tulsi Gabbard has, as well.

EUGENE PURYEAR: Tulsi Gabbard has, and she has been very outspoken on this issue, and really centering her campaign around issues of ending war and militarism more so than any other candidate. So it’s an interesting dance, because it seems that people who are running for president, who of course are more in tune or need to try to be more in tune with sort of the forces on the ground, as it were, are being more critical of this than we’re seeing from Democrats in Congress. But we’re seeing more. I think it’s part of an evolving issue. I think we also saw this with Venezuela, for instance, where you had a number of Democrats jump 100 percent on the regime change bandwagon. But then you saw Ilhan Omar cross-examine Elliott Abrams. Julian Castro is also running for president. Also had some critical comments there. Ro Khanna and others who have also been outspoken on the Iran issue. So it seems like on a number of different issues you’re starting to see, finally, after a long time of complete unanimity, some brakes on the regime change-style foreign policy approaches that have been quite bipartisan for some time.

PAUL JAY: And there’s some very interesting, even kind of weird, fracture lines. The resolution on Yemen, withdrawing any U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen. Trump eventually vetoed it, but in the Senate it actually got some Republican support, including Lindsey Graham. And now there’s another kind of weird split on this use of this emergency provision to sell arms to the Saudis without any Senate approval. Both Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul are opposing it. And there seems to be this weird thing where Trump is so connected to supporting Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia in spite of, you know, the chopping up, killing of Khashoggi, and other–you know, what Lindsey Graham describes as like wild and loose cannon activity. So the Trump camp seems very aligned with the Saudis, but Lindsey Graham, who typically is very much for a regime change in Iran and usually has been pro-Saudi, now he’s actually saying that Trump shouldn’t sell these arms to the Saudis. A lot of weird fracture lines.

EUGENE PURYEAR: Yeah, it is interesting to see how this is playing. I mean, it seemed to me, at least, that since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi there are more and more Republicans and some Democrats who have been almost completely uncritical of Saudi Arabia critical towards Iran. But I think they want to see Saudi Arabia face some sort of punishment, something that appears as if the United States is playing some role as a restraining factor. And I think we saw even with the Saudi Arabia and Qatar split, there were a number of individuals, James Mattis, for instance, who was trying to use some of his diplomatic capital as defense secretary to bridge that gap. And I think Mohammed bin Salman, who has really broken apart the U.S. led security apparatus in the Gulf by aggressively pushing this split with Qatar, and what that has to the broader peace, pushing Qatar more into the camp of Iran, in terms of how their [inaudible] things. The Yemen war, the Khashoggi situation. I think that it’s viewed as being highly problematic by leading forces in the U.S. establishment who may want to help Saudi Arabia, but feel like the sort of loose cannon aspect, to use that same phrase, of Mohammed bin Salman is undermining their ability to really act in a supportive way, because it’s so openly immoral, quite frankly, on so many different levels that people are asking questions, well, why would you back Saudi Arabia? What’s going on with the United States that has so much influence over this country. But you do not want to do anything there?

So I think a lot of this is cosmetic, in some ways. But on the same token, because the Trump administration is so intransigent, and the Saudis, of course, are continuing to do whatever they want, because of that it’s causing individuals like Lindsey Graham to have to be more strident and more critical. So I think they want to go back to sort of the King Abdullah status quo here, the long-term status quo of how things were in Saudi Arabia, and in the Gulf more broadly. But they’re having difficulty doing that because of Trump’s just complete in-the-pocket approach to MBS.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. I think Graham’s basic critique is that MBS is not a reliable partner in bringing down the government of Iran. It’s not that Graham has different objectives there. He just thinks that MBS is nuts. And he actually used so many words. The hold on your picture just went freaky.

Just finally I think it’s important to talk about just what the U.S. strategy in Iran is, towards Iran is. One, they are already waging a war, an economic war. The sanctions are crippling. And these sanctions are essentially illegal, this kind of collective punishment against the Iranian people that these sanctions are mostly affecting is a violation of international law. Iran is not an imminent threat to the United States. But number two, the movement of all this military might towards Iran, from what my Iranian friends are telling me, they think is more in the realm of a psyop to create this maximum pressure on Iran. Because what they really–the real strategy is about fomenting civil war in Iran. There’s apparently the Saudis and the Americans are involved in trying to arm Sunni populations within Iran. They’re trying to find other ways to have various divisions amongst the Iranian people. And I have friends, for example, in Los Angeles that have been in the past, mostly, tremendously critical of the theocracy in the Iranian government. And now they’re actually defending it, because they see what the U.S. policy is leading to is turning Iran into another mess like Iraq.

EUGENE PURYEAR: Yeah, I think that is exactly right. I think obviously–I mean, maybe this is true, but it seems as fantastical that they would actually want a war with Iran. I mean, you know, just look at the history of the Iran-Iraq war, and I think it’s easy to see how difficult that would be.

But I think historically, I mean, the policy of sanctions, certainly the way they were used on Iraq, is explicitly designed to try to increase the pressure, increase the pain, increase divisions in the political establishment. And certainly, you know, those have been quite on display in the past couple years, really, since President Ahmadinejad stepped down or his term was over. A lot of the divisions between more “moderate” forces, more conservative forces. And I think that’s a big piece of it. I think just, to again reference the Iran-Iraq war, certainly for Saddam Hussein, that was a major piece of his strategy was to try to find ways to break apart different ethnic groups, different sects of Islam, or whatever it may be in order to weaken the country internally. That seems like a more logical strategy than just an outright direct war, which I’m not sure the United States can even really carry out to the degree necessary. I mean, even though 120,000 troops that was at once rumored, it’s not even close to what they’d need, and the length and the intensity would be outrageous.

I think what they’re hoping for here is either wanting to force Iran into some sort of, you know, just completely total Carthaginian-style surrender, which I don’t think will happen. But that could happen if they can provoke a greater economic collapse, or if they’re able to break the country apart, because in some ways that’s the second best option. Like, if you could not have regime change in Iran, you can certainly try to hobble the country of Iran and have a situation like, say, Libya, where the country is divided between four or five different groups. And I think we can see other times in the past where this has been a key element of different countries trying to undermine different countries. So I think certainly they would hope for either a complete capitulation, or internal regime change. I think they’re more than willing to settle for hobbling the country by having armed groups, if not break the country apart, at least start to create a level of chaos to where Iran, which is a powerful economy in many different ways, certainly regionally, but also internationally, hobbling it from being able to play that role.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. I just–to agree with you, and I’m going to end it with me agreeing with you. If they actually care about international terrorism, then how do you ally with Saudi Arabia, which is without question the country that has supported more international terrorism than any other country on earth? If you’re worried about Iran and its repression, domestic repression. And certainly there is domestic repression in Iran, political repression. But it’s nothing compared to the repression in Saudi Arabia, where they cut young people’s heads off for blogging criticism. The hypocrisy of the American position is really unbelievable, and such that while the corporate media, like CNN and MSNBC is maybe poking some holes in the increased Iranian threat at this time, and what Trump’s doing, because they’re so anti-Trump, they never go after the underlying assumption of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, or even ask, you know, where is all this international terrorism that Iran supports? Where is it? It really comes down to Iran’s support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. And some support for Hamas, which is–Hezbollah defends Lebanese sovereignty. And that’s what they’ve done. And at any rate, it comes down to what you said, what I said at the beginning, and the corporate media just won’t deal with this issue. This is all about regional hegemony requires total hegemony. And Iran is outside the American umbrella. And that, in the mindset of the John Boltons and others of this world, go right back the Project for a New American Century thinking, there can’t be such a thing on planet Earth as governments that have actual independence and some military political power that are not under direct American control.


PAUL JAY: All right. Well, we’ll end it here. Thanks very much for joining us, Eugene.

EUGENE PURYEAR: Thanks so much for having me.

PAUL JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


Agelbert NOTE: The media won't deal with the real issue (i.e. The MIC owned US Petro-State wants FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE hegemony forevah and evah, amen) because they are part of MIC's propaganda arm, PERIOD.

God help us because we will all perish waiting for anybody else to.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 22, 2019, 10:44:45 pm »

SNIPPETS from Doomstead Diner Daily 5/21 HEADLINES:

Trumplethinskin is getting rather desperate to wag the (i.e. raise the price of OIL for his Hydrocarbon 🦕👹🦖 Hellspawn owners - so they won't help throw him under the impeachment bus - while simultaneously taking the world's attention away from his rather blatant financial crimes history now being discussed here and there publicly) "evil Iran" dog.

It ain't workin' because way too many people are onto this false flag SCAM the US Government has used WAY TOO OFTEN (i.e. sinking the battleship Maine, Gulf of Tonkin, Bush fooling Saddam into invading Kuwait in 1991, 9/11, Shrub Iraq "WMD" lie, etc. SEE: 😈 One EVIL Trick Pony).

This comment I read today says it all:


Why should Iran talk to the US government? It was the Trump administration - at the behest and request of the Israelis and their Saudi brethren - that broke the Iran nuclear deal, not the other way around. And the wide consensus of the entire civilized world is that Iran did act honorably and did uphold its share of the deal. No doubt about this. None whatsoever...

You know, your signature on a piece of binding international treaty - even when the signature is that of the preceding president - is not merely an autograph memorabilia. It is a serious, legally binding commitment which ties the entire nation into a very serious, meaningful set of interlocking, mutually reciprocal obligations with the contractual counterparty. An international contract actually obligates the signatory to act in a good-faith manner and to prevent deliberate sabotaging of the contract. 

Indeed. My only quibble with this fellow, who is probably an intelligent and perceptive Iranian, and obviously a caring, responsible human being, is the timing of when, precisely, the US Government declared war on ALL humanity.

I think it's been a while.

As long as 🦕 Iran, and all the other 🐉🦕🦖 countries that export oil and gas, keep doing that ☠️ instead of transitioning to 100% Renewable energy, they are on the wrong side of that war against ALL humanity.

You've cut right to the nut of it.

Your commenter points out the futility of "talking" to the government of the US. We have signaled that "treaties" are as binding as the administration that enters them, and that naked self interest trumps all other considerations. The Native peoples of this country try could have told them.

No one should be surprised that Trump will declare global thermonuclear war to defend the prerogatives of the ailment, or to save his own ass.

