Archive for the Pinochet Category

From Pinochet to Suharto, U.S. supported dictators who ‘killed their own people’ [Workers World]

Posted in Allende, Anti-communism, Capitalist media double standard, Chile, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Cuba, Fascism, Indonesia, Iran, Obama, Pinochet, Psychological warfare, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam on September 19, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Deirdre Griswold on September 9, 2013
23

“He is killing his own people.” How many times have we read and heard that?

It is the endlessly repeated phrase that is supposed to make us hate the head of Syria enough to justify the killing of many more Syrians with U.S. cruise missiles.

Do the people who sprinkle such phrases in their “news” reports even think about them?

When did the U.S. government suddenly decide that governments which kill their own people should be “taken out”?

This Sept. 11 is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 fascist coup in Chile that brought down the social democratic government of Salvador Allende, who had been trying to narrow the big gap between rich and poor in that country through a variety of social reforms. Allende was killed in the coup, along with thousands of other Chileans. Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who led the coup, was therefore responsible for “killing his own people” many times over.

Did Washington go to the United Nations to condemn the coup? Did it institute sanctions against Pinochet’s brutal military regime? Did it do anything about it, other than make sanctimonious, toothless statements about human rights?

On the contrary. Pinochet was Washington’s man. He was a staunch anti-communist. But it didn’t matter that Allende was not a communist. U.S. corporations still wanted to get rid of him. Pinochet was their answer to the wave of progressivism that swept Latin America after the Cuban Revolution.

The role played by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in installing and protecting Pinochet is on the public record. The book “Nixon, Kissinger, and Allende: U.S. Involvement in the 1973 coup in Chile” gives many of the details.

After Pinochet had buttressed his rule through killings, torture and mass detentions, the path was cleared for U.S. corporations and banks to get back “their” property, which had been nationalized under Allende. Anaconda and Kennecott copper companies had squeezed fabulous profits out of Chile before Allende; once the generals were in power, they were welcomed back to do business as usual.

– Indonesian bloodbath of 1965-66 –

The 1973 Chile coup was not the first time that the U.S. government helped install dictators who seized power by killing “their own” people. There is a very, very long list of them.

One of the grisliest of all was the 1965 coup in Indonesia, which led to a bloodbath of epic proportions. (See the pamphlet “Indonesia 1965: The Second Greatest Crime of the Century” at workers.org.)

The 1965 coup in Indonesia ushered in a slaughter of unarmed people that has not been equaled since. Some estimates put the number of those killed by the military and paramilitary bands at one million. The population of the beautiful island of Bali — today a high-priced tourist destination — was reduced by 10 percent as soldiers went from village to village, killing those singled out as leftists and progressive nationalists: activists in unions, student groups, and women’s and peasants’ associations. The Indonesian Communist Party, which had been the largest in the world outside the socialist bloc, was decimated.

Again, there were no condemnations from Washington. No sanctions. Not a thought of U.S. intervention against the generals.

On the contrary, editorials and articles in leading bourgeois newspapers showed how the ruling class here welcomed the carnage. James Reston, associate editor of the New York Times at the time, wrote a column on June 19, 1966, about the massacres entitled “A Gleam of Light in Asia.” The “savage transformation” of Indonesia, he said, was “one of the more hopeful political developments” in Asia.

“There was a great deal more contact between the anti-communist forces in that country and at least one very high official in Washington before and during the Indonesian massacre than is generally realized,” wrote Reston. “It is doubtful if the coup would ever have been attempted without the American show of strength in Vietnam or been sustained without the clandestine aid it has received indirectly from here.”

Just as in Chile, the coup threw open the doors to Western corporations — mostly U.S.-based — to reap vast profits from Indonesia’s abundant natural resources and low wages, made even lower by the destruction of the unions. When you read today about the mowing down of Indonesia’s great rain forests for their precious hardwoods, think of the coup and its million victims.

– Bipartisan support for coups –

These two examples — and there are many more, from the coup that installed the Shah of Iran to the massacre of Salvadorans and Guatemalans by U.S.-armed military dictators — show how both the two big pro-capitalist political parties backed U.S. imperialist foreign policy.

