Archive | October 25th, 2017

Spanish government’s crackdown on Catalan referendum


Spanish government’s crackdown on Catalan referendum: Socialism, self-determination and class unity

Spanish government’s crackdown on Catalan referendum: Socialism, self-determination and class unity

The Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in solidarity with the victims of the massive violence carried out by the police forces of the Spanish state against residents of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia who were attempting to exercise their right to vote in a referendum on independence. This wave of repression left over 800 people injured. Nevertheless, 42 percent of the Catalan electorate — nearly 2.3 million people — managed to vote, and over 90 percent of those participating voted “Yes.”

While there is no consensus among the people of Catalonia on the issue of independence itself, the extreme and brutal response of the central government in Madrid has united Catalans and many others across the Spanish state in opposition to the right-wing administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The principle issue has in many ways become democracy itself — do Catalans have the right to vote and decide their future for themselves?

Catalan national sentiment is often traced back to the end of the War of Spanish Succession in the early 1700s, but much fresher in the minds of the Catalan people is the experience under the fascist regime of Francisco Franco, who ruled the country from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975.

During the 1936-1939 civil war, Catalonia was a bastion of left-wing resistance to Franco’s forces. Once the fascists consolidated their power over the whole country, it became a crime to speak the Catalan language and pro-independence forces in Catalonia were subjected to vicious persecution. Much of the anti-referendum repression of the past days was carried out by the Civil Guard, an infamous institution that was an important pillar of the Franco regime.

While the Spanish constitution of 1978 marked the formal end of fascist rule and instituted a multi-party electoral system with a ceremonial monarchy, it did not thoroughly uproot Francoism from the state apparatus and maintained many of the oppressive aspects of the old regime. Although Catalonia gained significant autonomy during the “transition to democracy,” the 1978 constitution does not afford Autonomous Communities like Catalonia the right to secede. It is this anti-democratic provision that the Rajoy government is using as a pretext to crack down on the referendum.

Class struggle and the right of self-determination

The right of oppressed peoples to self-determination is a core principle for socialists. The subjugation of whole nations is a main aspect of the development of capitalism. In order to plunder resources, labor and markets, capitalist states have subjected peoples around the world to absolute political tyranny while seeking to eradicate cultural and linguistic traditions.

We view self-determination as an essential condition for genuine unity among working people of all nationalities, which in turn is an essential condition for the overthrow of capitalism on a global scale.

In his 1914 pamphlet “The Right of Nations to Self-Determination”, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin wrote:

“The reactionaries are opposed to freedom of divorce; they say that it must be ‘handled carefully’, and loudly declare that it means the ‘disintegration of the family’. The democrats, however, believe that the reactionaries are hypocrites, and that they are actually defending the omnipotence of the police and the bureaucracy, the privileges of one of the sexes, and the worst kind of oppression of women. They believe that in actual fact freedom of divorce will not cause the “disintegration” of family ties, but, on the contrary, will strengthen them on a democratic basis, which is the only possible and durable basis in civilised society.

“To accuse those who support freedom of self-determination, i. e., freedom to secede, of encouraging separatism, is as foolish and hypocritical as accusing those who advocate freedom of divorce of encouraging the destruction of family ties. Just as in bourgeois society the defenders of privilege and corruption, on which bourgeois marriage rests, oppose freedom of divorce, so, in the capitalist state, repudiation of the right to self-determination, i. e., the right of nations to secede, means nothing more than defence of the privileges of the dominant nation and police methods of administration, to the detriment of democratic methods.”

The national struggle does not, however, supersede or put on hold the class struggle. The nation-state itself is a product of the struggle of the capitalist class against the feudal lords of Europe. The bourgeoisie sought to centralize many small, atomized principalities into new entities such as Germany and Italy in order to provide a secure footing for their rule.

In the 20th century, in large parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America the struggle for national self-determination against imperialism and the struggle for socialism became effectively fused as revolutionary forces became the dominant wing of the anti-colonial movement. On the other hand, in places like the former Yugoslavia it is clear that secessionist movements can also be used to assert imperialist hegemony.

Therefore, there can be no timeless and universal approach to the national question derived from the “classics” of Marxism. Each individual situation needs to be analyzed in the context of its historical development.

Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the Catalan Autonomous Community, is a conservative and a member of the right-wing Catalan European Democratic Party. It participates in a coalition called “Together for Yes” with the social democratic Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC).

The pro-independence section of the capitalist class has a clear international orientation towards the U.S.-dominated world order and the European Union. Catalan right-wing nationalists have made clear their favorable disposition to the NATO military alliance.

Although approximately 16 percent of the Spanish state’s population lives in Catalonia, it is responsible for about 20 percent of the country’s economic output. This is the fundamental basis on which a section of the Catalan capitalist class supports independence. The bourgeoisie of Catalonia wants to stop, as they put it, subsidizing the rest of Spain and grow even richer without being impeded by the Madrid government.

However, there is also a substantial section of the Catalan independence movement that is pro-socialist in character. The primary organizational expression of this is the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), which supported the referendum and called for a “free, independent and socialist republic” to be formed.

Because of the prominence of bourgeois forces in the pro-independence camp, much of the left in Catalonia and Spain supports the right to vote on the question but is opposed to secession itself.

Podemos, which emerged from the 2011 “movement of the squares” protests that were a precursor to the Occupy movement in the United States and is now the largest left-wing party in Spain, has this orientation. Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias and Xavier Domènech, head of Podemos’ Catalan sister party wrote in July:

“Corruption and the plundering of the public sphere, the norm of government of the old ruling parties in both Spain and Catalonia, are the clearest expression of the crisis of popular sovereignties. Corruption and the plundering of the public sphere are, in fact, the main threat to popular sovereignty and without popular sovereignty there can be no national sovereignty … In our opinion, [the referendum on] October 1 is taking shape more as a vast mobilisation in favour of the right to decide and as an expression of the desire for sovereignty … That is why the October 1 mobilisation can be an act of affirming rights and sovereignty in the face of a situation that must be unblocked, given the PP’s [the party of Prime Minister Rajoy] categorical failure and its repressive tendencies. In this sense, we assert the legitimacy of October 1 as a political mobilisation and support its taking place. However, afterwards comes October 2 and work will have to continue for a referendum that must engage everyone and where nobody might feel invited to stay at home.”

The Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain issued a statement on the day of the referendum that stated:

“The PCPE [Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain] has spoken clearly about the political basis of the Catalan conflict and the proposals that the working class needs in order to get out of the false dichotomies in which nationalism seeks to trap it. We have said that the road of independentism is not useful for achieving self-determination in Catalonia. But while we try to get the working class to choose its own way, we believe that all those Catalans who wanted to express themselves through the vote had the right to do so without having to face police charges. The actions of the State aimed at preventing the vote, especially those of a police nature, have all our rejection.”

As part of a debate with prominent Popular Unity Candidacy member Pau Llonch, Alberto Garzon, the leader of the Communist Party-led United Left alliance which supports the right to decide but not secession, wrote:

“[I]s the referendum the best way to break with the regime [that currently rules Spain]? … The problem is that, to begin with–even assuming that this is the best way to break with the regime (which I do not believe, since the regime exists to defend a mode of production and a power structure that would not necessarily be altered by the mere existence of more states)—this is not our way. That is, we do not control any of the parameters of that break: anything could happen and nothing is decided in advance. Would the comrades of the CUP manage the post-independence scenario, or would the Catalan right wing lead it?”

Pau Llonch replied in defense of the Popular Unity Candidacy position:

“We defend concrete potentialities, you defend abstract alternatives. Since you ask for concrete analysis, an alternative in the strictly institutional sphere with a chance of being hegemonic in a Catalan Republic already exists: it is the sum of Catalunya en Comú [one of the principle Catalonian left-wing formations], the ERC and the CUP. Note that we can allow ourselves to leave the PSC-PSOE [neoliberal ex-social democrats] out of the equation, unlike what can be proposed at the level of the Spanish state. Of course, this does not guarantee the eventual building of socialism in Catalonia, because that will depend, as always, on what happens on the streets rather than in the institutions, but it does offers an opportunity—very concrete—to continue fighting for possible alternatives in the current phase of post-crisis capitalist restructuring in the absence of totally antagonistic institutions, in a contest between honest social democracy (Catalunya en Comú and the ERC) and socialism (the CUP): that could be an example for many peoples in the Spanish state and on the European continent … There is no alternative to democratic resolution of this conflict, and no democratic resolution is possible within the Kingdom of Spain. The constitution of 1978 was erected on three pillars: capitalism as mode of production, the monarchical system and denial of the right of self-determination to the peoples of the State.”

In other words, the Popular Unity Candidacy believes that there is a clear left-wing majority in Catalan society, and unlike in the rest of Spain a left-wing government would not need to include the morally bankrupt and misnamed Socialist Workers Party of Spain (PSOE). This, they argue, is a much more favorable environment in which to conduct the struggle for socialism than the framework of the thoroughly reactionary Spanish state.

In the election for the Catalan regional parliament in 2015, the big tent pro-independence coalition Together for Yes came in first place, but did not secure a majority. After extensive internal debate, the Popular Unity Candidacy finally decided that it would use its votes in parliament to allow Together for Yes to form a regional government for the purpose of organizing an independence referendum. But in return the bourgeois nationalists had to choose someone other than the widely-hated and corrupt President Artur Mas to lead Catalonia.

Surge of opposition to reactionary Rajoy government

The sheer brutality of the Rajoy government in Madrid, both in the lead-up and during voting, has backfired. The anti-referendum hardliners have become increasingly isolated, and the police crackdown has had a unifying effect on progressive forces throughout the Spanish state.

Ada Colau, left-wing mayor of Barcelona, helped facilitate the referendum even though she herself cast a blank ballot. She condemned the police attacks on voters, saying “As mayor of [Catalonia’s capital] Barcelona I demand an immediate end to police charges against the defenseless population.”

Prime Minister Rajoy’s People’s Party and their right wing allies in the Citizens party hold a minority of seats in the Spanish legislature. For their parliamentary majority, the right wing relies on the center-left PSOE, which does not participate in the government but allowed it to be formed.

After it became clear that the wave of police violence on the day of the referendum had resulted in hundreds of injuries, center-left leader Pedro Sanchez criticized the Rajoy government, urging it to pursue “peaceful coexistence, not confrontation” and supporting “opening a political negotiation channel that is more urgent than ever.” The Catalan referendum has done significant damage to the cohesion of the ruling reactionary bloc in Spanish politics and even raises the possibility of a no-confidence vote to bring down Rajoy.

The degree to which the Madrid government’s dictatorial attitude has boomeranged was on full display on October 3, when hundreds of thousands of people marched across Catalonia as part of a general strike that was called to protest the police repression that took place two days prior. Large sections of the economy were shut down as workers walked off the job and hit the streets in a massive display of defiance.

The opportunities for revolutionary struggle can be seized and the pitfalls of reactionary nationalism can be avoided only if Catalans are free from the oppressive boot and baton of the Rajoy government and its fascistic police.

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Venezuelan socialists make election gainsn socialists make election gains


Venezuelan socialists make election gains

Venezuela held its second election in four months, the 22nd election since the beginning of the socialist Bolivarian revolutionary process in 1998. These elections, for the governors of Venezuela’s 23 states, saw a turnout of 61.14 percent of registered voters, much higher than expected, second only to 2008 where regional elections saw a 65.45 percent turnout.

The ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and their alliance, the Great Patriotic Pole, won 54 percent of the total vote share and at least 17, or 75 percent of the states. It seems like the GPP won an 18th state but the count is still ongoing as of this writing.

The opposition, as the above makes clear, won only 5 states on 45 percent of the vote share. In typical fashion, after losing, significant parts of the opposition are claiming fraud, claims uncritically echoed by many major U.S. media outlets.

As we have pointed out in the past, the opposition’s claims of fraud simply don’t hold water.

First, note the split responses of the opposition. While the overarching electoral coalition of the opposition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) has been aggressive in its claims of fraud, its largest component has not. The Vice-President of opposition party Democratic Action (AD), which won four of the five states that went to the opposition, stated “so far there is no evidence of fraud.” The other opposition winner, from the Popular Justice (PJ) party has also–not surprisingly–recognized his own victory, while major opposition figure Henri Falcon has recognized his defeat.

There is also the inconvenient fact that MUD participated in all the pre-election procedures and approved of the process and preparations. If the PSUV wins the contested Bolivar State, it will have won the same number of governorships–18–as in the 2008 election with similar turnout.

The opposition vote tumbled by 2.2 million from the 2015 elections when they took control of the National Assembly. The 45 percent of the vote they received in this election is relatively close to the 47 percent share they achieved in the 2010 National Assembly election.

Further, on October 15 major opposition strongholds like Amazonas, Lara, and Miranda states all fell to the socialist forces. In Amazonas the opposition vote totally collapsed down 59 percent from 2012. The opposition vote in Lara was down 18 percent from 2012, and 28 percent from 2008. In Miranda the opposition vote was down 5 percent from similar totals in both 2008 and 2012.

2015 was a high point for the opposition when they surprisingly won even some traditionally Chavista areas, so undoubtedly there is also the factor of a diminishing protest vote cast by those who usually vote Chavista.  All these factors comport with a reduced vote for the opposition.

Revolution capitalizes on opposition disarray

Ultimately the poor opposition result is the fruit of their own totally failed strategy. The strategy had three prongs: Refusal to recognize the authority of either the executive branch or the Supreme Court; total gridlocking of the National Assembly; and a street protest campaign.

The first two were entirely unsuccessful in doing anything other than exposing the opposition’s fundamental opposition to almost all of the most popular elements implemented by the Bolivarian government. The third resulted in 147 deaths and a number of gruesome scenes in which opposition supporters burned people alive just for being suspected of being Chavistas, some marked as such because of their Black skin.

Clearly these factors drove people away from the opposition camp. Add to this the clear blow to their credibility by their participation in the elections of a government it had previously referred to as a fraudulent dictatorship, and one can see why the opposition had such a poor showing.

The Bolivarian forces, in contrast, in the lead up to the elections concretely addressed the problems in the country. In the face of an economic crisis the Bolivarian government established a new basic goods distribution network to combat shortages and black market extortion; introduced productivity into the tax code to reduce reliance on oil revenues; and took initial steps to broaden exports and reduce exposure to the fall in oil prices.

In the face of attempted isolation by U.S. and Europe, the government has responded with a concerted diplomatic effort to forge new economic ties, attempt to restore oil prices and defend the principle of national sovereignty. In addition, they have made moves to de-dollarize its international trade.

As all of this took place, the government never backed off its commitment to social justice. Examples of this are the pushing forward of existing programs like the almost two million low-cost and in some cases free homes, as well as  new endeavors such as launching in recent months a massive push for more comprehensive neonatal care for all pregnant women.

Finally, the Bolivarian government spoke to the issue of popular power. These issues are more directly outlined here, but the essential thrust has included mechanisms to empower masses of people to directly fight the hoarding of and speculation with basic goods; as well as creating the constituent assembly as an arena to finally programmatically harmonize the the many thousands of communal councils and communes with the formal structures of the existing government.

This latter factor is heavily underplayed. It should be remembered that the Chavista movement is a revolt of the majority against the tyranny of a minority. It is a unique project that aims to give people real power, beyond the ballot box, over what is produced and distributed, socialism–in the words of the Venezuelans–of the 21st century. Clearly between the Constituent Assembly elections and now the regional elections the core Chavista base has rallied to prevent a rollback of this process, doubling down on the PSUV-led government as the instrument for their own liberation.

The road ahead

The initiative still lies with the socialist Bolivarian movement. The opposition is now clearly divided. On the one hand are those, led by the AD, that see the street protest option as counterproductive and seem content to take their chances at the ballot box and the negotiation table. These members of the opposition are undoubtedly hoping for international pressure as well for the Chavista government to cut some sort of deal with them.

On the other side of the coin are sectors of MUD now calling for a return to the streets. This seems to be the preferred route of the core opposition supporters, typically gathered together in richer, whiter neighborhoods. They violently oppose the revolution for giving power and resources to the poor. They seek chaos which would allow them to bring forward a coup. Ominously these seem to be the forces with the most backing from the United States and from Organization of America States President Luis Almagro.

Now the Chavista forces are also confronted with many serious issues to work through in the Constituent process and serious challenges uprooting corruption and implementing more decisive proposals to lessen the impacts of the economic crisis and definitively start to further improve lives.

We repeat here, what we said in our earlier piece:

For revolutionaries around the world then, the tasks could not be clearer. A people decided in 1998 to break decisively with neo-liberal capitalism, and to share their wealth more equally. They also decided to institutionalize and expand massively efforts at communal, popular power. In that time living standards have increased, poverty has decreased, healthcare, education and housing are formally rights and policy is aimed at achieving that. Indigenous communities and Afro-Venezuelans have been empowered to reclaim their culture and heritage and push back against the legacies of genocide and slavery. In effect, Venezuela has relaunched a worldwide discussion on socialism, what the next round of attempts to build socialism can and should look like, and what they can borrow from the past and must invent for the future.

If the Bolivarian movement is derailed, or overthrown, all that goes away. The cause of people being able to collectively decide how to best use their resources and talents for their own benefits will be irreparably set-back. There are challenges and contradictions to discuss for sure, but first and foremost the Bolivarian revolution must be defended.

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Exposes endemic sexist violence


Organized by Fight for $15, men and women workers unite to stop sexual harassment at McDonald's.

Organized by Fight for $15, men and women workers unite to stop sexual harassment at McDonald’s.

Me too.
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Versions of this status went viral on Facebook as part of a mass response triggered by the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment and assault, as numerous now-prominent women actors have stepped forward to say they too were harassed and assaulted by Weinstein. The #MeToo Movement was originally launched some 10 years ago by activist by Tarana Burke.

The massive, viral posting of “Me too” or #MeToo sheds light on just how prevalent sexual harassment and sexual assault actually are. For women (including transwomen and those perceived as women regardless of gender identity) sexual harassment and assault are nearly universal experiences. It would be safe to say that if a woman hasn’t posted “me too” on her status, it is more likely an indication that she feels uncomfortable or unsafe in potentially opening herself up to people asking her about a painful experience, rather than proof that she has never experienced sexual harassment or assault.

This viral phenomenon is helping many women feel empowered to stand up and be counted, which reveals the magnitude of this form of oppression while making the statement: No, this doesn’t just happen to “other” women–it happens for all intents and purposes to ALL women and we are sick and tired of it.

What are sexual harassment and assault?

Sexual assault is a sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or non-consensual sexual touching of a person. (Wikipedia)

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines workplace sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.” (EEOC)

Sexual harassment can also occur outside the workplace, for instance in schools, faith or community organizations, among neighbors and on public transportation.

While many have simply typed in “Me too,” some have gone into more depth. Nathalie Hrizi, editor of the magazine Breaking the Chains: A Socialist Perspective on Women’s Liberation posted:

Not gonna say me too. Not because it isn’t true. But because it is true and has been true for so long.

How long have we been saying me too in whispers in school bathrooms and sobs in our homes and the corners of cafes with those we trust? I’m proud of all the people stepping up to be seen for something that we are told is our fault. I’m sad to see what I already knew made visible. That it affects us constantly and in a myriad of ways. #metoo should be a clarion call. A call to action.

It is notice of an epidemic, an omnipresent yet unacknowledged epidemic of violence that is not perpetrated only by individuals but by the system that makes us whisper and sob while we go unnoticed and perpetrators go unpunished. That enables violence and violation to continue with impunity. That blames us when we speak out. That tells us to just stay away from our attacker so he can keep playing his sports and being a parent or uncle and building his career. That silences us and wills us into dark corners and pits of depression and self loathing.

#metoo is only a beginning. It seems very powerful. But can’t be more unless we make it more. Unless we shape our solidarity and struggle and anger and injustice into fight, into organizing, into resistance.

I said #metoo when I joined the struggle, becoming a part of a movement of people that are working, and working hard, for a world in which we don’t have to say me too because we are already heard. That’s why I became a socialist. That’s why I joined the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Sexual harassment and assault are endemic to the violent system of capitalism, in which the bourgeoisie benefit from the oppression of women, and sexual violence is a tool in maintaining that oppression. In this society, women must spend their valuable time and energy just trying to avoid sexual violence, or dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of such violence. It is like carrying around a heavy weight all day, every day, an experience illustrated by the art project of the Columbia University student who carried around her mattress after a student she said had raped her rapist was cleared by the university.

(It is no surprise that the accused rapist then sued the university for his“pain and suffering” and has since reached an undisclosed settlement!)

It is not accidental that the courts, the police and politicians do nothing to address this problem. In fact, on a regular basis the courts, police and politicians are themselves the perpetrators and protectors of perpetrators. Sexual assault/harassment is a systemic issue that will be solved when we change the system. When women are truly empowered and their revolutionary power unleashed, the perpetrators will tremble in the face of true people’s justice.

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A lot of nonsense has been written about the role of Putin’s Russia in subverting “our democracy.” As though our democracy had been functioning perfectly (even reasonably) well, until these shadowy Russian forces purchased a few Facebook ads that sent us all into the streets. It’s a laughable concept. I’m sorry, did Putin acquit George Zimmerman or Jason Stockley? Did Putin shoot 12-year-old Tamir Rice? Russia did not carry out the drug war against African Americans or implement policies of mass incarceration, or pass voter ID laws in the U.S. – all of which have contributed to disenfranchising millions of African Americans over the years. The U.S. has a lot to answer for with regard to systematically denying the democratic rights of African Americans and this is not the first time they’ve tried to deflect criticism for that by blaming Russia. As a student of history I’ve mostly just rolled my eyes this time around while the Democrats attempt to make red-scare tactics that are very old, new again. But a recent entry in this canon of “Black activists are pawns of Moscow” writing is so insulting and patently false, that, as we approach the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it seems very important to reply.

Last week an author named Terrell Jermaine Starr wrote a piece for The Root entitled, Russia’s Recent Facebook Ads Prove the Kremlin Never Loved Black People.”

I’ve enjoyed entries from The Root before, particularly in chronicling racist attacks against African Americans that are underreported in the mainstream media. But their willingness to toe the Democratic Party line, uncritically in most circumstances, has been noted.

