Richard Wolff on the State of the Economy [FAIR / Counterspin]

Posted in Corporate Media Critique, Economic crisis & decline, US Government Cover-up, USA, Wall Street on November 6, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Superb interview, you might want to jump directly to Wolff’s segment. I like his idea that deceptive capitalist ruling class media such as what’s being exposed not only falsifies reality but contains an element of psychological cruelty directed towards the oppressed majority whose experiential realities are suppressed in the official narrative. – Zuo Shou

Oct. 17, 2014

This week on CounterSpin: In the past few years, as some economic indicators have suggested a recovery is under way, US media have generally responded with celebratory reporting. But according to polls, Americans aren’t so sure. According to a recent NBC poll, just 18 percent say the economy is excellent or good. How can we best understand an economy that seems to be serving some but slighting others?

Today we’ll feature a special extended interview with economic professor Richard Wolff on how to reconcile mixed messages about the health of the economy.

Link: http://fair.org/counterspin-radio/richard-wolff-on-the-state-of-the-economy/

Putin calls for restoration of int’l systems, accuses U.S. dictatorship [Xinhua]

Posted in Russia, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on November 5, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

SOCHI/MOSCOW, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday accused the U.S. “unilateral dictatorship and enforcement of western models” of bringing about escalation of conflicts and expanding chaos, saying that the world needs “new global consensus of responsible forces” to “restore the effectiveness of the international and regional institutions system.”

Since all countries in the world are confronted with similar problems, international cooperation and coordination is the ” logical way” to solve them, Putin said at the annual Valdai International Discussion Club meeting in Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia.

Putin said that Moscow is not going to seal itself off the rest of the world, taking Russia’s cooperation with the Asian-Pacific countries as a proof.

“Moscow has realized that the world has changed. We are ready to heed the changes and make adjustments. But we will not permit total neglect of our interests and never will,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying.

Outside pressure would only consolidate the Russian society, Putin said, adding that Russia is a self-sufficient country that will be working in any economic conditions.

Meanwhile, Putin accused the U.S. of its “omnipresent” involvement into global affairs. “Does the way the U.S. implements its leadership bring benefits? Do its omnipresent interventions in all global affairs bring peace and welfare, progress and democracy? No.”

Putin said that ambitions of the U.S. and its allies have grown to a degree that they started to be presented as the opinion of the entire international community.

As the existing system of global and regional security is “seriously weakened, shattered and deformed,” it seems the U.S. and its allies, who declared themselves as the Cold War “winners”, are determined to reshape the world into a place that could better serve their interests alone, according to Putin.

“The ‘Cold War’ is over. But it did not end with peace. ( Neither did it end with) a transparent and clear agreement on new rules and standards,” Putin said.

The president added that it is necessary to draw a line between the collective actions of the world community of safeguarding security and human rights and the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in any country’s internal affairs.

Moreover, Putin pointed at the western sanctions against Moscow as examples of the actions which undermine the world trade basis and liberal model of globalization.

Putin warned that the sanctions, as well as any attempts to revive old-time methods of global rule, will backfire on the U.S., leading to the global anarchy.

Discords between Moscow and Washington are reckless and jeopardize global strategic stability, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

The Valdai International Discussion Club meeting is an international framework for the leading experts from around the world to debate on Russia and its role in the world.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/euruope/2014-10/25/c_127139260.htm

‘The United States and torture’ – excerpt from “The Anti-Empire Report #131″ [Williamblum.org]

Posted in Assassination, CIA, George W. Bush, Obama, Pentagon, Torture, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

= The United States and torture =

Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America…

Excerpted; full article link: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

‘Will they EVER leave Cuba alone? No.’ – exposure of recent USAID subversion attempts in Cuba from “The Anti-Empire Report #131″ [Williamblum.org]

Posted in Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Torture, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

…The latest exposed plot to overthrow the Cuban government … Oh, pardon me, I mean the latest exposed plot to bring democracy to Cuba …

Our dear friends at the Agency For International Development (USAID), having done so well with their covert sub-contractor Alan Gross, now in his fifth year in Cuban custody … and their “Cuban Twitter” project, known as ZunZuneo, exposed in 2012, aimed at increasing the flow of information amongst the supposedly information-starved Cubans, which drew in subscribers unaware that the service was paid for by the US government … and now, the latest exposure, a project which sent about a dozen Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of stirring up a rebellion; the travelers worked clandestinely, using the cover of health and civic programs, or posing as tourists, going around the island, on a mission to “identify potential social-change actors” to turn into political activists. Can you believe that? Can you believe the magnitude of naiveté? Was it a conviction that American exceptionalism would somehow work its magic? Do they think the Cuban people are a bunch of children just waiting for a wise adult to come along and show them what to think and how to behave?

