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Veteran activists called out BLM as a tool of the Democrats from day 1. But agenda-driven $Millions drown out the grassroots

By Helen Buyniski | RT | July 6, 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement has made millions off black Americans’ suffering. A St. Louis activist explains how it comes from a long tradition of white liberals coopting grassroots movements to push a Democratic Party agenda.

The foundation-funded social justice activism of Black Lives Matter is using black pain to cash in on white liberal guilt, dividing American society in pursuit of a Democratic political agenda, St. Louis activist Nyota Uhura told RT.

Uhura founded her website handsupdontshoot in August 2014 to counter false narratives coming out of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Having witnessed BLM’s rise up close as the nascent organization swooped into Ferguson amid the calls for justice triggered by Brown’s killing, methodically co-opting the genuine protest energy while ignoring or even obstructing those protesters’ demands, Uhura has fought to warn others of what the organization really represents – leveraging black activism into a boost for the Democratic Party.

The science of co-opting movements

Plucking a few Ferguson residents from the streets for a veneer of local credibility, BLM raised $33 million on the back of Brown’s death – money Uhura says her community never saw. Six years later, black St. Louis remains poor and plagued with violence, while BLM has found a new community to exploit.

“They overshadow the work of the grassroots, then they insert themselves as leaders and they go out in the media and claim to be leading these movements,” Uhura said.

Outlining the methodology of BLM and other astroturfed movements, she added that sometimes they literally just showed up at a protest they didn’t plan and did a news conference. This is a tradition she traces back to white liberals’ hijacking of the 1963 March on Washington.

That tradition has been boiled down to a science, she says, with organizations like NetRoots turning out phony ‘activists’ with the ruthless efficiency of an assembly line. “NetRoots is where activists go to audition to be puppets of the Democrats, special interest and white elite nonprofit,” she continued.

“It happens so fast that all the pieces are in place before you even have a chance to know what hit you… Before you even know it, you’re watching the news and they have coopted your movement.”

White liberal and progressive groups “use the energy of our movement to push their agenda” – in BLM’s case, weaponizing the concept of “intersectionality” to broaden the movement’s scope from race to feminism, immigrant rights, LGBT issues, and other causes that directly affect white people.

“In order to mobilize people, they need those black faces out front – because what are they going to look like protesting? Just in terms of optics it’ll look like a Klan rally,” Uhura joked. She has a point – just 17 percent of last month’s protesters were black, according to a Pew Research poll published last week, a statistic the organization’s foes are unlikely to let it forget.

Real activists disenfranchised

Uhura is far from the only grassroots activist to publicly speak out against BLM for pulling a bait-and-switch, substituting the Democratic Party’s pet causes in place of justice for the victims of police violence. The group’s Cincinnati chapter dropped the iconic phrase from its name in 2018, alleging the national organization “capitalized off a nameless groundswell of resistance sweeping the nation, branded it as their own, and profited off [black people’s deaths]” without making an effort to get justice for victims’ families.

The Cincinnati chapter also says that BLM’s 2015 conference in Cleveland – where 12-year-old Tamir Rice had just been gunned down by a cop for holding a toy gun – focused almost exclusively on black transgender rights, further dividing a suffering community.

Los Angeles activists slammed BLM’s local chapter for ignoring the killing of Ezell Ford, a mentally-ill man shot by police in 2014, to travel to Ferguson and piggyback on the Michael Brown shooting. Upon their return to Los Angeles, where the activist community was demanding the city’s district attorney indict Ford’s killers, BLM Los Angeles not only continued to ignore the injustice, one of its leaders actually bestowed a ‘Women in Action’ award on the same DA who exonerated the cops who killed him.

Others take issue with what they see as obvious grifting by some of BLM’s most prominent representatives. DeRay McKesson has promoted brands from Apple to McDonald’s, and even got himself arrested in a Twitter T-shirt in what many activists believe was a staged promotion.

Shaun King is so legendary for making large sums of money raised “for the movement” disappear that the Daily Beast wrote a story about it. King recently announced a “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” in conjunction with three of the same “progressive prosecutors” that activists like Uhura have denounced for failing to police the police.

‘They always march us back into the voting booth’

Like all controlled opposition movements, one of BLM’s primary functions is to derail meaningful change. Uhura explained, “They always march us back into the voting booth.”

Well-heeled movement activists consistently divert money and energy into electing Democratic Party candidates or “progressive” prosecutors, none of whom hold police accountable when they murder innocent black men, whether it’s in Ferguson, Los Angeles, or New York City.

For this reason, she’s not convinced by the group’s recent calls to defund police, or the Minneapolis City Council’s pledge to do just that – the governments of Ferguson and St. Louis promised all manner of reforms they didn’t deliver. Many that did pass were hopelessly watered-down or have since been rolled back, and Uhura sees ‘defund the police’ as just another fundraising tactic.

The only electoral solution to the black community’s problems is “weaponizing our politics,” according to the veteran activist – all incumbents have to go. They’ve had their chance to make a difference, and proven themselves unwilling to deliver. “It might take one or two election cycles to mold a person into what we need, but right now we’re losing anyway,” she explained. “We have to just clean house and get rid of everybody. How can it be worse?”

BLM recently came under fire for doling out just six percent of its donations to local chapters over the past three years, with a whopping 83 percent going to pay consultants and travel costs. The complicated route the money takes from donor to chapter has elicited extensive speculation about the possibility of money laundering, and BLM representatives have been almost cartoonishly cagey when asked by reporters about their finances

Co-founder Alicia Garza has denied the group is backed by foundations at all, even though billionaire currency speculator George Soros alone has given over $33 million to BLM, its founders, and associated groups, and the Ford Foundation pledged to raise $100 million in 2016. Fellow co-founder Patrisse Cullors has held up a fact-check by PolitiFact, funded by the same Omidyar Network that funds BLM, as “proof” the group isn’t linked with the Democratic Party.

But it’s the group’s function as an ideological launderer that has thus far insulated it from accountability. From the corporations pouring millions of dollars into its coffers to burnish their woke cred, to the politicians donning Kente cloths and pandering their way to re-election, BLM positions itself as ‘the’ black activism group, overshadowing grassroots campaigners and sucking up all available cash – literally starving out the competition, as genuine movements struggle to be heard by the media and greater public over the foundation-funded din.

This model of activism has been so successful over the decades that it has come to dominate every cause from environmentalism to civil liberties, offering young people a “romanticized view of activism where it’s all hashtags, all patty-cake, all sugar and cream, when nothing could be further from the truth.”

Uhura, however, is confident that BLM’s true nature will be exposed, citing the movement’s own inherent discrimination: “How does Black Lives Matter get to decide WHICH black lives matter when they purposefully omit straight black people and straight black men whose death they profit from?”

But as long as grassroots activists are losing ground to foundation-funded rivals, new BLMs will keep popping up. Real activists must “create an alternative” to foundation-funded movements, she says – or risk losing the next generation to the Democratic operatives and keeping justice out of the reach of black communities forever.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | | 1 Comment

“Woke” America is More Asleep to Injustice Than Ever

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By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 06.07.2020

To drive home just how superficial and empty recent protests in America are and how little besides further division and destruction will become of them – take the fate of two fictional characters recently put in the spotlight by baying activists – PepsiCo’s “Aunt Jemima” breakfast food brand and Mars Incorporated’s “Uncle Ben’s” rice products.

Both came into the crosshairs of “woke” America. Both fictional characters will now no longer be used.

It might appear like a huge victory for “woke” America.

CNN in their article, “The Aunt Jemima brand, acknowledging its racist past, will be retired,” would claim:

Quaker Oats is retiring the more than 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and logo, acknowledging its origins are based on a racial stereotype.

“As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations,” the Pepsi-owned company said in a statement provided to CNN Business.

And the London Guardian in their article, “Uncle Ben’s rice firm to scrap brand image of black farmer,” would claim:

The rice company Uncle Ben’s is to scrap the image of a black farmer the brand has used since the 1940s and could change its name, as companies react to growing concerns over racial bias and injustice.