The Indonesian coup took place during the Democratic Lyndon Johnson administration . His “liberal” vice president, Hubert Humphrey, personally handled relations with the blood-stained regime of General Suharto. Humphrey was the “very high official in Washington” referred to in Reston’s column.

The Chilean coup was under the Republican Richard Nixon administration. His secretary of state, Kissinger, was the point man for relations with Pinochet.

We now have a Democratic administration, headed by Barack Obama, who actually lived in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971 after his mother married an Indonesian geographer, Lolo Soetoro, who worked for the Indonesian army and later for the Unocal oil company. In his book “Dreams from My Father,” Obama speaks of his years as a child in Indonesia and mentions the role of the CIA in supporting the generals. That book was written before he was elected to any political office.

Presidents come and go, but the think tanks funded by the wealthy corporate families of the U.S. shape policies, domestic and foreign, as well as the politicians who will articulate them. It takes more than elections to change these bloody-handed policies. It takes the building of a mass movement that rejects imperialist wars and fights in the interests of the workers and all the oppressed.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2013/09/09/pinochet-suharto-u-s-supported-dictators-killed-people/

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

“Obama: The Most Effective of Two Evils” [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Chile, Egypt, George W. Bush, Obama, Pentagon, Pinochet, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela, Vietnam on June 16, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Arnold August and Julie Lévesque

June 6, 2013

Part I: “Cuban Democracy” versus “American Democracy”

Arnold August is a political scientist, author and lecturer living in Montreal. He is the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections (Editorial José Martí). He has also contributed a chapter entitled “Socialism and Elections” for the volume Cuban Socialism in a New Century: Adversity, Survival and Renewal (University Press of Florida). His latest book is Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion.

Julie Lévesque: In regards to U.S. democracy, in your book Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion you talk about the notion of the lesser of two evils and the illusion of change. Could you give us an overview of your analysis of Barack Obama?

Arnold August: In this book I chronicle in a very detailed manner what I call “the Obama case study” because one of my main fears and preoccupations is not so much from the so called “right”, but rather the illusions that exist among liberals and among some people on the left with regards to Obama. So I dissected everything that Obama wrote in his first two books, his book of 2004 as he was running for senate and his book of 2008, just before he was nominated. Now looking into that, it very clearly indicates that Obama, with the support of others who were responsible for building the image of change, gave the right signals to the oligarchy that he is not in favour of changing the status quo. At the same time, he provided some indications that people might look to him as a source of change.

Now, if one looks at his books very carefully, on key issues, for example on Vietnam, he stood firmly in favour of U.S. aggression of Vietnam. He ridiculed people on the left, liberals who took a stand against the Vietnam war.

JL: Like Doctor Martin Luther King.

AA: Exactly. He took a stand against Vietnam. He didn’t ridicule Martin Luther King but he ridiculed people on the left who took a stand. On the issue of Chile for example, he complained in his book about people on the left, or liberals, being so concerned about the need to support the struggle of the people in Chile against Pinochet, when at the time, Obama asserted, they ignored that there was a dictatorship in the Soviet Union and other countries in the Eastern Bloc. And so he indicated clearly to the ruling circles that, as far as the basic fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy and domestic policy were concerned, that he is their man. At the same time, he gave the impression that he was in favour of change. Now he had a very specific assistant in this whole attempt to present him as the person of change, David Axelrod, who has very close ties to the ruling circles. He specializes in getting Afro-Americans elected in positions of power. He did that with the mayor of Washington D.C. and then his next customer was Obama.

JL: You explain in your book that Barack Obama was used to reduce the credibility gap among the African Americans. Could you tell us how that was done?

AA: That is really important. For example, Brzezinski who was Bill Clinton’s advisor, very cleverly pointed out – he was right – that there was a major credibility gap for the American ruling circles with regards to Latin America, with countries such as Venezuela and the new movement there; and with regards to the Middle East, before the eruption took place in Egypt; and with other parts of the world. And they had to put a new face on the American foreign policy in order to recuperate that credibility and that’s why he said “I am proposing Obama; he could do it.”

The same thing goes for domestic policy. I think that one of the main things was that the United States has always been, and rightly so, very fearful of an African American revolt against the ruling circles. Now, when Obama made his famous speech, I believe it was for senator, he said that there is no Afro-America, no Latino-America, that there is just one United States of America. In other words, let’s forget about racism especially if I get elected to the White House. And so the the most effective of two evils, is an important point.

