We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

I am posting this article for three reasons: 1) as a prime example of vital information which media agents of our capitalist masters refuse to disclose; 2) it illustrates what could be reported much more widely if we had a people's media organization that served the needs of ordinary people for accurate information; and 3) it is an example of information that would undermine the ruling capitalist class's vital control of information that sustains this class in power, is terrorizing much of the world causing mayhem and considerable suffering, and is threatening a nuclear holocaust and environmental degradation both of which threaten the continuance of the human species. 

Another such example of reporting from an independent source that would never be published by a media corporation in the US Empire is a piece posted by the GEOPOLMonitor entitled "ISIS launches chemical attacks in Mosul, say Iraqi military". It would serve to undermine the Empire's fictional justification for their recent attack on a Syrian airbase.

The control of information is an indispensable weapon to sustain the rule of this tiny, self-serving class that has managed to own (and ownership's correlate, control) everything of importance to the functioning of our nation and most of the world. Quoting and referring to an 1989 article in the Marine Corps Gazette, Douglas Valentine writes in his recent book, The CIA as Organized Crime (p. 354), the following insightful commentary:
The new type of warfare will be widely dispersed and largely undefined. The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. There will be no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between civilian and military will disappear. ...." [from the 1989 Marine Gazette]
The kicker in the article was when they said that, "This new type of warfare will depend on psychological operations manifested in the form of media information intervention."
All of this became standard operating procedure, at home and abroad, in terms of the military and CIA intervening in media information.
The article said, "One must be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion. On this new psychological battlefield, television news may become a more powerful operational weapon [than] armored divisions."
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that media corporations today are performing this role.
I am arguing the creation of an internationally based, people's media organization not as something that would be nice to have, but something that is vital to the survival of humans. And it must incorporate in its organizational structure the seeds of a new method of control of the organization from the grassroots up. Therefore the typical organization chart would be turned upside-down to indicate grassroots control of the organization. The development of such an organization could serve three functions: 1) as a source of much more accurate information; 2) as a catalyst for a revolutionary movement to topple the control of humanity by, and for the benefit of, capitalists; and as a model for a people-controlled organization of societies worldwide to prevent any other ruling class from being established. 

Neocons Point Housebroken Trump at Iran

Click here to access article by Jonathan Marshall from ConsortiumNews

The editor aptly introduces this piece with the following statement:
Now that the neocons have housebroken President Trump, they are ready for a resumption of their “regime change” agenda, with Iran next in their crosshairs, reports Jonathan Marshall.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Hasty Trump Syria Attack Game – It Doesn’t Add Up

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook

The headline for this article is a bit misleading because most of the article is devoted not to analyzing Trump's decision, but to expose almost the entire operation and media coverage with considerable evidence (backed up by solid linked-to sources) that this is overwhelmingly another "fake news" story from beginning to end.
Was this latest chemical weapons incident another ‘false flag’ as intelligence jargon describes it, done by US-Saudi backed ISIS or Al Nusra, in order to give the Trump Administration war hawks the excuse for major military action in Syria for the first time in six years of US-backed war? All evidence says yes.
So far we can only speculate about Trump's reasons for this attack and the current deployment of naval forces approaching North Korea. Is he trying to ward off the ongoing criticism as "Putin's man" from a powerful war-mongering faction in the ruling class? Or has he completely succumbed to that pressure? If the answer to the latter question is affirmative, he will likely pursue an even more aggressive foreign policy than the ruling class's approved candidate Hillary Clinton. 

Regarding Syria and the Empire's strategy , Cartalucci presents a well-reasoned essay (see the last section) that the US, aided by Turkey and Israel, will try to carry out long held plans to carve up Syria leaving what's left as another failed state like Libya and Iraq. If Trump has surrendered to this war-mongering faction, this strategy is likely to be followed. 

The American public could aid in a more peaceful strategy throughout the world if they engaged in as massive anti-war protests in the streets. Unfortunately, the dominate war-mongering faction of the ruling class directorate and their media corporations have them completely befuddled about foreign affairs. The American public are much more interested in domestic social identity issues (gay rights, women's issues, and racial discrimination). This is probably due to the role media corporations play in encouraging such interest.

As to the confusion about Trump's foreign policy as provoked by his recent aggressive moves, I recommend you read Alistair Crooke's piece entitled "Trump Lurches into Chaos and Conflict". 

The Epic Resistance of Kobane

Click here to access article by Marcel Cartier from TeleSur.