The parent company, Mars, said Uncle Ben was a fictional character whose name was first used in 1946 as a reference to an African American Texan rice farmer.

While there is no doubt that both fictional characters represented stereotypes and are rooted in America’s racist past – “woke” America’s belief that somehow this was a priority or some form of victory begs belief. So does the fact that those opposed to expanding mobs and their “cancel culture” have crafted the most anemic counterpoints.

Some claim that the fictional characters were either inspired or portrayed by real African Americans who profited from the branding.

What neither side mentioned was the very real abuses both companies are guilty of – abuses that are both inhumane and rooted in extraordinary, inexcusable, and thus far utterly unaddressed racism.

PepsiCo and Mars Sponsor/Profit From Slavery and Mass Murder 

Both “woke” America as well as those trying to form opposition to it have entirely missed the fact that PepsiCo and Mars Inc. – two multi-billion dollar businesses – are literally engaged in modern day slavery to create their products while sponsoring policy think-tanks that have engineered wars targeting African nations, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands and open-air slave markets where black people – today – are sold into bondage.

This would seem to be a much greater transgression against black people than their crude depictions in company branding and demands much more serious action than merely adjusting marketing strategies – such as demanding boards of directors to resign or full-spectrum, permanent boycotts for these businesses and their many subsidiaries and brands.

Unfortunately for “woke” America, fictional characters are a priority taken head-on all while activists blissfully munch on chocolate bars made by cocoa harvested by African slave labor and sip on drinks made by a corporation which sponsors US wars abroad in which blacks are mass murdered and enslaved.

Your Mars Inc. Chocolate Comes from Slave Labor

If you enjoy chocolate snacks like 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Mars, and Milky Way bars, the chocolate you ate most likely came from a developing nation with dismal working conditions and in many cases, child and slave labor.

Mars Inc. along with Nestle, Hersey, and many other chocolate companies, source cocoa from Africa and especially the nations of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

A Washington Post article published just last year titled, “Cocoa’s child laborers,” would note:

Mars, Nestlé and Hershey pledged nearly two decades ago to stop using cocoa harvested by children. Yet much of the chocolate you buy still starts with child labor.

The article elaborated, noting:

About two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to a 2015 U.S. Labor Department report, more than 2 million children were engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.

When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor.

Black children used as labor and under conditions and for wages bordering slavery to produce cocoa Mars Inc. knowingly uses in its products – and makes billions of dollars off of – seems like a much bigger issue than what is undoubtedly offensive labelling practiced by Mars Inc. through its “Uncle Ben’s” brand.

Indicative of the carefully controlled nature of ongoing protests is how the Washington Post has reported on Mars Inc.’s genuinely offensive, even criminal predation on black labor in Africa in the past as well as Mars Inc.’s offensive branding more recently, but failed to link the two in its most recent reporting – thus artfully avoiding a genuinely “woke” readership and any genuine damage real protests and boycotts would have on Mars Inc. and other corporations whose interests Washington Post regularly serves as a voice for.

Big-Biz like PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are an Affront to All

Mars Inc. – alongside PepsiCo, Nestle, and Hersey – was also involved in funding anti-labelling campaigns to prevent legislation from passing that would force food manufacturers to inform consumers their products contained genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Corporations spending money to hide dangerous ingredients from consumers endangers everyone’s health – black and white, left and right.

Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others defend such campaigning, claiming that such legislation would be “costly” – as would ensuring  all of their ingredients are ethically procured and free of child and/or slave labor.

Yet Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others are multi-billion dollar businesses. The Mars family which owns Mars Inc. consists mostly of family members who are billionaires – not mere millionaires – but billionaires.

Their daily “concerns” include ensuring their sprawling 82,000 acre ranches have enough water and that they receive the most lenient penalties when crashing their Porsche SUV’s into vans carrying families.

Mars Inc. and other multi-billion dollar businesses can afford to do better, simply at the cost of being slightly less well-off billionaires or perhaps even being demoted to millionaires – yet they simply and deliberately choose to profit off the backs of poorly informed consumers at home and exploited/enslaved labor abroad.

If what Mars Inc. and PepsiCo contributed to was only limited to cultivating ignorant consumers at home and using slave labor abroad it would be bad enough. And if America’s “woke revolution” was serious about justice, Mars Inc. and PepsiCo would be on the chopping block for much more than their crude, racist marketing, and would have more demanded of them.

But that is not all Mars Inc. and PepsiCo are contributing to.

Sponsoring Warmongering and Mass Murder in Africa (and everywhere else)

Both PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are sponsors of policy think tanks like the Brookings Institution whose “scholars” and “fellows” churn out the blueprints for US wars which are then rubber stamped by the US Congress and sold to the public by the corporate media.

Brooking Institution’s 2019 annual report (PDF) lists both companies – PepsiCo and Mars Inc. – as sponsors as were both companies in 2011 (PDF).

Brookings and its corporate-sponsored staff worked diligently in 2011 to help sell the US military intervention in the North African nation of Libya. It was a key institution involved in creating and spreading the notion of “R2P” or the “responsibility to protect” used as flimsy cover for a long-planned US desire to effect regime change in Libya.

As early as February 2011, the Brookings Institution published articles and papers like, “United States Must Take Lead on Libya,” in which Brookings “Senior Fellows” – funded by the likes of PepsiCo and Mars Inc. – made the nascent calls for US military intervention that would eventually lead to the US arming militants openly and carrying out air strikes across the nation.

Indeed, the US armed militants in eastern Libya – a hotbed for racism and extremism and the epicenters of Al Qaeda in the country – as well as provided roving bands of armed gangs air support as they swept the nation.

When Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was violently swept from power later that year, the estimated 2.5 million Africans from across the continent he took in, providing housing and living wages to, found themselves being hunted by US-backed militants.

To explain the blatant and explosive racism that predictably swept Libya in the wake of the US-backed war, articles like the CS Monitor’s “How Qaddafi helped fuel fury toward Africans in Libya,” would claim:

Many experts – and African migrant workers themselves – say the animosity stems from anti-African racism found throughout the Arab world. But some say the anger has been made much worse by Mr. Qaddafi’s moves to buy the loyalty of black Libyans from the south of the country as well as his decades-long efforts to build Africa-wide patronage networks at great cost to the country’s Arab majority.

In other words – the CS Monitor and the Western “experts” it cited claim Qaddafi “fueled fury toward Africans” by merely spending resources to help them. It is an oblique attempt to justify the racism-driven genocide US-backed militants carried out during their “victory lap” in Libya.

Black Africans living in Libya were either driven out of the country, across the Mediterranean and into Europe to face hardship and racism there or either mass murdered in Libya or rounded up and enslaved.

The Western media – partners with institutions like Brookings – denied this at first – or attempted to excuse it like the CS Monitor – but eventually covered the fallout US military intervention in Libya and its long-planned regime change agenda triggered.

Reuters in their article, “African workers live in fear after Gaddafi overthrow,” would admit:

Tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled Libya since the armed revolt against Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule began in February, with Africans afraid they have become targets for fighters who accuse them of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.

This antipathy appears to have spread to all Africans, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, robbery and other abuse by the gun-toting, mostly young, fighters who ousted Gaddafi.

Identity cards of nationals from Chad, Niger, Mali, Sudan and other African states have been found on the bodies of gunmen who anti-Gaddafi fighters say were paid to confront them.

The BBC in its article, “Libya migrant ‘slave market’ footage sparks outrage,” would admit:

Migrants trying to reach Europe have spoken of being held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money.

The footage released by CNN appears to show youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.

While these media sources covered the fallout of the 2011 US military intervention, they were careful not to link the fallout directly to the intervention.

The US war against Libya was a humanitarian catastrophe deliberately engineered by Western think tanks funded by big-business like PepsiCo, Mars Inc., and many others, rubber stamped by politicians in Washington – both Democrat and Republican – and eagerly sold to the public by the corporate media.