Join me in a chorus of "Support da troops."

Well said.

The sentence snippet read in the following screenshot is not what it seems.

Daniel Sheehan 👍 is reading a truth from the former FBI chief which was fired by Trump. While the words are true, Sheehan makes a point of saying that the framing is duplicitous.

The reason for that is that Comey is pushing the "most of the top people in government are principled and a few bad apples like Trump mess all this up" meme. That is the COVER. That is the GUISE.

Sheehan makes it clear, in so many words, that this type of prose is used to lull people to sleep while the fascist takeover of our government, now nearly complete, proceeds under this cover.

The FACT is that, as things ARE now, you do not even get a chance to reach a high position in the U.S. Government unless you are ALREADY compromised. Principled behavior is verbotten in the U.S. Government.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 22, 2019, 10:18:03 pm »

🦕 Pompeo shaking hands with 🦖 Putin

May 19, 2019

Trump-Bolton Aggression Against Iran Contained by Russia, Japan, China, and EU

Vijay Prashad says the very dangerous statements, economic sanctions and military aggression unleashed by Washington this week against Iran was countered by cool headed diplomacy by Japan, Russia, EU and China

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 14, 2019, 09:21:28 pm »

Trump Provokes Iran With Intensified Economic War
May 14, 2019

Trump and Bolton’s strategy is to bait Iran into a war Bolton’s wanted for twenty years - says Trita Parsi, President of the NIAC


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 14, 2019, 09:18:20 pm »

Guaidó 😈 Calls for US Military 🦍Cooperation, but few Venezuelans Support the Move
May 14, 2019

Parallel president and opposition leader Juan Guaidó says he would like to coordinate with the US military, but following his failed April 30th coup attempt, few Venezuelans show interest. Mike Fox reports from Caracas

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 01, 2019, 02:32:55 pm »

Venezuela’s Guaidó Falsely Claims Military Uprising in Progress: Mainstream Media Falls in Line

April 30, 2019

Tuesday morning self-declared president and opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on the military and the population to oppose the Maduro government. Only a few thousand civilians and very few soldiers heeded the call. Mike Fox reports from Caracas

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 01, 2019, 12:24:49 pm »


Florida Maquis
Published on Apr 30, 2019


Florida Maquis
Published on Apr 30, 2019
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 27, 2019, 05:31:59 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: This Christian Pastor tells it like it is in this podcast. He says both Republicans and Democrats are consistent warmongers, our wars are Biblically CONDEMNED and an American Christian's "Founding Fathers" are named exclusively in the New Testament. He makes it clear that our military us NOT for defensive purposes and gives several irrefutable examples of the bloodfest that American Wars have visited on other nations (and on Americans too).

He explains how War destroys the souls of American youth and gives statistics about how many, who did not die in combat, but were horribly scarred by their experience, eventually commit suicide because of the spiritual degradation caused by the depravity they were ordered to engage in during wars for profit.

From the slaughter of the Native Americans to the present, he makes it clear the the USA has ALWAYS been a wicked nation, and NEVER been a Christian nation.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 26, 2019, 01:51:53 pm »

April 25, 2019 by Reuters

FILE PHOTO – The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) are underway, conducting operations, in international waters as part of a three-carrier strike force exercise in western Pacific, November 12, 2017. File Photo: James Griffin/U.S. Navy via REUTERS

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 24, 2019, 09:27:13 pm »

Venezuela’s Parallel Ambassador Seated at OAS as Activists Defend Embassy

April 24, 2019

The Organization of American States allowed the ambassador of Venezuela's self-declared president to participate in his first meeting. The move could signal an attempt to take over Venezuela's embassy in DC, which activists are defending

Story Transcript

GREG WILPERT: There is reason to believe that the so-called interim and self-declared president of Venezuela, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, will attempt to take over Venezuela’s embassy in Washington DC very soon, with the help of the Trump administration . If this happens, the US government would be violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. On April 13th the US Secret Service already helped a Guaidó representative to take over the office of Venezuela’s military attaché in DC.

The takeover of diplomatic buildings and offices is taking place in the wake of an Organization of American States resolution of April 9th, in which – by a one-vote majority – the OAS permanent council decided to recognize Guaidó’s ambassador to the OAS. Guaidó’s representative, Gustavo Tarre, is now seated at OAS permanent council meetings. At his first council meeting on Tuesday he gave a presentation on Guaidó’s plans for Venezuela.

The meeting began, though, with a series of statements from OAS member countries that had opposed Tarre’s appointment. Here is what Bolivia’s ambassador had to say:
Tarre later went on to outline a plan, as developed among opposition groups in Venezuela’s National Assembly, for how a Guaidó government would pursue an economic recovery plan for Venezuela. One of the main elements of the plan involved the procurement of multilateral loans:
Meanwhile, activists from the groups Code Pink and Popular Resistance have decided to protect Venezuela’s embassy in Washington DC from a likely opposition take-over. They are acting with the permission of the government of Venezuela. The activists have been spending nights at the embassy and sponsoring almost daily events on a wide variety of issues, discussing the role of the CIA, the situation in Central America, and reports on the situation in Venezuela. Also, they have hung banners and informational placards, alerting to the possible opposition take-over of the building.

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, embassies are sovereign and inviolable territory of the country to which the embassy belongs. Even though 50 out of the world’s nearly 200 governments – mostly in Latin America and in Europe – have decided to recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s president, so far only Costa Rica has allowed the opposition to take over the Venezuelan embassy.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 24, 2019, 09:10:46 pm »

Who’s Behind the Attacks in Sri Lanka?

April 23, 2019

In a series of coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday across central Sri Lanka, in Colombo, Negombo, Batticaloa and Dehiwela, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 500 people injured. Bombs were placed in three churches, three hotels, and one housing complex, and while no organization at this time has taken responsibility, Sri Lankan authorities have announced that the organization is the group National Thowheeth Jama’ath.

Sunanda Deshapriya told The Real News Network's Sharmini Peries that the focus on both churches and hotels—a clear attempt to destabilize Sri Lanka and its tourism industry—and the scale of the attacks suggests an “international dimension,” and that the attacks were coordinated with outside help. Together, they unpacked the ethnic and political complexities of the attacks.

Deshapriya explained it should be in part seen as a response to how Muslim youth are treated in the Sri Lanka.

“Nobody took interest about that growing militancy among the Muslim youth. One has to understand that radicalization of Muslim youth happened within Sri Lanka because of the injustice that the Muslim community faced in Sri Lanka. There's a total impunity in Sri Lanka against all the attack against minorities,” Deshapriya said. “Muslim people have faced...gang violence but nobody has been convicted. Nothing has happened. They have not had any justice on this issue. So that's the context of radicalization of Muslim youth in the country.”

Deshapriya explained that Sri Lanka's history of war and political violence must also be considered.

“We need to understand also Sri Lanka has 30 years of war. And from 1970, we had three major armed struggles. So, making bombs and using arms is part of the culture, the political culture of Sri Lanka actually,” Deshapriya said. “I suppose you can easily find material also to make this kind of very dangerous explosive bombs in the country because of our past situation and the war situations we've had in Sri Lanka.”

Peries pointed out that churches have not been a target of attacks in Sri Lanka in the past. Moreover, the Tamil are also Christians and were also victims of these recent attacks. For the most part, violence in Sri Lanka has been between Muslims and Buddhists (National Thowheeth Jama’ath, allegedly responsible for the attack, gained notoriety for defacing Buddhist temples).

"Targeting churches cannot be only a local reason, because there isn't any conflict between the Muslim community and the Christian community in the context. The Christian community has been very neutral during the war, as well as in the ongoing sporadic attacks against the Muslim mosque in the country,” Deshapriya said. “In that sense, I think this has an international dimension and it is the message it is attacking in the West, because Christianity comes from the West. But on the other hand you'll see that in Batticaloa Tamil, predominantly Tamil area, are also targeted, and there almost everyone who died is the Tamils. So, it is a combination of local and international situation. They want to send a message to Tamil people as well, I think, that's why they targeted some Batticaloa churches.”

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 31, 2019, 10:13:47 pm »

Lawsuit to Force FBI Assessment of WTC Evidence: Interview with Richard Gage 👍, Dave Meiswinkle 👍, and Mick Harrison 👍

AE911Truth  March 31, 2019

On our most recent episode of 9/11 Free Fall, host Andy Steele is joined by the leaders of AE911Truth and the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry to discuss our lawsuit filed this week against the FBI, which takes aim at the Bureau’s failure to include certain key evidence in its congressionally mandated 9/11 Review Commission Report from 2015.

This show is recommended listening 🔊 for all those who wish to have a deeper understanding of this historic litigation and how it may play out in the next one to two years. You can listen using YouTube or SoundCloud.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2019, 10:32:59 pm »

Russia Defies US 🦍 Threats Over Venezuela

March 28, 2019

Trump insists Russia ‘get out’ of Venezuela; Vijay Prashad says Russia is protecting its own economic interests, billions in outstanding loans

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 28, 2019, 07:24:11 pm »

Humane Capitalism or Fascism and War – Q&A with Paul Jay

March 27, 2019

A viewer asks why did Paul say that capitalism led to World War I, and another viewer asks if humane capitalism is the answer to today’s problems – Paul Jay joins Taya Graham

Story Transcript

TAYA GRAHAM: We’re continuing our conversation with Paul Jay about socialism, and some of the comments from our viewers. So what I’d like to do is share some of the viewer comments on socialism and on your dissection of it with your guests.

Patrick R. says, “Socialism is disgusting. It leads to laziness in business and the workforce, and has literally never worked anywhere. Are you people daft?” So that’s from Patrick R.

Bob R. says, “The answer isn’t socialism. Even the Amish are capitalists. But there is such a thing as humane capitalism. And to get there we need to get back to the New Deal and keep moving beyond that. Socialism always fails on any sort of scale, leading to despotism, collapse, or colonization from the outside.”

And the last one–and this is actually a direct question for you, Paul–[sway ocean] said, “Capitalism gave us World War II? Please explain that, Paul Jay. Shaking my head.” So maybe, Paul, you could address some of these questions and comments that our viewers have. They don’t seem to think that socialism actually will work, and they think you’re suggestion that capitalism led to World War II is an absurd one.

