As the President of the Venezuelan Electoral Commission (CNE) read the results from the regional elections that took place on Sunday, October 15, one could feel the agony in the editorial rooms of mainstream media outlets. Chavismo had just won 18 out of 23  governorships, a result that, according to them, could not have happened. International observers praised the electoral process and opposition claims of fraud, while uncritically echoed by the media, do not have a leg to stand on.
he main stream media’s (MSM) ongoing narrative of the massacre in Las Vegas is clearly deceptive. This is nothing new. That is their modus operandi. Overwhelm people with a glut of information about a terrible tragedy and all becomes clear to people sick-at-heart over the deaths and injuries to innocent people. But it’s a false clarity engendered to confuse. Tell the story big and loud, and tell it repetitively from different angles, and It becomes hard to think straight, especially with the addition of all the sad stories of the innocent victims’ deaths and injuries. Who can forget the false official narrative that was spun amid the grief for all the innocent victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Few could think straight at the time.
Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world’s third biggest arms manufacturer, BAe Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.
It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.
This month, commemorations will be held in towns and cities across Russia to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Whilst the state and system that the revolution gave birth to – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Soviet communism – is no longer in existence today, the positive legacy of this pivotal event in history has endured in modern-day Russia. Indeed, as a result of the political, economic and social carnage of the 1990s in Russia, stemming directly from the collapse of the Soviet system, and which Russians continue to be haunted by to this very day, the legacy of what was officially known in the USSR as the Great October Socialist Revolution continues to receive more and more prominence within all age groups in Russia today, including the young.
One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.
The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a non-teaching day for me. I was home when the phone rang at 9 A.M. It was my daughter, who was on a week’s vacation with her future husband. “Turn on the TV,” she said. “Why?” I asked. “Haven’t you heard? A plane hit the World Trade Tower.” I turned the TV on and watched a plane crash into the Tower. I said, “They just showed a replay.” She quickly corrected me, “No, that’s another plane.” And we talked as we watched in horror, learning that it was the South Tower this time. Sitting next to my daughter was my future son-in-law; he had not had a day off from work in a year. He had finally taken a week’s vacation so they could go to Cape Cod. He worked on the 100th floor of the South Tower. By chance, he had escaped the death that claimed 176 of his co-workers. That was my introduction to the attacks. Sixteen years have disappeared behind us, yet it seems like yesterday. And yet again, it seems like long, long ago.
Apart from the criminally insane, (John McCain, Lindsey Graham et al.) nobody wants war, particularly nuclear war. Unfortunately, however, war happens, sometimes by accident sometimes by design. The present standoff between the US/NATO and Russia and China is a case in point. The United States ever present hegemonic ambitions are hardly secret and have been displayed in their most virulent and openly aggressive forms since the collapse of the USSR.
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. For the past week or so Diana (The Peoples’ Princess TM) has been in every paper, on every channel. The BBC has a saccharine fluff piece, shallow as a puddle. The Daily Mail goes one step further into the absurd, publicising a “what if” novel, offering a version of reality where Diana survived. In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland descends into self-parody by somehow contriving to use Diana’s anniversary to whine about Brexit (again), whilst Matthew D’Ancona makes the argument that maybe public emotion is bad and should be ignored. Hillary Mantel writes thousands of words about a person that never really existed, none of them really mean anything. Nobody, anywhere in the press, comes close to saying anything important. Nobody tries to tell the truth. I don’t know what happened the night Princess Diana died in a car accident, along with her lover and her driver – nobody knows. It could have been an accident, it could have been something worse. But there are …
After WWII, the West had one huge ‘problem’ on its hands: all three most populous Muslim countries on Earth – Egypt, Iran and Indonesia – were clearly moving in one similar direction, joining group of patriotic, peaceful and tolerant nations. They were deeply concerned about the welfare of their citizens, and by no means were they willing to allow foreign colonialist powers to plunder their resources, or enslave their people. In the 1950’s, the world was rapidly changing, and there was suddenly hope that the countries which were oppressed and pillaged for decades and centuries by first the European and then North American geopolitical and business interests, would finally break their shackles and stand proudly on their own feet.