And even as recently as 2016, Brookings “Senior Fellow” Shadi Hamid in a piece published on Brookings’ site titled, “Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong,” would remain insistent in defending the US-led war and the decimated, racist, and dysfunctional Libya left in its wake.

He argues that if the US didn’t intervene, Qaddafi would have successfully eliminated the racist extremists in eastern Libya and particularly in Benghazi who would eventually carry out genocide against Libya’s black population. Hamid simply omits any mention of this or who actually was based in Benghazi and instead refers to them merely as “protesters.”

Thus, PepsiCo and Mars Inc. – alongside oil corporations and weapons manufacturers – are funding an institution that not only engineers and eagerly promotes wars, they fund an institution that is utterly unapologetic about the calamity these wars cause – including wars like in Libya ending tragically for 2.5 million black Africans.

“Woke” America needs to be conscious enough to recognize the true injustice underpinning American society. It is very likely that as protesters in America and online around the globe rail against “Aunt Jemima” and “Uncle Ben’s” many activists are eagerly enjoying many of the other products produced by and profiting PepsiCo and Mars Inc. – oblivious to the fact that the ingredients are procured through child and slave labor in Africa and the profits are directed into promoting wars that leave blacks abroad dead, displaced, or enslaved. And as long as this is the case, nothing of any genuine substance will ever change in America or across the wider Western World.

If real justice is what Americans – all Americans – want, they need to truly wake up to this fact first.

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 3 Comments

CIA Information Warfare Succeeds: Occupation of Afghanistan forced to continue, Trump’s real crimes in Afghanistan ignored

By Ben Barbour | Global Research | July 5, 2020

On July 1st the House Armed Services Committee voted to hinder Donald Trump’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. House Democrats on the committee teamed up with Republicans, including Liz Cheney (daughter of war-architect Dick Cheney), to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act “that prohibits Congress from spending money to pull US troops out of Afghanistan without first meeting a series of vague conditions that critics said appeared to prevent withdrawal.” Without any public debate the US will now continue its occupation after the CIA claimed that Russia paid Taliban-linked groups to kill American soldiers.

What’s the evidence? General John Nicholson speculated that Russia was arming the Taliban in 2017. In April 2019, three marines were killed in an attack that the Taliban claimed responsibility for. Unnamed intelligence officials believed that the Russians may have payed militants to attack US troops. In March 2020, The CIA concluded that the Russians were paying the bounties. They cited testimony from captured militants and pointed to a Seal Team Six raid of a Taliban outpost that resulted in the recovery of a half a million in cash.

That’s it. That’s all the information that the American public is allowed to know. It’s hardly even mentioned that the NSA disagreed with the CIA’s assessment, stating “the information wasn’t verified and that intelligence officials didn’t agree on it.” Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DOD) claimed that “to date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.” Americans are taking the CIA’s word as gospel.

How exactly did the CIA conclude that the half a million in cash came from Russia and not from Taliban opium trafficking operations? The US military claimed that 60% of the Taliban’s funding comes from the opium trade. Is $500,000 in cash unheard of in opium sales? Who are these captured militants that claimed that Russia payed bounties for dead American soldiers? Were these militants tortured by the CIA? The CIA has the largest torture program in the world. Is the information reliable or was the information obtained under dubious circumstances? How do we even know these militants actually made these claims?

The foundation of the assertions is also questionable. Americans are supposed to believe that the Taliban had to be prompted to attack American soldiers. The US has been occupying Afghanistan for nearly 20 years. The war in Afghanistan has resulted in over 2,400 dead American soldiers and over 38,500 dead civilians. US soldiers have been targeted by the Taliban and an assortment of other militant groups over the past 19 years. That’s the cost of occupation. If over 38,500 civilians have been killed, then there are a lot of angry Afghans that lost family members. Russia does not need to pay the Taliban or any militant group to attack US soldiers. This should not need explanation. The rush to accuse Trump of treason has made Americans lose their critical thinking skills.

More partisan liberals are upset about Trump’s inaction over unproven allegations of Russian bounties than they are by Trump’s record setting bombing campaign in Afghanistan:

“in 2019, according to figures released by Air Force Central Command, the United States ‘dropped more munitions on Afghanistan than in any other year over the past decade.’ More bombs were dropped in most months of 2019 than in any previous months since records were first made publicly available in 2009.”

These bombings led to a massive surge in civilian casualties. In one case, at least 30 pine nut farmers were killed in a drone strike that resulted in zero militants being killed. Where is the outrage over this? How many more Afghans are going to die if Trump is pressed to be even more unhinged to prove he is not a traitor? The end game is more death and more occupation.

This new scandal being pushed by the CIA also conveniently deflects from Trump’s real scandals in Afghanistan. In June, Trump signed an executive order “imposing sanctions on several individuals associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

The ICC is investigating war crimes in Afghanistan. Their investigations include potential American war crimes. They may even involve Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “Pompeo may be personally at risk for wrongdoing that the Court could uncover of CIA activities when he was the director of the agency.” The Trump administration is claiming that because the US has not ratified the Rome Statute, that the ICC has no legal basis to prosecute American war crimes. This is incorrect. The Rome Statute allows the ICC to prosecute non-party countries if war crimes are committed by that party in a country that has ratified the Rome Statute. Afghanistan has ratified the Rome Statue. That puts the US on the hook for potential war crimes committed in that region.

Needless to say, never-Trump neocons have been silent about Trump’s targeting of the ICC. Likewise, partisan liberals have not gone after Trump on this front either. The reasons are obvious. The Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations are culpable in war crimes in Afghanistan as well. The nearly two-decades long war is a bipartisan project. Furthermore, self-professed left-wingers and liberals are taking their cues from Bush-era neocons like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and an assortment of pro-war goons from the Lincoln Project Political Action Committee.

Russiagate broke partisan liberals’ brains. They are now calling for Trump to ramp up escalation in Afghanistan. They actually believe the absurd over-the-top ads put out by the Lincoln Project. Donald Trump ramped up the war in Afghanistan in 2017 when he did a 3,500-troop surge from 10,500 to 14,000 troops. Trump then increased bombing campaigns throughout his term and set records for bombings in 2019. Civilians casualties spiked. In June 2020, he targeted the ICC for having the audacity to look into US war crimes.

None of this barbarism earned Trump the ire of prominent neoconservatives and liberals. Trump is being vilified for having talks with the Taliban and taking steps towards scaling-down US troop presence. After four years of Russiagate hysteria the only explanation for Trump’s actions is capitulation to Russia. Afghan civilians be damned, Trump needs to ramp up again in Afghanistan to stop Putin or he’s a traitor! The neocon dogma pushed onto liberals by never-Trump Republicans did its job. Partisan liberals are parroting the line of the CIA. The attempt to sabotage talks with the Taliban and prevent troop withdrawals from Afghanistan worked.

The Resistance” just helped push the continued occupation of Afghanistan to score cheap political points. The CIA thanks them for their “patriotism.”

Ben Barbour is an American geopolitical analyst.

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Are the Democrats a Political Party or a CIA-Backed Fifth Column?

By Mike Whitney • Unz Review • July 5, 2020

How do the Democrats benefit from the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests?

While the protests are being used to paint Trump as a race-bating white supremacist, that is not their primary objective. The main goal is to suppress and demonize Trump’s political base which is comprised of mainly white working class people who have been adversely impacted by the Democrats disastrous free trade and immigration policies. These are the people– liberal and conservative– who voted for Trump in 2016 after abandoning all hope that the Democrats would amend their platform and throw a lifeline to workers who are now struggling to make ends meet in America’s de-industrialized heartland.

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public’s attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain’t what it used to be.) The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues “will and will not” be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary’s ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings, for example, Democrats have offered nearly blanket support for protests that have inflicted massive damage on cities and towns across the country. In the eyes of many Americans, the Dems support looks like a tacit endorsement of the arson, looting and violence that has taken place under the banner of “racial justice”. The Dems have not seriously addressed this matter, choosing instead to let the media minimize the issue by simply scrubbing the destruction from their coverage. This “sweep it under the rug” strategy appears to be working as the majority of people surveyed believe that the protests were “mostly peaceful”, which is a term that’s designed to downplay the effects of the most ferocious rioting since the 1970s.

