All posts tagged: Empire Watch

Why Venezuela and Syria Cannot Fall

True. Both nations, Venezuela and Syria, are separated by a tremendous geographical distance, but they are united by the same fate, same determination and courage. During the Spanish Civil War, Czech anti-fascist fighters, volunteers in the International Brigades, used to say: “In Madrid we are fighting for Prague”. Madrid fell to Franco’s fascists in October 1939. Prague had been occupied by German troops several months earlier, in March 1939. It was the blindness and cowardice of the European leaders, as well as the support which the murderous fascist hordes received from populations of all corners of the continent, which led to one of the greatest tragedies in modern history – a tragedy which only ended on May 9, 1945, when the Soviet troops liberated Prague, defeating Nazi Germany and de facto saving the world.

Drugs: Threat to World and Factor of US Policy

Oil, weapons and drugs are among the products with the largest turnover in the world. According to the International Energy Agency, the world demand for oil is between 94 million barrels per day with the United States being the largest oil consumer in the world, 11,500,000 barrels of oil per day. Likewise, according to the International Institute of Studies for Peace in Stockholm, the United States is the leading producer and exporter of weapons worldwide, controlling 31% of the international market.

Gina Haspel and Pinocchio from Rome

by Edward Curtin Being in Rome, Italy and thinking of Gina Haspel, the CIA nominee and admitted torturer who says her “moral conscience” has changed after the fact, seems most fitting. Wherever you go in central Rome, you can hear the screams and smell the blood of those tortured and killed by the Roman Empire and those who ably followed in their stead. And you can see the crumbled stones and the pathetic architectural remains of those who thought they had triumphed. Their triumph turned to dust, and their belated mea culpas, if and when they ever came, always rang as hollow as Gina Haspel’s, Lt. William Calley’s, and Adolph Eichmann’s excuses that they were only doing their jobs and following orders. Throughout Rome there are hawkers dangling Pinocchio trinkets in your face, constant reminders of the cost of lying. Or perhaps more aptly, the fame that ensues from lying followed by a childish semi-apology, even when it’s as obvious as the nose on your face that you are lying still. So in the Senate …

On U.S. Imperialism, Capitalism and Fascism

If you want to know the untold history of the U.S.A., then a good place to start is with the history of US imperialism in Asia from the mid-19th century until today. Not only will that reveal the history of the criminality of US foreign policy, but it will also reveal the true nature of U.S. capitalism, imperialism, fascism and U.S. wars of aggression: past, present and future.

How Soon the Suckers Forget!

by PA Farruggio How many lies and how many innocent lives have been sent out into the ethers by men like Junior Bush and his Bush/Cheney Cabal? Too many is the answer. Yet, as with the case with the Irish singing star ( and humanitarian ) Bono, Junior Bush has been ‘ Born Again Philanthropist’. Well, good for him, but… that should not and DOES not absolve him from his war crimes. The real shame of all of this is just how short a memory do Ms. Degeneres and Mr. Bono have? I mean, come on you two Media stars, have you both forgotten what transpired beginning in October of 2002? Does this writer need to once again review the horrific damage we, and our whatever in the hell we named this NATO led coalition did to the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan? Bono, you the humanitarian, have you seen the photos of the myriad of little children with no limbs or eyes or birth defects from our depleted uranium shells? Ellen, you who call …

Diagnosing the West with Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD)

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment. By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.

Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.

WATCH: Tony Benn Speaks to Parliament

Tony Benn would be 93 years old today, and in tribute to greatest Prime Minister Britain never had, we publish this video, showing at once how right he was in his predictions, and how little the political scene has really changed. He cites America fabricating a pretext for war in the Middle-East, the dangers of acting outside the UNSC, the hypocrisy of supporting Saudi Arabia whilst condemning alleged human rights abuses in other countries and the vile hate propaganda creating a fever for war in the press. He talks about America’s history of brutality and the consequent lack of moral authority, the profit of the military industrial complex and their real motivation being oil and energy supplies. He was speaking in 1990.

Olympic Games Make US Regime Paranoid and Unpredictable

Despite all the efforts of a paranoid and unpredictable US regime, the Koreans are making peace not war during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The US is furious and pulling out all the stops to tarnish the Games, and it is trying to put South Korea back on the US colonial leash. South Korea’s democratically elected peace-president Moon Jae-in is showing signs that he is not an America poodle on a short leash.

Capitalism Reduced Indonesian Cities to Infested Carcases

From Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Samarinda and Pontianak, text and photos: Andre Vltchek Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta’s posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he ‘had something urgent to tell me’, after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital. What he had to say was actually straight to the point and definitely worth sitting two hours in an epic traffic jam: “No one will be allowed to build comprehensive public transportation in Jakarta or in any other Indonesian city. If a mayor or a governor tries and defies the wishes of the ruthless business community which is in fact controlling most of the Indonesian government, he or she will be dethroned, or even totally destroyed.” These ‘prophetic’ words are still ringing in my ears, several months after the complete destruction of the progressive Jakarta governor, known as Ahok (real name: Basuki Tjahaja Purnama), who tried …

“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.