I especially loved this article for primarily two reasons. One, I have been wondering if I have been a dupe of Western propaganda furnished mostly by the former owners of Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR) who ran a series of articles (to find them, enter "Rojava" into any of my search boxes) several years ago extolling the revolutionary character of the Syrian Kurds that inhabited northern Syria. Since then I've seen the US military collaborating with these Syrian Kurds and even establishing military bases or installations on their territory which I saw as part of an implementation of a plan to carve up Syria into "safe zones". During this latter period I've seen nothing about this more recent development in leftist websites.

Second, this article written by a Western leftist has a pure ring of authenticity about it. Read it to see for yourself. What I found most satisfying is that it deals a bit with the issue of the collaboration with US forces--although not enough in my opinion. 

I remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were surrounded by the Empire's terrorist army known mostly as ISIS, and US forces came to their rescue. This fact suggests that these Kurds out of sheer desperation were forced to collaborate with US forces. I also remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were discriminating against non-Kurdish residents in the same area which is flatly denied in this article. 

This confusion about reality in this area of Syria is, I suspect, caused by leftists wanting to only write positive things about people they regard as serving a progressive revolutionary agenda. The same thing happened in Venezuela after the Chavez government took power. Revolutions are messy and many unusual, and sometimes disturbing, issues present themselves along their path. However too many writers on the left seem resistant to presenting any information about such messy issues. This, I believe, is a serious mistake. Such issues that confront revolutionary movements must be dealt with frankly and fully in leftist media so that the thinking of all revolutionary forces throughout the world can be advanced.  

There are no "good guys" and "bad guys" that capitalist media likes to suggest to their many readers/viewers. There are just human beings, most of whom just want peace and to achieve a reasonably good standard of living. (Their "good guys" are those who support the needs of Empire capitalists--the others are "bad guys".) Sometimes people in a revolutionary movement must make compromises with powerful capitalist adversaries (or some other ruling class like the feudal regimes in the Persian Gulf) in order to survive to fight another day. Then on the opposite end of the psychological spectrum from principled revolutionaries are sociopathic people who are easily compromised by rewards that powerful capitalists (or their agents) can offer in exchange for their services. Unfortunately capitalist ruled societies cultivate and promote the rise of too many sociopathic personalities.

Those of us who are consciously aware and simply living in advanced capitalist societies know that we must make daily compromises to power in order to survive in reasonably good conditions. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Geopolitics of World War III

This 22 minute video was produced by Storm Clouds Gathering website and shared with you via YouTube. (Because of my hearing limitations, I found the audio transmission rather uneven and a bit challenging.)

In this video Aaron Hawkins of Storm Clouds Gathering brings together many important facts to support, and important factors to inform, his geopolitical view of the current worrisome state of international affairs. Although his production of the video leaves something to be desired, I think his compilation of facts and factors ares very good.

Austerity never ends: Economists say wages are too high

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.

I think that Dolack spends far too much time on the effects of wage labor on living living standards of workers instead of what it means to a worker and to be treated merely as a commodity. This is so typical of writers who have been thoroughly indoctrinated by capitalist propaganda that they miss, or don't clearly see, the background experience of being a commodity. Thus they tend to concentrate on low wages and benefits.

To owners of economic enterprises, being a worker in a capitalist economy means being essentially a rented wage slave . As such, you are transformed into a mere commodity in a labor market in which capitalists engage to secure the labor as a means to obtain profit, and profit for "owners" is by far the highest value in a capitalist society. At various times profitable economic activities do not attract capitalists to rent a sufficient number of workers for a variety of reasons: the boom and bust cycles inherent in a capitalist economy due to excessive run-up of debts and speculation in the mad pursuit of wealth, low wages by workers so that they cannot buy what capitalists offer for sale, owners cannot obtain loans at a satisfactory rate to invest in activities in order to produce profit, and the material needs of a society are already being met.  

Thus under capitalism, advertising plays such a critical role in creating additional needs beyond housing, clothing, health, education, and other personal needs. Another way to stimulate consumption when wages are inadequate is the provision of debt. And the latest figures show that consumer debt as measured by credit card debt is reaching record levels. Student debt likewise. And bankruptcies and rates of default on debts are also reaching record levels.

Being a worker in a capitalist society means being a wage-slave commodity, and this creates all kinds of negative effects on workers. They tend to have no psychological investment in the work they do simply because they have no significant influence over the conditions of their work; whenever they create more efficient methods of doing work, such methods become legally the property of the  "owner" if it happens at the owner's workplace; workers can be treated disrespectfully and even abusively within wide limits; and workers often experience job anxiety by working "at the pleasure" of the owners.

