Archive | February 9th, 2017

‘Panicked’ British advertisers pull airtime on RT UK after phone calls from Sunday Times

Image result for RT LOGO

Several British advertisers “panicked” and pulled airtime on RT UK after the Sunday Times called them to ask for comment for an upcoming article about RT, according to a sales house used by advertisers on the channel.

“The Agencies on behalf of their clients pulled their airtime for the reason that they had been contacted by the Sunday Times. The Sunday Times asked them to make comment on their advertising on RT for the Sunday 5th February edition. These advertisers have panicked about the content of the article and pulled their airtime,” the sales house said in comments on Tuesday.

“The sales house the advertisers use to order airtime on RT UK has informed us that several companies at once decided to break up with RT after phone calls from the Sunday Times,” RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said.

“Meanwhile, the Sunday Times article alleges that the advertisers refused to cooperate with us because of ‘Kremlin propaganda,’ and it also cites a British MP urging to boycott RT, though in fact he didn’t say that,” she emphasized.

The RT Press Office said that “the calls from the sales house with requests to pull advertisements from several companies came shortly after the Sunday Times requested comment from RT for their story.”

In the article published on February 5, an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times, Josh Boswell, claimed that “top British brands are pulling their advertisements from the television channel RT UK amid accusations that it is spreading ‘propaganda and fake news’ for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin,” naming the manufacturers of Gaviscon, Strepsils and Vanish and the make-up brand Max Factor among those advertisers.

Boswell goes on to claim that last weekend Damian Collins, chairman of the UK Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, “called for all British companies to boycott the ‘disinformation and propaganda’ channel.”

The MP is also quoted as saying that “British companies should not be advertising on channels that disseminate fake news designed to spread fear and confusion… I would call on any such company that has not already done so to withdraw their advertising.”

As the newspaper inserted the definite article ‘the’ into the explanatory sentence – “the ‘disinformation and propaganda’ channel” – the reader can’t help but draw the conclusion that the MP’s statement was made about RT.

However, when asked by RT to clarify the comment he made for the Sunday Times, Collins confirmed the statement contained no specific attribution, and was intended as a broader remark.

“Yes, I am happy for you to use the quotation from the Times. My comments were aimed broadly at any channel or website which produces and broadcasts fake news. I did not name any individual organization in my remarks,” Collins explained.

Before the article was published, Boswell contacted RT “to give you an opportunity to comment” on the story. The RT Press Office responded to the request with a comprehensive email, including an explanation of how the channel is publicly funded, much like the BBC and France 24, and how the channel’s mission is clearly stated as exploring underreported stories and providing more balance in the international news arena.

Boswell skipped most of this, however, and reduced RT’s response to a brief quote: “RT, formerly Russia Today, said it was an ‘editorially independent, autonomous non-profit global news organization.”

After RT asked the Sunday Times for comment, the newspaper’s public relations team answered: “Thank you for your enquiry. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, we will only be able to respond if we are in a position to help with your request.”

The Russian embassy in the UK has dismissed the Sunday Times article, writing in a statement: “We understand that not everyone in the UK is happy about the popularity of the Russian channel and the alternative worldview it represents. But this shouldn’t be a reason for a blatant crusade against the channel in such a foul fashion.”

Foreign policy analyst Michael Hughes told RT that the whole approach of the Sunday Times towards RT “is horrible, one-sided and biased.”

“They don’t treat any other stations this way except [RT]. It has nothing to do with the actual programming, they don’t like Russian policy, so they are doing whatever they can to target Russian stations right now.

“It is an obvious violation of the basic standards of journalism. You couldn’t be more obvious in violating journalistic integrity,” he added.

In the past there have been similar instances of Western mainstream media discussing the prospect of RT coverage being restricted, subjected to greater scrutiny or given less equal treatment.

In January, the Wall Street Journal speculated on what would happen if US pay TV operators were to consider dropping RT from their networks. The story followed the US intelligence community’s findings on alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, with seven of the report’s 13 pages devoted to RT.

The prospect of dropping RT appeared unrealistic, however, with Frederick Thomas, chief executive of MHz Networks, saying: “The reality is we live in an age where every nth degree of opinion is available 24/7 and 98 percent of people know that you either just turn the channel off if it’s TV, or if it’s a website, you go to another one.”