Starr’s piece is supposedly historical in scope but is premised upon a huge, glaring, historical fallacy: that of conflating the Russian Federation with the Soviet Union. In one sentence, Starr describes the two as essentially the same (showing you the level of material historical analysis he’s interested in engaging in) and then for the rest of the article proceeds to whitewash the history of Black communism, using the favorite arguments deployed by racists – that Blacks who supported socialism did so because they were duped, and that the Soviet Union was only interested in Black liberation insofar as it meant spiting their enemies in the White House.

These assertions deny the agency of African Americans, many of whom were amongst the most prominent Black intellectuals of their time, who looked to the Soviet system as an alternative to American racism and exploitation. This interpretation also denies the real solidarity and support that the Soviet Union expressed in their assistance to liberation movements of many Black, brown and oppressed people all over the world. Since anti-communist propaganda is easily promulgated without evidence in this country, allow me to present some of the evidence that exposes these racist lies for what they are.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was birthed via a revolution in 1917 and overthrown via counter-revolution in 1991. While Russians were in the majority of the population, the USSR itself was actually an extremely diverse and vibrant society for all of its existence. The Soviet Union spanned 14 time zones and comprised many independent nationalities and ethnic groups, such as Tajiks, Kazakhs, Lithuanians, Tartars – all of whom spoke different languages, practiced different religions – and suffered terrible racist oppression under the Tsar. The triumph of the socialist revolution and the very existence of this unique political formation was the result of a revolution carried out by united oppressed peoples, who rose up as one and took control of society away from their Tsarist and capitalist exploiters. The Bolsheviks always took the task of uniting oppressed people and elevating their struggle very seriously. This was a key to their success and a guiding principle in their work. It was Lenin who pioneered communist opposition to imperialism and he who changed the Marxist formulation, “Workers of the World Unite” to “Workers and oppressed people of the world unite” as an expression of the priority they placed on the struggle of colonized people against imperialism.

"People of Africa will overpower the colonizers!" - 1960 propaganda poster by Kukryniksy

“People of Africa will overpower the colonizers!” – 1960 propaganda poster by Kukryniksy

Around the world, the 1919 triumph of Lenin and the Bolsheviks was greeted by the imperialists with great dismay and by oppressed/colonized peoples with great enthusiasm, inspiration and hope. In America, 1919 was an infamous year, known for its “Red Summer” of intense lynchings, race riots and gruesome violence against African Americans at the hands of white mobs. The Black American political movement had entered a new era of militancy, as veterans returning from WWI were less inclined to submit to Jim Crow and more inclined to fight for their dignity, wages and rights. A new wave of radical Black intellectuals all but took over the Black political scene, many from the Caribbean and mostly based in Harlem in the 1920s and 30s. These men and women were considered some of the premier thinkers and writers of their time and of the majority of these radical African American leaders–regardless of political orientation– held the Russian Revolution in very high esteem.

According to historian Winston James, in his work Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia, the appeal of the Russian Revolution to Black people in America at the time lay not in their having been “recruited” by Russia as the Root article asserts, but in their own independent evaluation of the Bolshevik government and where it stood with regard to equality for oppressed and colonized people.

James wrote about three major factors that attracted Black people to Bolshevism in the 1920s and 1930s. The first was the domestic policies promoting national minorities and oppressed groups that were put in place almost immediately after the triumph of the revolution. After the revolution the Bolshevik government undertook what can be described as the most far reaching and thorough affirmative action plan that any government has ever attempted, dedicating much in the way of their limited resources towards raising the standard of living for groups who had been historically oppressed and creating conditions that could facilitate greater equality for those groups.

To Black Americans, the most convincing example was the swiftness and seriousness with which the Soviets began redressing historical inequality suffered by the Jews, including immediately outlawing discrimination against them and putting an end to the violent pogroms that had plagued them under the Tsar. In 1923 Claude McKay, the young Black intellectual, writer and poet wrote: “For American Negroes the indisputable and outstanding fact of the Russian Revolution is that a mere handful of Jews, much less in ratio to the number of Negroes in the American population, have attained, through the Revolution, all the political and social rights that were denied to them under the regime of the Czar (166).”

The other two factors explored by James were the “uncompromising rhetoric of anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, and the right of self-determination for oppressed nations (165)” espoused by the Bolshevik government and the creation of the Third Communist International, an international body that openly encouraged colonized (often Black or Brown) people to rise up against their (mostly European) exploiters all over the world.

At a point when the U.S. government had systematically ignored the pleas of Black people to pass even one federal law against lynching, when city and state governments all over the country were colluding in lynchings, race riots and allowing whites who attacked Blacks to go free, or even reap rewards – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why many Black thinkers were genuinely excited that such a different kind of government, one that spoke to them and had taken action to support and defend its own national minorities, had come into the world.

Black and white (film)

Langston Hughes was a Black intellectual of this generation, this being the same generation that we associate with the Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro. Of all the insults buried in that heinous Root article, the disrespect to Langston Hughes, inarguably one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, is one of the most difficult to endure. Starr paints Hughes as a dupe, someone “recruited” to champion the Soviet Union, as if the man had not traveled all over the world, studied and written extensively and was not capable of genuinely supporting a government that he believed to be on the right track. We revere Hughes’ poetry that celebrates Black beauty, he is the jazz poet laureate of Black America and we love to recite his words that affirm our deep history and continued struggle in the face of white American racism. But what about his poetry celebrating the Soviet Union? Here’s a link to a poem that he wrote praising Lenin. Did they break that one out at your school’s Black history month event? Probably not. But that doesn’t change the fact that Langston Hughes was extremely sympathetic to the Soviet Union, as is abundantly evident in his autobiographical writing, including in the chapter of I Wonder As I Wander, “Moscow Movie.”

Langston Hughes in Turkmenistan

Langston Hughes in Turkmenistan

The Root provides perhaps the most cynical and shallow reading of this chapter possible, though I hesitate to affirm that that author of that piece has even actually read it. “Moscow Movie” tells an important story about a time in 1932 when Langston Hughes was invited to the Soviet Union by the government, to work on a major film production. This film was called “Black and White” and it was supposed to highlight the struggle of Black workers in the South and give an international showcase to the racism and oppression experienced by Black people in America. According to Langston Hughes, it was “intended to be the first great Negro-white film ever made in the world (80),” though unfortunately it did not come to fruition.

Hughes accompanied a delegation of 22 young African Americans who were supposed to star in the film, though it was odd that most in that group were not actors or performers by trade. Starr erroneously attributes this casting to racism, saying that Hughes determined that the Soviets were so racist that they assumed that all Black people could sing and dance (and play sports?) and so didn’t bother to check the backgrounds of the people they hired for the film.

In fact, Hughes said nothing of the sort. He addressed the peculiar composition of the delegation early in the chapter, stating, “That most of our group were not actors seems to have been due to the fact that very few professional theater people were willing to pay their own fares to travel all the way to Russia to sign contracts they had never seen. Only a band of eager, adventurous young students, teachers, writers and would-be-actors were willing to do that, looking forward to the fun and wonder of a foreign land as much as to film-making. There were a few among them who wanted to get away from American race prejudice forever, being filled up with Jim Crow (70).”

It’s important that Hughes highlighted their motives as traveling to seek a reprieve from American racism. So high was the esteem for the Soviet Union in the group, that “When the train stopped beneath this banner for passports to be checked, a few of the young black men and women left the train to touch their hands to Soviet soil, lift the new earth in their palms, and kiss it (73),” according to Hughes.

In his accusations of racism what Starr may be referring to is where Hughes says at one point, “Europeans as well as Americans, seem to be victims of that old cliche that Negroes just naturally sing (80).” That is hardly an indictment of any particularly Russian racism and more of a complaint on how African Americans are represented on the world stage.

Lack of specific cultural knowledge about African Americans was a problem throughout the film’s production and that is what Hughes believes ultimately damned the film. Hughes was given an early copy of the script and let them know that he did not think it was usable because there were so many errors with regard to what racism and working class struggle actually looked like in the American South. Hughes said that the author of the script was well intentioned but had never been to America. He also said that information from or by Black Americans was rarely translated into Russian in those days. Even with these critiques, it’s nearly impossible to interpret Hughes as being at all bitter or resentful at the Soviets for their attempt at making this film. On the contrary, Hughes wrote with unmistakable good humour throughout the chapter and also repeatedly mentioned that they were all paid in full and well taken care of, even when it became clear the film wouldn’t be made.

The reception that the students received in Moscow is really remarkable, especially considering the historical context – none of which The Root brings up, of course. The students were “wined and dined” in Hughes’ own words, they were put up in the most lavish hotels and treated to free tickets to the theater, the opera, the ballet and dinners and parties with dignitaries and important people, almost every night. They were official guests of the state and treated with the highest honors. No Black delegation has ever been received in America with such grace. Hughes says that they were always introduced as “representatives of the great Negro people (82)” and after describing the incredible amenities at one of the elaborate resorts they were housed in, he adds “I had never stayed in such a hotel in my own country, since, as a rule, Negroes were not then permitted to do so (93).”

On their reception by ordinary Soviet citizens, Hughes writes:

“Of all the big cities in the world where I’ve been, the Muscovites seemed to me to be the politest of peoples to strangers. But perhaps that was because we were Negroes and, at that time, with the Scottsboro Case on world-wide trial in the papers everywhere, and especially in Russia, folks went out of their way there to show us courtesy. On a crowded bus, nine times out of ten, some Russian would say, “Negrochanski tovarish – Negro comrade – take my seat!’ On the streets queueing up for newspapers or cigarettes, or soft drinks, often folks in line would say, “Let the Negro comrade go forward.” (74)

This is in 1932! Nowhere in America were Black people treated like this in 1932. Hell, many of us could not get that treatment today, if our lives depended on it (and they sometimes do). This account echoes many others by African Americans who visited or moved to the Soviet Union. In William Mandel’s Soviet but Not Russian, Muhammad Ali is quoted as saying of his 1978 visit to the Soviet Union:

“I saw a hundred nationalities. No such thing as a Black man, or a white man, or ‘you nigger,’ or get back. People say, ‘Oh well, they just showed you the best.’ You mean all of those white folks rehearsed, said: ‘Muhammad Ali’s coming!’ .. ‘All hundred nationalities, pretend you get along. Muhammad Ali’s coming!’…’The just took you where they wanted to go.’ I know that’s a lie. I got in my car and told my driver where to go. Lying about the Russians.. I jogged in the mornings in strange places where they hardly ever saw a Black man. I ran past two little white Russian ladies who were walking to work. They didn’t look around and ask what I was doing. I can’t go jogging in some streets in America in the morning in a white neighborhood.” (85)

The Root tries to paint a picture of a USSR where the same racism that existed in Jim Crow America infected everyone there, but there simply is not enough evidence to say that was the case. They cite the experiences of one Black American man (Robert Robinson), thoroughly. But what about the experiences of the estimated 400,000 African students who were educated for free in the Soviet Union between 1950-1990? These Black youth attended technical schools, Lumumba University and the special Lenin school for leadership, they lived and traveled all over the Soviet Union and upon graduation, they would return to their homelands with skills necessary to aid in the new independence governments. Mandel interviewed quite a few Black Soviets for his book, including other African Americans who moved to the Soviet Union- and the picture they paint is very different from the one in Robinson’s account. Providing no evidence, Starr also asserts that interracial relationships would naturally be a problem in the Soviet Union, saying “both Russian and white American men weren’t cool with their women messing with black men.” Since he introduced the term “bullshit” just before that line, I’m going to call bullshit on that.