PAUL JAY: OK, so there are three very different questions here, so help me keep track, because I’ve got to do this one by one. I should point out that if people go to the YouTube stories that we’ve been doing on socialism, the vast overwhelming response is a discussion and debate with the assumption that, actually, socialism does make sense. And then there’s recent polling that shows that, I think, under the age of 35 the majority of the population now think socialism is better than capitalism.

TAYA GRAHAM: There is definitely a healthy good faith discussion on socialism happening amongst our viewers. Absolutely.

PAUL JAY: But that being said, it’s a big conversation, just what people have in mind when they say the word ‘socialism,’ because it means a lot of things to different people. And some of the questions raised, you just said, are are good questions. Let’s start with the first one, that under socialism people are lazy, which means productivity goes down. And there’s some truth to the previous experience of that. Some.

Now, like, you take the examples of Soviet Union. Which was a kind of socialism. There is–let me start with saying there’s no such thing as a formula of what socialism any more than there is a formula of what capitalism is. Capitalism in the United States is quite different than that of Canada. What’s going on in Finland is very different than what’s going on in the United Kingdom. I mean, some of the fundamentals are true, that private ownership is primary, and that a kind of oligarchy in ruling circles are in command. You have varying degrees of what is called democracy and voting, you know, has some effect. In other places voting takes place and is somewhat meaningless.

So country by country there are quite serious, or significant, I should say, differences in what capitalism is. And the same thing goes for, so far, the historical experience of socialism. One should also say to get to what capitalism is now took several hundred years. I mean, capitalism of the 20th century–let me jump to the third question. The competition amongst capitalist powers led to World War I and World War II. World War II is the continuation of World War I, where you have the–one of the ways capitalism develops is you have an uneven rise of big powers. So England had risen. I mean, there’s a day when Portugal and Spain were superpowers, and they diminish. There was a time when Britain ruled the seas. It diminishes.

But you have a time, you know, early in the 20th century and coming into the 20th century where you start to have the rise of German capitalism as a real power. The problem is the colonies are all gone. I mean, taken, if you will, not gone. Taken, you know, between Britain growing the United States. France. Where does Germany go to have overseas markets? To have overseas cheap labor? To have overseas easy access to raw materials? Which is something these big industrial powers necessarily want, because one of the things about modern big industrial capitalism is that it expands or it dies, and it loses. You know, these different capitalist powers, countries, are in big competition with each other. And if one gets weaker, the other one tries to jump in and scoop away the cotton market somewhere.

And you know, at the heart of it is very much about just commercial competition. You know, they always–it’s always loaded with a bunch of BS rhetoric of patriotism, and you know, sometimes it’s freedom, and whatever. But at the heart is always commercial interest.

So in World War I, Germany had nowhere to go. And you have internal impulses or forces within German economy to expand. And even while it’s happening, you have a growing arms industry that loves feeding conflict. There’s a guy named Zakharov, he was called the merchant of death, and he was selling machine–you know, the beginnings of the machine gun to the Germans, and he was selling–he’s telling the Germans the French had it; he was telling the French the Germans had it. And he got everybody to kind of get in on this arms frenzy. And you know, the forces that led to World War I, it’s a complicated set of processes. But at its core is big country, big capitalist country, competition for dominance. Germany gets defeated. But it doesn’t take away that Germany is still a mighty industrial power, and starts to rearm, even though they weren’t supposed to, and starts to rearm to a large extent with the assistance of Henry Ford and General Motors and American industry. Why? Because they’re making money out of it. And two, they really hoped that Germany would just march against the Soviet Union and not march West.

So I mean, these are–you know, certainly there’s a lot of complicated factors. But this private ownership, it necessarily leads in these big powers to this inter-power competition. And we’re seeing it again now. You know, the rivalry that’s developing between the United States and China is heading in very similar directions as during the 20th century.

So just dealing with this question about World War II, it’s not like Hitler came out of nowhere. Hitler came out of the deep depression of the 1930s. And you know, people were taking–inflation had reached a point in Germany people were taking their pay home in wheelbarrows. There’s photographs of wheelbarrows with piles of useless cash on it.

TAYA GRAHAM: Full of Deutsche Marks that were useless.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. So I mean, the rise of fascism is a is a product of capitalism. It didn’t just come out of some crazy–Adolf Hitler’s head. And if it hadn’t been Hitler, you know, in the German context, it probably would have been somebody else.

This relates to this idea of humane capitalism. In a similar crisis in the United States in the 1930s, yeah, instead of going towards overt fascism the United States at a time of deep unemployment, and thousands and tens of thousands of people roaming, looking for jobs, and next to no social safety net, and people moving West–and you know, you can read the book or watch the movie ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ And you know, people were desperate. That is the kind of conditions that could have given rise to a fascism in the United States, but it didn’t. It gave rise to the New Deal.

TAYA GRAHAM: RIght. As a matter of fact, one of the viewers pointed that out, that we need to go back to the New Deal. We need to revisit it, go back to it, and then go beyond it. How do you respond to that?

PAUL JAY: Well, I would say yeah, go beyond it. If you go beyond it, then I would say yeah.

TAYA GRAHAM: How do you respond to that?

PAUL JAY: The New Deal was a hell of a lot better than going towards fascism. And I think at times of these deep crisis there’s not much of an in between. You go the FDR New Deal route, or you go to a very coercive state, and a very militarized state.

The thing with FDR is that in spite of what those policies were intended to do, in the end World War II does come because of the intercapitalist competition. Like, humane capitalism doesn’t work, certainly, for very long. Either because even domestically it was a product of trying to deal with severe crisis. and there’s no reason to think that once the crisis is over, capital doesn’t reassert itself. Which is exactly what happened after World War II.

What happens to the New Deal? It’s a continuous process of undoing it. And we did a whole series called Undoing the New Deal. And to some extent it begins with Truman. And each president afterwards, each administration afterwards, starts to undo the New Deal. Why? Because in this kind of balance of power between ordinary people and working people versus this kind of oligarchy, the ownership class, in the period leading up post-war, in the ’50s and ’60s, it is a place where there’s room for tremendous American expansion. You know, UK has been weakened, the Soviet Union was destroyed. Germany was destroyed. Tremendous–Japan was destroyed. Tremendous place for America to expand and grow. And enormous profit making.

And some of that did–you know, while trickle-down theory in general, I think, is not very legitimate, there was a certain kind of trickle down. Because to achieve domestic peace and to discredit socialism and communism, and because that was, you know, McCarthyism, House Un-American Activities Committee, late ’40s and throughout the ’50s, they wanted to purge the American workers movement. Hollywood. They want to get rid of the left. And so they were in competition with at least the promise of the Soviet Union. I mean, Soviet Union may have had–not may, Soviet Union had some terrible things wrong with the system. And it’s a long conversation why. We did a whole series of interviews with Alexander Buzgalin, I urge people to go watch it, that tries to analyze what happened to the Soviet Union. But when people came back from World War II after fighting fascism, and they were fighting for democracy and freedom and equality, and then they came home, and then they said to the American oligarchy in, like, 1946, they said, well, that’s great. How about we have some? How about here?

So, like, in 1946 there’s more worker strikes in the history of the United States before or since. So there’s a real need here to start crushing this worker’s militancy. The popularity of socialism. At the time the Soviet Union had a very good reputation, because they just played such a role in defeating Hitler. So trying to expunge all this from the society was a major priority. And one of those pieces is you do share some of the booty. You have this American expansion, this massive profits–like, it used to be an ordinary worker in the auto industry in Detroit would own a car, have no problems sending their kid to college. Would even own a cottage.

TAYA GRAHAM: Yeah. American dream.

PAUL JAY: They had–that upper, unionized stratum of the working class was doing extremely well. But it didn’t last. So this FDR New Deal, it can go for a time, but it’s not the nature of the beast of the capitalism. It’s not–at its heart it’s a temporary measure. Because what is at its heart? Not seeking fair profit. Its heart is seeking maximum profit. Why? Not because they’re bad people. It’s nothing to do with them being greedy, or some some moral-

TAYA GRAHAM: It’s the nature of the beast.

PAUL JAY: It’s the nature that if you don’t do it, the other guy is. And he’ll wipe you out. So the competitive pressure forces this striving for maximum profit. Now, within that you get a section of capital that’s a little bit more farsighted. And they say, OK, you should mitigate this a little bit. Like, have Social Security. Have a little bit of humane capitalism. Otherwise you’re going to-

TAYA GRAHAM: Do a little bit of philanthropy here, just a little pressure valve to let some of the steam off to make sure there isn’t a full revolution. Little pressure valve.

PAUL JAY: So yeah, have some of the social safety net. Otherwise the workers will get radicalized. And some sections of the elites feel better about themselves if they have it. This is more kind of in the Democratic Party. And the Republicans, and the certainly the right wing of the Republicans, they want unmitigated exploitation, because they think the workers are too weak to do anything about it anyway. And then enter globalization. And once you can play the Chinese working class off against the American working class, now you can start forgetting about humane capitalism. Because the problem isn’t about being humane. It’s the nature of how the economy works. And it’s the nature of the relationships that when you have this concentrated ownership, yeah, sure, you get the odd guy like Gates wants to give away a lot of money. But he doesn’t want to change who has power. So humane capitalism, listen, it’s better than inhumane capitalism. It’s just to think that you can have a system based on it, and that it’s sustainable, it’s naive. You can’t get there.

Now, I don’t know if we have time for the first question.

TAYA GRAHAM: You know what, I think we’re going to have to leave it there. I hope that for [sway ocean] that Paul Jay gave you a good response and a thorough response to your question. And we’re going to continue this conversation about socialism, what it looks like, what it could look like here in the U.S., and what it looks like around the world.

I’m here with Senior Editor Paul Jay. And if you haven’t already, please hit the subscribe button to our YouTube channel, or subscribe to join our email list so you can get Real News direct to your inbox. Thanks for your time. I’m Taya Graham.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 27, 2019, 09:03:09 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Notice that nice picture below of "Saint" 😇 Mueller 😉  with 🦖 Shrub. Mueller was the CROOK that BURIED 911, just like he BURIED the Trump crimes under a mountain of legalese BULLSHIT.