Let’s be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, “right wing populism” which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. This is Trump’s mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

Author Charles Burris expanded on this topic in an article at Lew Rockwell titled America’s Monumental Existential Problem:

“The wave of statue-toppling spreading across the Western world from the United States is not an aesthetic act, but a political one, the disfigured monuments in bronze and stone standing for the repudiation of an entire civilization. No longer limiting their rage to slave-owners, American mobs are pulling down and disfiguring statues of abolitionists, writers and saints in an act of revolt against the country’s European founding, now re-imagined as the nation’s original sin, a moral and symbolic shift with which we Europeans will soon be forced to reckon.”

The statue-toppling epidemic is vastly more disturbing than the the looting or arson, mainly because it reveals an ideological intensity aimed at symbols of state power. By tearing down the images of the men who created or contributed to our collective history, the vandals are challenging the legitimacy of the nation itself as well as its founding “enlightenment” principles. This is the nihilism of extremists whose only objective is destruction. It suggests that the Democrats might have aspirations that far exceed a mere presidential victory. Perhaps the protests and riots will be used to justify more sweeping changes, a major reset during which traditional laws and rules are indefinitely suspended until the crisis passes and order can be restored. Is that at all conceivable or should we dismiss these extraordinary events as merely young people “letting off a little steam”?

Here’s how General Michael Flynn summed up what’s going on on in a recent article:

“There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals are under the gun more than at any time in our nation’s history… I believe the attacks being presented to us today are part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort that uses racism as its sword to aggravate our battlefield dispositions. This weapon is used to leverage and legitimize violence and crime, not to seek or serve the truth…. The dark forces’ weapons formed against us serve one purpose: to promote radical social change through power and control.”

I agree. The toppling of statues, the rioting, the looting, the arson and, yes, the relentless attacks on Trump from the day he took office, to Russiagate, to the impeachment, to the insane claims about Russian “bounties”, to the manipulation of science and data to trigger a planned demolition of the US economy hastening a vast restructuring to the labor force and the imposition of authoritarian rule; all of these are cut from the same fabric, a tapestry of lies and deception concocted by the DNC, the Intel agencies, the elite media, and their behind-the-scenes paymasters. Now they have released their corporate-funded militia on the country to wreak havoc and spread terror among the population. Meanwhile, the New York Times and others continue to generate claims they know to be false in order to confuse the public even while the people are still shaking off months of disorienting quarantine and feelings of trepidation brought on by 3 weeks of nonstop social unrest and fractious racial conflict. Bottom line: Neither the Democrats nor their allies at the Intel agencies and media have ever accepted the “peaceful transition of power”. They reject the 2016 election results, they reject Donald Trump as the duly elected president of the United States, and they reject the representative American system of government “by the people.”

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Which political party is pursuing a radical-activist strategy that has set our cities ablaze and reduced Capitol Hill to a sprawling war zone? Which party pursued a 3 year-long investigation that was aimed at removing the president using a dossier that they knew was false (Opposition research), claiming emails were hacked from DNC computers when the cyber-security company that did the investigation said there was no proof of “exfiltration”? (In other words, there was no hack and the Dems knew it since 2017) Which party allied itself with senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA and elite media and worked together collaboratively to discredit, surveil, infiltrate, entrap and demonize the administration in order to torpedo Trumps “America First” political agenda, and remove him from office?

Which party?

No one disputes the Democrats right to challenge, criticize or vigorously oppose a bill or policy promoted by the president. What we take issue with is the devious and (possibly) illegal way the Democrats have joined powerful elements in the Intelligence Community and the major media to conduct a ruthless “dirty tricks” campaign that involved spying on members of the administration in order to establish the basis for impeachment proceedings. This is not the behavior of a respected political organization but the illicit conduct of a fifth column acting on behalf of a foreign (or corporate?) enemy. It’s worth noting that an insurrection against the nation’s lawful authority is sedition, a felony that is punishable by imprisonment or death. Perhaps, the junta leaders should consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make their next move.

What we need to know is whether the Democrat party operates independent of the Intel agencies with which it cooperated during its campaign against Trump? We’re hopeful that the Durham investigation will shed more light on this matter. Our fear is that what we’re seeing is an emerging Axis–the CIA, the DNC, and the elite media– all using their respective powers to terminate the Constitutional Republic and establish permanent, authoritarian one-party rule. As far-fetched as it might sound, the country appears to be slipping inexorably towards tyranny.

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 3 Comments

US used media agency to covertly aid Hong Kong protesters, but tell us how ‘foreign meddling’ is a threat to ‘our democracy’

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | July 3, 2020

Even as Washington designated the Chinese media as a hostile foreign agent, its own propaganda agency was funneling money to the Hong Kong protesters. In a fitting twist, this was revealed by partisan leakers with an ax to grind.

“US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests,” declared columnist Alex Lo in the South China Morning Post on Thursday. Lo brings up the revelation that one of the subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) had to freeze an estimated $2 million worth of contracts aimed at helping anti-Beijing activists in the southern Chinese city.

The source for this is a recent Time magazine article, relying mainly on anonymous USAGM officials upset about the overhaul implemented by the agency’s new head, Michael Pack, an appointee of President Donald Trump, confirmed by the Senate in early June.

The contracts in question were run through the Open Technology Fund, officially an NGO that funds “open-source internet freedom projects” such as the encrypted-messaging app Signal. All of its funding comes from Congress, just like the National Endowment for Democracy, which spent around $643,000 to “foster civil society” in Hong Kong last year.

Given that whoever pays the piper calls the tune, Beijing sees this as direct US meddling in the unrest in Hong Kong – a territory ruled by the British for over a century before being handed back to China in 1997. The city erupted in protests last spring, over a law that would allow extraditions to the mainland. When demonstrators began waving US and British flags, meeting with US diplomats and getting aid from ‘NGOs,’ they gave China a perfect excuse to pass a new security law.

Now imagine the US reaction if Chinese ‘nonprofits’ funded entirely by the government were funneling money to ‘human-rights’ programs in the US, or Black Lives Matter, or Antifa, or any of the groups going around smashing monuments and torching shops across America over the past month. You wouldn’t have to try very hard, given the actual US crackdown on Chinese phone companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corporation, or the State Department designation of several Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions,” accused of engaging in “propaganda” and not journalism.

To China, this rightly looks like a double standard. Most Americans, however, don’t think twice about it. Of course, the US is allowed to do anything it pleases anywhere it wants, from ‘helping democracy’ via color revolutions to ‘humanitarian’ bombing. It’s the exceptional nation, the greatest country in the world, and so on. Even the activists who condemn it as irredeemably racist and in need of revolution at home, generally have no beef with Washington’s meddlesome foreign policy abroad. How else can one explain the recent political marriage of Democrats and neoconservatives, aimed against Trump?

As part of the campaign by this axis and its media allies, for the past four years, the US mainstream media has incessantly hyped the narrative of ‘Russian meddling’ in ‘our democracy,’ based on evidence-free conspiracy theories and wishful thinking.

Media outlets such as RT figured prominently in this propaganda, with fully a third of the infamous Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017 – which kicked off the Russiagate madness – dedicated to RT programming. Never mind that it dated back to 2012 and was therefore both obsolete and irrelevant; that wasn’t allowed to get in the way of a good story.

Yet it’s Washington that’s actually meddling, and in places like Hong Kong. In that light, the narratives about ‘Russian’ and ‘Chinese’ interference in the US certainly appear to be a massive case of psychological projection. Perhaps the groups seeking meaningful change in this country ought to address that first.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

CHOP’s choreographed ‘revolution’ has ended in failure, but success was never the plan

By Helen Buyniski | RT | July 1, 2020

The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest has finally collapsed, having served its purpose as a cautionary tale of a police-free society. But it was arguably doomed from the start, a trap for both “defund police” backers and their foes.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan gave the order earlier this week to shut down CHOP – formerly known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ – sending in police on Wednesday morning to arrest the stragglers. The unusual social experiment – it’s not every day a city’s government lets a group of anarchists, some heavily armed, take over a six-block area that includes a police precinct – had been marred by escalating violence in recent weeks, though it seemed designed to exacerbate societal fault lines from the start.