JL: Because when one criticises Obama, a lot of people say “well, he’s better than Bush”. But that is not an argument and it’s a way to avoid any criticism.

AA: That’s right. Well, this is exactly what the problem is. Especially among people who call themselves liberals or, unfortunately, many people on the left say “well, he’s better than Bush, he is the lesser of two evils.” Now, I am from Montreal, and I am not an American, so in order to deal with criticism of Obama and that usual way of looking at things, I have investigated carefully other writers from the United States, for instance Black Agenda Report in the United States, based in California. They represent what is the best among African Americans, that revolutionary progressive tradition that goes back from the time of the struggle against slavery, to the 1960’s and 1970’s.

JL: And they are very critical of Barack Obama.

AA: Yes, because there is a major pressure from the ruling circles to declare: “We people, on the left, or liberals or progressive, we cannot criticise Obama because he is being criticized by the right.” So, I ally myself if you like, with Black Agenda Report and other American scholars, intellectuals concerned with civil liberties, African American lawyers such as Michelle Alexander who wrote an excellent book on the situation of African Americans today. And I agree with Black Agenda Report that Obama, far from being the lesser of two evils, is the most effective of the two evils. One of the main themes in that chapter of my book is that Obama does not really represent a continuation of Bush policies. Quite the contrary; he represents an offensive, a new offensive on behalf of the U.S. ruling circles, domestically as well as internationally.

JL: All that while giving an illusion of positive change?

AA: Yes and it still works, because the second time around, a lot of people were still claiming “well, he is better than Romney.” But he represents an offensive, if you just take for example, the upsurge among the Wall Street Movement not long after Egypt, Madison, Wisconsin and Spain, three countries in a row, which followed up on the Egyptian revolution. Now there were a lot of positive things about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and it’s not a homogeneous movement, it was not then, it is not now; some are openly against the two-party system, some are not, some make themselves unwittingly easy prey for the Obama administration. But the movement is mainly based on white middle class or lower middle class people of the United States. So you could imagine if the African American population at that time had been liberated from this illusion that Obama being in the White House means salvation to African Americans and instead join the Occupy Wall Street movement, it would have been a major problem for the U.S. ruling circles. So this is what Brzezinski had in mind, credibility gap internationally as well as domestically.

The health care reform is another example. It was just another way of increasing the profit of the insurance companies – there was nothing more than that, another offensive on the part of the ruling circles. And while providing the image that he is in favor of change, he is the one who plays the African American card every single day. Every time something happens, let’s say they are honoring Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks, he says “if it was not for Martin Luther King” or “Rosa Parks, I would not be here.” He never misses an occasion to raise the fact that he is an African American. At the same time, when African Americans are being killed on the streets, he has nothing to say. So in fact, and I quote some people, American scholars and people involved in legal rights and civil rights, he in fact assists in the killing of African Americans by, on the one hand, giving the impression that they are safe, because there is an African American in the White House, and at the same time not saying anything when they are killed.

If you take the example of the famous issue of the so called gun control, I wrote in my book published before the Newtown shooting that the killings are going to carry on because no one in the ruling circles raises the issue that the second amendment is a major problem. Now they have this false debate going, for or against gun control, but the competition between the Obama forces on the one hand and the so called “right forces” on the other side, merely revolves around which of these two forces are more faithful to the second amendment. None of them even think or hint at the necessity to challenge the second amendment because, in my view, the real question which should be asked in relation to gun control is “how come, in the United States, we are allowed to have an arms manufactory industry with no control, that companies can just manufacture arms of all kinds, the most devastating arms and sell them on the market?” But neither the Obama nor the other forces challenge this.

Obama keeps on saying “our Constitution is the oldest democratic Constitution in the world.” It’s true that it’s a very old constitution, but that’s a negative thing. Is it not time for the constitution to be updated? That people should have a say about what the constitution should be in the United States of America? The basic clauses such as the right to be armed should be rethought in order to eliminate this whole plague on American society?

JL: You also talk about the fact that the military industrial complex as well is never challenged by any of the two parties.