911 IS the KEYSTONE CRIME that gave us the Fascist Government now busy getting rid of the last vestige of American freedoms. Welcome to NAZI GERMANY, Circa 2019. 😨 😱


March 27, 2019

Courthouse News Provides Real, Unbiased Coverage of FBI Lawsuit

FBI Lawsuit Fund Drive: Just $6,000 to Go to Our First Milestone!

Yesterday, Courthouse News did something that few mainstream news outlets have done in nearly two decades reporting on 9/11: It offered real, unbiased coverage of our movement for truth and justice in the form of an article about our just-filed FBI Lawsuit titled “FBI Accused of Omitting Evidence From 9/11 Report.”

We encourage every supporter of 9/11 Truth and Justice to read this article and share it with your colleagues, friends, and family as a demonstration that our pursuit not only continues, but continues to gain ground.


We’re also thrilled to report that, in the four days since this effort was launched, you’ve helped us raise nearly $24,000 of the $30,000 needed to fund the first phase of the FBI Lawsuit.

If you haven’t chipped in yet and wish to support this historic litigation against the FBI for its failure to assess and report crucial 9/11 evidence, please take a moment to do so today. On behalf of the Lawyers’ Committee, Bob McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli (our co-plaintiffs), we are very grateful for your unyielding commitment to this transformative cause.

You are making the difference!

Thank you for your support of AE911Truth.

Without you, we wouldn't exist.

Our Blueprint Newsletter archive | Subscribe for News | About AE911Truth

AE911Truth is a 501(c)3 educational organization. Donations are tax deductible.


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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 27, 2019, 08:12:40 pm »

“We Are Swimming in an Ocean of Lies” on Venezuela

March 26, 2019

Former UN Special Rapporteur says Michelle Bachelet needs to change her team and visit Venezuela herself, or she is going to continue to get an “unprofessional, one-sided, politicized report” on the state of the country


Agelbert NOTE: This present EVIL being visited on Venezuela has a long and sordid CAPITALIST/FASCIST 👹 history all over Central and South America.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 26, 2019, 09:30:01 pm »


Host Andy Steele is joined by engineer and Project Due Diligence volunteer Gene Johnson , who discusses the presentation of the WTC evidence that he recently held in Amarillo, TX. 

Podcast: 👍

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2019, 02:36:49 pm »


March 23, 3019

9/11 Families, Lawyers’ Committee, AE911Truth to File Lawsuit against FBI on Monday

This coming Monday, 9/11 family members Bob McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli along with the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth will file a lawsuit against the FBI over its 9/11 Review Commission Report issued in 2015.

This bold legal action will be the first time that anyone has ever attempted to force the FBI to assess and report the evidence of the World Trade Center’s explosive demolition as well as other 9/11 evidence still unaddressed to this day — all known to the FBI.

In 2014, Congress mandated the FBI to form an external commission to conduct “an assessment of any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission related to any factors that contributed in any manner to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”A year later, the FBI 😈 released the final report, which included neither an assessment of the evidence related to the WTC demolition nor an assessment of several other areas of crucial evidence.

Our end goal is to compel the FBI to reconstitute its 9/11 Review Commission in some form, assess the evidence known to the FBI but omitted from the Commission's 2015 report, and include that evidence in a new, amended report to Congress and the American people.

From now through April 1, we ask you to help us raise $30,000 for the first two phases of litigation: drafting the complaint and preparing our response to the anticipated motion to dismiss, which involve hundreds of attorney hours. We also invite everyone who is near Washington, D.C., on Monday, March 25, to attend our 1:00 PM news conference with Bob McIlvaine, Mick Harrison, Dave Meiswinkle, and Richard Gage at the Newseum, one block from the U.S. District Court!

Please visit AE911Truth.org/FBI to learn more and make your generous donation today. On behalf of the Lawyers’ Committee 🦅 and Bob and Barbara 🕊✨, we are grateful for your unyielding commitment.


Agelbert NOTE: The 911 INSIDE JOB by rogue elements in the US Government is PRECISELY what paved the way for the FASCIST Government now destroying the fabric of American society.

If this CRIME is allowed to go unpunished, there is no hope for ANY kind of Social AND Environmental Justice in this country.

What goes around, COMES AROUND!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 06:15:49 pm »

Might 🦍 Makes Right 😈: Trump 🦀 Endorses Israeli Annexation of Golan Heights

March 21, 2019

Trump tweeted that the US should recognize Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, which Israel has been occupying for 52 years. TRNN’s Shir Hever explores what this means for the region

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 20, 2019, 07:25:53 pm »

MAR 19, 2019 OPINION


The American Emperor Has No Clothes


Make no mistake, Washington isn’t done trying; it’s happy to keep throwing good money (and blood) at bad: to the tune of a cool $6 trillion, 7,000 troop deaths, and 500,000 foreign deaths—including maybe 240,000 civilians. But what’s it all been for? The world is no safer, global terror attacks have only increased, and Uncle Sam just can’t seem to achieve any of its preferred policy goals.

Think on it for a second: Russia and Iran “won” in Syria; the Taliban and Pakistan are about ready to “win” in Afghanistan; Iran is more influential than ever in Iraq; the Houthis won’t quit in Yemen; Moscow is keeping Crimea; Libya remains unstable; North Korea ain’t giving up its nukes; and China’s power continues to grow in its version of the Caribbean—the South China Sea. No amount of American cash, no volume of our soldiers’ blood, no escalation in drone strikes or the conventional bombing of brown folks, has favorably changed the calculus in any of these regional conflicts.

What does this tell us? Quite a lot, I’d argue—but not what the neoliberal/neoconservative alliance of pundits and policymakers are selling. See for these unrepentant militarists the problem is always the same: Washington didn’t use enough force, didn’t spend enough blood and treasure. So is the solution: more defense spending, more CIA operations, more saber-rattling, and more global military interventions.

No, the inconvenient truth is as simple as it is disturbing to red-blooded patriots. To wit, the United States🦍 —or any wannabe hegemon simply doesn’t possess the capability to shape the world in its own image. See those pesky locals— Arabs, Asians, Muslims, Slavs—don’t know what’s good for them, don’t understand that (obviously) there is a secret American zipped inside each of their very bodies, ready to burst out if given a little push!

It turns out that low-tech, cheap insurgent tactics, when combined with impassioned nationalism, can bog down the “world’s best military” indefinitely. It seems, too, that other regional heavyweights—Russia, China, Iran, North Korea—stand ready to call America’s nuclear bluff. That they know the US all-volunteer military and consumerist economy can’t ultimately absorb the potential losses a conventional war would demand. Even scarier for the military-industrial-congressional-media establishment is the logical extension of all this accumulated failure: the questionable efficacy of military force in the 21st century.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2019, 09:32:02 pm »

Max Blumenthal : Report From the REAL Venezuela

The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow

Published on Mar 7, 2019

Find out more: https://thegrayzone.com/

Subscribe to The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow for more: https://www.patreon.com/thezerohour

If you liked this clip of The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, please share it with your friends... and hit that "like" button!

Some of the music bumpers featuring Lettuce, http://lettucefunk.com.

Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 12, 2019, 09:41:05 pm »


 March 12, 2019

Lawyers' Committee 'Names Names' in
New 9/11 Grand Jury Filing


The Petition Supplement filed today, building on the prior-filed evidence of “what” crimes were committed during this tragedy, focuses on the “who,” “why,” and “how” of these yet-to-be prosecuted crimes. The thirty-three-page document presents detailed information regarding persons who may have information material to the federal Special Grand Jury’s investigation. This new Petition Supplement was addressed to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman as well as to Michael Ferrara and Ilan Graff, Chiefs, Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.

The Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10th 52-page original Petition was accompanied by 57 exhibits and presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC Towers on 9/11. That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries; numerous first-hand reports by First Responders of seeing and hearing explosions at the World Trade Center on 9/11; expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 both prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses; and expert analysis and testimony by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of these three WTC high rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition. The July 30th Amended Petition included the same evidence but also addressed several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original Petition.

The Lawyers’ Committee concluded in the petitions that explosive and incendiary devices that had been preplaced at the WTC were detonated 💥 causing the complete collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 on 9/11, and the resulting tragic loss of life, and that “the evidence permits no other conclusion -- as a matter of science, as a matter of logic, and as a matter of law.” Both petitions and a names-redacted version of the just-filed Petition Supplement are available to the public on the Lawyers’ Committee’s webpage at www.lcfor911.org.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 08, 2019, 07:13:03 pm »

End Venezuela Sanctions Says Rep. Ro Khanna and 15 Progressive Democrats  

March 8, 2019

16 progressive members of Congress sent a letter to the Trump administration, demanding an end to economic sanctions and to military threats against Venezuela. We speak to Rep. Ro Khanna, who led the initiative

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 04, 2019, 06:10:09 pm »

Sanders on Venezuela – Does His Critique of US Policy Go Far Enough?  ???

March 4, 2019

At the CNN town hall, Sanders opposed U.S. intervention in Venezuela, refused to call Maduro a dictator, or recognize Guaido, but he didn’t call for an end to sanctions – with Jacqueline Luqman, Eugene Puryear, Norman Solomon and host Paul Jay

Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

We’re continuing our discussion from Bernie Sanders’ CNN town hall. Now joining me again to break down some of the issues raised during that town hall, first of all, Jacqueline Luqman. She’s the editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation. Norman Solomon is the co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org, and national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network. And Eugene Puryear is a journalist and author. He’s the co-founder of Stop Police Terror Project in D.C. Thank you for joining us.

So before we get get started, I’m going to play–it’s a little lengthy clip, about three minutes. But I think it’s worth it. We’re going to talk about Bernie Sanders’ attitude towards Venezuelan policy. And so here’s the clip.

SPEAKER: Good evening. In light of the recent events in Venezuela, you came out against U.S. intervention–a contentious stance, as many in Venezuela are currently suffering at the hands of Maduro through starvation and violence, and it is clear that he will not let humanitarian aid in. Under these circumstances and moving forward, do you have a clear position on U.S. intervention overseas, both economically and militarily, for nations that are under the regimes of these oppressive dictators?

BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you. Good question. There are a lot of awful things happening in the world. And what’s going on in Venezuela is terrible. Their economy is a disaster. People are living in hunger and in fear. I strongly believe there has to be an international humanitarian effort to improve lives for the people. I think the evidence is pretty clear that the last election in Venezuela was not a free and fair election, and under international supervision I want to see a free and fair election.