CHOP widened the political divide from both “sides,” providing endless fodder for conservative commentators’ “woke” jokes (who can forget the long-haired man haranguing his “fellow white people” to fork over $10 to the next black person they saw?), fearmongering over alleged threats to “take over” larger sections of Seattle (to say nothing of the beheadings implied in renaming the zone to CHOP), and gleeful I-told-you-so’s over everything from reported food shortages to outbreaks of violence.

Meanwhile, the Zone’s inhabitants were openly dangled by liberal media as “bait” in front of President Donald Trump, taunting him in the hope he’d send in the National Guard and serve up the footage of American soldiers stomping “peaceful” protesters that they desperately wanted for the next installment of the ‘Orange Man Bad’ reality show.

Ironically, it was Durkan who ultimately ordered the recapture of the six blocks she’d turned over to the protesters in the first place nearly a month ago. Durkan soured on the encampment she’d initially called a “summer of love” after socialist city councilwoman Kshama Sawant led protesters literally to her doorstep over the weekend, where they apparently left their mark in the form of obscene graffiti. But it was on Durkan’s orders that the cops had abandoned the East Precinct, whose “conquest” was framed as the crowning achievement of the CHOP occupiers. CHOP, it seemed, had fulfilled its goals.

The mix of Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrators hadn’t even spent a week in their downtown utopia before they released a list of mostly laudable demands, fatally spiked with unworkable and downright offensive “solutions” that promoted a return to racial segregation under the guise of progressivism. For most of CHOP’s inhabitants, the zone seemed to be an exercise in live-action role-playing, with no danger of actually having to follow through with their demands or run a sustainable society outside the capitalist system.

When reality finally intruded in the form of multiple shootings that left two young black men dead, CHOP became an ideal bedtime story to warn on-the-fence liberals thinking of backing the “defund the police” movement away from the notion that a society without law enforcement was possible. Predators do not become good citizens just because the threat of incarceration is removed. If anything, abolishing the police emboldens those warped human beings who delight in preying on the weak. While one can argue that much low-level crime – burglary, drug-dealing, fraud, and so on – has its roots in economic desperation, serious offenses like murder and rape cannot be engineered out of society by dissolving police forces and reallocating the money to social programs.

Focusing the energy of the protest movement spawned by George Floyd’s killing on dismantling the police all but guarantees that desperately needed reforms will never come. While only seven percent of Americans surveyed last month thought the country’s policing system needed no changes, the notion of defunding the police was also profoundly unpopular, supported by just 27 percent of respondents. Accountability measures – assigning independent prosecutors to cases in which civilians are killed by police, or ending the “qualified immunity” protection that shields bad cops against misconduct lawsuits – enjoyed broad support, however.

CHOP will no doubt be held up in the coming months as “proof” that alternative social structures don’t work – or a dramatic tale of a collapsed dream of a new society – as if its leaders had really intended to make a permanent community or lead a real revolution. Sincere revolutionaries should recognize it for what it was – a Hollywood-grade production – and get back to work transforming society.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

July 1, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | | Leave a comment

Afghanistan Bounties: Pot, Meet Kettle (and Turn Off the Stove!)

By Thomas L. Knapp | The Garrison Center | June 29, 2020

“American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan,” claims the New York Times.

More controversially, the authors write that US president Donald Trump was briefed on the assessment (he denies it) and the piece’s tag line says that his administration “has been deliberating for months” on how to respond (he says the US intelligence community didn’t find the claims credible).

Naturally, the response preferred by those who buy the Times‘s version of events is:

First, make domestic political hay with it. Sure, trying to frame Trump as a Russian asset has backfired spectacularly every time it’s been tried, but sooner or later it’s bound to work, right?

Second, make foreign policy hay with it. Punish the Russians until they’ve been baited back to full-blown Cold War levels of enmity, all the while whining that “they hate us for our freedom.”

I’ve got a better plan.

First, reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan to zero. If there aren’t any US forces in Afghanistan, no US forces in Afghanistan will be in danger due to supposed “Russian bounties.”

Second, ignore — forget! — the slim possibility that Russian bounties were behind any American deaths.

Problems solved.

Why should the US let the Russians off the hook and quit worrying about it? Here’s why:

To date, fewer than 2,500 Americans have died in Afghanistan in nearly 19 years of war.

The Russians’ 1979-1989 Afghan war lasted about half as long. Their toll was 15,000 dead.

Why didn’t the Russians get off as lightly as the Americans?

Because the US government spent at least $3 billion directly  funding and arming groups like al Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan (through the CIA’s “Operation Cyclone”), and billions more indirectly via the Pakistani government.

Even counting only the known direct aid, that amounts to a $200 in-kind bounty for every dead Russian soldier. $200 was a pretty sweet paycheck, more than Afghanistan’s per capita GDP during most of that period.

If there is a Russian bounty program on US troops in Afghanistan now, it’s clearly been less successful than the equivalent US program was 30-40 years ago. And with that program, the US government gave up any conceivable standing to complain about a Russian remix.

That supposed remix is just one more reason, from among a long list of good reasons, to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

June 30, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

The Memorials to Judah Benjamin

Jewish slave-owners exempt from attacks by BLM?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • June 30, 2020

The current wrath directed against anything or anyone having had anything to do with slavery or even racial discrimination includes destroying historical memorials and monuments as well as changing names that have stood for more than a century. Much of it has been focused on white nominally Christian males, mostly of Anglo-Saxon stock, understandable as the United States was a child of Great Britain and a majority of the country’s leaders for nearly two centuries came from families descended from the British Isles.

Slavery in the United States version is, of course, seen in black and white terms but slavery in a broader historical context is much more complicated. There have been slaves since ancient times through the eighteenth century in many countries and most of them have been white. Sometimes they were called something different. Indentured servants were de facto slaves, as were the serfs in Russia, who were tied to the land and were not liberated until 1861.

The very word slave comes from Slav, as many of the slaves in the Middle Ages were from the Slavic parts of the Balkans bordering on the Adriatic, where mostly Muslim seagoing raiders would attack coastal villages and carry off the inhabitants. Italy was likewise afflicted and the numerous small castles and improvised forts along the Italian and Croatian coastlines were intended to providing a refuge for villagers against the corsair slavers.

In the United States currently progressives of all types and colors are flocking to the revolutionary banner hoisted by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other associated groups. Not surprisingly, given the liberal leanings of American Jews as well as their historical connections, Jewish groups have been actively engaged in the ongoing movement for racial justice. American Jews have played major roles historically in the founding and financial support of some of the most important civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1909, Henry Moscowitz was a co-founder the NAACP. Photos of the boards of directors of the various organizations well into the 1970s frequently reveal a majority of white Jews seated together with minority blacks. Kivie Kaplan was, for example, the national president of the NAACP between 1966 and 1975.

But this characterization of Jews as benefactors for the civil rights movement has also produced some curious omissions in the accepted historical narrative of who did what to whom in the slavery trade. It is well established, though never taught in schools, that Jews from Britain and Holland were involved in the African slave trade that prevailed after the European discovery of the Americas. In the United States, concentrations of Jews in the American south were in slave trading centers, notably in Charleston South Carolina, Savannah Georgia, Richmond Virginia and in New Orleans Louisiana. Many of the Jews themselves owned slaves.