In a separate article in January, the Atlantic noted that “RT stories regularly appear toward the top of Google search results,” and that there are more than 4 million ‘likes’ on RT’s Facebook page. The magazine asked Google for information on whether the company had any policies “for how to rank and display news stories and videos from state-sponsored outlets like RT,” but a spokesperson for the search engine declined to comment.

The Atlantic also contacted a spokesperson for Facebook to clarify “if articles or videos from state-sponsored outlets are treated the same way as content from the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.”

Facebook responded by mentioning “changes the company has already announced, which suppress the circulation of links to news stories that users report as false.” However, RT stories “are more likely to be biased than to be ‘purposefully fake or deceitful,’” alleged the article’s author, Kaveh Waddell.


Why are US tech firms suddenly trying to restrict RT’s access to social media?

At war with Russia’: EU Parliament approves resolution to counter Russian media ‘propaganda’

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Trident whistleblower calls out MoD’s ‘lame attempt’ to excuse nuke malfunctions



Trident whistleblower William McNeilly. / RT

Royal Navy whistleblower William McNeilly has returned fire after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) again tried to discredit him. He labeled it an attempt to cover up the dangers of Britain’s nuclear arsenal.

McNeilly was thrown out of the navy in 2015 after publishing a dossier of potentially catastrophic security and safety issues relating to Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

After reports in January this year of a failed 2016 missile test, which saw senior government figures accused of lying, McNeilly told RT that he himself had been witness to a number of serious mishaps during a Trident patrol a year earlier.

The 2016 test saw a missile which was supposed to be aimed in the direction of Africa veer toward Florida due to an internal systems failure.

The MoD responded to the former weapons engineer’s comments to RT by telling the Independent newspaper: “McNeilly’s claims, from his brief serving time before being discharged, have proved to be factually incorrect, demonstrate a lack of understanding or drew on historic, previously known, events.

“We have absolute confidence in the nuclear deterrent,” they insisted.

The Independent specifically referred to McNeilly’s “claims that there were four unreported Trident missile test failures in 2015…”

McNeilly responded Monday, telling RT: “I have never stated that there were four failed missile launches.

“The Trident report and the information I gave RT made it clear that I was talking about missile tests.”

McNeilly pointed out he had served on a nuclear missile patrol, including on watches in the command center.

“There are multiple missile tests conducted every patrol,” he said.

“The MoD has tried to downplay the information in the Trident report by claiming that I said things that I have never said.”

The truth of the matter, he insisted, was that “I have never said I witnessed four failed missile launches… that is a lame attempt to discredit me and the Trident report by fabricating nonsense.”

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A Prerequisite for Ending the Cold War in Europe: Return Occupied Kaliningrad Back to Königsberg



By Douglas Edward Steil

President Trump promised efforts to improve US relations with Russia, yet even after his inauguration there were reports in the media, including videos, about a large buildup of NATO tanks, led by the US, at “Russia’s doorstep” (FOX News) in Poland, featuring joint military exercises (“war games”) as part of “Operation Atlantic Resolve”.

On January 31, 2017, RT (formerly Russia Today) described these maneuvers as “… the largest military buildup in Europe since the end of the Cold War…” in alarming terms without providing the appropriate historical context for its geographically-challenged readers. Lacking contextual knowledge, both those commentators from the discredited dinosaur (old legacy) media and the rapidly growing independent (new alternative) media inadvertently amplified the sense of alarmism the general public must have perceived. It ought to at least be obvious that the RT quote cited above is inherently self-contradictory and therefore misleading: If the Cold War had really already ended, then there would be no conceivable basis for the military buildup, which also included tanks from Germany (by invitation) on Polish and Lithuanian territory.

What should one make of these military maneuvers coming in the wake of Trump’s new presidency, which might appear on the surface to be hostile toward Russia?

The Kaliningrad Oblast is useful to Russia primarily as a potential staging ground for launching a quick ground invasion into Central Europe. The benefits of air rights and adjacent sea rights, featuring an ice-free port, cannot be ignored either. The countries most concerned about the potential for future Russian military adventurism are obviously Poland and Lithuania, which both formed a Commonwealth for 227 years, until the late 18th century. Though Russian’s current leadership claims to harbor no such invasive ambitions in this part of Europe, circumstances could possibly change under a different leadership. The NATO troop maneuvers a few days ago are essentially putting the future of this territory “on the table” and signaling a readiness to call Russia’s bluff, as it were. If Russia were truly sincere about not having any territorial ambitions in this region, and thus not needing to preserve this as a future option, there would really be no fundamental justification for its continued presence in this enclave. Unlike Crimea, which has historically been a part of Russia, and which legitimately broke from the Ukraine and reunified with Russia in 2014, after two public referenda (which the so-called “International Community” should finally accept and formally recognize rather than perpetuating self-destructive sanctions), the Kaliningrad Oblast should not continue to remain a part of Russia because it never “belonged” to Russia, in a historical and cultural sense. It’s continued occupation and administration merely prolongs the formal ending of the Cold War.