Langston Hughes’ account features many stories of the men in his group dating Soviet women and not a word about anyone batting an eye at such pairings – which in 1932, would have gotten someone lynched in the United States. Please stop projecting American racism onto the Soviet Union, when you just don’t have the evidence to back that up. As W.E.B. Dubois wrote on his third visit to the USSR in 1949, “of all countries, Russia alone has made race prejudice a crime; of all great imperialisms, Russia alone owns no colonies of dark serfs or white and what is more important has no investments in colonies and is lifting no blood-soaked profits from cheap labor in Asia and Africa.” The material basis for widespread Jim Crow style racism just wasn’t there.

Hughes was aware that the western press celebrated the failure of the movie and spread many rumours that they knew to be false concerning the Soviet government maneuvering against the Black students. He writes that Western journalists, who saw them spending money and carousing in Moscow nightclubs, filed stories in the U.S. about how they were going unpaid and neglected.

Hughes wrote that some in his group suspected that the movie was scrapped because the Soviets were sacrificing the Black struggle to appease the American government – but Hughes himself did not believe that. He was one of the only members of the group who saw the script and he was unequivocal in stating that more than anything else, it was the script that caused the project’s failure. Hughes also repeatedly mentioned the context of the international campaign in defense of the Scottsboro Boys, a Black struggle that was most certainly not being dropped by the Soviets, as all this was going on.

The Root miscasts this excerpt from the life of Langston Hughes to support their conclusion that “the Soviets’ attempts to curry favor with the black struggle” was “insincere and downright fraudulent.” I would counter that this anti-communist propaganda is actually “insincere and downright fraudulent” but allow me to present further evidence on the genuine solidarity expressed by the Soviet Union. Sticking with the theme, let’s keep talking about film.

Focus on Africa in film

In the book Focus on African Film, noted film scholar Josephine Woll describes “The Russian Connection” between the Soviet Union and African film, an invaluable alliance in making postcolonial African cinema a reality. As alluded to in the previous section, the Soviet Union expended a lot of resources on aid and development for African nations, who were in the process of throwing off their own colonial oppressors and beginning their independence after World War II. These countries were severely underdeveloped, as chronicled by Walter Rodney and the Soviet Union was a key ally in providing material support, education and technology to allow these countries to thrive without being beholden to their former colonial masters. It’s worth noting that the greatest victory for Black liberation to occur in my lifetime, the fall of apartheid in South Africa, involved a great deal of material and political support from the Soviet Union, which was integral to the success of that movement.

Film was another area in which the Soviet Union provided Africans with crucial foundational support. Ousmane Sembene of Senegal, widely considered the “father of African film” was educated in the Soviet Union. This was also the case for other pioneering African filmmakers, like Souleymane Cissé of Mali and Abderrahmne Sissako of Mauritania/Mali and Sarah Maldoror, the French daughter of immigrants from Guadeloupe who made many films about African liberation. In addition to technical know-how, the Soviet Union also provided the essential film and production equipment, distribution and promotion, to bring African cinema onto the world stage.

Dr. Woll seems to believe that the motives of the Soviets were clearly political, but also genuine. Woll wrote: “The Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath, radically altered how, why, and for whom films were made. Financial profit still mattered but it competed with other goals: educational, political, promotional. The new regime in post-tsarist Russia, like the new leaders of post-colonial African nations, willingly allocated part of its budget to subsidizing cinema because it recognized how effective the medium could be as an instrument of propaganda; and most Soviet filmmakers in the 1920s, though they had individual and often compelling aesthetic agendas, readily supported the politics of revolution (225).” In the U.S. we tend to be very cynical of the word “propaganda” but in revolutionary times, propaganda is necessary and the Africans needed aid in producing theirs. Ousmane Sembene clearly agreed; he was adamant about telling compelling political stories through his films and he fully recognized the potential for his films to “help decolonize Africa (225).”

The Soviet Union trained and equipped these African directors, so that they could bring the beauty and the struggle of their people to the world stage. The work of these revolutionary African filmmakers can be seen as a happy ending to the saga that was begun with “Black and White.” While we never got the Soviet sponsored film about Black struggle in the U.S. that they wanted to produce, we have since seen a variety of films out of different African countries that highlight their struggle in similar, but undoubtedly much more accurate, ways.


I realize that this was a lot to write in response to a small article that was probably not even this carefully considered by the author himself. But the legacy of the Soviet Union with regard to Black struggle is unique and inspiring and should be celebrated, not horrifically distorted and denied. In Paul Robeson Speaks, the great Black American actor says:

“Mankind has never witnessed the equal of the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. . . . Firstly, because of the significance it has for my people generally. Everywhere else, outside of the Soviet world, black men are an oppressed and inhumanely exploited people. Here, they come within the provisions of Article 123 of Chapter X of the Constitution, which reads: “The equality of the right of the citizens of the U.S.S.R. irrespective of their nationality or race, in all fields of economic, state, cultural, social, and political life, is an irrevocable law. Any direct or indirect restriction of these rights, or conversely the establishment of direct or indirect privileges for citizens on account of the race or nationality to which they belong, as well as the propagation of racial or national exceptionalism, or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law.” (1978, 116)

Paul Robeson in the USSR

Paul Robeson in the USSR

While our current President appoints KKK members to the Department of Justice and calls Nazi murderers “very fine people,” while his opponent Hillary Clinton called our children “super predators” and campaigned for them to be locked up en masse- we have to appreciate how significant it is that a national government – in 1919 – put laws on the books like ones described above. They outlawed racism. They invested heavily in Black education and Black artistic expression. They gave guns to those fighting imperialists and fascists all over the world. What more could you want? Terrell Jermaine Starr and The Root may be confused about which government cares about Black people, but I can’t say that I am. I’m proud to be a socialist and I’m proud of the legacy of friendship between my people and the USSR.

As I mentioned in the start of this article, calling Africans who fight for their liberation “Commies” or “dupes” is nothing new. John Hope Franklin referred to this in From Slavery to Freedom, saying that the response to Black self-defense against race riots in 1919 caused such speculation: “Many American whites freely suggested that foreign influences – especially … Bolshevik propaganda after the 1917 Russian Revolution — had caused blacks to fight back. Perhaps there is some truth to that… However, black Americans all along the political spectrum (from conservative, to moderate, to radical left) ridiculed the claim that their new assertiveness was the result of ‘outside agitation.’ American blacks needed no outsiders to awaken their sense of the tremendous contradiction between America’s professed beliefs and its actual practices (362)”.

That remains as true today as it was when written. Additionally, I’ll close with one more statement from that time, which also remains true, for myself at least. The militant Black Harlem publication The Crusader, under the leadership of fiery Black Communist Cyril Briggs declared in 1919: “If to fight for one’s rights is to be Bolshevists, then we are Bolshevists and let them make the most of it!”


Hughes, Langston. (1984). I wonder as I wander: An autobiographical journey. New York: Hill and Wang.

Robeson, Paul. (1978). Paul Robeson speaks: Writings, speeches, interviews 1918-1974, ed. by P.S. Foner. New York: Citadel.

Posted in USA, Politics, RussiaComments Off on BLACK BOLSHEVIKS AND WHITE LIES

Remember Hiroshima: No Danger of Nuclear War? The Pentagon’s Plan to Blow up the Planet


This article was first published by GR in January 2016

More than 2000 nuclear explosions have occurred since 1945 as part of nuclear weapons’ testing.

Officially only two nuclear bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 6 and 9, August 1945) have been used in an act of war.

The media consensus is that a nuclear holocaust is an impossibility. 

Should we be concerned? 

Publicly available military documents confirm that nuclear war is still on the drawing board  of the Pentagon. It is also part of the US presidential election campaign.

Compared to the 1950s, however, today’s nuclear weapons are far more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for a first strike pre-emptive nuclear attack.

Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books.

War is Good for Business: Spearheaded by the “defense contractors” (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, British Aerospace  et al), the Obama administration has proposed a one trillion dollar plan over a 30 year period to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, bombers, submarines, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) largely directed at Russia and China.

A new arms race is unfolding. Russia has in turn responded to US threats through a major modernization of its strategic nuclear weapons arsenal.

Political Insanity

The use of nuclear weapons is casually endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons are instruments of peace-making. Her election campaign is financed by the US military industrial complex which produces the WMDs.

Meanwhile, scientists on contract to the Pentagon have endorsed the use of tactical nuclear weapons, which are said to be “harmless to the surrounding  civilian population because the explosion is underground.” The tactical nukes are bona fide thermonuclear weapons, with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb. They have been cleared for battlefield use (in the conventional war theater) by the US Senate and their use does not require the approval by the Commander in Chief.

The people at the highest levels of government who make decisions regarding the use of nuclear weapons haven’t  the foggiest idea as to the implications of their actions.

Cold War versus Post Cold War Nuclear Doctrine 

A recently released classified Pentagon document (1959) confirms that during the Cold War, 1200 cities extending from Eastern Europe to the Far East were targeted for systemic destruction.

Source: National Security Archive

According to 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe.

Major Cities in Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings.  (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive

Today’s List of Targeted Cities 

This policy of nuclear bombing of targeted cities is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. While today’s list of targets remains classified, cities in Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea are on the target list. An Associated Press report quoting Pentagon sources (June 4, 2015) confirms that:

The Pentagon has been actively considering the use of nuclear missiles against military targets inside Russia, …  Three options being considered by the Pentagon are the placement of anti-missile defenses in Europe aimed at shooting Russian missiles out of the sky; a “counterforce” option that would involve pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes on Russia military sites; and finally, “countervailing strike capabilities,” involving the pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets inside Russia.

The AP states: “The options go so far as one implied—but not stated explicitly—that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.” In other words, the US is actively preparing nuclear war against Russia.

Robert Scher, one of Carter’s nuclear policy aides, told Congress in April that the deployment of “counterforce” measures would mean “we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.” According to other Pentagon officials, this option would entail the deployment of ground-launched cruise missiles throughout Europe.

The criminality and recklessness of the foreign policy of Washington and its NATO allies is staggering. A pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russian forces, many of them near populated areas, could claim millions of lives in seconds and lead to a nuclear war that would obliterate humanity.

Even assuming that the US officials threatening Russia do not actually want such an outcome, however, and that they are only trying to intimidate Moscow, there is a sinister objective logic to such threats.” (Niles Williamson, Military Madness: US Officials Consider Nuclear Strikes against Russia, World Socialist Website, June 5, 2015, emphasis added)

Nuclear Tests Worldwide

Over 2000 Nuclear Tests have been conducted since 1945. Scroll down for video

Source: Wikipedia, click to enlarge

Undeclared Nuclear States under NNPT: India, Pakistan, Israel, DPRK


Source Wikipedia

The Deployment of Nuclear Weapons by Nine Nuclear States


Nuclear Sites in the US 

“Map of major U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure sites during the Cold War and into the present. Places with grayed-out names are no longer functioning and are in various stages of environmental remediation.” (Wikipedia). Scroll down for Google Map.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Google Maps and Daily Mail 

‘The map was produced from data suppled by the Defense Department and nuclear watchdog groups.