But to answer your question, let me say this. I am old enough to remember the war in Vietnam. And I was as active as I could trying to keep the United States from going to war in Iraq. I was in the Congress at that point. And I am very fearful of the United States continuing to do what it has done in the past. As you know, or may know, the United States overthrew a democratically-elected government in Chile, and in Brazil, and in Guatemala, and in other countries around the world. So as someone who fervently believes in human rights and democracy, we have got to do everything that we can. But I think sometimes you have unintended consequences when a powerful nation goes in and tells people who their government will be.

So my view is that whether it is Saudi Arabia, which is a despotic regime, or whether it is Venezuela, I think we have got to do everything that we can to create a democratic climate. But I do not believe in U.S. military intervention in those countries.

WOLF BLITZER 😈: Why have you–Senator, why have you stopped short of calling Maduro of Venezuela a dictator?

BERNIE SANDERS: I think it’s it’s fair to say that the last election was undemocratic. But there are still Democratic operations taking place in their country. The point is what I am calling for right now is internationally supervised free elections. And I do find it interesting that Trump is very concerned about what goes on in Venezuela. But what about the last election that took place in Saudi Arabia? Oh, there wasn’t any election in Saudi Arabia. Oh, women are treated as third-class citizens. So I find it interesting that Trump is kind of selective as to where he is concerned about democracy. My record is to be concerned about democracy all over the world. So we’ve got to do everything we can. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be the people of Venezuela who determine the future of their country, not the United States of America.

PAUL JAY: Hi. OK. So, Jacqueline, what’s your response to Bernie Sanders?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Well, Sanders ended on the right note. He said it’s going to be up to the responsibility of the people of Venezuela to determine the course of their country. Well, that’s what they did when they voted–overwhelmingly, 6 million people voted for the current administration under Maduro; 6 million Venezuelans voted to continue the Bolivarian revolution. And no one, not one Venezuelan, voted for the self-appointed opposition president Juan Guaido.

So I’m troubled by Sanders continuing to to repeat the American imperialist narrative that Maduro is not democratically elected, that there were not democratic elections, free and fair elections, in Venezuela. Where is the proof of that? That Maduro needs to allow in humanitarian aid–he has. China, Cuba, other countries, Russia, have actually provided more humanitarian aid–actual aid, and not aid that is used as cover, as a political prop, provided more aid to Venezuela than the United States. So it’s like he ended on the right note, but he still felt like he needed to start with that, with the American imperialist talking points. And that’s really troubling.

PAUL JAY: OK. Norman?

NORMAN SOLOMON: Well, If you look at what he said about the economy of Venezuela, I think the omission that would have been much better for him to provide would be the effect of U.S. sanctions, which have been damaging and crippling, antihumanitarian, for many years. I think it’s notable as a backdrop that almost two years ago, Bernie Sanders voted against sanctions on North Korea, Iran, and Russia, you know, a package. And it was a courageous vote, because he pointed out that these sanctions in those cases reduced the chance of bringing about peaceful relations, and increased the chance of military conflict.

I think it’s notable in the clip that we just heard that Bernie condemned not only military intervention, but he cited three examples of non-military, subversive, CIA-type undermining of democratically-elected governments. He cited Brazil. He cited Guatemala and Chile. And this is the kind of historical context and understanding that conveyed a very clear point. And we’re not going to get that, we haven’t gotten that, from other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

I don’t think what we need most of all from government leaders in the United States, particularly in the Congress at this point, I don’t think what we need is to say that Maduro is flawless. And frankly, I don’t think he is. I think what we need from those leaders is to say we must not have the United States intervene militarily, or any other way. If you look at the actual phrasing of what Bernie has been saying, he says that he supports humanitarian aid going into Venezuela. He doesn’t say U.S. humanitarian aid. And as Jacqueline pointed out, there has been humanitarian aid flowing in from various other countries.

So you know, frankly, I think that when you take as a whole what Bernie is saying, it is conveying to the mass media against ferocious propaganda that we need nonintervention in Venezuela. And one more point. Bernie has been savagely trashed by many corporate Democrats in the last week for refusing to call Maduro a dictator, for refusing to go along with what I think really are the main mass media-type talking points in this country.

PAUL JAY: Eugene?

EUGENE PURYEAR: Well, I think that certainly I agree that it is good that Senator Sanders ultimately is against military intervention. I also would have liked to see him speak more about the issue of sanctions. And also, quite frankly, the role the Federal Reserve in backing up these speculative dollar websites, like Dollar Today and AirTM that are having a devastating role on the exchange rate and people’s purchasing power.

But be that as it may, I think the other factor that is important to me, though, is it’s it’s crucial, I think, for someone in the position of Senator Sanders, and also vis a vis educating the populace in I think what is a ferocious media war, to also tell the facts, and start from the point of view of the facts. And sometimes it feels like to me, and really all the time when Bernie’s speaking about Venezuela, he’s really trying to get votes in Florida. I mean, it is true that he said ‘humanitarian aid,’ but didn’t specify a country. But he didn’t also debunk fact that there is humanitarian aid coming in. And then let’s just get the facts correct, here. Since 2016, Venezuela has been working with United Nations and then subsequently the Pan American Health Organization to bring in humanitarian aid, along with other countries that are bringing it. So it’s not as if this is even a new thing. In fact, it’s an older thing. You look at the Global Hunger Index, Venezuela’s 49. They’re actually above Malaysia. You look at the Human Development Index, they’re above Colombia.

So I think it’s incumbent also to debunk a lot of this propaganda, because I think it really goes to the point not just of being opposed to intervention, being opposed to sanctions, but also recognizing that influences on foreign policy in the United States from these malign factors that want to overthrow the government of Venezuela and loot the country. And I’ll also just add, this issue of the elections–I mean, the only real credible claim, or semi-credible claim–I don’t really consider it credible–about the elections at the time of the elections is from the company that made voting machines, who claimed they had evidence, which they never showed. The day after they announced that they closed down their office and they completely disappeared. All the information that is up for that election in 2018, it’s online, I’ve never seen a statistical analysis presented by any force to say that this is somehow fraudulent. But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we had that. So somehow in the DRC we have a Catholic Church-funded effort that can say exactly how it was. In Venezuela we just have claims.

And that’s my issue with the Bernie Sanders approach here. It’s not necessarily sort of the core basis of opposition to intervention. But the way he phrases it, I think, doesn’t do a good service to those who do look to someone like Bernie Sanders to tell them what’s really going on. But in general, yes, I think it is better than any of the other candidates by obviously being against intervention and against regime change.

PAUL JAY: Norman?

NORMAN SOLOMON: Well, it’s a responsibility of progressive groups, and many of them have stepped up, to fill those gaps. And I think what Bernie has done is to lay out a framework that’s politically powerful in terms of opposing what needs to be most of all opposed. And we can argue about exactly how democratic or undemocratic the last election was in Venezuela. I think there were undemocratic elements. I think there were undemocratic elements in the United States in the election in 2016. These are critiques that need to be made that in no way justify any intervention by the U.S. in any manner, shape, or form.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I’ve got to say, from what I know of the 2018 elections, they were not free and fair as previous elections during the governments of Hugo Chavez. And I was actually on an observer mission during one of the votes under Chavez. But when one says they weren’t free and fair in 2018, I think as much or even more responsibility has to be put at the feet of the opposition. Because free and fair is not just about what the government did. And even if there were, I think, maybe some irregularities, or things in terms of parties not being recognized, using certain technicalities to keep some of the opposition parties from running, I think there are some legitimate issues there, but I also think the underlying strategy of the opposition was not to participate to discredit the elections, in order to create the situation for what’s going on now.

So you know, does one in the end wind up in a conclusion, well, now one way or the other there needs to be free and fair elections? And certainly I would think that’s the case, and I think much of the Venezuelan left that isn’t directly associated with the government thinks so. But that being said, that doesn’t happen because the Americans come in and recognize Guaido, and then they’re going to run the elections? I mean, this is going to–who knows? You know, there’s lots of talk about democracy in Iraq. Saddam falls, the Americans take over. And in fact, the Iraqis wanted to use that moment to have legitimate elections. They were starting to organize, elect democratic committees all over the country to have elections. And in fact, you know, not because of the plan of the Americans. The Iraqis really were going to create a democratic election. But of course, the Americans stopped it, because they couldn’t control the outcome of it. So–and this is one problem I have with Bernie’s–the way he positions this. And I guess it’s tactical. I don’t know. But I don’t like when he says ‘unintended consequences’ of these interventions. No, these were intended consequences. It was intended to create-

NORMAN SOLOMON: I totally agree with that point. I mean, these are not–what happened in Brazil, and that was under Lyndon Johnson, 1964, ushering in fascism, when Goulart was brought down by the CIA’s assistance. That was not intended, as you say. Neither was Chile. Neither was undermining–helping overthrow the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954. I think calling it unintended is just historically wrong. At the same time, that Bernie will cite those examples as malign and terrible instances of U.S. foreign policy is instructive. And it’s up to progressives both to push Bernie to do a better job, even, publicly, and also to educate the public and agitate for change.

PAUL JAY: Go ahead, Jacqueline.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Yeah, I think I disagree with that a little bit. Because it’s as much as progressives have done a pretty good job, I think, of becoming more aware of certain issues that Sanders raised in 2016 that maybe other politicians wouldn’t have raised, and people have become more politically aware about those issues since then, I don’t think it’s our job as progressives, as leftists, to educate the general population, because we’re not going to be able to do that. We don’t have the bully pulpit. And even he has a bully pulpit right now–that’s Senator Sanders does–because he’s on a town hall on CNN, as much as a hostile environment as that is, as the corporate media. We might have social media and The Real News Network and YouTube and our own platforms, but that’s nothing compared to CNN.

So I think Sanders as a candidate, and a very, very popular progressive candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, has more of a responsibility to get that narrative–not the whole history, because he doesn’t have that much time–but at least to get the narrative right about connecting that history, and being very clear that, as you said, Paul, these are not unintended consequences. This was all a manufactured and intended outcome that the United States and other entities in the West were directly responsible for.