For the record, as cited by a Lithuanian journal and presented through Wikipedia:

Germany… has not renounced any claims to the possibility of territory reunification.

Technically, Russia is provisionally administering the territory until a future agreement determines its fate, which will surely involve a protracted transition period during the course of a few decades thereafter. The Russian population currently living there, who feel attached to this region, where they may have grown up and lived all their lives, would not be expelled but be given the chance to integrate into a new environment. The experiences of three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) in accommodating Russian speakers could be used as a model for those people who wish to remain rather than seeking new life opportunities in their Russian homeland.

It is unfortunate that this issue was not settled during the first half of 1990 during the so-called “2+4 Talks” that led to German reunification on October 3rd. Though it is not widely known why settling this territorial matter was deferred, one must bear in mind that at that time, just a few months after the Berlin Wall was breached any quick German unification, as advocated by the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, was publicly opposed by Margaret Thatcher, Mikhael Gorbachev, François Mitterand, representing the European Allied victors, along with other European leaders, including those in Italy and the Netherlands, as well as the organized Jewish community in the US, whose hostile position was expressed in the nearly hysterical diatribes by the editor of the New York Times, Abe Rosenthal; even some western German leaders did not support rapid German unity in light of the pending economic burden involving the difficult task of integrating two different economies. With such determined opposition from nearly all sides, it almost seems like a miracle that unity eventually came about. Only President George H.W. Bush and the Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey were on the side of Helmut Kohl. Obviously, numerous concessions were made. It is understandable that under that negotiating constellation a German demand to reclaim Königsberg would have been going too far. Ultimately, while any future claims on territory occupied by Poland after the war were renounced by Germany in the agreement, this, however, was not the case with regard to the Königsberg region, which clearly implies an unwillingness to so. The historical city of Königsberg obviously has an important place in German culture. Its architectural splendor should be restored similar to the old towns of such Baltic cities as Tallinn, Riga, and Lubbock, now UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Serious diplomatic discussions with regard to the region will eventually have to be on the agenda anyway; better sooner than later. The upcoming annual Munich Security Conference would be an opportune forum for affirming some basic positions, if not publicly then at least in private conversations.

Foremost, it would be incumbent upon the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, representing the occupying power, to take the lead and acknowledge the unresolved status of the region and a sincere willingness (as opposed to what we are accustomed to hearing by Israelis) to conclude a final agreement in return for legitimate written assurances by NATO countries. Such assurances would necessarily include (1) acknowledging Crimea’s status as a part of Russia, (2) the legitimacy of any future attempts by the former Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk to join the Russian Federation, along with any subsequent annexation by Russia, if so desired by the population, as was the case with Crimea, (3) recognizing the independence of the former Georgian republics of Abkhasia and South Ossetia and not diplomatically impeding any future desires by the people in these republics to join Russia, if the majority of the respective population decides so in a fair referendum, (4) resolution of the Transnistria conflict, (5) pulling back all NATO troops and military equipment from eastern European regions to prior positions, in accordance with the terms of a verbal promise purportedly given by George H.W. Bush to Mikhael Gorbachev in 1990, (6) refraining to enlist Ukraine and Georgia into the NATO military territory, (7) reaching a mutual comprehensive agreement banning the placement of mid-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting Europe and western Russia, respectively, and (8) negotiated conventional forces reductions.

Both Poland and Lithuania would be entitled to rural territories of the Kaliningrad Oblast contiguous with their respective land territories, whereas Germany would regain the city of Königsberg and surrounding territory that is sufficiently large to support the city. The future borders would be a matter for these three countries to work out and decide among themselves. All three countries should then formally announce their territorial claims. The question as to whether Russia would receive financial reimbursement, or, if so, to what extent, would be subsumed in the context of forming strong economic ties, including joint business ventures.

NATO and other parties involved in this unresolved matter concerning the future of Königsberg should announce their resolve: “Let’s finally end the Cold War!” Even then, implementing the associated steps will still take many years.

