Archive for December, 2013

Maoist Insurgency Spreads to Over 40% of India. Mass Poverty and Delhi’s Embrace of Corporate Neoliberalism Fuels Social Uprising [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Fascism, India, Indian Communist Party (Marxist) on December 31, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 20, 2013

by Asad Ismi

On May 25, 2013, Maoist insurgents in the Indian state of Chattisgarh wiped out almost the entire leadership of the Congress Party in that state by killing 28 of its members in an ambush. The Congress Party forms the central government in India, but is in opposition in Chattisgarh, which is ruled by the Hindu supremacist and fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This attack followed an even more devastating one by the Maoists in April 2010 in the same state, which killed 76 paramilitary troops. Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party leader, was “aghast” at the Maoist assault on her party members, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the insurgents “the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”

The Maoist rebellion in India is 40 years old. It started in 1967 in the town of Naxalbari in West Bengal, because of which the guerrilla group is also known as Naxalites. The state suppressed the early Naxalites, but did not completely eliminate them. New Delhi seems unable to deal with the Maoists’ latest incarnation, which was created in 2004 with the birth of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) that united two major Maoist factions.

Since then, the insurgency has spread like wildfire over 40% of India’s land area, encompassing 20 of the country’s 28 states, including 223 districts (up from 55 in 2003) out of a total of 640. The seven most affected Indian states in terms of fatalities are Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh, in that order. These regions comprise the “Red Corridor.” About 10,000 people have been killed in the expanding civil war since 1980. The Maoists wield about 20,000 armed fighters and another 50,000 supporters. The Indian government complains that the insurgency has crippled economic activity in Central and Eastern India.

The long-term objective of the Maoists is the armed overthrow of the Indian state and the creation of a socialist-communist government. The Maoists term this a “democratic revolution, which would remain directed against imperialism, feudalism, and comprador bureaucratic capitalism.” The insurgents do not consider the Indian electoral system and governments to be democratic, but rather tools that benefit the landlord and capitalist classes.

The insurgency stems from the Indian government’s turn to neoliberal capitalism that began in 1991 and which has massively increased poverty and inequality in the country, especially to the detriment of farmers and Adivasis (Indigenous tribal Indians). At the same time, this economic strategy has enriched a small élite such as the Tata, Ambani, and Jindal families, which is why India is depicted by the Western mainstream press as an economic superpower, the poster child of globalization and successful capitalism.

Seven hundred and fifty million Indians, about 75% of the country’s population, live in poverty while the top 5% of Indian families hold 38% of total assets…

Full article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/maoist-insurgency-spreads-to-over-40-of-india-mass-poverty-and-delhis-embrace-of-corporate-neoliberalism-fuels-social-uprising/5362276

China promotes core socialist values [Xinhua]

Posted in China, CPC, Education, Intenet control policy / "Great Firewall", Law enforcement on December 31, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — The Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday issued guidelines bolstering core socialist values and pooling positive energy to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Core socialist values should be included in the overall national education plan and “cover all schools and those receiving education”, said the guidelines on cultivating and practicing core socialist values, issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee.

According to the guidelines, core socialist values include national goals of prosperity, democracy, civility, and harmony; social goals of freedom, equality, justice and the rule of law; and individual values of patriotism, dedication, integrity, and friendship.

“Core socialist values should be incorporated into the curriculum and classrooms and made a way of thinking for students,” the document said.

“The media must steadfastly uphold correct guidance of public opinion,” the guidelines said.

“Management of the media should be strengthened and the media should not provide channels for the spread of the wrong points of view,” said the guidelines.

News, publishing institutions and their personnel were encouraged to strengthen self-discipline and enhance their sense of responsibility and their ability to promote core socialist values.

To cope with the fast development of the Internet, “efforts should be made to manifest core socialist values in Internet publicity, culture and service, so as to use a positive voice and advanced culture to capture the online front,” the guidelines said.

The CPC authorities also ordered strengthened management of the Internet in accordance with the law and a fight against obscenity, online rumors and criminality to make the Internet environment clean.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-12/23/c_132990275.htm

Also see “China Focus: China promotes core socialist values” [Xinhua], a longer version of the above article — http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-12/24/c_132990379.htm

And “Graphic: China’s core socialist values” [People’s Daily] — http://english.people.com.cn/90785/8494839.html

AK-47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov dies at 94 [People’s Daily]

Posted in Russia on December 29, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 24, 2013

Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the famed Russian AK-47 assault rifle, died on Monday in his home city of Izhevsk, an industrial town 1,300 km east of Moscow, local media reported.

“We received sad news today … Kalashnikov died at the age of 94 after a prolonged illness,” Viktor Chulkov, press secretary of the president of Russia’s Udmurt Republic, was quoted as saying.

Photo essay article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/8493555.html

GCHQ targets telephone network of German ministries [Xinhua]

Posted in France, Germany, Israel, U.K. on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BERLIN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — Papers from the documents revealed by Edward Snowden disclosed more about the spying scandal involving Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, the online edition of the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

According to a joint investigation by the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times, the GCHQ has monitored European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia as well as the telephone network of German authorities and ministries in Berlin and the German embassy in Rwanda, the report said.

The British GCHQ declined to comment on detailed questions about the German and European monitoring goals…

A mailbox of then Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was also targeted as monitoring objective, as well as an email address that was labeled with “Israeli Prime Minister”.

In addtion, hundreds more phone numbers and email addresses can be found on the lists that is classified as secret with target people, according to Der Spiegel.

The documents that are mainly from the year 2008 and 2009 referred to the individuals and institutions partly as “targets”.

Names of companies like French armaments concern Thales, the petroleum giant Total and international organizations, such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the UN’s children’s charity Unicef and Non-governmental organizations such as Doctors of the World, are also listed in the British target database.

Leigh Daynes, the British Executive Director of Doctors of the World, said that he was “shocked and surprised” by the alleged surveillance of its organization. “There is absolutely no reason to monitor our work.”

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-12/21/c_132985050.htm

“Getting your history from the American daily press” by William Blum – Cover-up of CIA-engineered regime change in Australia [Anti-Empire Report]

Posted in Australia, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, Corporate Media Critique on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

from The Anti-Empire Report #123

December 3, 2013

…During the US federal government shutdown in October over a budgetary dispute, Washington Post columnist Max Fisher wondered if there had ever been anything like this in another country. He decided that “there actually is one foreign precedent: Australia did this once. In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns.”

Except for what Fisher fails to tell us: that it strongly appears that the CIA used the occasion to force a regime change in Australia, whereby the Governor General, John Kerr – a man who had been intimately involved with CIA fronts for a number of years – discharged Edward Gough Whitlam, the democratically-elected prime minister whose various policies had been a thorn in the side of the United States, and the CIA in particular.

I must again cite my own writing, for the story of the CIA coup in Australia – as far as I know – is not described in any kind of detail anywhere other than in my book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II (2004)…

Full article link: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/123

“The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obama” – Obomber’s popularity bombs [Counterpunch]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Genocide, George W. Bush, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Obama, US drone strikes, USA, Wall Street, War crimes on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by MIKE WHITNEY

December 20, 2013

According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval rating is lower than Bush’s was in his fifth year in office. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at a dismal 43 percent, with a full 55 percent of the public “disapproving of the way he is handling the economy”. The same percentage of people “disapprove of the way he is handling his job as president”. Thus, on the two main issues, leadership and the economy, Obama gets failing grades.

An even higher percentage of people are upset at the way the president is implementing his signature health care system dubbed “Obamacare”. When asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling “implementation of the new health care law?” A [sic] full 62% said they disapprove, although I suspect that the anger has less to do with the plan’s “implementation” than it does with the fact that Obamacare is widely seen as a profit-delivery system for the voracious insurance industry…a clear majority of people have seen through Obama’s health care ruse and given the program a big thumb’s down.

Of course, Obamacare is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The list of policy disasters that preceded this latest fiasco is nearly endless, including everything from blanket pardons for the Wall Street big-wigs who took down the global financial system, to re-upping the Bush tax cuts, to appointing a commission of deficit hawks to slash Social Security and Medicare (Bowles-Simpson), to breaking his word on Gitmo, to reneging on his promise to pass Card Check, to expanding to wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, to droning 4-times as many civilians as the homicidal maniac he replaced as president in 2008.

Obama’s treatment of undocumented immigrants has been particularly shocking although the details have been kept out of the media, presumably because the news giants don’t want to expose the Dear Leader as a heartless scoundrel who has no problem separating mothers from their children, locking them up in privately-owned concentration camps and booting them out of the country with nothing more than the shirt on their back. Check out this blurb which sums up Obama’s “progressive” immigration policy in one paragraph:

“Obama is on track to deport 3 million immigrants without papers by the end of his second term, more than any other president. George W. Bush deported about 2 million over two terms. Obama will likely hit that mark this month….. The average daily count of immigrants in detention now is about 33,000. In 2001, it was 19,000. In 1994, it was 5,000, according to the Detention Watch Network. Almost all of the detainees and deportees are Latino. True, the population of illegal immigrants has also doubled in that time to more than 11 million. But the detainee and deportee counts have escalated more than twice as fast.

“He could go down as the worst president in history toward immigrants,” said Arturo Carmona, executive director of the liberal activist group Presente.org.

Hooray for the Deporter in Chief! You’re Numero Uno, buddy. You even beat Bush! Is it any wonder why the man’s ratings are in freefall?

All told, Obama has been bad for the economy, bad for civil liberties, bad for minorities, bad for foreign wars, and bad for health care. He has, however, been a very effective lackey-sock puppet for Wall Street, Big Pharma, the oil magnates, and the other 1% -vermin Kleptocrats who run the country and who will undoubtedly attend his $100,000-per-plate speaking engagements when he finally retires in comfort to some gated community where he’ll work on his memoirs and cash in on his 8 years of faithful service to the racketeer class…

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/20/the-incredible-shrinking-presidency-of-barack-obama/

The Media’s Hypocritical Oath – Mandela And Economic Apartheid [MediaLens]

Posted in BBC bias, distortions and lies, Corporate Media Critique, Iraq, Libya, Nelson Mandela, South Africa on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 13, 2013

by David Edwards

What does it mean when a notoriously profit-driven, warmongering…media system mourns, with one impassioned voice, the death of a principled freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela?

Does it mean that the corporate system has a heart, that it cares? Or does it mean that Mandela’s politics, and the mythology surrounding them, are somehow serviceable to power?

Consider, first, that this is what is supposed to be true of professional journalism:

‘Gavin Hewitt, John Simpson, Andrew Marr and the rest are employed to be studiously neutral, expressing little emotion and certainly no opinion; millions of people would say that news is the conveying of fact, and nothing more.’ (Andrew Marr, My Trade – A Short History of British Journalism, Macmillan, 2004, p.279)

Thus, Andrew Marr, then BBC political editor, offering professional journalism’s version of the medical maxim, ‘First, do no harm’. First, do no bias.

The reality is indicated by Peter Oborne’s comment in the Telegraph:

‘There are very few human beings who can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela is one… It is hard to envisage a wiser ruler.’

Responding to 850 viewers who had complained that the BBC ‘had devoted too much airtime’ to Mandela’s death, James Harding, the BBC’s director of news, also expressed little emotion and certainly no opinion when he declared Mandela ‘the most significant statesman of the last 100 years, a man who defined freedom, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness’.

In other words, the corporate media had once again abandoned its famed Hypocritical Oath in affirming a trans-spectrum consensus. As ever, a proposition is advanced as indisputably true, the evidence so overwhelming that journalists simply have to ditch ‘balance’ to declare the obvious.

The motive is always said to be some pressing moral cause: national solidarity and security at home, opposition to tyranny and genocide abroad. In these moments, the state-corporate system persuades the public of its fundamental humanity, rationality and compassion. But in fact this ‘compassion’ is always driven by realpolitik and groupthink.

– ‘Emotionally Potent Over-Simplifications’ –

Because it is an integral part of a system whose actual goals and methods would not be acceptable to the public, the corporate media cannot make sense of the world; it must deal in what US foreign affairs advisor Reinhold Niebuhr called ’emotionally potent over-simplifications’.

Thus we find the endlessly recurring theme of the archetypal Bad Guy. When bin Laden is murdered, Saddam Hussein lynched and Gaddafi bombed, beaten and shot, it is the same Enemy regenerating year after year, Doctor Who-like, to be ‘taken down’ by the same Good Guy archetype. This is the benevolent father figure who forever sets corporate hearts aflutter with hope and devotion…

Full article link: http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/750-the-media-s-hypocritical-oath-mandela-and-economic-apartheid.html