One of these latest USAID contracts was signed only days after Gross was detained, thus indicating little concern for the safety of their employees/agents. As part of the preparation of these individuals, USAID informed them: “Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.” 5

It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies, who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting…

Excerpted; full article link (with footnotes): http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

‘Cold War Two’ – excerpt from “The Anti-Empire Report” # 131 [Williamblum.org]

Posted in 9/11, Anti-communism, Assassination, Black propaganda, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, Fascism, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Iraq, Malaysia, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, Nazism, Psychological warfare, Russia, State Department, Syria, Ukraine, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Vietnam on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

= Cold War Two =

During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.

E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:

Dear Editor,

Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”

Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.

– William Blum

I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years. It’s reached the point where, as one example, I don’t take at face value a word the Post has to say about Ukraine. Same with the State Department, which makes one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s wholly inconclusive and/or unsourced or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. 1 Do they have something to hide?

The State Department’s Public Affairs spokespersons making these presentations exhibit little regard or respect for the reporters asking challenging questions. It takes my thoughts back to the Vietnam era and Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the man most responsible for “giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam”. One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the reporters exclaimed: “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be handmaidens of government,” Sylvester replied: “That’s exactly what I expect,” adding: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – stupid.” 2

Such frankness might be welcomed today as a breath of fresh air compared to the painful-to-observe double-talk of a State Department spokesperson.

My personal breath of fresh air in recent years has been the television station RT (formerly Russia Today). On a daily basis many progressives from around the world (myself included occasionally) are interviewed and out of their mouths come facts and analyses that are rarely heard on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox News, BBC, etc. The words of these progressives heard on RT are typically labeled by the mainstream media as “Russian propaganda”, whereas I, after a long lifetime of American propaganda, can only think: “Of course. What else are they going to call it?”

As for Russia being responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Flight 17, we should keep in mind that the current series of events in Ukraine was sparked in February when a US-supported coup overthrew the democratically-elected government and replaced it with one that was more receptive to the market-fundamentalism dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Were it not for the coup there would have been no eastern rebellion to put down and no dangerous war zone for Flight 17 to be flying over in the first place.

The new regime has had another charming feature: a number of outspoken neo-Nazis in high and low positions, a circumstance embarrassing enough for the US government and mainstream media to turn it into a virtual non-event. US Senator John McCain met and posed for photos with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok (photos easily found on the Internet). Ukraine – whose ties to Naziism go back to World War Two when their homegrown fascists supported Germany and opposed the Soviet Union – is on track to becoming the newest part of the US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and possibly the home of the region’s newest missile base, target Moscow.

It is indeed possible that Flight 17 was shot down by the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine in the mistaken belief that it was the Ukrainian air force returning to carry out another attack. But other explanations are suggested in a series of questions posed by Russia to the the Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly, accompanied by radar information, satellite images, and other technical displays:

“Why was a military aircraft flying in a civil aviation airway at almost the same time and the same altitude as a civilian passenger aircraft? We would like to have this question answered.”

“Earlier, Ukrainian officials stated that on the day of the accident no Ukrainian military aircraft were flying in that area. As you can see, that is not true.”

“We also have a question for our American colleagues. According to a statement by American officials, the United States has satellite images which show that the missile aimed at the Malaysian aircraft was launched by the militants. But no one has seen these images.” 3

There is also this intriguing speculation, which ties in to the first Russian question above. A published analysis by a retired Lufthansa pilot points out that Flight 17 looked similar in its tricolor design to that of Russian President Putin’s plane, whose plane with him on board was at the same time “near” Flight 17. In aviation circles “near” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. 4 Could Putin’s plane have been the real target?

There is as well other serious and plausible questioning of the official story of Russia and/or Ukrainian anti-Kiev militias being responsible for the shootdown. Is Flight 17 going to become the next JFK Assassination, PanAm 103, or 9-11 conspiracy theory that lingers forever? Will the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Syrian chemical weapons be joined by the Russian anti-aircraft missile? Stay tuned…

Excerpted; full article link (with footnotes): http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

Trust in U.S. Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low [Gallup]

Posted in Corporate Media Critique, USA on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Sept. 17, 2014

by Justin McCarthy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans’ [sic] trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.gallup.com/poll/176042/trust-mass-media-returns-time-low.aspx

Canada, at war for 13 Years, shocked that ‘a terrorist’ attacked its soldiers [The Intercept]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Canada, Iraq, Islamophobia, Pentagon, Torture, U.K., US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Glenn Greenwald

9/22/2014

TORONTO – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau…”

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/22/canada-proclaiming-war-12-years-shocked-someone-attacked-soldiers/

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