The debate over Jewish involvement in both the business side of the slave trade as well as in actually possessing slaves comes down to “proportionality.” As the historical record makes clear that Jews in the south were engaged in both the importing and selling slaves as well as exploiting slave labor, the question becomes whether they were central to the process or just one of many identifiable groups that were peripherally involved in what was a major segment of the southern economy. The issue became extremely heated in the 1990s when mostly black academics argued that the Jewish role was pivotal while mostly Jewish professors responded that it was insignificant. In March 1995 the American Historical Association (AHA) got involved by issuing its first ever “policy resolution”, coming strongly down on the Jewish side of the argument, which should surprise no one. AHA argued that it was wrong to use historical analysis to vilify one group before citing a memo by two Jewish professors which asserted that the role of their co-religionists had been marginal.

For those who are interested in more on the discussion, the following article might be helpful, though it is on a Jewish website, cites only Jewish sources for it debunking of the idea that Jews might have been heavily engaged in the slave trade, and also brings in the most disreputable sources that say the contrary. It nevertheless concedes that Jews were involved in the slave trade and also possessed slaves, though it seeks to minimize the extent to which that was true. Much more interesting is a short book by a distinguished Wellesley History Professor Tony Martin “The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront.” Martin describes in some detail how he was subjected to a “hysterical campaign” by Jewish organizations and fellow academics to have him discredited and fired after he assigned to his class on African-American history a short reading on the Jewish role in antebellum slavery.

Be that as it may, everyone should be aware that delving around in the past can be a messy business with no easy answers and little in the way of lines drawn between right and wrong. But in this case, the current unrest brings one around to a chap named Judah Benjamin. Judah was born in the West Indies to a British-Jewish family before winding up in Charleston and eventually New Orleans, where he became a lawyer and made a fortune. He was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana. Among other investments, he owned a sugar cane plantation that included 140 slaves.

In March of 1861, Benjamin was named Attorney General of the Confederacy by President Jefferson Davis, whom Benjamin knew from the Senate. Davis would sometimes say that Benjamin was “the brains of the Confederacy.” That same year, Benjamin was also named Confederate Secretary of War, a post that he later resigned to become Secretary of State, a position that he held for the remainder of the conflict. It was the second most powerful position in Richmond’s Confederate bureaucracy.

When the Confederacy fell, Benjamin fled to London and eventually to Paris, where he rebuilt his fortune by again practicing law. Benjamin died in Paris in 1884 at the age of 72. He was buried in the Paris Père Lachaise cemetery with a simple headstone inscribed “Phillipe Benjamin.” In 1936, the United Daughters of the Confederacy paid for a monument to be placed over his grave.

So, the question becomes, with BLM and other wreckers trying to destroy America’s historical monuments, to include those commemorating the Founding Fathers, Union Commander Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, Catholic saint Junipero Serra and even abolitionist Hans Christian Heg, why is it that Judah Benjamin has somehow been missed? He was a slave owner and worked as a lawyer in New Orleans where there was a thriving slave market as well as an economy built around cotton exports, which were driven by slave labor. He eventually became the number two man in the southern Confederacy, which is being regularly denounced as fighting a war to maintain slavery.

Well, of course the answer is quite simple. No politician or journalist who wants to stay employed would dare to publicly link Jews and slavery. BLM is also extravagantly funded by various guilt ridden foundations and other folks who are no doubt sensitive to the fact that there are certain issues that cannot be raised, and the people with their hands out know perfectly well what they can and cannot do or say to keep the money flowing.

For what it’s worth, there are a few monuments to Judah Benjamin sitting around just waiting to be trashed. In 1948, Charlotte, North Carolina’s two Jewish congregations, Temple Israel and Temple Bethel, erected a marker on South Tyron Street at the site of the demolished house of merchant Abraham Weil where Judah Benjamin and Jefferson Davis found shelter in April 1865 as they fled the northern army. To their credit, the congregations are now seeking to have the memorial removed.

Also of note is the 5-foot-high pink marble column topped by a sundial located in Sarasota, Florida at the point where Benjamin escaped from the United States. The monument is inscribed “Near this spot on June 23, 1865, Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State of the United Confederacy, set sail for a foreign shore.”

Yet another stone marker is located at 9 West Main Street in Richmond, Virginia, identifying the location of Benjamin’s residence during the Civil War. Another stone marker can be found in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It recalls how Benjamin “attended Fayetteville Academy on this site.” There is still another stone monument in Bradenton Florida erected by the Judah P. Benjamin chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy and in North Carolina there is a Highway Historical Marker Program plaque that marks the site of Benjamin’s no longer existing boyhood home.

But the most impressive historic site commemorating Benjamin’s legacy is the Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial at Gamble Plantation in the town of Ellenton, Florida, south of St. Petersburg. The historic site is maintained as a state park by the Florida Department of Natural Resources and also by the Judah P. Benjamin Chapter No. 1545 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It is the only surviving antebellum plantation in central and south Florida and includes the mansion and gardens as well as a visitors’ center. A large bronze memorial plaque commemorates Benjamin. Nevertheless, the connection with Benjamin is admittedly tenuous as he only sought refuge there briefly in 1865 during his flight to England.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

June 29, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Rewriting History and Rehabilitating George W. Bush

By Nat Parry · ESSENTIAL OPINION · June 25, 2020

The liberal rehabilitation of George W. Bush is now virtually complete, with his successor Barack Obama declaring this week that the 43rd president was committed to the rule of law, despite all evidence to the contrary. In an online fundraiser for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden Tuesday night, Obama stated that Bush “had a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions of democracy.”

Obama, who ran for president in 2008 with promises to restore habeas corpus and uphold the rule of law, went on to claim that when Bush was president, “we cared about human rights” and were committed to “core principles around the rule of law and the universal dignity of people.”

Obama’s comments surely came as a shock to anyone who still has a functioning memory of the Bush years and hasn’t succumbed entirely to the effects of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Rather than being a champion of democratic principles, when Bush left office, he left behind a shameful legacy of upended human rights norms including due process and the legal prohibition against torture.

If 2008 Obama could speak today with 2020 Obama, he might remind himself that Bush had started a “dumb war” in Iraq in violation of the UN Charter, launched a warrantless surveillance program of Americans and that he had established a penal colony in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

As Obama himself said in 2013, during the Bush years, “we compromised our basic values – by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.”

At the heart of Bush’s approach to the “rule of law” was the rejection of any independent court evaluation of its detentions. Without judicial review, the U.S. government didn’t need to present any evidence to show that a person actually had ties to al-Qaeda or was otherwise guilty of a crime. The Bush position also held that once designated as al-Qaeda members, individuals have no legal protections against torture.

He dismissed provisions of the Geneva Conventions as “quaint” and offered legal rationales that justify torture in cases of “military necessity.”

Bush’s approach to the “war on terror” was in fact a steady descent into the “dark side,” as Vice President Dick Cheney had called it. A subsequent Senate investigation found that the torture program instituted by the Bush administration following 9/11 employed gruesome techniques such as near drowning, forcing detainees to stand on broken legs, threatening to kill or rape detainees’ family members, forced “rectal feeding” and “rectal hydration.” It also offered disturbing details on a medieval “black site” prison in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit, where at least one detainee froze to death.

The brutal interrogation sessions lasted in many cases non-stop for days or weeks at a time, leading to effects such as “hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, and attempts at self-harm and self-mutilation,” and produced little to no useful information. CIA agents had illegally detained 26 of the 119 individuals in CIA custody, and the interrogation techniques used on detainees went beyond the methods that had been approved by the Bush Justice Department or CIA’s headquarters (guidelines that were likely overly permissive in the first place).

When the Senate torture report was released in late 2014, it was met with calls for accountability from around the world. The United Nations, the European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as numerous governments, all demanded that those responsible for the illegal torture program face justice. The U.S. was reminded that as a matter of international law, it was legally obligated to prosecute the perpetrators of the torture program.

Some of the strongest words came from the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism Ben Emmerson, who stated unequivocally that senior officials from the Bush administration who sanctioned crimes, as well as the CIA and U.S. government officials who carried them out, must be brought to justice. “It is now time to take action,” the UN rapporteur said.