NORMAN SOLOMON: I’m going to say it’s not an either-or there. Of course, Bernie should do a better job, and he should be pushed and critiqued to do so. But progressives must never throw in the towel to reach as many people in this country as possible with public education and agitation and protest. Ten years ago, Medicare for All was not on the mainstream media map. It didn’t get there because people in elite positions or elected people decided to educate the public. It’s because of grassroots organizing, and people doing that job day in and day out for years at a time.

Let me give you a quick example, in terms of Bernie Sanders. Three and a half years ago, Bernie was in his first presidential campaign, saying that Saudi Arabia should “get its hands dirty” in fighting “terrorism in the Middle East.” And at RootsAction.org and some other groups as well, we publicly took Bernie to task. We pointed out that Saudi Arabia, with U.S. help, was already massacring people in Yemen. So what has happened in a process of people pushing and challenging and educating the public, as well as critiquing Bernie about Saudi Arabia and Yemen, it’s at a point where, with leadership from Ro Khanna and Bernie Sanders in Congress, the Congress has voted to cut off, to demand that the U.S. cut off its aid to the murderous Saudi war in Yemen. So this is a flux situation. It’s not static. And we all have our responsibilities as progressives.

PAUL JAY: Eugene?

EUGENE PURYEAR: Well, I think that’s true. I just think that maybe the Medicare for All example is instructive, because I think it was Bernie, among other people, that exactly what he was able to do is not just articulate what individuals wanted, but I think also articulate why the opposition to something like Medicare for All was, you know, essentially completely bogus. And I think this is a similar piece.

I completely agree with Norman that we have to do everything we can to reach everyone. But I think people have been pushing Bernie. And I think if you look, in fact, quite frankly, at some of those who are around him and their social media accounts, you can see that some of that critique in real time is, to some degree, being either engaged with, and also–you know, maybe maybe not directly acknowledged, but at least people try to have evolved positions or use social media to give caveats to things that they’d like.

So I think the reality is the information is there. It’s there for Bernie Sanders, I think, to have. I think he’s actually aware that the way he’s framing it is the way he’s framing it, and I think it is in the context of the elections. I think it is practical, from that perspective. And I think that, quite frankly, what we need from our candidates is more mythbusting of the things that are out there, because of that bully pulpit element. But absolutely, I think it’s up to those of us who care about these issues to push every single candidate until we hear what we want to hear. And if not, I guess support other candidates who will say what we do want to hear.

PAUL JAY: Yeah I’d like to agree with this, too. Like, it’s three years ago Bernie Sanders called Hugo Chavez a dictator. Now, three years later, he won’t use that word with Maduro. And one assumes he wouldn’t anymore with Chavez. There’s been a progression in his foreign policy thinking, it seems, certainly the way he articulates it. Three, four years ago, he was very, what’s the word, uncommitted, in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He would often vote for measures that one would say supported right-wing policies in Israel, and didn’t come out very strongly. He’s very changed on that. And certainly appointing Cornell West to the Democratic Party Platform Committee to fight for the language of Palestinian rights within the Democratic Party platform, I think that was quite a transformation of his–at least, the expression of his politics. I mean, I say it that way because I’m never sure what Bernie really believes, and where he’s tactically taking certain positions.

And I give him the benefit of the doubt, partly because I see this progression. Partly because I am not guarding the gates of heaven and don’t decide, have to decide, about his moral character, and whether he gets into heaven or not. What we–in terms of the practical politics of America, no one else has that kind of platform saying the kinds of things he’s saying. And so, yeah. Do we–and that’s why we’re doing this segment–do we need to critique where we think he’s still limited? Where, you know, to talk about hunger and fear in Venezuela. Well, there is hunger. But not at the scale that’s being portrayed; as far as we can tell, anyway. We just had–two of our journalists were down there, and just just got back in the last couple of weeks. And no doubt there is some scarcity, especially in the poorer neighborhoods in Venezuela. But in Caracas, life is proceeding fairly normally. It’s not this crazy dystopian vision that’s being created in Western media. So he’s kind of feeding into that. On the other hand, he hasn’t been there. And a lot of what he knows, he’s relying on the same media filter that everyone else is. So anyway, what’s our job? At The Real News, our job is just to try to get at as much of the truth of this as we can. So a really quick final word on this, and we’re going to do another segment. Norman, a final word from you?

NORMAN SOLOMON: I would point to an article that the journalist Zaid Jilani did for Truthout a couple of weeks ago, where he really maps out a lot of the terrain that you just covered, Paul, in terms of the progression of Bernie’s foreign policy positions over the last four years. And there’s no doubt, whether it’s in terms of Palestine, whether it’s in terms of U.S. militarism overall and intervention, those positions have become better and better. We want them to become even better than they are now. But the role that he has taken in educating the public, much better than he did before. And to deepen his own positions so that he is moving the discourse in a much more progressive, antimilitarist direction, I think it’s very important. He’s now talking routinely against what he calls, refers to, as the military industrial complex. And we need that sort of discussion for the future.

PAUL JAY: Eugene?

EUGENE PURYEAR: Yeah, I think we need to continue to build the antiwar, antimilitarist, anti-imperialist movement in this country. I think, you know, as we’ve seen on number of issues, that’s what’s going to pull Bernie, every politician, in the broader society, I think, more in that direction. So those of us who really care about it, I do think, obviously, you know, compared to many other people in Congress, certainly, Bernie Sanders is on the better end of things. But at the end of the day Congress is sort of a no-go zone for a lot of these ideas. And I think the reality is that’s because we don’t have the type of manifestations on the streets, in the social networks, or whatever it may be, against these sort of policies. So I think if we continue to build that movement, we’re going to start to move the needle.

PAUL JAY: Jacqueline, last word.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Yeah, I don’t want to suggest that those of us in the progressive movement or on the left should not be responsible for educating the people around us, and being involved in building an antiwar movement, being involved in learning everything we can about these issues so that we can continue to broaden our knowledge and broaden the knowledge of people around us. What I am saying is that we cannot, I don’t think, hedge our criticism of candidates–not just Sanders, but all of them–on issues that are critical to the survival of people on this planet because they’ve gotten better over time. We can acknowledge their progression in the right direction. But if we’re going to be honest and really get to the kind of policies that we need to sustain a quality of life that is decent for people around the world, especially in this country but also around the world, then we have to be honest where these politicians fall short, especially if they’re supposed to be the so-called favorites.

PAUL JAY: OK. Thank you all for joining us. Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 04, 2019, 02:44:36 pm »

Sorry Mr. Pence 🦍, the Venezuelan Military Aren’t Rubes

March 1, 2019

BY Jim Carey 

Caracas (GPA) – Here’s a message to Vice-President P i s s, his freak family, Elliott Abrams and the rest of Washington: the Venezuelan military isn’t f*cking stupid.

Last weekend we saw an attempted coup in Venezuela by the US along with local lunatic/self-proclaimed “President” Juan Guaidó. This time, rather than just burning people alive in Caracas, the opposition started their stunt at the Colombian border.

The intent of this stunt was to highlight how the actual Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro refuses to let in “aid” from the United States. This is the same type of “aid” from the earlier stunt by the Trump regime that even the Red Cross and UN have called bullshit.

The plan this weekend was to give Maduro and ultimatum: either let in the aid, or the US will do something; although it’s still not clear what with even the bloated tumor Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has said he’s not interested in any military operations launched from his country.

We all know that this coup attempt by the US and Guaidó failed because we all saw the anti-Maduro thugs on the Colombia-Venezuela border throw a tantrum when they realized their error. Once these CIA stooges realized the trucks of aid weren’t crossing the border they just decided to burn them and blame it on Maduro (which has also failed).

Related: Venezuela Seizes US Weapons Destined for Coup Plotters

But why did it fail?

In the weeks leading up to the latest coup, multiple US officials spoke publicly (and privately) to members of the Venezuelan military urging them to turn on the Bolivarian Revolution. For the sake of simplifying this argument, let’s focus in particular on the promises made by the Vice President of the US, Mike Pence.

In his pre-coup address to the Venezuelan people, Pence practically begged the military to help the US overthrow – yet another – elected Latin American government. Pence and others such as Mike Pompeo even went so far as to promise any soldiers who defected a chance to ‘live in peace’ after Washington destroys their country if they would just let all the arms disguised as aid enter.

So why didn’t the soldiers do it?

Because, as I’ve already said, they’re not f*cking stupid. The Bolivarian Revolution was built from the ground up when the people of Venezuela (and Latin America as a whole), tired of the neoliberalism enforced by Washington since the 1970s and 80s rose up. In Venezuela, this came exactly 30 years ago with the riots know and the Caracazo.

Prior to the Caracazo, as many libertarian dumbasses will tell you, Venezuela was, in fact, one of the richest countries on the continent but what the free marketeers 😈 leave out is that they had massive amounts of poverty and an immoral wealth gap between the richest and poorest citizens. This poverty, the result of neoliberal privatization schemes, set off a chain of events that later helped spawn Venezuela’s communes and a young military leader who attempted to overthrow the crooked puppet state, Hugo Chavez.

Related: Venezuela Coverage Takes Us Back to Golden Age of Lying About Latin America

The problem for Pence, Pompeo, Trump, Bolton, Abrams and the lot is that this military leader brought the military up with him as a liberatory force. On top of this, not only did Chávez secure the military’s loyalty because he was a military man himself, but also because, they too, had had enough domination from Wall Street.

This military, which is the same one helping Maduro protect Venezuela remembers this but they also remember other parts of history.

Another big reason the military likely won’t turn is that they know people like Pence are lying when they say anyone who supports Maduro, socialism, or even some forms of liberal democracy will never be allowed to live in peace if the US has their way.

Again, the reason they know this to be true is that they know revolutionary history. The Bolivarian military remembers what happened to other socialist movements around Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia once a US-backed anti-communist was in power. A lot of this history they know is still applicable since much of it was also perpetrated by people like Bolton and Abrams in their previous positions.

Related: Op-Ed: How the Bolivarian Revolution is Saving the World

The Venezuelan military remembers things like Salvador Allende being fairly elected and then overthrown, or the Contras mass murdering civilians. They know that this type of behavior doesn’t end when the US wins. They know Pinochet threw labor leaders, socialists, and anyone who opposed his trash neoliberalism from helicopters after taking power. They know the Contras and other death squads were bayoneting toddlers to prove a point to scared farmers, often while not even actually engaging whatever force they were ostensibly fighting even a single time.