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Trump carries on Obama tradition of killing children in Yemen

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki, an 8 year old U.S. citizen, first casualty of Trump administration foreign policy; her father and brother were killed by the Obama administration.

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki, an 8-year old U.S. citizen, is first casualty of Trump administration foreign policy; her father and brother were killed by the Obama administration.

In August 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit to subdue the Obama administration’s planned assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born imam and lecturer residing in Yemen. While the case’s proceedings lasted for months, it was eventually dismissed by a federal judge and Awlaki was assassinated by a CIA drone strike later in September 2011. The CIA alleged that al-Awlaki was deeply involved in jihadist military operations as a senior recruitment officer but never gave him the opportunity to appear before a court. As a result, the Obama Administration faced some backlash for denying a United States citizen due process of law.

Two weeks later, another drone strike was sanctioned in Yemen, this time at a restaurant with the utilization of cluster bombs- a type of munition banned under international law. Awlaki’s 17-year-old nephew and and his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, were among the several civilians that became casualties of this operation. News of Abdulrahman’s killing invited further criticism from the public.

In a disgusting performance at a press conference, Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign senior adviser, blamed 16-year old Abdulrahman for being killed, saying “You should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children.” The ACLU and the CCR took action by opening a new case in 2012 against the Obama Administration with the boy’s grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki. The lawsuit charged the government with killing three U.S. citizens on foreign soil outside of an armed conflict zone. Although it was contested for several years longer than the previous lawsuit, it ended just the same in April 2014.

After nearly three years, under a new administration, the al-Awlaki name has resurfaced in the media. On Jan. 29, Abdulrahman’s 8-year-old sister, Nora Anwar al-Awlaki, also a U.S. citizen, was killed in Yemen during a U.S. commando raid authorized by President Trump. The government claims that the operation’s main objective was to secure computer materials containing intelligence on so-called jihadist movements. Showing a similar lack of respect for the lives of civilians, they believed it a wise choice to employ armed drones in a densely-populated area. As expected, Trump intends to carry on his predecessor’s neoliberal agenda in terrorizing the Yemeni people. We must take to the streets and call for an end to drone strikes, U.S. assistance for Saudi Arabian bombing operations, United States intervention and ultimately to Western imperialism.

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Trump sanctions signal new phase of U.S. aggression against Iran


Trump sanctions signal new phase of U.S. aggression against Iran

U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn released a statement Feb. 3 accusing Iran of “destabilizing behavior across the Middle East” and put Iran “on notice” in response to the Iranian government carrying out ballistic missile tests. The day before, Iran was accused of violating the terms of their nuclear deal with the United States as well as being responsible for a Houthi rebel attack on a Saudi naval vessel, which was taking part in the vicious Saudi-led war on Yemen. But make no mistake, no violation occurred.

The deal that Iran is alleged to have violated came into fruition in 2015 as negotiated by the Obama administration and the P5+1 nations (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) at Geneva. The stipulations for the deal was that Iran curb its nuclear development in return for allaying sanctions on the nation.

The Iranian government is being demonized by big sections of the ruling class and Trump administration as enemy #1. Trump’s national security posts have been filled with neo-cons and war hawks. Trump chose Michael Flynn for National Security Adviser, James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense, Dan Coats for Director of National Intelligence and Mike Pompeo for CIA director.

No violation, but drumbeats of war

This is all in response to missile tests by Iran, which were not in violation of its nuclear deal with the United States. Moreover, it is Iran’s right to develop weaponry to protect itself from hostile powers. This was a clear exercise in national self-determination and sovereignty.

Iran says that its ballistic missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads and the UN Security Council resolution 2231 does not apply. Iran has stated several times that their military developments are for the purpose of self-defense. No wonder the U.S. government is up in arms — it is in their best interests that nations, which are not totally subjugated to U.S. imperialism, never develop the capacity to be self-sufficient or defend themselves militarily.

In the press conference where Michael Flynn denounced Iran’s missile tests he also announced, after a closed door briefing to the media, that the United States intends to take “appropriate action” and is “considering a whole range of options.” Military action against Iran was not ruled out.

Iran has retaliated in word and deed. Tehran says that it has the right to conduct missile tests in self-defense. Iran’s foreign ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qasemi stressed that no country or world body is in the position to question Tehran on its missile activities. He insisted that Iran will not seek permission from anyone when it comes to self-defense.