It shows where the warheads are (in red on the map), where the civilian nuclear power plants can be found (in green) and the location of labs and nuclear weapons plants (in blue). Daily Mail 

Five “Non-Nuclear States” (Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Turkey)
Possess and Deploy Nuclear Weapons

Five non-nuclear states (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey) have deployed the B61 tactical (thermonuclear) against targets in the Middle East and the Russian Federation.. The latest and more advanced version is the B61-12, which is contemplated to replace the older B61 version.

Source: National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005

 Video: Simulation of More than 2000 Nuclear Detonations Since 1945

Today’s Potential Targets for US Nuclear Attacks

Are countries in the Middle East potential targets for a nuclear attack? (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,  Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya? Global Research, April 2011).

originalThe tactical nuclear weapons were specifically developed for use in post Cold War “conventional conflicts with third world nations”.  In October 2001, in the immediate wake of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld envisaged the use of the B61-11 tactical nuclear bomb in Afghanistan.The targets were Al Qaeda cave bunkers in the Tora Bora mountains.

Rumsfeld stated at the time that while the “conventional” bunker buster bombs “‘are going to be able to do the job’, … he did not rule out the eventual use of nuclear weapons.” (Quoted in the Houston Chronicle, 20 October 2001, emphasis added.)

Click image to order book directly from Global Research

The use of the B61-11 was also contemplated during the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq as well as in the 2011 NATO bombings of Libya.

In this regard, the B61-11 was described as “a precise, earth-penetrating low-yield nuclear weapon against high-value underground targets”, which included Saddam Hussein’s underground bunkers:

 ”If Saddam was arguably the highest value target in Iraq, then a good case could be made for using a nuclear weapon like the B61-11 to assure killing him and decapitating the regime” (Defense News, December 8, 2003).

The 1996 Plan to Nuke Libya 

The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon was slated by the Pentagon to be used in 1996 against Libya: “Five months after [Assistant Defense Secretary] Harold Smith called for an acceleration of the B61-11 production schedule, he went public with an assertion that the Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya… “(,)

“Senior Pentagon officials ignited controversy last April [1996] by suggesting that the earth-penetrating [nuclear] weapon would soon be available for possible use against a suspected underground chemical factory being built by Libya at Tarhunah.  (David Muller, Penetrator N-Bombs, International Action Center, 1997)

Tarbunah has a population of more than 200,000 people, men, women and children. It is about 60 km East of Tripoli. Had this “humanitarian bomb” (with a ”yield” or explosive capacity of two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb) been launched on this “suspected” WMD facility, it would have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, not to mention the nuclear fallout…  The man behind this diabolical project to nuke Libya was Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold Palmer Smith Junior. “Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target”. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – September/ October 1997, p. 27 )

Concluding Remarks

Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

Nuclear war –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

What we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State, whereby officials in high office are complicit in fostering the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons. The media has camouflaged the implications of America’s post Cold war nuclear doctrine, which was formulated in a secret meeting at US Strategic Command Headquarters on Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2003.

On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, commemorating when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex were in attendance. This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima. The meeting was intended to set the stage for the development of a new generation of “smaller”, “safer” and “more usable” nuclear weapons, to be used in the “in-theater nuclear wars” of the 21st Century.

In a cruel irony, the participants to this secret meeting, which excluded members of Congress, arrived on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing (August 6) and departed on the anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki (August 9). (Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2012)

The Hiroshima Day 2003 meetings had set the stage for the “privatization of nuclear war”. Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.

All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defense”. During the Cold War, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevailed, namely that the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union would result in “the destruction of both the attacker and the defender”.

In the post Cold war era, US nuclear doctrine was redefined. There is no sanity in what is euphemistically called US foreign policy. At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable…

Stay informed, spread the word far and wide. To reverse the tide of war, the broader public must be informed. Post on Facebook/Twitter.

Confront the war criminals in high office.

What we really need is real “Regime Change in America”.

Posted in USA, JapanComments Off on Remember Hiroshima: No Danger of Nuclear War? The Pentagon’s Plan to Blow up the Planet

Setting the Stage to Commit a Massacre in Gaza


Excerpt from Ilan Pappe’s book, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories

Fifty years after the Six-Day War, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip shows no end in sight. Acclaimed historian Ilan Pappé provides a comprehensive and damning account of the occupation in his new book, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories, based on groundbreaking archival research and eyewitness accounts. 

Ilan Pappé contends that Israel was preparing for a massive assault on Gaza since at least 2004. The following excerpt describes the militarization of Israeli policy towards Gaza leading up to the massacre of 2008-2009 known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead.

2004: The Dummy City 

In 2004 the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev Desert. It was the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a fake Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hezbollah fought Israel to a standstill in the north, so that the Israeli army could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.

When the Israeli Chief of General Staff, Dan Halutz, visited the site after the Lebanon war, he told the press that soldiers ‘were preparing for the scenario that will unfold in the dense neighbourhood of Gaza City.’ A week into the bombardment of Gaza, Ehud Barak attended a rehearsal for the ground war. Foreign television crews filmed him as he watched ground troops conquer the mock city, storming the empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them.

In 2009 the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence published a report of its members’, reserve soldiers’ and other soldiers’ preparation for Operation Cast Lead, when the attack on the dummy city was replaced by an assault on the real Gaza. The gist of the testimonies was that the soldiers had orders to attack Gaza as if they were attacking a massive enemy stronghold: this became clear from the firepower employed, the absence of any orders or procedures about acting properly within a civilian environment, and the synchronized effort from land, sea and air. Among the worst practices they rehearsed were the senseless demolition of houses, the spraying of civilians with phosphorus shells, the killing of innocent civilians by light weaponry and obeying orders from their commanders generally to act with no moral compass.

“You feel like an infantile child with a magnifying glass that torments ants, you burn them,” one soldier testified.

In short, they practised the total destruction of the real city as they trained in the mock city.

This was the new version of the maximum security prison that awaited the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government and its security policymakers realized that the open-prison model, which was meant to enclose the people of the Strip under a collaborative rule of the PA, had been foiled by the people themselves. The retaliation that came in the form of besieging and blockading the Strip into surrendering to the preferred Israeli model had not worked either. The Palestinian political groups in the Strip, led by Hamas, decided to retaliate by launching occasional barrages of primitive missiles so that the world, and Israel, would not forget them and their life within a hermetically closed prison.

This is how the Israeli fiasco unfolded in 2005, which turned into what I have referred to elsewhere as the incremental genocide of Palestine. The Israelis referred to their first operation against Gaza as ‘First Rain’; it was more a rain of fire from the sky than of blessed water from above.

2005: The First Rain

The militarization of the Israeli policy towards the Gaza strip began in 2005. That year Gaza became an official military target from the Israeli point of view, as if it were a huge enemy base rather than a place of civilian habitation. Gaza is a city like any other in the world, and yet for the Israelis it became a dummy city for soldiers to experiment with the most recent and advanced weapons.

This policy was enabled by the Israeli government’s decision to evict the Jewish settlers who had colonized the Gaza Strip since 1967. The settlers were allegedly moved as part of what the government described as a unilateral policy of disengagement, the argument being that since there was no progress in the peace talks with the Palestinians, it was up to Israel to determine how its borders with the Palestinian areas would ultimately look. In essence, Prime Minister Sharon was willing to turn the Strip into a West Bank Area A and in turn strengthen Israel’s grip on the West Bank (and in evicting the Gazan settlers against their will, it would create an alleged trauma that would absolve Israel from ever repeating it again).

But things did not turn out as expected. The eviction of the settlers was followed by a Hamas takeover, first in democratic elections, then in a pre-emptive coup staged to avert an American-backed seizure by Fatah. The immediate Israeli response was to impose an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, to which Hamas retaliated by firing missiles at the nearest town to the Strip, Sderot. This gave Israel the pretext to use its air force, artillery and gunships. Israel claimed it was firing at the launching areas of the missiles, but in practice this meant anywhere and everywhere in the Strip.

Creating the prison and throwing the key into the sea, as UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard has put it, was an action against which the Palestinians in Gaza reacted with force in September 2005. They were determined to show that at the very least they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine. That same month they launched the first significant barrage (in number only, not quality) of missiles into the western Negev — as so often, these resulted in damage to some properties but very rarely in human casualties. The events of that month deserve to be mentioned in detail, because the early Hamas response before September had been the sporadic trickle of missiles. The launching in September 2005 was in response to an Israeli campaign of mass arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the Tul Karem area; one could not escape the impression at the time that the army was looking to trigger a Hamas response. Indeed, when it came, it was a harsh policy of massive killings, the first of its kind, code-named ‘First Rain.’

It is worth dwelling for a moment on the nature of that operation. The discourse that accompanied it was one of punishment and it resembled the punitive measures inflicted in the more distant past by colonial powers, and more recently by dictatorships, against rebellious imprisoned or banished communities. A frightening show of aggression by the oppressor ended with large numbers of dead and wounded among the victims. In Operation First Rain, supersonic flights took place over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, followed by the heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to create pressure in order to weaken the Gaza community’s support for the rocket launchers. As everyone expected, the Israelis included, the operation only increased support for the rocket launchers and gave impetus to their next attempts.

In hindsight, and especially given the Israeli military commanders’ explanation that the army had long been preparing the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead, it is possible that the real purpose of that particular operation was experimental. And if the Israeli generals wanted to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region and in the wider world, it seems that the quick answer was ‘very well’; namely, no governments showed any interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians left behind after First Rain subsided.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Setting the Stage to Commit a Massacre in Gaza

A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project


First published by Global Research in January 2017

In early November 2016, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.

US-President Barack Obama has declared the strategic partnership with India a priority of his foreign policy. China needs to be reined in. In the context of this partnership, the US government’s development agency USAID has negotiated cooperation agreements with the Indian ministry of financeOne of these has the declared goal to push back the use of cash in favor of digital payments in India and globally.

On November 8, Indian prime minster Narendra Modi announced that the two largest denominations of banknotes could not be used for payments any more with almost immediate effect. Owners could only recoup their value by putting them into a bank account before the short grace period expired. The amount of cash that banks were allowed to pay out to individual customers was severely restricted. Almost half of Indians have no bank account and many do not even have a bank nearby. The economy is largely cash based. Thus, a severe shortage of cash ensued. Those who suffered the most were the poorest and most vulnerable. They had additional difficulty earning their meager living in the informal sector or paying for essential goods and services like food, medicine or hospitals. Chaos and fraud reigned well into December.

Four weeks earlier

Not even four weeks before this assault on Indians, USAID had announced the establishment of „Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership“, with the goal of effecting a quantum leap in cashless payment in India. The press statement of October 14 says that Catalyst “marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to facilitate universal financial inclusion”. The statement does not show up in the list of press statements on the website of USAID (anymore?). Not even filtering statements with the word “India” would bring it up. To find it, you seem to have to know it exists, or stumble upon it in a web search. Indeed, this and other statements, which seemed rather boring before, have become a lot more interesting and revealing after November 8.

Reading the statements with hindsight it becomes obvious, that Catalyst and the partnership of USAID and the Indian Ministry of Finance, from which Catalyst originated, are little more than fronts which were used to be able to prepare the assault on all Indians using cash without arousing undue suspicion. Even the name Catalyst sounds a lot more ominous, once you know what happened on November 9.