Needless to say, no one was ever prosecuted by the Obama administration’s Justice Department. And now, Obama not only excuses these abuses, but he actually claims that Bush was committed to “the rule of law and the universal dignity of people.” A charitable explanation for Obama’s comments is that he was trying to draw a distinction between the Trump administration and every other president, and to draw this distinction, he made a clumsy attempt to draw an exaggerated contrast.

But considering that six in 10 Americans now have a favorable view of Bush, almost twice as much as the 33% who gave him a favorable mark when he left office in 2009, it should be appreciated how impressionable Americans are and how damaging comments such as Obama’s can be. Much of Bush’s ascent to popularity has come from Democrats, 54% of whom now approve of the Bush presidency. Democrats’ change of heart appears to be primarily motivated by Bush’s opposition to Trump, which apparently has absolved him of his many failings while president.

This historic shift in attitudes was abetted by many liberals who have helped refurbish Bush’s image, including daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

To hear Barack Obama now making the claim that Bush was committed to the rule of law and human rights is just the latest betrayal of a Democratic Party that has systematically prevented a reckoning for the crimes of the 43rd president, a party that is clearly uninterested in truth or accountability, and is more than willing to rewrite history to advance its political goals.

Only time will tell how America is affected in the long term by this rewriting of history.

June 29, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Hafte Tir Bombing: A Blast which Shocked the Iranian People

By Robert Fantina | American Herald Tribune | June 26, 2020

In 1979, the people of Iran successfully and mainly peacefully overthrew the United States-supported government, led by the brutal autocrat, the Shah of Iran. In ridding themselves of this repressive dictator and freeing themselves from the shackles of U.S. imperialism, they established the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While the revolution had widespread popular support, as does the government to this day, it was not without opposition groups. The MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq, or the People’s Muhajedin Organization of Iran), is one such opposition organization. It is a violent terrorist group that is currently supported by the U.S. government. Members of the MEK have never accepted the revolution, and on June 28, 1981, three years after the revolution, they bombed the Islamic Republic Party headquarters in Tehran. This horrendous crime was committed during a meeting of party leaders, and killed seventy-three people, including the Chief Justice, Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, who had been a leader in the revolution.

Thirty-nine years have passed, but the memory of these martyrs has not dimmed.

Hujjat al-Islam Seyyed Mehdi Qureshi, Islamic Revolution Leader Representative in Iran’s West Azarbaijan Province, commented that “Iran’s stable position has been achieved thanks to the bravery of the martyrs.” Those martyrs’ names, many in addition to those who died on June 28, 1981, are etched upon the hearts of the Iranian people, and include General Qassem Soleimani, murdered by the U.S. in January of this year.

Any government has people who oppose it: citizens of the nation who disagree with one or more policies, and law-abiding people work within the system to achieve changes they seek. Generally, when a majority of the population wants certain changes, those changes are implemented.

Yet within Iran and outside it, a small terrorist group seeks the violent overthrow of the government, despite having so little support to do so. Why, one could ask, would the mighty United States support such a group, when it decries any terrorist activity?

The hypocrisy of U.S. government officials has been discussed and documented by this writer often. The U.S. is only interested in self-determination when the people of any nation choose a form of government that will follow all U.S. dictates. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not do so. They form alliances with nations that the United States holds in contempt, and they come to the aid of those nations when required to do so, such as in fighting U.S.-financed terrorists in Syria.

Iran has not invaded another nation in over 200 years, and its leaders have a ‘no first strike’ doctrine. In the U.S.’s 244-year history, it has invaded at least 84 of the 193 countries that are recognized by the United Nations. And its continued hostility towards Iran has only increased with the administration of the unstable president, Donald Trump.

In the United States, lobby groups finance election campaigns, thus making the elected officials beholden to those groups, not their constituents. Prominent among these groups are pro-Israel lobbies, which consider Iran to be their rival for hegemony in the Middle East. Among the global community, only Israel and Saudi Arabia opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement signed with Iran and several other countries that regulated Iran’s nuclear development program, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Only Israel and Saudi Arabia praised the U.S. violation of it.

After sanctions were re-imposed following this U.S. violation of international law, this writer contacted a friend in Tehran. He was told that, while the sanctions were unfortunate, the Iranian people are accustomed to living with them, and would continue to do so as long as necessary. There was no talk of defeat; he didn’t suggest that the government should or would accede to U.S. demands. He was not resigned: he simply indicated that the Iranian people would continue to live their lives and make whatever adjustments were necessary due to the sanctions.

This is the attitude that makes Iran great, and that inspires Iranians to sacrifice their lives for their country. When one powerful country is besieged by another, more powerful one, but refuses to surrender, its people’s pride in their nation only increases. And this year, on the anniversary of the Hafte Tir bombing, the memory of those who were working for the people and gave their lives in that mission will again be remembered. Also remembered will be other Iranian martyrs, those who died in the August 30, 1981 bombing of the Prime Minister’s office, General Soleimani and so many others, whose names may not be as well known, but who are remembered and beloved by their countrymen.

The anniversary of the Hafte Tir bombing should be commemorated around the world as a symbol of the destruction and death caused by terrorism, and as a memorial to those innocent servant-leaders who died in it. It should also serve as a reminder to some governments, such as that of the United States, that their unjust plans for world hegemony will not be achieved, and that support for terrorists is an affront to the basic human dignity of mankind. It should remind nations across the globe that the U.S., the most violent nation on the planet, continues its economic and medical terror against a free and peaceful nation.

It has been thirty-nine years since those seventy-three Iranian officials lost their lives in the service of their country. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten in Iran, or by people of decency and compassion around the world.

June 28, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

How Venezuela helped defeat Canada’s Security Council bid

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By Yves Engler · June 26, 2020

Was Canada defeated in its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council because of Justin Trudeau’s effort to overthrow Venezuela’s government? Its intervention in the internal affairs of another sovereign country certainly didn’t help.

According to Royal Military College Professor Walter Dorn, “I spoke with an ambassador in NYC who told me that yesterday she voted for Canada. She had also cast a ballot in the 2010 election, which Canada also lost. She said that Canada’s position on the Middle East (Israel) had changed, which was a positive factor for election, but that Canada’s work in the Lima Group caused Venezuela to lobby hard against Canada. Unfortunately (from her perspective and mine), Venezuela and its allies still hold sway in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM or G77).”

The only country’s diplomats — as far as I can tell — that publicly campaigned against Canada’s bid for a seat on the Security Council were Venezuelan. Prior to the vote Venezuela’s Vice-Minister of foreign relations for North America, Carlos Ron, tweeted out his opposition: “With its deafening silence, Canada has de facto supported terrorists and mercenaries who recently plotted against Venezuela, threatening regional peace and security. The UNSC is entrusted with upholding the United Nations Charter and maintaining International Peace and Security: Canada does not meet that criteria.”

The post was re-tweeted by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who has 1.6 million followers, and numerous Venezuelan diplomats around the world, including the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN. Joaquín Pérez Ayestarán added, “Canada recognizes an unelected, self-proclaimed President in Venezuela, in complete disregard for the will of the voters. It also tries to isolate Venezuela diplomatically & supports sanctions that affect all Venezuelans. Is the Security Council the place for more non-diplomacy?”

After Canada lost its Security Council bid Ron noted, not surprised with UN Security Council election results today. A subservient foreign policy may win you Trump’s favor, but the peoples of the world expect an independent voice that will stand for diplomacy, respect for self-determination, and peace.” He also tweeted an Ottawa Citizen article titled “Why Black and brown countries may have rejected Canada’s security council bid.”

For his part, UN ambassador Ayestarán tweeted, “losing two consecutive elections to the Security Council of United Nations within a 10-years period is a clear message that you are not a reliable partner and that the international community has no confidence in you for entrusting questions related to international peace and security.”

Over the past couple of years the Trudeau government has openly sought to overthrow Venezuela’s government. In a bid to elicit “regime change”, Ottawa has worked to isolate Caracas, imposed illegal sanctions, took that government to the International Criminal Court, financed an often-unsavoury opposition and decided a marginal opposition politician was the legitimate president.