What enrages the Trump administration is that Iran refuses to cow before threats. If Iran were to grow stronger and more militarily equipped, it could continue to serve as an example of an oppressed and besieged country out-maneuvering U.S. imperialism. In addition, it could more ardently support anti-imperialist forces in the region, which is also a matter of great concern for the Israeli regime.

In an outrageous but predictable show of hypocrisy, the Trump administration says nothing about Israel’s stockpile of nuclear weapons. Israel was fiercely opposed to the 2015 deal, and sees in the new Trump administration hope for an ultra-aggressive shift in the U.S. orientation towards Iran.

Self-determination, defense and sovereignty

The fact is that Iran is targeted with sanctions, not for being an aggressive power, but for exercising its right to self-determination through a non-military nuclear energy program and missile development—which is the right of all sovereign nations. For Iran, the defense of its sovereignty and national economy is especially important given that it is surrounded by antagonistic powers like Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies. Moreover, seeing what U.S. imperialism has done to the once most prosperous nation in Africa, Libya, as well as to Syria, Iran is on guard.

The election of Donald Trump has led to profound divisions within the ruling class over which strategy to pursue to control the world. However, for socialists, imperialism is not this or that administration or policy. Imperialism is a system—a stage of capitalism where the big banks are in the driver seat and the domination of the entire world is necessary for capital to continue to expand.

The politicians and the media always feed the people lies about countries they target for regime change. The Trump agenda is a war agenda, and just like we reject the lies they tell about immigrants and Muslims, progressive people should also reject their lies about Iran.

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What’s behind the crisis in U.S.-Mexico relations?


What’s behind the crisis in U.S.-Mexico relations?

On Jan. 26, Enrique Peña Nieto, stated in video message on Twitter, “I regret and disapprove of the decision by the United States to continue the construction of the wall which for years, far from uniting us, has divided us. Mexico does not believe in walls.” He further stated, “I have asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to strengthen measures to protect our nationals.” The statement led several days later to the cancelling of the scheduled meeting between Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump.

The Trump Agenda is an extreme manifestation of white supremacy, bigotry, imperial arrogance and anti-worker politics. It is so extreme that even the most comprador bourgeoisie of Mexico, represented by a president who has a 12% approval rating, had to say something.

U.S. imperialist intervention in Mexico

From the theft of half of its territory in 1848, to the occupation of the port of Veracruz in 1914, to the takeover of Mexico’s economy through NAFTA signed in 1994, to the flooding of weapons and support of drug trafficking by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. empire has had, putting it lightly, a precarious relationship with its southern neighbor. With capitalism’s global turn towards the neo-liberal model in the 1980s, Mexico’s bourgeoisie was more than happy to sell out the country’s vast resources to world capitalist interests, especially U.S. corporations, in order to make a quick buck. The most egregious example of this was the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the notoriously corrupt PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party – Peña Nieto’s Party) president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

Prior to 1994, it was estimated that around 2 million Mexican immigrants had crossed “illegally” into the United States. More than 20 years later, that number is estimated to be anywhere between 10-12 million Mexican immigrants. Not only did NAFTA cause the violent displacement of millions of people, it also forced upon Mexico, a developing country with vast mineral resources, extreme poverty.

Subsequent presidents, from Vicente Fox of PAN (National Action Party), who broke the decades-long rule of the PRI, to Felipe Calderon, also from PAN who launched a violent war against drug cartels which led to the mass killing of civilians, have continued to strengthen the economic and military ties with their masters to the North.

The effects of this relationship upon the Mexican working class on both sides of the border is clear. An extensive report by CONEVAL (Consejo Nacional de Evaluacion de la Politica de Desarrollo Social), a government institution in Mexico that studies the political and social development of the population, reported that in 2015, 46.2 percent of Mexicans lived in poverty. This amounted to over 55.3 million people who did not have access to nutritional and non-nutritional goods that are considered basic. Those considered to live under “extreme poverty,” meaning that they lack access to basic nutrition, were 9.4 percent of the population or 11.4 million people.

According to a recent report to the Mexican Congress by the Deputy’s Office of Economic Analysis, which analyzed the changes in remittances between Jan. 2007 and March 2011, the amount of remittances sent back to Mexico by immigrant workers between this period totaled $98.8 billion. In 2007 alone, Mexico’s economy received a little over $26 billion.