Catalyst’s Director of Project Incubation is Alok Gupta, who used to be Chief Operating Officer of the World Resources Institute in Washington, which has USAID as one of its main sponsors. He was also an original member of the team that developed Aadhaar, the Big-Brother-like biometric identification system.

According to a report of the Indian Economic Times, USAID has committed to finance Catalyst for three years. Amounts are kept secret.

Badal Malick was Vice President of India’s most important online marketplace Snapdeal, before he was appointed as CEO of Catalyst. He commented:

 Catalyst’s mission is to solve multiple coordination problems that have blocked the penetration of digital payments among merchants and low-income consumers. We look forward to creating a sustainable and replicable model. (…) While there has been (…) a concerted push for digital payments by the government, there is still a last mile gap when it comes to merchant acceptance and coordination issues. We want to bring a holistic ecosystem approach to these problems.

Ten months earlier

The multiple coordination problem and the cash-ecosystem-issue that Malick mentions had been analysed in a report that USAID commissioned in 2015 and presented in January 2016, in the context of the anti-cash partnership with the Indian Ministry of Finance. The press release on this presentation is also not in USAID’s list of press statements (anymore?). The title of the study was “Beyond Cash”.

“Merchants, like consumers, are trapped in cash ecosystems, which inhibits their interest” in digital payment it said in the report. Since few traders accept digital payments, few consumers have an interest in it, and since few consumers use digital payments, few traders have an interest in it. Given that banks and payment providers charge fees for equipment to use or even just try out digital payment, a strong external impulse is needed to achieve a level of card penetration that would create mutual interest of both sides in digital payment options.

It turned out in November that the declared “holistic ecosystem approach” to create this impulse consisted in destroying the cash-ecosystem for a limited time and to slowly dry it up later, by limiting the availability of cash from banks for individual customers. Since the assault had to be a surprise to achieve its full catalyst-results, the published Beyond-Cash-Study and the protagonists of Catalyst could not openly describe their plans. They used a clever trick to disguise them and still be able to openly do the necessary preparations, even including expert hearings. They consistently talked of a regional field experiment that they were ostensibly planning.

“The goal is to take one city and increase the digital payments 10x in six to 12 months,” said Malick less than four weeks before most cash was abolished in the whole of India. To not be limited in their preparation on one city alone, the Beyond-Cash-report and Catalyst kept talking about a range of regions they were examining, ostensibly in order to later decide which was the best city or region for the field experiment. Only in November did it became clear that the whole of India should be the guinea-pig-region for a global drive to end the reliance on cash. Reading a statement of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India, with hindsight, it becomes clear that he stealthily announced that, when he said four weeks earlier:

India is at the forefront of global efforts to digitize economies and create new economic opportunities that extend to hard-to-reach populations. Catalyst will support these efforts by focusing on the challenge of making everyday purchases cashless.

Veterans of the war on cash in action

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? Upon the presentation of the Beyond-Cash-report, USAID declared: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.” On the website one can see that they are mostly IT- and payment service providers who want to make money from digital payments or from the associated data generation on users. Many are veterans of,what a high-ranking official of Deutsche Bundesbank called the “war of interested financial institutions on cash” (in German). They include the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Gates Foundation (Microsoft), Omidyar Network (eBay), the Dell Foundation Mastercard, Visa, Metlife Foundation.

The Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance, which includes USAID as a member, is mentioned first for a reason. It was founded in 2012 to push back cash on a global scale. The secretariat is housed at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) in New York, which might have its reason in the fact that this rather poor small UN-organization was glad to have the Gates-Foundation in one of the two preceding years and the Master-Card-Foundation in the other as its most generous donors.

The members of the Alliance are large US-Institutions which would benefit most from pushing back cash, i.e. credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, and also some US-institutions whose names come up a lot in books on the history of the United States intelligence services, namely Ford Foundation and USAID. A prominent member is also the Gates-Foundation. Omidyar Network of eBay-founder Pierre Omidyar and Citi are important contributors. Almost all of these are individually also partners in the current USAID-India-Initiative to end the reliance on cash in India and beyond. The initiative and the Catalyst-program seem little more than an extended Better Than Cash Alliance, augmented by Indian and Asian organizations with a strong business interest in a much decreased use of cash.

Reserve Bank of India’s IMF-Chicago Boy

The partnership to prepare the temporary banning of most cash in India coincides roughly with the tenure of Raghuram Rajan at the helm of Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016. Rajan (53) had been, and is now again, economics professor at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2006 he had been Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. (This is a cv-item he shares with another important warrior against cash, Ken Rogoff.) He is a member of the Group of Thirty, a rather shady organization, where high ranking representatives of the world major commercial financial institutions share their thoughts and plans with the presidents of the most important central banks, behind closed doors and with no minutes taken. It becomes increasingly clear that the Group of Thirty is one of the major coordination centers of the worldwide war on cash. Its membership includes other key warriers like Rogoff, Larry Summers and others.

Raghuram Rajan has ample reason to expect to climb further to the highest rungs in international finance and thus had good reason to play Washington’s game well. He already was a President of the American Finance Association and inaugural recipient of its Fisher-Black-Prize in financial research. He won the handsomely endowed prizes of Infosys for economic research and of Deutsche Bank for financial economics as well as the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Prize for best economics book. He was declared Indian of the year by NASSCOM and Central Banker of the year by Euromoney and by The Banker. He is considered a possible successor of Christine Lagard at the helm of the IMF, but can certainly also expect to be considered for other top jobs in international finance.

As a Central Bank Governor, Rajan was liked and well respected by the financial sector, but very much disliked by company people from the real (producing) sector, despite his penchant for deregulation and economic reform. The main reason was the restrictive monetary policy he introduced and staunchly defended. After he was viciously criticized from the ranks of the governing party, he declared in June that he would not seek a second term in September. Later he told the New York Times that he had wanted to stay on, but not for a whole term, and that premier Modi would not have that. A former commerce and law Minister, Mr. Swamy, said on the occasion of Rajan’s  departure that it would make Indian industrialists happy:

I certainly wanted him out, and I made it clear to the prime minister, as clear as possible. (…) His audience was essentially Western, and his audience in India was transplanted westernized society. People used to come in delegations to my house to urge me to do something about it.

A disaster that had to happen

If Rajan was involved in the preparation of this assault to declare most of Indians’ banknotes illegal – and there should be little doubt about that, given his personal and institutional links and the importance of Reserve Bank of India in the provision of cash – he had ample reason to stay in the background. After all, it cannot have surprised anyone closely involved in the matter, that this would result in chaos and extreme hardship, especially for the majority of poor and rural Indians, who were flagged as the supposed beneficiaries of the badly misnamed “financial-inclusion”-drive. USAID and partners had analysed the situation extensively and found in the Beyond-Cash-report that 97% of transactions were done in cash and that only 55% of Indians had a bank account. They also found that even of these bank accounts, “only 29% have been used in the last three months“.

All this was well known and made it a certainty that suddenly abolishing most cash would cause severe and even existential problems to many small traders and producers and to many people in remote regions without banks. When it did, it became obvious, how false the promise of financial inclusion by digitalization of payments and pushing back cash has always been. There simply is no other means of payment that can compete with cash in allowing everybody with such low hurdles to participate in the market economy.

However, for Visa, Mastercard and the other payment service providers, who were not affected by these existential problems of the huddled masses, the assault on cash will most likely turn out a big success, “scaling up” digital payments in the “trial region”. After this chaos and with all the losses that they had to suffer, all business people who can afford it, are likely to make sure they can accept digital payments in the future. And consumers, who are restricted in the amount of cash they can get from banks now, will use opportunities to pay with cards, much to the benefit of Visa, Mastercard and the other members of the extended Better Than Cash Alliance.

Why Washington is waging a global war on cash

The business interests of the US-companies that dominate the gobal IT business and payment systems are an important reason for the zeal of the US-government in its push to reduce cash use worldwide, but it is not the only one and might not be the most important one. Another motive is surveillance power that goes with increased use of digital payment. US-intelligence organizations and IT-companies together can survey all international payments done through banks and can monitor most of the general stream of digital data. Financial data tends to be the most important and valuable.

Even more importantly, the status of the dollar as the worlds currency of reference and the dominance of US companies in international finance provide the US government with tremendous power over all participants in the formal non-cash financial system. It can make everybody conform to American law rather than to their local or international rules. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has recently run a chilling story describing how that works (German). Employees of a Geran factoring firm doing completely legal business with Iran were put on a US terror list, which meant that they were shut off most of the financial system and even some logistics companies would not transport their furniture any more. A major German bank was forced to fire several employees upon US request, who had not done anything improper or unlawful.

There are many more such examples. Every internationally active bank can be blackmailed by the US government into following their orders, since revoking their license to do business in the US or in dollars basically amounts to shutting them down. Just think about Deutsche Bank, which had to negotiate with the US treasury for months whether they would have to pay a fne of 14 billion dollars and most likely go broke, or get away with seven billion and survive. If you have the power to bankrupt the largest banks even of large countries, you have power over their governments, too. This power through dominance over the financial system and the associated data is already there. The less cash there is in use, the more extensive and secure it is, as the use of cash is a major avenue for evading this power.

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A Multipolar World?: “Full Spectrum Superiority”, The Deep State and Global Financial Control


First published by Global Research in May 2017

Various sources have accused the U.S. of trying to enforce the model of a unitary world where it alone dictates to all other nations. The following essay develops the idea that seeing the world as multipolar instead is much more in consonance with reality.

 Ability to tolerate the diversity implied by a multipolar world should be seen as a sign not of weakness but of maturity. Such maturity is urgently needed in today’s world, where humanity is sliding down a slippery slope to oblivion. This maturity can only be found if we stay rooted in our spiritual center.

While the argument is a philosophical one, it has life or death application to today’s geopolitical conflicts. Nothing could be more dangerous than the growing threats and conflicts among nuclear-armed powers that have lost the ability for self-examination and mutual respect. It’s as though we are seeing the Cuban missile crisis playing out on a daily basis.


In the forefront is what seems increasingly obvious—the agenda of the U.S. “deep state” is world conquest. This objective is confirmed through the open declaration by the U.S. military of its intention to attain “full spectrum dominance,” also known as “full spectrum superiority.”

The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, dated March 2017, defines “full spectrum superiority” as,

“The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains, electromagnetic spectrum, and information environment (which includes cyberspace) that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.” (p.97)

What a world view! If a patient came into a psychiatrist’s office uttering such thoughts he would be recognized immediately as delusional, paranoid, and possibly psychotic. He would be considered an imminent danger to himself and society. In the workplace he would be viewed as a maniac, possibly escorted by security to the front door and told never to come back.

Yet the people who think and talk this way have been given an arsenal sufficient to destroy all life on earth and are stationed on hair-trigger alert in approximately 150 nations, with actual military installations in 30. On the high seas, the U.S. Navy has 273 major “battle force” ships in active service ready for war at any time. Meanwhile, our supposed “adversaries” have made it clear that they are not backing down.

