All posts filed under: United States

Protests Planned Nationwide as Vote on FCC’s ‘Catastrophic’ Plan to Kill Net Neutrality Looms

by Jake Johnson, from CommonDreams.org With the FCC set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to kill neutrality in just over a week, a diverse coalition — ranging from consumer protection organizations to progressive lawmakers to Harvard professors — is denouncing the FCC’s proposals and scheduling nationwide protests to combat the agency’s move to let massive telecom companies “cash in on the internet” at the expense of consumers. Ajit Pai may be owned by Verizon, but he has to answer to Congress, and lawmakers have to answer to us, their constituents.”Evan Greer, Fight for the Future This is the free speech fight of our generation and internet users are pissed off and paying attention,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. “Ajit Pai may be owned by Verizon, but he has to answer to Congress, and lawmakers have to answer to us, their constituents.” Since Pai revealed his plan to gut net neutrality rules just before Thanksgiving, public outrage has continued to grow—even as corporate media outlets have …

“Colombia is safe for business, but not for people”: interview with Daniel Kovalik

Murders of trade unionists and social leaders, paramilitary activity, coca production…If we only paid attention to the mainstream media we would not get the idea that these problems are actually growing in Colombia, one year after the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC came into place. To get a better picture and understand how all these elements connect to US policy and corporate interests, we interviewed Daniel Kovalik, a lawyer and human rights activist who has long been involved in the struggle for peace and justice in Colombia.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Explains Why Nuclear Holocaust Is Now Likely – but still can’t help being economic with truth about causes

by Eric Zuesse The Stanford mathematician William J. Perry was a strategic nuclear advisor to U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and then he became U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. He stated in a speech on November 28th at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, that “inexplicably to me, we’re recreating the geopolitical hostility of the Cold War, and we’re rebuilding the nuclear dangers,” and he went so far as to make clear why “I believe that the likelihood of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe today is actually greater than it was during the Cold War.” Since no transcript of Perry’s very important speech is yet available to the public, I’ve created my own transcript, though summarizing, or sometimes editing-out, extraneous courtesies and verbal slip-ups and corrections of himself (which self-corrections appear to have been due to difficulties he had reading from his typed text). This edited version of the speech he delivered on November 28th thus includes everything that’s of general public interest in …

PBS Frontline: “Putin’s Revenge” – unintentionally hilarious

PBS’s Frontline series offers what it calls the “inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election.” We are publishing it here because it has to be seen to be believed. The sinister music and Burnsian black and white photography, the gravel-voiced narrator, all trying to give gravitas to a script that is so divorced from any kind of maturity, sanity or veridical reality it will make you dizzy. In its quick overview of Putin’s rise to power no mention is made of the collapse of infrastructure, the soaring crime rates and the suffering of working people made destitute by Yeltsin’s “democratisation” of the economy. And no mention is made of how “anti-democratic” Putin reversed this seemingly irreversible decline. No effort is made to define what is meant by “democracy” at all. Nothing that sophisticated is even attempted. Yeltsin, the hood and destroyer, is described as “pro-democracy” because he favoured the US and its economic piracy. Putin is “anti-democratic”, …

RT, Sputnik and Media Censorship in America

by Kit Just a few days ago RTAmerica was forced to register as a foreign agent in the United States. Using this designation as justification, Twitter and Facebook have now banned RT and Sputnik from advertising on their services. This is all over alleged Russian “interference” in the 2016 Presidential Election, for which there is still not a single piece of clear evidence. This is the United States of America, where freedom of the press is literally one of the founding principles of the nation. They celebrate their freedom every time they’re forced to stand through their national anthem. What would the press reaction have been if Russia had forced the BBC, for example, to register as a foreign agent? In fact, how many American or European media outlets have ever been forced to register as foreign agents in “autocratic” Russia where Putin has allegedly “shut down the free press”? Zero. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has operated in Russia and Eastern Europe for nearly 70 years. It’s an American destabilization programme. That’s not a “conspiracy …

Why Robert Mueller Was Selected to Be the Special Prosecutor

by Eric Zuesse It all began with the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in the Saudi city of Khobar, which killed 19 U.S. military, who worked at the Dharan air base three miles away. That incident became the lynchpin of the accusation by the Saudi royal family, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA, that Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Both Robert Mueller and his longtime ally James Comey (the latter of whose firing as the FBI chief, by U.S. President Trump, had sparked the appointment of Mueller to become the Special Counsel investigating the U.S. President) performed crucial roles in establishing that the Khobar Towers bombing had been a Hezbollah operation run by the Iranian Government — and, starting upon this basis, in helping to develop the case that Iran “is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism.” However, as has been made clear by several great independent investigative journalists, on the basis of far more-solid documentation than the official account, the Khobar Towers bombing was instead entirely a …

RussiaDidIt: cheap meddling, closet Marxists and racial tensions

Are you a western journalist or analyst with an issue you cannot explain? Do your symptoms include an unwillingness to learn anything from history and an unconditional embrace of western exceptionalism? Then we have just the thing for you: RussiaDidIt! Taken in the appropriate dosage, RussiaDidIt can be used for just any issue, small and large, old and new, near and far. Call your local US embassy or EU office and order your RussiaDidIt talking points. Side effects may include total paranoia, loss of credibility and a desire to wear the EU flag as a cape.

Why is the US Air Force collecting samples of Russian DNA?