The Bolivarian Revolution and the “Pink Tide” that swept Latin America in the early 2000s were a response to all of this. The Venezuelan military knows there is no peace as long as there is ANY resistance to US financial tyranny. The US, all their intelligence agencies and their various stooges around the continent may have won some fights in countries like Brazil but this won’t be as easy on Venezuela. The Venezuelan military is part of the Bolivarian revolution, they will not be separated, and like the many of the average Venezuelans opposing US intervention, they know what comes next if Washington 🦍 gets their way.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 03, 2019, 07:53:20 pm »

Venezuela and American Manifest Destiny🦍 – Gerald Horne 👍

A core concept of “Americanism” is the belief that the United States has a God given right to control all of the Americas in the name of democracy and freedom–but in reality, for plunder and commercial interest – historian Gerald Horne joins Paul Jay

March 1, 2019

Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

The supposedly right of the United States to interfere in the affairs of Venezuela has deep roots in American economic history and culture. This painting, American Progress from 1872 by John Gast, is a representation of the modernization of the new west. Columbia, the woman in the white robes, is a personification of the United States and is shown leading civilization westward with the American settlers. She’s shown bringing light from the east into the west, stringing telegraph wire, holding a school textbook that will instill knowledge, and highlights different stages of economic activity and evolving forms of transportation. As she moves westward, Indigenous people and a herd of buffalo are seen fleeing her and the settlers.

With the ushering in of these developments, the Indigenous people living in the west and their way of life is cast out. The Monroe Doctrine of the 1820s, which was originally meant to keep European colonizers and competitors out of South America, later became a rationale for asserted U.S. power and interest throughout the Americas. This deep-seated belief, the right of the United States to bring democracy and freedom, just as Colombia did in the west, without regard for international law, and in real terms, assert American commercial interest in South America without regard for international law, is a core concept of American exceptionalism. And just before I introduce the guest, let me give some credit to Wikipedia for this, and I think I donate to Wikipedia because it’s often very useful.

Now joining us to discuss the historical context of the Venezuela U.S. attempted coup is Gerald Horne. Gerald holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His many books include Storming the Heavens and The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism. Thanks for joining us, Gerald.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you for inviting me.

PAUL JAY: So put the Venezuela attempted coup, intervention, into a historical context. I mean, whole sections of the corporate media, certainly the corporate leadership of the Democratic Party, the foreign policy establishment, it just goes without saying somehow the United States has a right to do what it’s doing. They can dress it up in the fight for democracy, but with the exception of a small number of progressive congresspeople who have put a resolution, H.R. 1004, calling for non-intervention in Venezuela, the whole foreign policy establishment just seems to accept that the Americans have a right to do this. So give us some of the history of this.

GERALD HORNE: Well, first of all, the United States prides itself on its alleged anti-colonial origins, born in an uprising against the British Empire in 1776. But if you look a bit more closely, the conclusion you will arrive at is that the newly formed United States of America in the late 18th century began the overthrow itself of Native American polities stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Monroe Doctrine that you just referenced also should be viewed in that context. That is to say that keeping European nations out of the Americas was seen to be in the naked self-interest of the United States of America. For example, when England and the United States came to blows, came to war, during the War of 1812, London basically helped to sponsor Native American uprisings and uprising amongst enslaved Africans. And that helps to give rise to this impulse to keep London out of the Western Hemisphere.

Likewise, when the United States says that it does not want European nations in this hemisphere, it was also responding to the fact that at the time of the Monroe Doctrine circa 1823, you also saw an effort by Russia creeping down what is now the West Coast of the United States of America and Canada. Recall that one of the major arteries in Northern California as we speak is called the Russian River. It was seen as important to keep Russia out of the Western Hemisphere as well. And likewise, note that patriots like Jose Marti of Cuba oftentimes called for a united Latin America. It was felt on the part of the United States of America that Latin America should be balkanized, that it should not be part of any empire, not necessarily because this was an anti-colonial impulse, but because a balkanized Latin America would make the individual nations much more susceptible to U.S. encroachment, which is precisely what happened to Mexico when a good deal of its territory was snatched by the United States during the war of 1846 to 1848, including the now most populous U.S. state that is California.

So I think that this conflict with Venezuela needs to be seen in this wider context of the United States seeking domination and hegemony in this hemisphere. It has been seen as crucial to the growth of the United States for the last two hundred years. And in some ways, it reflects the United States’ present approach to the European Union. Recalled that Mr. Trump has oftentimes expressed disdain for the E.U. He would like to deal with European nations one on one, and sees the fact that Europe is united as an impediment to United States’ manipulation of individual European states. A similar impulse helps to govern U.S. relationships with Latin America, leading to this attempt to overthrow the duly constituted government in Caracas, Venezuela.

PAUL JAY: One of the things that seems to be at the core of this idea of American exceptionalism and the American’s right to violate what would be norms of international law in South America because it’s “our backyard,” if you look at that painting again, while she’s not carrying a Christian cross, part of this idea was that this manifest destiny was a God-given right to the United States, to colonize the West, to cast out, as I said, the Native peoples who were not Christian. This kind of overt use of what was clearly a colonizer’s slogan everywhere, where the Europeans colonized to bring Christianity to the Pagan unbelievers, whether it’s Africa or Latin America or Asia, it seems that that idea, number one, still has some currency about the God-given right, especially given how much of Trump’s support is within evangelical and Christian sections of the population.

And number two, the code word now, or similar use of words, instead of God and Christianity, it’s now democracy and freedom to essentially justify the same kind of grabbing of land and resources and such.

GERALD HORNE: Well, I would make a friendly amendment. I would say that more than Christianity, we’re talking about the Protestant sect within Christianity. That is to say, if you look historically at the antipathy that has been expressed by Washington towards other nations in the hemisphere, you cannot separate that from the religious wars between London and Madrid that left London as the victor. And with the United States of America as a successor state to that Protestant impulse, and given the fact that much of South America is dominated by Catholicism, and given the fact that anti-Catholicism has been a core component of U.S. history going back to the 1820s at the time of the Monroe Doctrine, when convents were being burned to the ground and when Catholics were being persecuted.

Once again, this was not only an expression of religious bigotry, it was also an attempt to loot predominantly Catholic countries the way that Mexico was looted during the War of 1846 to 1848 and the way that Washington intends to loot, plunder, and pillage Venezuela, as national security adviser John Bolton made clear during a now infamous interview with Fox Business just a few weeks ago, when he suggested that the interests of the United States in Venezuela is taking its oil. That is to say that we have to take with more than a grain of salt, perhaps a shaker of salt, the evangelical Christianity that is said to undergird U.S. foreign Policy, which in many ways is just a cover and a veneer for a naked lust for profit.

PAUL JAY: There also is a lot of growth in Latin America of the evangelical church and variants of, to a large extent financed by the United States. In fact, I think evangelicalism is the fastest growing religion now in Latin America.

GERALD HORNE: Well, that is true. I mean, keep in mind that with the rise of liberation theology in Latin America a few decades ago and the option for the poor that at one time the present Pope was sent to represent, you have had a contrasting tendency within Christianity of so-called evangelical Christians, so-called Protestant sects who have sought to combat liberation theology on behalf of Washington, on behalf of Wall Street, on behalf of U.S. imperialism. And you see that same impulse at play, not least with the arrival in Bogota, Colombia of late, of Vice President Michael Pence, who is the political representative of that evangelical Christian tendency, a heartbeat away from the presidency.

PAUL JAY: The use of this religious imagery and grammar, and as I say, the use of the words democracy and freedom are akin to it for I guess a more secular audience, it’s part of the strategy of this modern version of the Monroe Doctrine. But I think it’s about the plunder of the resources and the reestablishment of the oligarchs in power, especially in the countries that were part of that pink tide, Brazil and Venezuela and they’re hoping for Bolivia and Nicaragua. But there’s another element to it which I think is important. When Tillerson was Secretary of State, and he was one of the more recent invokers of the Monroe Doctrine, what he was very concerned about, and I think U.S. policy is very concerned about, was the extent of which, because of these pink tide governments, China had become a major power in Latin America, I think Brazil’s number one trading partner, maybe the number one trading partner of Argentina.

And the geo strategy of trying to push back Chinese power and influence, this Venezuelan attempted coup needs to be looked at in that regard too, because both Russia, and particularly China, had loaned lots of money and were making real inroads into the Venezuelan oil sector. Let me add one other little piece to this. I mentioned this in another interview, but the largest source of heavy crude in the world, the reserves, is Venezuela, and one of the biggest refineries of heavy crude is owned by the Koch brothers in Texas. And Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, is a Koch brothers creation. His businesses were financed by the Koch brothers, his political candidacy in Congress as a Tea Party candidate, number one donor the Koch brothers, and now the Koch brothers have him as Secretary of State. So both oil objective, but geo strategic objective of pushing China out of its very strong position in South America and Latin America.

GERALD HORNE: Well, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. First of all, as is well known, Michael Pompeo hails from the prairie region of Kansas, is exactly what you said, a creation of the Koch brothers. In fact, there’s been some talk about him running for the U.S. Senate for an open Senate seat from the state of Kansas. Second of all, with regard to China, you not only find heavy Chinese influence in Venezuela in terms of oil, but also, as you noted correctly, with regard to Brazil and Argentina. In fact, during the G20 summit that took place a few months ago in Argentina, you had the conservative president of Argentina reprimand a U.S. spokesperson who made a critique of the Chinese role in Latin America precisely because the Argentine government is very close financially to the Chinese government.

But it’s not only in South America. If you look right off the shores of southern Florida, with regard to the Bahamas, you’ll find that China has become a major and important investor. Cuba, as is well known, has very close ties, not only to China but also to Russia. And indeed, it’s no accident that in demonizing Maduro and the Caracas-based regime, there has been a related demonizing of Cuba as a major supporter, particularly in the way that it helps to influence the Venezuelan military. And even in the Caribbean, Jamaica, for example, you see that the Chinese have been very active, building a road from north to south, which has been a long term wish of the Jamaican government going back to independence in 1962. So certainly, with regard to pushing out Venezuela, or that is to say the regime in Venezuela, this has everything to do not only with Chinese and Russian influence, but also the fact that in the waters off Venezuela, Exxon Mobil has just “discovered” five billion barrels of oil to recover. There is a territorial dispute between Guyana and neighboring Venezuela.