Combined, Mexican labor contributes $635 billion per year, which constitutes 5% of U.S. GDP and 60% of Mexico’s GDP. Undocumented immigrants alone contribute over $200 billion to the U.S. economy. Solely on the issue of taxes, undocumented immigrants, according the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, paid $11.4 billion in taxes last year. Compare this to giant corporations that pay very little to no federal taxes.

On both sides of the border it is the workers who pay the price of U.S. imperialism. Mexican workers work to the bone and it is their exploiters that reap the profit.

Mexico’s comprador bourgeoisie and the struggle for self-determination

When Vicente Fox started flipping-off “el Trompas” (popular naming of Trump which literally means “car horn”), media outlets made him a symbol of Mexican resistance towards Trump’s demagogic attempt to make Mexico pay for the Wall. While any flipping-off of Trump should be celebrated, Vicente Fox, the former PAN president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, is no different than the rest of the comprador ruling class which have sought to deepen the relationships with Yankee imperialism.

Fox, the former supervisor of Coca-Cola Mexico, also received a diploma in Management Skills from Harvard Business School. During his presidency, Coca-Cola Mexico became that country’s top selling soft drink. In an unprecedented act, Fox told the late-Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro to limit his comments against the U.S. government at a U.N. meeting held in Mexico and leave as soon as he had finished his meal. Cuba and Mexico have historically had friendly relations, but Vicente Fox made it clear that he didn’t want his partnership with the United States tarnished.

Similar to Trump, the current president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, was inaugurated with protest across the country. Sparking the #YoSoy132 student movement, Peña Nieto’s dismissal of the real anger in the streets against his and the ruling class’ attempt to privatize education and the national resources of the country through “Plan Mexico” only added fuel to the fire.

Then, on Sept. 26, 2014, the mass kidnapping and disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College caused a major national and international uproar that led to a major destabilization of the PRI government. From mass actions by teachers, unions, and the recent protests against the rise of gasoline prices known as the “Gasolinazo,” the people of Mexico are resisting their own government’s oppressive policies.

It is in this context that the spineless comprador bourgeoisie is trying to rally support against Trump. It is a purely opportunistic attempt to distract the working class of Mexico in order to continue privatizing the Mexican economy. We must be clear, the people’s resistance will not be led by those who have sold out Mexico for so long. It must be led by those fighting for justice for the students of Ayotzinapa, the unions of Oaxaca and Guerrero, the indigenous councils, the Zapatistas, the mass student movements and all left revolutionaries who demand full self-determination for the Mexican people.

Mexican workers, their descendants and the vast diaspora of La Raza need to fight the continual humiliation suffered under Trump and U.S. imperialism. We must oppose the U.S.-Mexico border wall and Trump’s attempts to expand it. We must unite our cross-border struggle against capitalism and for a worker’s revolution that can finally put an end to the historic injustices against the Mexican people. ¡Fuera Trump! ¡Fuera Nieto! ¡Viva la resistencia de nuestros pueblos!

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From sanctuary city to liberated city


From sanctuary city to liberated city

San Francisco protest. | Photo: Gloria La Riva

In just one week, with several strokes of a pen, Trump unleashed upon the working class in the U.S. an attack not seen in decades. From his attack on the flawed Affordable Care Act to the banning of immigrants from Muslim countries to the explicit targeting of “sanctuary cities,” the actions demonstrated that the bigoted, racist and sexist rhetoric heard on the campaign trail was in fact the foundation of the Trump program.

The reaction to these attacks has been a mixture of fear and rage. Statements made by politicians and community leaders are beginning to draw the line at local, state and national levels between Trump and his supporters and #TheResistance.

In San Francisco, the notoriously anti-homeless, anti-worker and pro-1% mayor, Ed Lee, stated to the national press that the “City by the Bay” would continue to welcome and defend its status as a sanctuary city because “the purpose is to keep everybody safe.” To those of us fighting to prosecute the murderous, racist cops who killed Luis Gongora—an immigrant from Yucatan, Mexico, who was homeless at the time he was murdered by SFPD—it is a joke to think that this city is a safe haven for immigrants. To those of us who exposed the lies of the cops who shot Amilcar Pérez Lopez, a young, hard-working gualtemateco, the words of Ed Lee are hypocritical at best. No killer cop has been prosecuted, and District Attorney George Gascón, who has overseen these cases and is a close ally of Ed Lee, remains in office.