The US Air Force recently put out a request for samples of DNA and RNA from Russians and people of Russian descent. Their reasons are unclear. This story, fairly predictably, has got very little coverage in the MSM…none, in fact. Vladimir Putin mentioned it in a speech, and there have been articles in the alternative media (The Duran and Zero Hedge have mentioned it, and some international networks such as RT, teleSur etc.)…but mainstream news? Totally silent. This is not some “crazy conspiracy theory”, the request (pictured above) is publicly available on US government websites. The lack of coverage of this issue in the MSM, while predictable, still serves to highlight how little objectivity our notionally free press really have. Can you imagine the headlines if Russia, China or Iran’s military had started doing research on British or American DNA samples? The hysteria would be deafening. So the question becomes…why? The memo states that the samples “must be Caucasian and Russian”, and that they will “not consider” samples from Ukraine. Why would that be the …

Trump’s Hate-Iran Campaign

by Eric Zuesse On October 19th, the far-right Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) held a “National Security Summit” which featured as speakers both Donald Trump’s CIA chief Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, both of them (as will be shown here by extensive excerpts from their speeches) whipping up hatred against Shia Iran and against Shia Muslims generally. They presented Shia Iran — not Sunni Saudi Arabia — as being the most dangerous source of radical Islamic terrorism. Donald Trump during his Presidential campaign had spoken frequently against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’, but everybody thought it pertained to the people who had perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, and those individuals were all fundamentalist Sunnis, not any Shias, and no one from Iran. But now, nine months into his Presidency, it’s clear that he was referring instead to Shia Muslims (and to Iran most of all), which Muslim category the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia hate, and call an “existential threat” to themselves, and so they even bomb Shia parts …

John Brennan’s Police State USA

by Mike Whitney, via Information Clearing House Did the United States warn Russia to stay out of Syria? Yes, they did. Did they tell the Russians that if they joined the war against ISIS and helped Bashar al Assad the US would make them pay a heavy price? Yes. Did US agents and diplomats warn their Russian counterparts that Russian troops would “come home in body bags” and that the western media would launch a propaganda campaign against them? Yes, again. Did US officials say the western media would concoct a phony story about “Russian hacking” that would be used to persuade the American people that Russia was a dangerous enemy that had to be reigned in with harsh economic sanctions, provocative military maneuvers, and threats of violence? No, but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which the CIA would pursue such a strategy. After all, the Intel agencies, the media and the entire political establishment have been hammering on Russia for over two years now. Isn’t it possible that elements of these …

It Hurts When Empires Fall

This article by Pål Steigan was originally published here. Translated by Graham Healey. There is a genre of landscape painting from the 17th and 18th centuries that ought to give us cause for reflection. They are paintings of Italian landscapes where goatherds and their flocks wander amongst the ruins of Roman aqueducts, bridges and temples. The fascinating thing about them is that they depict a European society which, more than 1200 years after the fall of the Roman empire, still had not regained the level of production and infrastructure that the Roman empire had at it’s height. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution in the 18th century that the productivity and infrastructure in Europe managed to surpass the Roman empire in its heyday. The paintings of goatherds and farm animals amongst the ruins of infrastructure and temples from classical Rome are like pictures of people moving among the remains of a high-tech civilisation that they no longer have the ability to match. The city of Rome had at its height a population of a million …

Why I Don’t Speak of 9/11 Anymore

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.

From previously unpublished pages of Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman”

by Vladimir Golstein From recently found and previously unpublished pages of Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman.” Day 1. Woke up late today.  Read NYT.  There are a lot of things that bother me.  There are Russian spies and Nazis everywhere.  And all they do is plotting something against our democracy.  What a disgrace. Went to a coffee shop.  On the way there, saw a dog carrying a newspaper.  A Chinese Chow-Chow dog.  Oh, those are crafty.  Followed it.  Found where it lived.  As I was getting close to it, I’ve heard it grumbled something.  But it was in Chinese, so I didn’t quite get it.  I wonder, how they make it in this country without English. Returned home and listened to the NPR.  Our president bothers me.  He wants to keep foreigners out.  If he does that, who will cut my grass? Had my quinoa salad and went to bed. Day 2. The NYT wasn’t at its usual place on the porch. Somebody must have read it already.  Must be one of those dogs.  They …

The story of Charlottesville was written in blood in the Ukraine

by Ajamu Baraka, August 16, 2017, via Black Agenda Report Some of the neo-Nazis President Obama helped put in power in Ukraine carried Confederate flags. U.S. society has been moving rightward for decades — and pulling much of Europe with it. What is the character of racist right-wing politics today?  Is it the crazed white supremacist who plows into an anti-fascist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, or can it also be the assurance by Lindsay Graham that an attack against North Korea would result in thousands of lives lost…. but those lives will be “over there”?  What about the recent unanimous resolution by both Houses of Congress in support of Israel and criticism of the United Nations for its alleged anti-Israeli bias?  Would that qualify as racist and right-wing, since it appears that the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians is of no concern?  And what about the vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to go even beyond the obscene proposal of the Trump administration to increase the military budget by $54 billion dollars and instead add …

Venezuela elections: resurgent chavismo and “unrecognised” democracy

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.

America Declares Economic War Against Europe

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have “knowingly provided goods or services … for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.” Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU. The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s. President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this …

The Guardian’s propaganda on Venezuela: all you need to know

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.

Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For

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.