Thus a capitalist society is designed to serve the material benefits of capitalists, and the material benefits in terms of accumulated wealth give them additional power to shape how and what important decisions are made in any given society. The logical dynamic of capitalism is the ever increasing concentration of wealth in fewer hands with the result that the rest of society, which is the vast majority, merely exist to serve the needs of capitalists for ever more profit and power.

On the other hand, a socialist society theoretically exists to serve all of the people. That is why capitalist nations never spare any means to crush nations that want to experiment with measures to serve the vast majority of people whenever such measures might limit the rights and opportunities of capitalists. Because of this, no socialist nation has succeeded to survive the onslaught of nations governed by capitalists. The causalities include Spain whose socialist tendencies were crushed by Germany and Italy while the rest of the capitalist nations stood by in "neutrality"; the Soviet Union which deteriorated into a bureaucratic form after many decades of hostile actions by capitalist nations; Chile which elected a socialist candidate to head the government, Nicaragua after the Sandinistas took power, and other nations such as Venezuela that moved in that direction.

We are all viewed as commodities under capitalism

by political cartoonist Dan Wasserman.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To Russia with More Russia-Bashing

Click here to access article by Nat Parry from ConsortiumNews. (Although I haven't found absolute confirmation, I have found some evidence that Nat Parry is the son of Robert Parry who is editor of this website.)
In today’s America, what is normal, according to the bipartisan consensus, are unilateral strikes against countries without evidence and in violation of international law. It is also apparently normal for televisions to spy on law-abiding citizens, and with drone strikes shooting up 432 percent under the Trump presidency so far, it is apparently quite normal to use flying robots to bomb suspected terrorists (and their eight-year old daughters) half-way around the world. Indefinite detention at the legal black hole of Guantanamo is also rather normal.

After all, these are all policies that have been in place for a decade and a half under both Democratic and Republican administrations, and hope seems to be dwindling for returning to a period of actual normalcy.
It appears that our masters in the capitalist ruling class have taken upon themselves to be the arbiters of fake news and theories of conspiracies. They in their profound wisdom know things that we must simply accept. It seems that our masters have taken much umbrage over the fact that people in independent media have raised questions about their latest conspiracy theory related to the US attack of a Syrian airbase. It seems we must behave as children or their soldiers who should simply follow the guidance of parents/leaders; and through their ownership of the nation's newspapers of record, they just report the facts and create "reality" for us. It brings to mind a paraphrase of a famous poem by Tennyson, "ours is not to reason why, but to do or die".

US to balkanize Syria under Kurdish pretext

Click here to access article by Marwa Osman from RT.

The old formula used by many imperialists, especially the British Empire, is to carve up states that pursue independent policies with the hope of replacing the weakened governments of these new states with lackeys who will better serve the imperialists. This has been a plan for Iraq (which was partially implemented with a semi-independent Kurdish province) and now Syria for quite some time.

Osman writes:
The US’s vision of the future Syrian map was detailed by Kissinger during a presentation at the Ford School Syria with pretty much a distorted history lesson. He stated that Syria was not a historic state “It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after a UN mandate,” he said.

Kissinger then claimed that the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups.

This same theory was also presented by the Israeli Oded Yinon plan which is an article published in February 1982 in the Hebrew journal Kivunim ("Directions") entitled A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s. This plan is an early example of characterizing political projects in the Middle East in terms of a logic of sectarian divisions and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states.

Hence, supporting the partitioning of Syria began with the US and Israel’s full support of the so- called “Rojava Project”.
As many geopolitical observers like Pepe Escobar have pointed out, another major reason to divide up Syria was their government's refusal to go along with the Qatar's proposed pipeline that would transport gas from their fields to Europe. Escobar wrote in 2015 referring to the war in Syria:
It all started in 2009, when Qatar proposed to Damascus the construction of a pipeline from its own North Field – contiguous with the South Pars field, which belongs to Iran – traversing Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria all the way to Turkey, to supply the EU.

Damascus, instead, chose in 2010 to privilege a competing project, the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria, also know as «Islamic pipeline». The deal was formally announced in July 2011, when the Syrian tragedy was already in motion. In 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Iran.
Well the Empire builders would not permit this to happen because the Syrian government's plan would benefit their arch-enemy Iran. Then China's government came up with other plans. As an article sourced from Washington's Blog explained explained about the competing interests: 
Indeed, the “Great Game” being played right now by the world powers largely boils down to the United States and Russia fighting for control over Eurasian oil and gas resources:
 Russia and the USA have been in a state of competition in this region, ever since the former Soviet Union split up, and Russia is adamant on keeping the Americans out of its Central Asian backyard. Russia aims to increase European gas dominance on its resources whereas the US wants the European Union (EU) to diversify its energy supply, primarily away from Russian dominance. There are already around three major Russian pipelines that are supplying energy to Europe and Russia has planned two new pipelines.
The rising power China is also getting into this Great Game:
The third “big player” in this New Great Game is China, soon to be the world’s biggest energy consumer, which is already importing gas from Turkmenistan via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to its Xinjiang province — known as the Central Asia-China Pipeline — which may tilt the balance towards Asia. Pepe Escobar calls it the opening of the 21st century Silk Road in 2009 when this pipeline became operational.  China’s need for energy is projected to increase by 150 per cent which explains why it has signed probably the largest number of deals not just with the Central Asian republics but also with the heavily sanctioned Iran and even Afghanistan. China has planned around five west-east gas pipelines, within China, of which one is operational (domestically from Xinjiang to Shanghai) and others are under construction and will be connected to Central Asian gas reserves.

Who Will Bring Them To Justice For Crimes Against Humanity?

by Stephen J. Gray from his website. (I don't subscribe to many of his other views.)                                 
Who will bring them to justice for crimes against humanity?
The people who were, and are, the planners of this warring insanity
The Iraq war was a hellish lie about weapons of mass destruction
The invasion of that country was a planned diabolical production

A civil war now rages in that destroyed and unfortunate country
Hundreds of thousands are dead or maimed, and that puts it, bluntly
Many others are refugees from this created hell on earth
And depleted uranium contaminates innocent children at birth

Libya is another war crime dubbed “responsibility to protect”
Bombed and blitzed by NATO “allies” with great “successful” effect
That country is now in ruins, and terrorists are in control
The “victory” of “honourable” plotters, and men without a soul

Then the war criminals targeted Syria and started a civil war
They finance and arm the terrorists amongst the blood and gore
Then they blame its sovereign government for defending its own land
These hypocrites from hell: all these atrocities they planned

Yemen is another country where civilians are being slaughtered
Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies are the hellish plotters
Arms, planes, tanks and bombs supplied by America, U.K. and others
And the population cries out over the deaths of their mothers and daughters

Afghanistan is another country that never invaded us
It too is now a hell on earth with corpses in the dust
Soldiers are dead or dying that were sent to this awful war
And those who sent them cry out for more and more and more

War is a business for barbarians in expensive business suits
Corporate cannibals feed off death and destruction, are they callous brutes?
Political “warriors” voted for these wars that brought death and destruction
But, they don’t fight on the front lines, and they are missing in the action

It is no excuse for the perpetrators to say: “we were just following orders”
That excuse was thrown out at the “Nuremberg Trials,” and is a known disorder
Present day trials are needed, for those that planned these obscenities
But, who will bring them to justice for crimes against humanity?
My answer is: "if not us, who?".

Life [in Amerika] During (Endless) Wartime

by Tom Tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Elite Consensus on Syria

Click here to access article by Branko Marcetic from Jacobin.

I am really concerned this morning about avoiding another nuclear holocaust from my reading of various articles--and not only this one (see this, this, this, and this among several others).

The last time I was this concerned was in October of 1962. That time we had a sensible president as commander-in-chief. John Kennedy paid with his life for his opposition to war, but this time we have a power-hungry maverick in charge and egged on by a combination of ziocons (aka neocons) and so-called "liberals" in Congress who are lusting for war. Meanwhile ordinary people, who should be out in the streets vigorously protesting, seem be resorting to their lack of attention to foreign affairs by saying that "it's all so complicated".
... unlike the Trump administration’s half-baked attempt to yank health insurance from millions of people, its utter failures in instituting a racist immigration program, or its ongoing efforts to round up and break apart millions of families, Trump’s bombing of Syria likely won’t be met with a wall of “resistance,” certainly not within the halls of power. That’s because for nearly all liberal and conservative pundits and politicians, foreign wars — particularly those launched in the name of “humanitarianism” — are an issue where no leader, even one as disliked as Trump, can ever go wrong.

Professor Stephen Cohen – the last voice of reason in a world gone mad?

Click here to access article posted by "The Saker", a Russian expat living in Florida.