As a teacher in the heart of the Mission District, the historic Latino community that continues to be eviscerated by Ed Lee’s real-estate/developer friends, the term “sanctuary city” is a blemished label hiding the super-exploitative and racist relationship between immigrant labor and capitalism in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Ed Lee, the Democratic Party and many liberals state that they “love” immigrants and that immigrants are what “makes Ameri[k]a great.” But why? Because they “love” that immigrants wait on their tables and wash the dishes at their restaurants? Because they “love” how immigrants clean their hotel rooms for a measly wage? Or do they “love” having a cheap babysitter who does all the chores for their families?

Immigrant families regularly have to move from SRO (Single Resident Occupancy) to SRO. Their children are exposed to the harsh life of people with drug abuse issues and emotional and mental needs. If immigrant families are lucky, they live in very tight living conditions. An entire family can live in just one room of a two- or three-bedroom home with others occupying a bedroom and sometimes the living room. Ed Lee and his cronies have fought tooth and nail to preserve the low tax rates for major tech companies like Twitter while neglecting social services for those in need.

Ed Lee and San Francisco liberals in general envision a sanctuary city with forced confinement where immigrant labor has to submit itself to poverty, racism, poor housing conditions and police brutality. The resistance movement, grounded in a program that centers around the needs of poor and working-class people in San Francisco and prioritizes immigrants and the most oppressed, can win us much more than simple “sanctuary city” status.

From sanctuary city to liberated city

The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said at a rally in solidarity with strikers in Memphis, Tenn., “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?”

He understood that civil rights without economic rights cannot lead to the real self-determination of a people. In San Francisco and around the country’s major metropolitan cities, revolutionaries must fight for both. We must build broad coalitions where our political unity revolves around an anti-Trump program that sharpens the line even further between the status quo offered by the Democrats and the revolutionary politics of the people’s movements. We cannot let the anti-worker, gentrifying and pro-privatization Democrats who run our major cities and claim to love “diversity” be the leadership of this resistance.

The PSL has built strong relationships with allies and compañerxs in San Francisco based on our unwavering support for the people’s demands. We do not build our strength based on relationships with politicians or opportunist non-profits or institutions that offer more access if we only “play nice.” Now, more than ever, we must continue to strengthen that relationship so that the Ed Lee’s of the world don’t misguide our resistance. In the short term, we will advocate for raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour so that all workers in San Francisco have a right to live where they work. One-hundred-percent public and affordable housing should be the number-one priority for any new housing construction permits given by the SF Planning Department. All rents should be rolled back to pre-2000 levels. An anti-Trump tax proposition should be created and supported so that new taxes are placed on the wealthy downtown businesses and real estate moguls that run this town. The police department should immediately have its budget cut due to poor performance and lack of adherence to federal recommendations for improvement. All that money should go to quality schools and the retention of educators. And if and when the ICE raids begin, we will all place our bodies on the line to prevent any family from being separated by the state.

For the long term, we will continue to agitate on the streets to do away with capitalism, a system where we produce all the wealth and reap none of the benefits. We will not be afraid to state that socialism, a system where housing, health care, education and a job are guaranteed rights, is what can bring about a liberated city. And we will continue strengthening the resistance to fight for a socialist revolution the way so many other countries have done in the past, by recruiting and training new fighters whose consciousness is rooted in the history of our peoples’ struggles. If you are tired of having to fight the game of both Republican and Democrats, join us and together we can win!

Posted in USAComments Off on From sanctuary city to liberated city

The 33 Days War


Image result for HEZBOLLAH FLAG


A Documentary about what took place in July 2006 in Lebanon

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, LebanonComments Off on The 33 Days War

The plain truth about terrorism


or why the “oops we accidentally let ISIS get our guns” excuse does not work…


We get a few people here saying some variant on “ISIS, al Qaeda etc are all the unlooked-for by-product of the criminal western policy in the Middle East.” It’s one of the would-be middle-of-the-road positions occupied as much through fear of what lies beyond it than for any inherent value it contains. It’s still possible to be considered relatively mainstream and hold this position. Sensible people like Robert Fisk and Noam Chomsky promote it. There’s only one problem with it really, namely that it is not true. Recent leaks/releases of government documents have put it beyond question that the US, its Gulf allies and NATO at very least willingly got behind the creation of extreme jihadist groups and have been funding such groups in their attempts to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government.

So we thought we’d address that claim very quickly with the help of this graphic originally made by professor Tim Anderson. It makes the point more clearly than many paragraphs of text.