The Guiado cabal, which is seeking to come to power in Caracas has made clear–

PAUL JAY: Just quickly let me insert, Guiado is the guy who is the President of the National Assembly who declared himself president, something that was planned months before with the Canadian-led Lima group and the U.S. CIA and State Department. So Guiado is a part of this American scheme.

GERALD HORNE: And he’s made clear that he’ll be more willing to play ball with regard to Exxon Mobil than the current patriotic regime of Maduro in Caracas. So this is the actual situation that I’m afraid to say that is not only being ignored by the corporate media, but as well, you have many Democratic Party chieftains who are somehow looking past this reality.

PAUL JAY: Talk a little bit more about corporate news coverage of the current crisis in Venezuela and the extent to which the sort of “corporate democrat liberal,” big quotations around the word liberal, foreign policy establishment seem to have no problem whatsoever syncing up being on board with people like Elliott Abrams, who was responsible for war crimes and coups and facilitating the invasion of Iraq, and on and on. Both corporate TV news and these corporate Dems aren’t saying a word about being in the same boat with Abrams and the neocons.

GERALD HORNE: It’s quite curious, is it not. I mean, here you have Democrats, who accuse the 45th president of being a fraud and a con-man, some Democrats say he’s actually a traitor and in the pay of a foreign power, but yet they’re willing to go over the cliff with him with regard to what’s happening in Venezuela. I think that you should draw a lesson with regard to the bipartisan nature of the backing and support of U.S. imperialism. And quite frankly, it’s rather disappointing that you have people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who take progressive domestic positions, referring to Mr. Maduro as a quote “dictator,” giving aid and comfort to the coup mongers in Washington. And in fact, one of the few Democrats who’s spoken out vigorously against this impending coup attempt, or attempted coup in Caracas, is Congresswoman Omar of Minnesota, who has been demonized herself because of what she has raised with regard to the Israel lobby.

PAUL JAY: Just to mitigate a bit the Sanders thing, although I agree with you, I think especially he came out today or yesterday where he made a comment about the Venezuelan government should let the foreign aid through, supposed aid. Even serious progressive Venezuelan critics of Maduro, people like Edgardo Lander who are very critical of the Maduro government and critical even of the 2018 elections and so on, have denounced this foreign aid as a scheme to promote U.S. intervention. Sanders came out and called for allowing this aid through, so either he’s very badly informed or he’s caving to some of the pressure on this Venezuela issue.

On the other hand, at least he has opposed the intervention, and this bill I mentioned, H.R. 1004, has 33 members of the Progressive Caucus have signed on, calling for no U.S. military intervention. We’ll see how far that bill gets. So there are a small section of these progressives who have come out straightforwardly against intervention, which is not unimportant, but certainly the majority of the Democratic Party and the leadership are totally on board with the neocon vision for Latin America.

GERALD HORNE: Well, I think that that’s understandable in light of the fact that even the New York Times has suggested that the so-called opposition lacks a plan B. That is to say, they expected the Maduro regime to collapse like a house of cards. That has not happened, and therefore they’re flailing and floundering, looking for a way to push the regime out of power. But I would like to warn Washington and would like to warn Mr. Trump himself, personally, that it would be a grave error, and indeed a catastrophe, to contemplate a military intervention, not only because the Venezuelan military thus far is holding firm, but also recall that there are Colombian militants inside Venezuela who would like nothing more than to give Uncle Sam a bloody nose if Washington is so bold and outrageous as to contemplate a military intervention. Not to mention the fact that the most battle-hardened troops in the hemisphere, those are precisely Cuban troops and Cuban military advisors who work hand in glove with the Caracas-based regime. And so, I think that to a degree, this Democratic Party dovishness with regard to military intervention is understandable and certainly supportable.

PAUL JAY: Let me just add one thing. I’m going to show you some pictures here. This massive rally, demonstration, which is far as the eye can see, took place just a couple of days ago on Saturday. This is a pro-Chavista demo, protest, opposing any U.S. intervention, opposing Guiado. Our colleague that’s down there, Sharmini Peries is down there, and she says it’s as big as she’s ever seen. She was guessing at perhaps a million and a half people because it looked like as big as at the height of the Chavez years. There was also a large anti-government protest. I don’t know the numbers. It may even have been as big, but corporate media completely ignored the million and a half people or so that came out to oppose American intervention.

And you know, there’s a lot of people in that protest that I would guess have a lot of critique of the Maduro government, but their demand is that this is up to the Venezuelan people to sort this out, and the Americans should have nothing to do with it. And of course, they’re completely behind Guiado and were completely behind the coup in 2002. And it was people like this million and a half people that came out and defended Chavez in 2002 and prevented the coup from succeeding and brought Chavez back, literally, from a firing squad. And if the Americans ever try to use military intervention in Venezuela, they’re not just going to be facing the Venezuelan army, this million and a half people that are in the streets are likely going to be fighting them as well.

GERALD HORNE: Well, as is well known in Venezuela, there are militias that are comprised of many neighborhood groups that I think would be more than willing to go toe to toe with U.S. invaders. And likewise, I think the U.S. military invasion would split the opposition. It would split the Lima group as well. I think it would also help to split the European Union, which has thus far, generally speaking, been rather supportive, surprisingly enough, of the Trump team and their coup-mongering in Caracas, despite the fact that it’s well known that Mr. Trump has a bone to pick with the European Union as well.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Gerald.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 01, 2019, 12:31:23 pm »

Jonathan Roth - Civil War Coming to America?

Capitalism & Morality

Published on Nov 18, 2018

Jonathan Roth has nearly two decades of broadcasting experience as a producer and executive working for outlets ranging from CTV and OMNI Television to Mauldin Economics and Geopolitical Futures.  He has produced and/or hosted long-format conversations with individuals such as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Mossad director Efraim Halevy.  Roth is also a documentary director, most recently directing “China On Top: How China Is Using America’s Playbook To Take Over The World” featuring former U.S. Under-Secretary of Defense Michael Pillsbury and Nomi Prins, a former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs.

This speech was given at the Capitalism & Morality seminar in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday, 21 July 2018. http://jayantbhandari.com/capitalism-...

Jonathan Roth - Civil War Coming to America?

The next Capitalism & Morality Seminar will take place on Saturday, 3 August 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.

For more information on the seminar and links to past videos: http://jayantbhandari.com/capitalism-...

Or “like” our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/CapitalismMo...

Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2019, 11:47:50 pm »

Empire Files: An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela

Partner Content Provided By: The Empire Files

February 25, 2019

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2019, 08:15:42 pm »

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on February 26, 2019

Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Excellent summary of our not good state of affairs.

Another Masterpiece!  ;D

I still disagree with XRM's assessment that migration from SA is Climate-Driven.  It is primarily IMHO Population Overshoot, Economics & Politics driving it.


Thank you. In re the causes, I tend to agree with you and Eddie. When Eddie made that observation earlier, I thought he was right, but I've been busy and didn't 't comment. 

The proximate age cause of the emigration, IMO, is Uncle Fuc king Cracker's foreign policy, which has been one of in terminable meddling such that life is intolerable in Central America. People are fleeing from gangs, which flourish in a state of lawlessness and the collapse of order. Families presenting themselves seeking asylum (lawfully, BTW) at the border from countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala leave behind a myriad of stories, most connected to their homelands’ plague of armed violence.

Back in the day, Central Americans migrated for economic reasons. Since the end of internal armed conflicts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua (fomented by Uncle Sugar), thousands of Central Americans travelled to the U.S. to escape economic misery, to earn a buck and send some home. Nowadays there are fewer male migrants in their 20s-30s saddling up, and many more families, newborns, children, and pregnant women escaping life-or-death situations as much as poverty. There's your fuc king "caravan."

Who foments violence in these countries? Then same bully who has fomented violence and picked sides in the America's ever since James Monroe sh it loose a Doctrine. The Mexican War was unleashed by Polk in large measure to fuel the insatiable westward expansion of the US, and to appease American citizens in the south wished to gain more "slave states" in order to increase their political power. American arms prevailed, the Mexican cession gave us California, Nevada and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Spoils of war, etc.A d Uncle Sam learned an important lesson.

The FSoA doesn''t seem to be able to keep its fingers out of the panties of these countries. U.S. meddling leads to lawlessness and extreme insecurity leading to the expansion of gangs like MS-13 and others. Working g class people in these countries have to spend hard-earned money on private transport or after-school programs to avoid their kids coming into contact with criminal groups. Not as simple as sending yourmkids to school on the cheese wagon and not worrying about their safety for six hours.

In El Salvador, where one article I read had it that there are around 65,000 thousand active gang members, with a social support base of half a million people. Boys from 12 years up are prime targets for recruitment. Girls can also be targeted at an early age, either to be sexually abused or to become gang members. Little wonder these people want to get out. These gangs flourish in the absence of an effective government. Wouldn't you?

I can make a far stronger argument that climate change is a larger factor for emigration from the Middle East, especially Syria, tha. it is in Central America.

Yet for all this, I did like Xraymike''s piece.

Well said.

Noam Chomsky - History of US Rule 🦍😈👹🍌🏴‍☠️ in Latin America



Published on Dec 19, 2009

History of US Rule in Latin America; Elections and Resistance to the Coup in Honduras - Professor Noam Chomsky PhD.

Filmed by Paul Hubbard at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on 12-15-09


By the way, it is a little known, but accurate, historical fact that aging Thomas Jefferson 👹 was KEY in helping Monroe craft that "doctrine".
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2019, 12:41:28 pm »

The Coup Has Failed 👍 & Now the U.S. 🦍 Is Looking to Wage War: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Speaks Out

Heard this man in an interview with Jeremy Scahill on Intercepted. Makes a compelling case.

True. We are being lied to BIG TIME by the CAPITALIST media on behalf of CAPITALIST TYRANNY.

I heard this quote from the host of the hit comedy news show “Redacted Tonight”, Lee Camp , in the second half of a video I just posted from Democracy at Work. Using satire, he basically says it ALL.

"How many CIA backed coups do you need to accept that Socialism has failed?"

Full video 👍👍👍:

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