by Philip Roddis, via Steel City Scribblings The most important book I’ve read in years is John Smith’s Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation and Capitalism’s Final Crisis. Here’s an abridged extract from its opening words: The collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story building housing textile factories, a bank and shops in an industrial district north of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, on 24 April 2013, killing 1,133 garment workers and wounding 2,500, was one of the worst workplace disasters in history. This disaster, and workers’ grief, rage, and demands for justice, stirred sympathy and solidarity from working people around the world— and a frantic damage-limitation exercise by the giant corporations that rely on Bangladeshi factories for their products yet deny any responsibility for the atrocious wages, living, and working conditions of those who produce all their stuff. Adding to the sense of outrage is the fact that, the day before, cracks had opened in the building’s structure. An initial inspection resulted in its evacuation and a recommendation that it remain closed. Next morning a bank and …
From Lebanon, text and photos: Andre Vltchek It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries. Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone. More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, heroic and well coordinated. The group was forced into accepting a ceasefire agreement, which went into effect on 27 July, and which stipulates that all of its fighters will be transferred by the army to a designated area inside Syria (Idlib). Vanessa Beeley, Associate Editor of the 21st Century Wire, wrote this comment for my essay, literally from “the rubble of East Aleppo”: This is a momentous victory for …
In truly perverse fashion, the newspapers have all suddenly remembered that Nuclear war is possible, and that it’s probably not a good idea. This is all built on the developing war of words between Trump’s administration and North Korea.
August 4, 2017 Dear OffGuardian readers: A reader in the UK has just advised us that SKY has been blocking the OffGuardian as a malware site, using its Sky Broadband Shield to deny the public access to us. People using Wifi through their Sky package may not find this out and will probably not know how to terminate this intrusion. The Sky number to call to have them remove their shield is 03442414141. As the reader who passed this information to us points out: The assault on truth and sites promoting it has begun and is far reaching and OffGuardian, like WSWS and other left-wing alternate media sites, is obviously being targeted. Hope OffG makes it known as did WSWS.” Here’s the text of Andre Damon’s “Google’s chief search engineer legitimizes new censorship algorithm,” published by the WSWS on July 31, 2017: Between April and June, Google completed a major revision of its search engine that sharply curtails public access to Internet web sites that operate independently of the corporate and state-controlled media. Since the implementation …
After weeks of imperialist threats and opposition violence, the elections for the Constituent Assembly (ANC) in Venezuela took place on July 30th. The result was a massive turnout of over 8 million voters, around 41% of the electorate, which gave chavismo a much-needed shot in the arm. The western media reacted by trying to dispute the number and sticking even closer to the narrative being pushed by the opposition and the US State Department. With the opposition scrambling and US authorities bringing more sanctions and threats, it is now chavismo that has the political initiative. The Constituent Assembly will not solve everything by itself, but it is a tremendous opportunity to push the Bolivarian Revolution forward.
Niccolò Machiavelli Italian politician, Writer and Author, adviser to the Medicis
It seems now overwhelmingly apparent that the ‘West’ has entered a phase of terminal decline – a multifaceted and ongoing deterioration at multiple levels: cultural, political, ideological and economic. Such is the way with all civilizations, particularly those based upon empire. This is not a novel phenomenon; indeed, has become something of a cliché (1). But the process appears to exhibit a recurring historical leitmotif.
With the Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.
Now, and for many decades past, the American public has displayed far higher confidence and trust in “The Military” than in any other “Institution” (including than churches, schools, the Presidency, the police, courts — any). And yet — according to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense — many billions, and sometimes even trillions, of dollars, in the Department’s periodic financial reports, are not documented.
When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green. They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.
by Darren Allen Our institutionalised brand of democracy goes by the name of capitalism. In such a system the word democracy, as Noam Chomsky points out actually means, run by the business classes. If it’s not run by business, it simply doesn’t count as democratic. Capitalist democracy is one in which all capital is privately, albeit indirectly, owned by a tiny club of psychologically stunted monsters. It is a democracy that asks us to vote, every four or five years, for people who have almost zero influence over the totalitarian corporate structures that actually run the planet and in which we spend most of our actual lives; a democracy that can only survive by making its members as stupid, anxious, greedy and hateful as possible so that they continue to vote for the owners and managers who sit at the bottom of the democratic money-funnel with their golden buckets, laughing like this: It’s worth asking, I think, how we could get to such a state. Ask yourself this; what do these six things have in …