That’s all you need.

Stop making that bogus and unhelpful claim here or anywhere else.

Posted in Media, PoliticsComments Off on The plain truth about terrorism

Afzal Guru: Kashmir Movement is Alive


Image result for kashmir cartoons


By Sajjad Shaukat

Every year, the martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Afzal Gur is being celebrated on the 9th

of February to pay homage to him, as India secretly hanged him and buried inside the Tihar jail

complex on February 9, 2013. His martyrdom resulted into protests in Kashmir and widespread

condemnations from various political and human rights organisations. Afzal Guru was convicted

in 2001 Parliament attack case and awarded death sentence. Afzal had always denied plotting the

attack, which left 14 dead, including five militants.

In the past three years, during his martyrdom anniversary, a complete shutdown was observed in

the Indian occupied Kashmir and protest demonstrations were held to demand the return of

mortal remains of Afzal Guru.

Call for the strike had been given by pro-freedom leaders and organizations to mark the

anniversary of Muhammad Afzal. Indian authorities had arrested Kashmiri leaders, Yasin Malik,

Shoukat Bakhshi, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza along with several

other Hurriyet activists and lodged them in different police stations and jails. The authorities also

placed Hurriyet leaders, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Nayeem Ahmad Khan

and Ayaz Akbar under house arrest.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, in a statement had denounced

the arrests and vowed that the Kashmiris were struggling for their basic right and would succeed

in their mission at the end of the day.

In their statements and meetings, all the leaders of the freedom movement of Kashmir paid

glowing tributes to the martyr Muhammad Afzal Guru who sacrificed his live for the Kashmir


Even, the Sikh organization, Dal Khalsa President H S Dhami, while paying tributes to

Muhammad Afzal Guru on the eve of his second martyrdom anniversary, in a statement in

Amritsar criticized India for failing to hand over his mortal remains to his wife.

In fact, the very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine

right of self-determination. They organized themselves against the injustices of India and

launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to crush through various forms of brutalities.

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its

repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations.

However, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian

army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been

manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted

killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation

of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989,

there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests,

1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children

orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue

these atrocities.

While, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir

Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and

Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual

for an indefinite period.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out

grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim

majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security


In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of

the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The

report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered

Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected

militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been

tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in

turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000

disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by

Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is mentionable that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the

northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding

thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and

Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent

civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves

include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake

encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

Meanwhile, like the previous year, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort at the annual

session of the United Nations—the speech of Pakistan’s prime minister, highlighting the Indian

atrocities, Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a new spirit among the

Kashmiri people.

But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with

Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the

neighbouring countries.

Nevertheless, this time, the very day has come at time when the people of Kashmir have

accelerated their legitimate struggle in the aftermath of the martyrdom of the young Kashmir

leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake

of continued sieges and prolonged curfews. Since July 8, 2016, Indian forces have martyred

more than 150 innocent persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan

Wani and for liberation of their land.

By manipulating the false flag terror attacks at a military base in Uri and Baramulla, the BJP-led

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. After

deployment of heavy arms and weapons at the Line of Control (LoC), Indian forces have

increased troops and continue shelling in Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir. And Pakistani troops

are giving matching response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC and are well-prepared

for Indian another surgical strikes, as threatened by Indian new army Chief Army Chief Gen.

Dalbir Singh Suhaag. New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international

community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the

Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with


In response, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims

by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible


According to ISPR, Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces

were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

It is of particular attention that like the teror asaults at Pathonkot air base, in Mumbai and at

Indian parliament were orchestrated by the Indian security agencies to obtain several sinister

designs against Islamabad such as suspention of the process of Pak-Indian dialogue, shift of

blame game to Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency ISI etc. While, on July 19, 2013, the

Indian ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in

November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the

Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

Nonetheless, Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds.

New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris,

demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are

trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien


Undoubtedly, the martyrdom of Muhammad Afzal Guru infused a new spirit into the Kashmir

movement keeps is alive today. His martyrdom anniversary provides an opportunity to ponder

over the fact that various countries of the world got independence by sacrificing their precious

lives. On this vary day, the best way to pay homage to the hero of Kashmir movement,

Muhammad Afzal Guru is that all the Kashmiris must renew their pledge to take the war of

liberation to its logical end.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Afzal Guru: Kashmir Movement is Alive

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