The article features an 8:11m CNN interview with American Stephan Cohen, a long-time expert on Russia. What I noticed is that Cohen is surrounded by CNN staff and a retired Col. Cedric Leighton who try to contain Cohen's remarks to what is acceptable ruling class propaganda. Cohen manages to avoid debate about actual historical facts and instead doggedly continues on to make some very disturbing remarks about peaceful relations between the US and Russia.

Golan Heights, Israel, Oil and Trump

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.

During my recent downtime due to internet problems, it looks like I missed a very important article by Engdahl. He sees escalating events related to the Trump administration's increasingly friendly contacts with Netanyahu and oil in the Golan Heights. Of course, he wrote this before the US attack on the Syrian air-force base, but it may fit into the overall pattern. Referring to Netanyahu's visit immediately after his February visit to the White House, Engdahl writes:
Some days after Netanyahu left Washington, in an OpEd in the Rupert Murdoch Wall Street Journal, Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Washington pro-Israel think-tank, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, argued that American recognition of Israel’s control of the Golan “would provide the Israeli government with a diplomatic win while helping the Trump administration signal to Russia and Iran that the US is charting a new course in Syria.” Dubowitz is an adviser to the Trump Administration on Iran and the Middle East. Other neo-conservative editorials echoed the theme. There is big change brewing in Washington and it looks ugly in terms of a possible US-backed war with Israel against Russia ally, Syria, over the Golan Heights. That immediately poses the question what Russia would do if it materializes.

Against the backdrop of the Netanyahu talks on US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, the ensuing events begin to make strategic sense, mad though they may be.

Google Putting CNN, Washington Post, NYT in Charge of Fact-Checking News

Click here to access article from AntiMedia.
Google announced Friday that it’s adding a special feature to its news service — Fact Check. Searchers will now know who checked the validity of a news story and the conclusion they arrived at.
But fact checking Google's list of fact-checkers which are ruling class media corporations, the writers at AntiMedia reach this very accurate conclusion:
...there’s already a mechanism in place for calling out bullshit. It’s called the independent media.

A factual update on global warming

Click here to access article by economist Merijn Knibbe from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Knibbe suggests that the climate destabilization skeptics have engaged in "cherry picking" to serve their capitalist masters who are addicted to profits and power. However he argues that even their cherry picking of data confirms what the vast majority (95%) of independent scientists find when looking at more valid long term data.

Monday, April 10, 2017

US debt problems: three reports

by Ron Horn for this website.

Debt appears to be increasing for most sections of our society: small business, consumers, and those paying off student loans. This suggests that the Fed's low interest rate policy as a way of restoring the economy is not working. It seems that most ordinary people are sinking deeper in debt in order to survive. On the other hand, capitalists in commercial and bank corporations appear to have benefited by using the free money they have borrowed from the Fed to buy up their own stock and to add other corporations to their ever expanding corporate empires.

From ZeroHedge we learn that personal and commercial bankruptcies soared last month. I suspect that the latter bankruptcies consisted primarily of small businesses.
The Fed’s monetary policies have purposefully encouraged businesses and consumers to borrow. But debt doesn’t just go away. It accumulates. By now, an increasing number of businesses and consumers are suffocating under this debt overhang in an economy that never developed the “escape velocity” needed – and hyped by Wall Street for years – to outgrow this debt. Rising bankruptcies are a turning point in the “credit cycle.” They’re not exactly a positive mile-marker for the economy.

The irony is thick: In all major sentiment surveys, economic confidence has soared since November: consumers, owners of small businesses, and corporate executives are riding high on their own ebullience. But the economic reality is tough for businesses and consumers struggling under the hangover from eight years of ultra-low interest rates.
And also from ZeroHedge we learn that "US Credit Card Debt Rises Above $1 Trillion For The First Time In A Decade".
...there was one notable milestone: in February, following modest prior revisions, total revolving/credit card debt, has once again risen above the "nice round number" of $1 trillion for the first time since January 2007....
And from World Socialist Web Site we learn that the "Number of Americans defaulting on student loans reaches 4.2 million" and that...
In addition to more borrowers defaulting on their loans, both the number of borrowers and the average amount borrowed continues to increase rapidly. The new analysis shows that the total amount of student debt owed adds up to a staggering $1.3 trillion, triple what it was a decade ago. [my emphasis]

Fake News And Propaganda – Is The Guardian In Bed With The Deep State?

Click here to access article by the editor from TruePublica (Britain).