Canada’s interference in Venezuelan affairs violates the UN and OAS charters. It is also wildly hypocritical. In its bid to force the Maduro government to follow Canada’s (erroneous) interpretation of the Venezuelan constitution Ottawa is allied in the Lima Group with President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who openly defied the Honduran Constitution. Another of Canada’s Lima Group allies is Colombian President Ivan Duque who has a substantially worse human rights record.

Reflecting the interventionist climate in this country, some suggested Canada’s position towards Venezuela would actually help it secure a seat on the Security Council. A few weeks before the vote the National Post’s John Ivison penned a column titled “Trudeau’s trail of broken promises haunt his UN Security Council campaign” that noted “but, Canada’s vigorous participation in the Lima Group, the multilateral group formed in response to the crisis in Venezuela, has won it good notices in Latin America.” (The Lima Group was set up to bypass the Organization of American States, mostly Caribbean countries, refusal to interfere in Venezuela’s affairs.) A Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East factsheet regarding “Canada’s 2020 bid for a UN Security Council seat” echoed Ivison’s view. It claimed, “Canada also presents a positive image to Latin American states, likely reinforced by its leadership of the Lima Group in 2019 and by its promise to allocate $53 million to the Venezuelan migration crisis.”

While it is likely that Lima Group countries voted for Canada, a larger group of non-interventionist minded countries outside of that coalition didn’t. Venezuelan officials’ ability to influence Non-Aligned Movement and other countries would have been overwhelmingly based on their sympathy for the principle of non-intervention in other countries’ affairs and respect for the UN charter.

The Liberals’ policy towards Venezuela has blown up in its face. Maduro is still in power. Canada’s preferred Venezuelan politician, Juan Guaidó, is weaker today than at any point since he declared himself president a year and a half ago. And now Venezuela has undermined the Liberals’ effort to sit on the Security Council.

Will Canada’s defeat at the UN spark a change in its disastrous Venezuela policy?

June 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 2 Comments

If black lives matter, then why are African leaders with a different take on Covid-19 being taunted?

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli  ©  AFP / Michele Spatari
By Neil Clark | RT | June 24, 2020

The criticism of Tanzania’s and Madagascar’s presidents, John Magufuli and Andry Rajoelina, for challenging the Covid ‘consensus’ shows that, for some, Black Lives Matter counts only if black voices are saying the ‘right’ things.

YouTube has ‘Black Lives Matter’ as its Twitter bio. Pretty worthy, eh? But that didn’t stop the internet platform removing a video made by a Canadian activist who calls herself ‘Amazing Polly’ that featured claims made about Covid-19 and its treatment by the leaders of Tanzania and Madagascar. It has subsequently restored it, but the fact it took it down in the first place, alongside the sneering, hostile reaction from others to what the African leaders said, speaks volumes about the double standards currently on display.

Magufuli’s great crime was that he decided to test the testers. He instructed his country’s security services to send to Covid-19 testing labs samples taken from a pawpaw, a goat, some engine oil and a type of bird called a kware, among other non-human sources, but to assign them human names and ages. The pawpaw sample was given the name ‘Elizabeth Ane, 26 years, female.’ And guess what? The sample came back positive for Covid-19. As did those from the kware and the goat.

The testing kits had been imported from abroad. Clearly, as Magufuli – a PhD in chemistry – stated, something wasn’t quite right. “When you notice something like this, you must know there’s a dirty game played in those tests,” he said.

He advised his people, in relation to his government’s Covid-19 strategy, “Let us put God first. We must not be afraid of each other” – in stark contrast to the ‘Social distancing is here to stay’ Project Fear approach adopted elsewhere.

Magufuli also assured his people he would be sending a plane to collect an herbal cure for Covid-19 that was being promoted by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina.

In her video, Amazing Polly not only includes extracts of speeches by the leaders of Magufuli and Rajoelina, but also focuses on the criticism they received from the global health establishment.

The subtext: How dare these uppity Africans challenge what we say! How dare they promote their own traditional medicines (instead of Big Pharma’s) or claim coronavirus tests are returning false positives!

“Caution must be taken about misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies,” declared the World Health Organization (WHO). But should we really be so quick to dismiss Magufuli and Rajoelina, and what they have to say? The point is not whether we agree or disagree with the Tanzanian and Madagascan approaches, but rather that, at the very least, there should be some proper, grown-up debate.

At the time of writing, Madagascar has reported 15 deaths due to Covid-19, while Magufuli declared Tanzania coronavirus-free in early June, after a total of 21 deaths. Now, you might want to challenge those figures, which is your prerogative, but you can’t automatically presume they are not accurate.

“I’m certain many Tanzanians believe that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” Magufuli said. Now there is nothing more likely to trigger a virtue-signaling ‘anti-racist’ Western global public health ‘consensus’ follower than a black African leader defying the ‘party line’ on Covid and citing the Lord. Just look at Western press coverage of Magufuli’s stance: ‘”Africa’s ‘bulldozer’ runs into Covid and claims God is on his side” was the headline of one very hostile piece on Bloomberg.com.

Another journalist declared that Magufuli was “a strong contender for the most asinine coronavirus global leader.”

The oft-repeated claim in reports on Tanzania is that there’s been a cover-up. Right on cue, the US Embassy to Tanzania weighed in on May 13, claiming the risk of contracting Covid-19 in Dar es-Salaam was “extremely high.” The intimation was that the Tanzanian leader couldn’t possibly be telling the truth about Covid. But wasn’t that assumption, just a tiny bit, er, racist?

Another African leader who challenged the ‘consensus’ on Covid-19 was Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza. Burundi, which didn’t impose a lockdown, actually expelled the WHO’s team from the country in May, accusing it of “unacceptable interference.” On June 8, Nkurunziza died suddenly, aged 55. Yet again, this didn’t get too much coverage, save for some articles in the West claiming he had died of coronavirus, even though the official cause was given as a heart attack. African leaders can be lauded, but only if they toe the politically correct line set by self-proclaimed ‘anti-racist’ men in suits in the West, it seems.

And this colonial mindset permeates even the ‘anti-imperialist’ movement. A friend of mine told me he went on a demonstration against NATO’s attack on Libya in 2011. Some Libyans present had banners of their country’s president, Muammar Gaddafi. They were told to take them down by the non-Libyan organisers. That’s right: Africans weren’t allowed to display banners of their country’s leader at a march opposing the bombing of their country.

Rajoelina hit the nail on the head when he said the only reason the rest of the world has refused to treat what he believes is his country’s cure for the coronavirus with the urgency and respect it deserves is that the remedy comes from Africa.

Isn’t it ironic that, at a time when Western establishment figures are trying to show us every day how wonderfully ‘anti-racist’ they are, black voices outside the US and Britain are being ignored, even laughed at?

Only last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his disapproval that Britain gave 10 times as much aid to Tanzania as “we do to the six countries of the Western Balkans, who are acutely vulnerable to Russian meddling.” How interesting that aid money sent to Tanzania gets questioned only now, after the country didn’t follow the script on Covid-19.

One wonders how many of the celebrities, politicians and pundits publicly expressing support for Black Lives Matters today have actually read the work of inspirational black African leaders such as Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, or, in fact, have even heard of them? I imagine the answer would be very few, if any.

The arrogant dismissal of voices from Africa that dare to defy Western-elite orthodoxy, and the failure to even consider the possibility that African leaders have got it right and their Western counterparts might have got it wrong, is in itself a form of neo-colonialism. And, lest we forget, Nkrumah described that as “the worst form of imperialism.”

If Black Lives Matter,  then ‘politically incorrect’ black opinions ought to be listened to with respect, and not with a smug, superior facial expression before being loftily dismissed in the way a teacher might deal with a naughty child. But in this dumbed-down era in which many unthinkingly follow the dominant globalist narrative, it’s simpler for some to ‘take a knee’ and post a photo of themselves on social media doing so than it is to take a moment to see the bigger picture.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment