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, October 7, 2017

The Six ‘Secret’ Tactics of Empire

Click here to access article by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin from Global Research.

Although the author fails to identify the empire in the content of the article, it is obvious that the methods apply to the US-led Empire. He provides a useful and succinct summary of the methods that have been used by US-led Empire operatives in their attempts, sometimes successful, to destabilize and overthrow governments that stand in the way of the Empire's global interests of profits and power.
The 6 ‘secret’ tactics of empire are strategies of change used by governments, usually covertly, to attain political or military ends through means not normally acceptable to the populace as a whole. The strategies are as follows:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Washington's Long War Against Syria

Click here to access article by Stephen Gowans from What's Left

Gowans delivers a talk below on Middle Eastern political developments in the past 30 or 40 years with particular emphasis on the subject of his recently published book by the above title. He was invited by the Hands Off Syria Coalition to give a speech in July at the Solidarity Center in New York City. He has been described as a Canadian writer and activist, but now he can lay claim to be an author. He writes, I believe, mostly for What's Left but his articles have been re-posted frequently on many other websites. It is my opinion that he is one of the world's foremost political analysts. 

Gowans begins his approximately 48 minute talk at 12:25m into this video after brief words by other members of the Coalition. He concludes the talk by quoting from another Canadian, Norman Bethune, who served as a medical officer during the Spanish Civil War and the Sino-Japanese War with Mao's armies and said: "...such an organization of society, that permits these enemies of society to exist, must be abolished." Of course, he was referring to a capitalist organization of society. Gowans declares that the theme of his new book is the same.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The social pathology of the Las Vegas Massacre

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.
The Las Vegas massacre is a peculiarly American crime, arising out of the social pathology of a deeply troubled society.

What is the social context of this latest episode of domestic mass killing? The United States has been at war more or less continuously for the past 27 years. The US government has treated tens of millions of people in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa as targets for extermination through bombs, bullets, and drone-fired missiles. These wars have penetrated deeply into American culture, celebrated endlessly in film, television, music and even sport.

Social relations within the United States, characterized by the growth of economic inequality on a scale that exceeds any previous era in American history, fuel a culture of indifference, and even outright contempt for human life.

US Proxies in Southeast Asia Include Fake Communists

Click here to access article by Joseph Thomas from New Eastern Outlook

Thomas provides many illustrations in Thailand how capitalist operatives in cooperation with local capitalists, who promote the profit and power interest of the US Empire, make rather startling use of deception as they do elsewhere in the world. Of course, Karl Marx and others pointed out a century and half ago the sharp contradictions and conflicts between capitalists and workers. This phenomenon undermines any claim to the legitimacy of capitalist rule; therefore they must hide these contradictions by using their control of nearly all institutions of indoctrination and propaganda to deceive workers. When these institutions fail to dumb down workers, they always rely on violence by their police forces and armies to suppress dissidents.

Read how Thomas arrives at the following conclusion which encourages us to access rely on independent sources of information and improve our critical thinking skills.
If Washington is capable of creating legions of fascists and Wahhabi militants that serve its cause, it certainly can create “Communists” and any other ideological flavour of proxy it believes can serve its interests when and where needed. With Washington possessing such a capability, only real analysis can peel back the layers of money and motivations of any given movement, revealing its true colours, and those who refuse to peel back these layers, may in fact be aiding and abetting empire, not resisting it.

[Russian Revolution part 7 of ?] In Defence of the Russian Revolution - part two

The following is a 21:16m concluding video presentation by Alan Woods (via YouTube) regarding some of  the major effects of the Russian Revolution on not only Russia but the rest of the world. Woods is a British Marxist expert and author regarding issues and history related to Marxism.
In the second of a series of videos celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Alan Woods - editor of In Defence of Marxism, www.marxist.com - examines the lies and slanders used to attack the Revolution, the Bolsheviks, and the ideas of Lenin and Trotsky.

In this second part of "In Defence of the Russian Revolution", Alan examines the nature of the revolution and the subsequent civil war, answering the myths and distortions presented by bourgeois historians about the October Revolution being a "coup" or that Lenin and Trotsky were blood-thirsty tyrants.

As Alan explains, the rhetoric of the capitalists and their apologists reeks of hypocrisy from beginning to end, and it was the counter-revolutionaries in Russia who were responsible for violence.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“Diplomatic Flights used as Cover for Arms Trafficking to Terrorists” [Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva]

Click here to access article from FARS news agency in Iran. 

I've posted two previous articles regarding her claims which were mostly based on RT interviews with this Bulgarian journalist (see here and here) who has since been fired. Since then FARS news agency has followed up with this interview (in transcript form) of their own with Gaytandzhieva.
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian investigative journalist. In December 2016, she visited liberated neighborhoods of Aleppo where she found Bulgarian-made weapons inside underground warehouses belonging to terrorists. She felt suspicious and traced those weapons to its Bulgarian manufacturer realizing that they were legally exported to Saudi Arabia, which in turn supplied them to terrorists in Syria. As a result of further investigation she discovered that this was just a small part of a bigger international scheme.