The author provides much evidence to support an affirmative answer to the rhetorical question. For example, in the following quote he makes reference to a foreign correspondent of the British-based Guardian and his contribution to fake news.
In our opinion, the blatant and shameless hypocrisy of the Guardian and Luke Harding’s fanciful inventiveness and exaggeration seem to know no bounds. Perhaps the Guardian is working in the service of US and British geo-strategic interests and being directed to do so by the ‘Deep State.’ Ian Cobain, an award-winning Guardian journalist and author of Cruel Britannia and The History Thieves confirms the existence of the Deep State and “how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing government to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.” Cobain also confirms in his book that state secrecy and manipulation is of vital importance in shaping the public image of the nation.

In today’s world of fake news, propaganda and disinformation anything is possible. 

Israeli police block Palestinian ‘March of Return’

Click here to access article by Jonathan Cook from his blog.

The US Empire's fortress colony that was established on Palestinian land following WWII has for the first time in history blocked the annual march by Palestinians to commemorated their expulsion and ethnic cleansing from their historic lands.
The police have denied the organisers a permit, saying there is a shortage of officers to oversee the march.

But Palestinian leaders in Israel accuse the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu of being behind the decision, in what they believe is the latest move to silence their commemoration of the events of 69 years ago.

The Nakba – Arabic for “catastrophe” – refers to Israel’s creation on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland in 1948.

We're winning!

by cartoonist John Darkow

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Trump’s short-term popularity boost over Syria could turn into a long-term nightmare

Click here to access article by Danielle Ryan from The BRICS Post

Although the fallout from Trump's attack on a Syrian military base by various independent sources has been considerable and speculative as to its significance (for some of the best examples, see this, this, this, and this), I thought this piece from an Irish journalist and analyst based in Moscow might be of special interest to my readers.
There have been mutterings among others that the Kremlin is in fact sorely disappointed in Trump ... but in reality, the Kremlin was always wary of Trump’s unpredictability, opting to reserve judgement until his actions reflected his words — and while they may not have expected his actions to divert from his words quite this quickly, they’re probably not crying into their cornflakes over it.

Militarily, Russia will seek to de-escalate the situation rather than rush in guns blazing. Moscow possessed the capacity to shoot down the American missiles but did not. In the aftermath, however, Russia pledged to strengthen Assad’s air defenses and suspended its flight safety memorandum with the US. The message the Kremlin is sending is simple: We didn’t target your missiles this time, but we can if we want to.

But just because the goal is to de-escalate, doesn’t mean the danger subsides. Trump’s strike significantly increases the risk of serious future conflict with Russia. What happens between Moscow and Washington now will depend on Trump’s future moves, which at this point, are anyone’s guess.

NATO’s Currency War against Turkey: Comparative Resistance & Solutions

Click here to access article by Pye Ian from Newsbud. (Note: to discover the supporting links to this report, you must place your cursor over each line.)
Turkey is being attacked by Anglo-American finance as punishment for Ankara’s perceived noncompliance with NATO’s geostrategic goals.  Despite Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), under President and once Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, running a successfully growing emerging markets economy for nearly a decade and a half while enduring multiple scares, Turkey’s economy is now uniformly described as in dire straits by the collective London-New York banking juggernaut and its media tentacles.  Despite the West’s reasoning for why the nation’s currency – the lira – is plummeting, Turkey is enduring this imposed situation due to seasoned, disciplined internal defensive economic measures, plus its insistent relations with China, Russia and Iran.

General Strike Brings Argentina to a Halt

Click here to access article from Left Voice (Argentina).

Argentine workers are not sitting idle in the face of the Argentine ruling class's repressive policies.
The largest labor unions in Argentina called a general strike today, April 6, against President Macri’s economic policies. Workers around the country are protesting against the high inflation rates, austerity measures, layoffs and subcontracting. The transportation workers have completely stopped working, as have airline workers, canceling hundreds of flights in and out of Argentina. Schools are also closed, and this general strike comes after weeks of teacher mobilizations and strikes in Buenos Aires.
The streets of Buenos Aires are completely empty due to the impact of the strike. “It’s like the movie ‘I am Legend’. You feel like you are alone in a big city,” says Buenos Aires resident Gloria Grinberg.
It's class war in Argentina, and the ruling capitalist class is fighting back. Read all about it in this piece entitled "Argentina's Macri Mulls Purchase of New Riot Control Weapons to Crack Down on Protests", from TeleSur.

Planned capitalist economy

by satirical cartoonist Max Gustafson from his website