The U.S. quest for “full spectrum superiority” becomes even more bizarre when we realize that it must include, above all, nuclear superiority. The official doctrine therefore abandons any pretense of maintaining a balance-of-power or mutual deterrence, which, before the fall of the Soviet Union, sane people had credited with preventing all-out nuclear war.

The concept of deterrence began to be abandoned during the Reagan administration with President Ronald Reagan’s proposal of his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), derided by its critics as “Star Wars.” While Reagan touted the system as “defensive,” in that its aim was to shoot down incoming enemy missiles, everyone recognized that it would be grossly destabilizing by removing the fear of retaliation against the U.S. by the Soviets if the U.S. decided to launch a nuclear first strike.

One name for deterrence is “MAD”—Mutually Assured Destruction. Critics referred to SDI as “Madder than MAD.” But ever since, nuclear superiority has not meant just bigger and better bombs, even as the U.S. now plans to spend a trillion dollars upgrading its aging nuclear arsenal. Since several nations, including Israel, now possess an arsenal sufficient to destroy human life, the search for a decisive edge has meant the building of defensive systems like those conceived of by SDI planners.

This is why today’s “full spectrum superiority” involved tearing up the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, as did the George W. Bush administration, and now ringing Russia with batteries of surface-to-air missiles able to knock Russian nuclear-tipped missiles aimed at Europe or the U.S. out of the skies.

It is easy to see how a study just released by the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research concludes that,

The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.” Such a conclusion is easy to draw as the U.S. moves its forces in Eastern Europe to a combat-ready status, according to recent testimony by U.S. generals before Congress.

Obviously, “full spectrum superiority” cannot be attained and maintained without the use of force against anyone who dares to stand in the way. It can’t be done by treaty. How, other than by force, can people who do not trust the benevolence of the U.S. military be persuaded to go along?


But who is in control of the U.S. “Deep State” that lies behind these intentions, and by whom, how, and why are decisions made to deploy military force? Especially, who controls the nukes? For three-fourths of a century this has been recognized as the premier political question of our time.

Two things are clear:

1) it is not the president of the United States who is in control. Rather he is presented with decisions that have already been made by someone else and handed to him by the national security establishment.

2) The goal of U.S. military action is not to achieve the stability of a multipolar world. Rather it is to enforce the will of an entity or entities that want to bring the world under the control of a unitary political/economic regime.

This is why every military action carried out by the U.S. focuses, first and foremost, on “regime change.”

So what really is going on here?

Let’s go back in history. Until World War II, the nations of the world had fought many wars. But after armies and navies had been mobilized and a war fought to its conclusion, the world went back to its peaceful ways. Whatever changes the war had wrought may have persisted, but usually the weapons were put away and life went on.

This has changed with the creation of standing, permanent armed forces. One of the big changes had already taken place by the late 19th century with the construction of a British Navy large enough to “protect” and control a worldwide empire.

But even after World War I the land armies that remained were largely demobilized. After World War II, however, the fighting went on. In the 1950s came the Korean War, then the Vietnam War in the 1960s-70s.

Over the next half-century, the situation gradually worsened. As indicated above, the danger escalated when Ronald Reagan was elected president. Many of his controllers came from an organization called The Committee on the Present Danger that argued that the power of the Soviet Union required that the U.S. be placed on a permanent wartime footing.

This was new. Then, after the first Iraq war under President George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s successor, today’s doctrine of endless active warfare was implemented.

Thus, after President Bill Clinton’s attacks on Yugoslavia and 9/11 under President George W. Bush, came the “War on Terror.” What this meant in practice was that any nation the U.S. identified as an “adversary” could justifiably be conquered and subjected to regime change as a matter of our national right.

Obviously there can be no multipolar world under such conditions. There can only be one rule and one law anywhere in the world at any time—whatever the U.S. Deep State decides and enforces through military action.


Meanwhile, as might have been foreseen, the U.S. military machine has become the nation’s chief economic sinkhole. The Department of Defense budget in 2015 was $598 billion. The U.S. is also the world’s leading exporter Millions of people work for this system, including the uniformed services, civilian employees, contractors, and lobbyists. Then there are the dependents and pensioners. We can add in the millions of employees in the service and manufacturing industries who work directly or indirectly in meeting the needs of everyday living for all the people employed by the military machine. This includes the nationals of other countries who service the U.S. military abroad.

We might call the system “corporate welfare,” but it can just as well be termed “military communism,” as all the managers, employees, and hangers-on get their livelihood from federal government spending. These people claim to be defending the “free-enterprise system,” though they themselves are effectively on the government payroll for their entire careers.

The system is leading the U.S. into bankruptcy. It can only be financed by more government debt through the T-bond bubble and quantitative easing, both managed by the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, as other nations mature economically, the U.S. is steadily losing its profit margins from utilization of the dollar as the international reserve currency. This utilization is based on the petrodollar as the denominator of worldwide trade in oil, but that too is declining in international markets.

In the early 1970s the U.S. abandoned the gold standard as a medium of international exchange. The petrodollar became the backing for the dollar, enforced by military might. Now this house of cards has begun to crumble. Panic has set in as the U.S. comes to resemble in its top-heavy inefficiency the Soviet Union just before that empire collapsed.

This is the soft underbelly of “full-spectrum superiority.” The shakiness of the system creates an urgency to complete its mission of total global control before it comes crashing down or is defeated by one or more adversaries.


To approach these matters comprehensively requires us to dig deeply into the human psyche. No other species on earth could even begin to act according to such blind assumptions as does the U.S. military machine. In contrast, Nature always seeks balance and limits in the midst of diversity. When dinosaurs get too big or voracious they die off. How can Americans think they are exempt from natural law?

The only other phenomenon in nature that acts in a similar manner to “full spectrum superiority” is cancer cells. If left unchecked, such cells very quickly kill their host and die themselves.

This doctrine of the U.S. military, and hence that of the U.S. government which stands behind it, does in fact resemble cancer.

So indeed does any doctrine that seeks to base its own survival on the destruction or enslavement of other human beings. “Full spectrum superiority” requires worldwide slavery. By extension that means enslavement to the system the U.S. military is protecting and extending. This system is that of international finance capitalism—the full power of money over human life and values.

Among those who espouse this worldview are some who view themselves as “chosen people.” So it doesn’t take long to discover in their cultural mythology many references to their supposed religious, racial, cultural, and historical superiority to others. Nor is there an absence of instances where they have been slighted, abused, persecuted, etc., thereby justifying revenge.

Such an ideology is professed most emphatically and openly by the leaders of the state of Israel. The rise of the U.S. military doctrine of “full spectrum superiority” coincides with the rise of Israel to power on the world stage and the extension of its influence over U.S. politics through institutions such as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

In the 1990s, PNAC laid out the doctrine whereby the U.S military would engage in ongoing warfare for regime change in the countries surrounding Israel in the Middle East and Central Asia. The U.S. has been doing this ever since, with the dismantlement of Yugoslavia by U.S. bombing of Serbia providing a prelude. Next came Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Libya.

PNAC said that for its aims to be achieved a “new Pearl Harbor” was needed. Curiously, 9/11 took place soon afterwards.

PNAC assumed that with the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, U.S. military hegemony involving nations close to or adjacent with the Russian state that remained after the collapse would not meet any serious opposition.


Russian president Vladimir Putin has now appeared, however, and proposes something radical—that we are in fact living in a “multipolar world.” This is a world conceived as having more than one power center, one where the views and interests of many different players must be taken into account. Naturally, to the proponents of “full spectrum superiority,” Putin is seen as the devil himself.

But can it be that this perception—so compellingly real to those who hold it—is a projection? Can it be that the aims of “full spectrum superiority” are themselves diabolical and that unable to face such a prospect its proponents see what they hate and fear not in themselves but in what psychology calls “the Other”? Let’s at least entertain that possibility.

I would like to suggest that the perspective of a “multipolar world” is more aligned with reality than that of “full spectrum superiority.”

Humanity is composed of 7.5 billion individuals, a number that continues to grow. We don’t know why there are so many, though it no longer surprises us to hear that a single human body, according to the late Dr. Linus Pauling, consists of some 10 trillion cells.

We tend to panic at the size of the human population. Yet somehow the intelligence of the normal human body has the ability to nourish and coordinate the activity of its trillions of cells without getting into a big worry over it. Why can’t earth do the same with its human family?

Maybe instead of panicking we should stand in amazement at the incredible genius of Nature and its ability to engage in such infinite profusion of life and its bounty.

What if we saw the earth as a living being that itself possessed so much energy and intelligence that it could sustain life for the very long period of time that planetary creatures have been in existence? I don’t think earth believes it has to go out and kill a bunch of other planets out of fear that it will not have enough to support everything living on it.

Each human individual is a distinct piece of creation with its own intelligence and spirit. The most enlightened spiritual teachings have been telling us for thousands of years that these individuals—of which we are one—have been created by a Higher Being, that we live for a time on earth to do certain work and attain some degree of spiritual maturity, and that at death our spirit goes off to our next rendezvous elsewhere.

According to such teachings—and earth has witnessed many both past and present—we are here for a purpose. And obviously this purpose must be sought and found in coexistence with all other created beings. Clearly this purpose is not to attain “full spectrum superiority” over everyone and everything else.

Jesus Christ said the two great commandments were to love God and our neighbor. The existence of a neighbor that we should love and respect and whom we must view as having rights equal to our own points in fact to a multipolar world.

The idea of equality is stated clearly in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.” This is the foundation principle of America and has been replicated in the constitutions of most of the nations of the world. This principle also postulates a multipolar world.

These concepts must apply collectively as well as individually in order to be consistent. It is normal and natural for each individual to view his own existence as more important than others, simply because his own is the only one he is directly conscious of. In order to fully sense and appreciate the existence of others he needs either an obvious connection—as part of a family, for instance—or he needs consciously to extend himself to take others into account.


Thus people of wisdom have created social mechanisms for individuals to come together to share their views, coordinate their activities, and compromise their aims for the sake of social harmony. One such mechanism is the United Nations, created at the end of World War II. Contrary to the fears of some within the U.S., the U.N. does not represent a plot to take away their nation’s sovereignty as much as it is a forum to adjudicate differences among nations that arise in a multipolar world.

The need for orderly world government has long been recognized by people with vision. This need became more urgent with the Industrial Revolution, given the huge changes in transportation and communication technologies.

The enormous diversity of humanity became ever more apparent as people of different races, religions, and geographic locations came into contact. Technology applied to weapons, however, along with increased ability to extract resources, created great temptations for some nations to lord it over others. By the time of World War II, the potential for world cataclysm had become clear to everyone, especially after the U.S. dropped the A-bomb on Japan.

Nuclear weapons created an emergency. In this emergency, the people who set up the United Nations recognized the importance of a multipolar world by establishing a Security Council to be the chief forum for discussing and then taking action on matters of worldwide importance.

No one expected the Security Council to be a daily love fest. But it is there for a purpose. Yet the U.S. believes that it can take unilateral action, as with its recent attack on Syria, without reference to the United Nations or without even a discussion with other members of the Security Council. Indeed, the primary function of the U.S. representative to the U.N., Nikki Haley, seems to be to utter threats, as when she says, “I don’t think anything is off the table” in using military force in Syria.

Nor was PNAC ever discussed by the United Nations.

Now, with the resurgence of Russia, a major obstacle to PNAC exists. The backers of PNAC, both in the U.S. and Israel, have been trying to arouse fear of Russia in the minds of the American electorate, similar to the Cold War. Perhaps an even greater threat to PNAC is China, which clearly has time on its side in becoming the world’s greatest threat to U.S. hegemony.

A showdown is clearly looming. To get ready for the showdown, the U.S. strategy seems to be to complete the conquest of Syria, which has begun with the arming of ISIS and other “rebel” groups by the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East—Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. An attack against Iran is in the planning stages. North Korea is on the agenda for elimination as a threat. And preparations are probably underway for a nuclear first strike against both Russia and China when the time is right and sufficient defenses against retaliation have been deployed.

What would it take to walk back from the brink?

Clearly it would require recognition of the multipolar world that Putin and many others speak of. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, etc., do not show signs of wanting to conquer the U.S. With the benefit of wise statesmanship, the U.S., Israel and other nations could at least attempt to co-exist with these nations as part of the world community.

The only way to world community lies along the path of peace, not war and conquest. Trade and scientific partnership, as with the International Space Station, have long been recognized as aids to world peace.


These things require communication. So those who would unite the world have been talking for a long time about coming up with a common language. That’s why Esperanto was invented. Reviving ancient Greek has been talked about.

But not too many years ago the head of NASA said—not as a joke—that his motivation for the U.S. taking the lead in interplanetary travel was so that “my language” would be spoken on the moon, Mars, and other planets. Of course English (including “American” and “tourist” English) is a long way from “full spectrum superiority” even on earth.

While English is spoken in many countries, and has become a language of convenience for world trade, only a fraction of humanity converses in it. According to, the following languages are the most used in the world as a first or second language: Chinese (including Mandarin or Standard Chinese): 1.34 billion; English: 508 million; Hindi: 487 million; Spanish: 417 million; Arabic 280 million; Russian: 277 million; Bengali: 211 million; Portuguese: 191 million; German: 128 million; French: 128 million; Japanese: 126 million; Thai: 100 million; Korean: 78 million. Among language families, 180 million speak Niger-Congo languages in Africa and 145 million speak Dravidian languages, mainly in southern India. Altogether there are over 5,000 languages currently being spoken on the planet.

It’s probably an ethnocentric illusion that causes the British and Americans to think English is so important anyway. In fact, with Brexit looming, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he it going to stop speaking English. He says,

“Slowly, but surely, English is losing importance.”

It won’t be Anglo-American military might that causes Juncker to change his mind, even though global unity is our most urgent need in the nuclear age. But again, not on the basis of war, control, slavery, and conquest, and certainly not by demanding that others give up cultural diversity.

Thus we are a long way from one language, one religion, one race, indeed if they will ever happen, or if it is even desirable they happen. But we can still work together.

After all, diversity keeps the gene pool fluid and allows discovery and innovation. Competition will always exist and is both necessary and desirable, including competition of ideas. The bland uniformity of the U.S. controlled media, for instance, where ideas that conflict with the prevailing war-based ideology is not just unhealthy—it is deadly. Thank God for the internet.


Whatever movement we take in the direction of world unity, there is still a requirement for all parties to recognize that we are in a multipolar world and will remain so if there is to be a world at all.

Not only does the idea of one world under military conquest have to be abandoned, so too does that of one world under global financial control.

The international banking system seeks to unite the world under a suffocating blanket of usury that diverts all of the world’s cash flow into the hands of the monetary controllers. This is what globalism and the New World Order are all about—worldwide slavery to materialism and money. It’s a system of totalitarian control based on violence and greed, but it also uses tools like entertainment, drugs, and pornography to corrupt, exhaust, and control the population.

The financial system is even more insidious than outright military aggression, but it is just as deadly. “Full spectrum superiority” of international finance is leading to massive species extinction, drastic climate change, and a threat to the survival of humanity itself.

Alternatives to the system have been increasingly researched and discussed. Turning economic power back to the level of autonomous localities which are yet part of the worldwide marketplace is urgently needed. So is the kind of spirituality whereby humans don’t just escape into their own personal cloud but take responsibility for the consequences of their presence on earth.

I believe that creating and facilitating a vibrant multipolar world that supports a healthy human freedom is our spiritual duty. Let’s tell that to the politicians, the militarists, and the financiers. And let’s ask them to donate their skills and resources to help bring it about before they destroy us all.

These ideas will be discussed in greater detail in future articles.

Posted in USAComments Off on A Multipolar World?: “Full Spectrum Superiority”, The Deep State and Global Financial Control

Help Wanted – State Department Seeks Self-Consistent Secretary … To Replace Tillerson?


European business deals with Iran are safe: Tillerson – AFP, October 20 2017

Washington (AFP) – The United States does not intend to disrupt European business deals with Iran, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in comments published Friday.

“The president’s been pretty clear that it’s not his intent to interfere with business deals that the Europeans may have under way with Iran,” Tillerson told The Wall Street Journal.“He’s said it clearly: ‘That’s fine. You guys do what you want to do.’”

Tillerson Warns Europe Against Iran Investments – NYT, October 22 2017

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —

Speaking during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Tillerson said, “Both of our countries believe that those who conduct business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, any of their entities — European companies or other companies around the globe — really do so at great risk.” Mr. Tillerson appeared at a brief news conference in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, with the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir.

Mr. Tillerson’s remarks were the administration’s most pointed warning to date …

This not the way to get the European Union in line with U.S. policies. So what is going on here?

Trump in often inconsistent in what he says. That is his privilege. But it does not mean that the Secretary of State has to contradict himself each and every day. It is Tillerson’s task to project a steady foreign policy. If there is none – for whatever reason – he must keep his comments vague. Contradictions like the above make him a joke.

‘Rexxon’ has experience in doing international businesses. He knows that consistency is one of the most important factors in getting things done. No one will make deals with a party that changes its mind every other day.

So why is Tillerson jumping around like this? He seeks to replace Ms. Jubeir as court jester in Riyadh? Or does he want to sabotage his own position?

One inevitably gets the impression that Tillerson wants out. That he wants to chuck his job rather sooner than later. That he longs for the inevitable day he will be fired.

Tillerson is a realist at heart. He is no fan of Netanyahu. He despises the fake human rights blabber others use to hide their motives. The neo-conservatives would love to see him go. Josh Rogin lists their favorite candidates:

The most popular parlor game in Washington right now is speculating who will replace Rex Tillerson as President Trump’s next secretary of state … two qualified and apparently willing candidates have emerged. … The top two contenders, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, …

Haley is way too loud and incompetent. Pompeo is too narrow minded.

I wonder who the White House junta will prefer as new Secretary of State. One from its own stable? David Petraeus?

He would be another nail in the coffin of Trump’s presidency.

Posted in USAComments Off on Help Wanted – State Department Seeks Self-Consistent Secretary … To Replace Tillerson?

New German law makes ‘full online censorship’ official


© Jim Cooke/GMG, Getty

A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.

This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state’s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

Meanwhile, the district court in Munich recently sentenced a German journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph. The court found Stürzenberger guilty of “disseminating the propaganda of anti-constitutional organizations”. While the mutual admiration that once existed between al-Husseini and German Nazis is an undisputed historical fact, now evidently history is being rewritten by German courts. Stürzenberger has appealed the verdict.

Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU, which already has a similar code of conduct for social media giants. The EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, recently said she might be willing to legislate in the future if the voluntary code of conduct does not produce the desired results. She said, however, that the voluntary code was working “relatively” well, with Facebook removing 66.5% of the material they had been notified was “hateful” between December and May this year. Twitter removed 37.4%, and YouTube took action on 66% of the notifications from users.

While purportedly concerned about online “hate speech,” one EU organization, the EU Parliament, had no qualms about letting its premises be used to host a convicted Arab terrorist, Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a conference about “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle” in September. (The EU, the US, Canada, and Australia, have all designated the PFLP a terrorist organization). The conference was organized by, among others, the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc in the European Parliament.

© PI News video screenshot
A German court recently sentenced journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph.

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May also said that she will tell internet firms to tackle extremist content:

“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online… ultimately it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat. It is the extremist ideologies that fuel them. It is the ideologies that preach hatred, sow division and undermine our common humanity. We must be far more robust in identifying these ideologies and defeating them — across all parts of our societies.”

Prime Minister May keeps insisting that “these ideologies” are spread “across all parts of our societies” when in reality, virtually all terrorism is Islamic. Meanwhile, her own Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has refused to ban the political wing of Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s hate speech, apparently, is perfectly acceptable to the British authorities. So is that of South African Muslim cleric and hate preacher Ebrahim Bham, who was once an interpreter to the Taliban’s head legal advisor. He was allowed to enter the UK to speak in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, a government building, at the “Palestine Expo” a large Jew-hate event in London in July. Bham is known for quoting Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels and saying that all Jews and Christians are “agents of Satan“. Meanwhile, a scholar such as Robert Spencer is banned from entering the UK, supposedly on the grounds that what he reports — accurately — is “Islamophobic”.

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also recently stated that online “hate crimes” will be prosecuted “with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending”. The decision to treat online offenses in the same way as offline offenses is expected to increase hate crime prosecutions, already at the highest recorded level ever. Prosecutors completed 15,442 hate crime cases in 2015-16.

Jews in Britain, who have experienced a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism over the past three years, are frequently on the receiving end of hate crimes. Nevertheless, their cases constitute less than a fraction of the statistics. In 2016/17, the CPS prosecuted 14,480 hate crimes. According to the Campaign Against Antisemitism:

“we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen anti-Semitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of… 21 prosecutions, in 2016 there were 20, and in 2015 there were just 12. So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to privately prosecute alleged anti-Semites ourselves and challenge the CPS through judicial review, the first of which we won in March. Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signaling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to anti-Semites that they need not fear the law… Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for anti-Semitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, anti-Semitic crime surged by 45%”.

Almost one in three British Jews have apparently considered leaving Britain due to anti-Semitism in the past two years.

British authorities seem far more concerned with “Islamophobia” than with the increase in hate crimes against Jews. In fact, the police has teamed up with Transport for London authorities to encourage people to report hate crimes during “National Hate Crime Awareness Week”, which runs from October 14-21. Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police will hold more than 200 community events to “reassure communities that London’s public transport system is safe for everyone”. The events are specifically targeted at Muslims; officers have visited the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes.

Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) announced it was spending £1,730,726 of taxpayer money policing speech online after applying for a grant from the Home Office. Meanwhile, Khan said that he does not have the funds to monitor the 200 jihadists estimated to be in London, out of the 400 jihadists who have so far returned to the capital from Syria and Iraq. (He also implicitly admitted that he does not know the whereabouts of the jihadists who have returned). When asked by the journalist Piers Morgan why the mayor could not have them monitored, Khan answered:

“Because the Met Police budget, roughly speaking, 15 percent, 20 percent is funded by me, the mayor. The rest comes from central government. If the Met Police is being shrunk and reduced, they’ve got to prioritize and use their resources in a sensible, savvy way.”

When Morgan asked what could possibly be a bigger priority than, “people coming back from a Syrian battlefield with intent to harm British citizens”, Khan did not answer. Perhaps because it is hard to admit in public that fighting “Islamophobia” is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?

Posted in Germany, MediaComments Off on New German law makes ‘full online censorship’ official

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