FNA has conducted an interview with Dilyana Gaytandzhieva about the result of her investigation into the use of diplomatic flights for supplying weapons to terrorists.

[Russian Revolution series, part 6 of ?] In Defence of the Russian Revolution - part one

The following is a 22:03m video presentation by Alan Woods (via YouTube) regarding some of  the major effects of the Russian Revolution on not only Russia but the rest of the world. Woods is a British Marxist expert and author regarding issues and history related to Marxism. (I will be posting Woods' "part two" of his series in the near future.)
In the beginning of a series of videos celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Alan Woods - editor of In Defence of Marxism, www.marxist.com - examines the lies and slanders used to attack the Revolution, the Bolsheviks, and the ideas of Lenin and Trotsky.

In this first part "in Defence of the Russian Revolution", Alan looks at the gains made by the October Revolution and the planned economy in terms of science, industry, and culture.

Monday, October 2, 2017

[Russian Revolution series, part 5 of ?] Global Empire - The Centenary 1917-2017

Click here to access a 30:24m video production by TeleSur featuring Tariq Ali discussing this topic with Professor Stephen Smith. (Note: Beginning today I will occasionally offer the perspectives of this momentous event by various experts while running the excellent weekly/daily series provided by the World Socialist Web Site.)
To commemorate The Russian Revolution Centenary, Tariq Ali talks to Professor S.A. (Stephen) Smith of All Souls College, University of Oxford....

Safe-Zone Judo as Syrian Forces Cross the Euphrates

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook

Cartalucci assesses how the Empire's "Plan B" (Plan A was regime change) which he refers to as "safe zones" is currently working to balkanize Syria, and finds that it has diminishing chances of success in the long term. 
...with Syrian forces on the east bank of the Euphrates, the Syrian government maintains an even greater presence within and along the edges of this tenuous “safe zone.”

Today – just as US policymakers had planned the US and its proxies would do in 2012 – Syrian forces can at any time during this current conflict or after it – expand incrementally into America’s “safe-zone.” The crossing of the Euphrates and the increasingly exhausted political legs the United States stands on regarding its military aggression in Syria, combined with Russia’s direct military intervention upon Damascus’ request – have severely complicated this “safe zone” policy.

It is no longer a matter of “Assad” being “foolish enough to challenge these zones,” they are being challenged, regularly, and by Syrian forces backed by Russian airpower, which is in turn backed by a nuclear deterrence preventing the sort of escalation against Damascus US policymakers envisioned before the Russian intervention.

[Weekly series of the Russian Revolution of 1917] October 2 - 8: Trotsky elected chairman of the Petrograd Soviet

Click here to access this week's account of the historical Russian Revolution from the World Socialist Web Site. (Note: I am posting a series of articles on the Russian Revolution; but they are from my selection of the best sources which, in my well-read judgement, are the most accurate and insightful.)

I will be posting a weekly summary of activities during the Russian Revolution of 1917 as well as articles by historians of that great event. You may be interested to read my introduction to the latter series if you have not already done so. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

How Syria’s Victory Reshapes Mideast

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from ConsortiumNews

I am departing from my usual practice to ignore speculative articles about the future because I simply could not pass this one up. It is clear that the actions of the Saudi-Israeli-US project of using ISIS to destabilize Syria and installing a more compliant government (Plan A) is coming to an end. 

In the first section Crooke provides a review of the history of the region which sets the stage for what he sees as a more likely second scene in this geopolitical drama in contrast to one which he refers to as "Israel’s New Scheme" (Plan B): using the Kurdish desire for independence to balkanize both Iraq and Syria.  If you have little time, I recommend that you skip down to the subsection entitled "Israel’s New Scheme" where he quickly disposes of this outcome, and proceeds to elaborate the outcome that he sees much more likely. I think you will agree with me that such an outcome will have monumental repercussions on global geopolitics.

RT may close down US based studio

Click here to access article posted on Fort Russ.
Russia Today (RT) may stop broadcasting in the US due to pressure from the US authorities. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan stated this in an interview on Russia's NTV channel.

According to her, "in the worst case scenario," RT may leave the US territory and no longer broadcast....
Because of the ruling capitalist class's concern over alternative media publishing news and analysis that doesn't conform to their versions disseminated by their media corporations, I it was inevitable that our masters would introduce all types of censorship as they are doing in Google's search engine and YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Facebook. It will only get worse as illustrated by these latest actions to harass RT so much that they too will likely leave our shores. 

I personally have found RT as a very useful and convenient way to learn about what is going on in world, but I've notice increasing difficulties accessing their nightly news program. (Last night their program "crashed" about four times when I was watching it.) US media corporations seem to have vacated any significant coverage of foreign affairs beyond what Trump tweets or speechifies about in a threatening or flamboyant manner. In spite of the fact that his actions are becoming aligned with theirs, Trump continues to be our masters' favorite whipping boy and major distraction from real news coverage. And our masters love any kind of distraction to take our attention away from the criminal acts they are committing throughout the world.