Borneo – Island devastated, people oblivious

from Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan): Andre Vltchek and Mira Lubis She was just standing there, in the middle of burning land, surrounded by stumps of trees, fire everywhere, smoke rising towards hopelessly gray sky. The expression on her face was mischievous, almost girlish. I had no idea how old she was: she could have been 28, just as she could easily have been 55. This island, this village, this charred land: it all looked like hell to me, but obviously not to her: it actually made her laugh, burst with pride. After all, it was her island, not mine; it was her land, her trees, and it was all getting royally fucked. She was personally participating in this carnage of nature – she, as well as her husband, her entire family, her neighbors. Her name was Bu Elvi. ‘Bu’ means mom, or mam or Misses, in Bahasa Indonesia. Her scorched land spans near the village of Dusun Terusan, and Dusan Terusan is near Sintang, in the heart of Borneo, on the largest island in Asia, which …

Chris Hedges: The End of Empire

Chris Hedges in TruthDig: The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too. The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence …

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 …

Germany’s Minister of Defense is the first victim of “Zapad 2017”

Adomas Abromaitis Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen at a defense ministers’ summit in Estonia on September, 7 criticized upcoming Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 military exercises. She said that around 100,000 Russian soldiers will take part in the upcoming Zapad 2017 war games, despite Moscow’s claims that they will only have 12,700 participants and exercise will not exceed the 2011 Vienna Document limits. Moscow and Minsk also insist on defensive character of the exercise. Two countries that constitute the Union State of Russia and Belarus pre-declared intention to improve interoperability of staffs of different levels as well as interfacing of prospective troops and armament control systems in order to be prepared to react adequately to emerging threats. The statement of Germany’s Minister of Defense fully contradicts these official sources and was likely made in order to divert attention from internal problems in the German Army and switch it to external factors. Is Germany itself really ready to cope with rapidly changing geopolitical situation? This question should logically be addressed to the country’s Minister of Defense …

Russia Slowly but Surely Putting an End to the American Empire

A russian soldier on a humanitarian mission in Syria. A Darius Shahtahmasebi op-ed in AntiMedia: Over the past few weeks, some dramatic stories and a potential nuclear war have taken the media’s attention away from the non-story that is the Russiagate-election scandal. But as attention veers away from the Russian hacking narrative, why are genuine stories regarding Russia’s actual influence in the world almost completely ignored? Russia is slowly but surely nabbing small but significant pieces of the American empire. Not only did Russia foil the U.S. military establishment’s plan to dominate Syria by inserting its military in the country and setting up a quasi-no-fly-zone of its own, but Russia is also acquiring pieces of the global chessboard through other means. Let’s start backward. Washington’s violent, stalwart ally and regional power player Saudi Arabia has been cozying up to Russia over the course of the year amid Russia’s demonstrable successes in Syria. As Al-Jazeera explains: “In late May, then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman went to Russia to discuss with President Vladimir Putin the oil market and the situation in Syria. The visit came just three weeks before Crown Prince Mohammed …

The Nations that Accept Nazism Today

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism ‘respectable’ again. On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology (opposing the ideology that’s commonly called “nazism”) which Resolution was titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance”, 115 nations voted “Yes” to pass the Resolution, 3 voted “No” to reject it, and 55 voted “Abstain,” meaning they didn’t want to express a view on the resolution. An additional 19 didn’t vote at all on it (decided to absent themselves from that roll-call, for whatever reason — basically, not even saying whether they were neutral on it by voting “Abstain” — just said nothing at all on it). The document that they were voting on had been posted complete on 17 November 2014, and is still posted in its entirety here. As can be seen there, it had been proposed by …

Why Trump rolled over on Russia

by Philip Roddis, from Steel City Scribblings Trump’s cave in on rapprochement with Putin shows the hollowness and shallow worldview of this inept narcissist. More importantly, it shows an American ruling class committed to war, cold for now, on Russia. To see why, we must set aside what we think we know about the old one. Suppose that cold war was not about ‘defending our freedom’. Suppose it was instead about one sixth of the world’s land mass – its vast resources and markets – being closed off to Profit. Why suppose any such thing? Because for reasons beyond my current remit, capitalism’s inner laws of motion demand ceaseless accumulation, even as they drive a tendency to falling profits. I haven’t the space here to prove these things, nor do I ask anyone to accept them on my say so. I ask only that for purposes of inquiry we suppose them true. Things that don’t otherwise make much sense suddenly snap into focus. Like why there’s still a cold war on Russia …. The Reagan …

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.

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.

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn’t even built on trading-blocs. In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said: In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly. It goes on to observe: Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and …