AA: Now, for example there is – if you watch CNN or any other U.S. broadcast – they keep on repeating continuously that in the United States you have democrats/republicans – left/right – liberals/conservatives. They keep giving the impression there’s two opposing forces in the United States of America. But it isn’t the case. It is basically the same force which changes its appearance from time to time. When one force gets discredited, they put the other in its place.

JL: You mean the same economic interests are behind the two parties?

AA: That’s right. Now there has been a lot of debate over the last while regarding budget, amounts of money necessary, but there are several American academics, which I mention in my book, who say that you can say anything about the U.S. budget or U.S. spending, but you cannot touch upon the issue of military spending. I think that one of the weaknesses of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that they talk about the banks in general without putting in perspective or without highlighting the proportion of military spending due to the fact that the United States is an imperial power. As a result of this imperialism, therefore, the U.S is necessarily spending money on armaments, and there is the fusion of the military, the industries and the banks resulting in military spending. The whole economy in the United States is built on military spending but no one challenges that, including Obama. They can make some adjustments, a few dollars less here, a few dollars more here, but addressing the reasons why a very important portion of American spending goes on the military is not allowed to enter into the discussion.

JL: And if both parties agree on that issue, does that not mean that when it comes to foreign policy, they agree that America needs to maintain and increase its military power everywhere on the globe?

AA: That’s exactly it. In fact Obama, right from the beginning, said that the United States taking it from the puritans at the end of the 18th century is a light for the world; it is the most powerful country in the world, it is the best nation in the world, even after the American soldiers would commit atrocities against people in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere, he would say “We have the best army in the world – the best nation in the world.” And sometimes he’s been accused of being against “American exceptionalism”, the idea that America is an exceptional country. But that is not true that he is against this concept. He even said he agrees with American exceptionalism, that this was born at the end of the 18th century with the puritans. He said “We are an exceptional nation and we have a special role to play in the world to bring democracy, civilization and culture to the people in the world.”

So there is no difference between him and people such as Palin, Romney or McCain. The only difference is that the Obama approach as manufactured by Axelrod and others is much more effective in pulling the wool over the eyes of many people; and my basic conclusion is that democracy in the U.S. now works very well, it is not in crisis. They are able to recuperate themselves after Bush, to put an entirely new face on a policy that is increasing the attacks on a world scale on behalf of Obama. Just look at what he’s done over the last five years from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other attacks in several countries; Soon after he was elected for his first mandate, a coup d’état took place in Honduras. Bush, McCain, Palin would not have been able to get away with it, but Obama got away with doing this coup d’état because there was still – even still now amongst some Latin American, progressive circles – a certain degree of illusion regarding Obama, that he was different from the Republicans or the right. But he really worked in favour of this Honduras coup d’état using with the better Ivy League language, and body talk, to give the impression that he’s not really behind it. But what did he say during the Honduras coup? Once Zelaya, the president was kidnapped, taken out of Honduras and then people were on the streets for over 100 days, risking their lives to demonstrate against the coup d’état and the American-backed military there, Obama kept on saying (and also Clinton and the others) that both sides have to use restraint. That’s very interesting. You have the military in power there, Zelaya outside of the country, people with their bare hands trying to resist, and he puts both sides on the same level – both sides have to use restraint.

JL: He tried to look neutral?

AA: Right. But in fact Obama never agreed that Zelaya should return to Honduras as a president. He said “I am against the coup, it’s no good, I am against the military, it’s no good,” but he would always oppose the return of Zelaya , who was elected, to Honduras. So that’s how they operate, that’s how the United States got away with it.

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-the-most-effective-of-two-evils/5337796

“Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette” by Glenn Greenwald – Vicious UK press propagandizes Thatcher at death, censures her critics [Guardian]

Posted in Black propaganda, Cameron, Capitalist media double standard, Chile, Corporate Media Critique, Hugo Chavez, Indonesia, Iraq, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, South Africa, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Venezuela on April 9, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

8 April 2013

News of Margaret Thatcher’s death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her…

…This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous…

…the key point is this: those who admire the deceased public figure (and their politics) aren’t silent at all. They are aggressively exploiting the emotions generated by the person’s death to create hagiography. Typifying these highly dubious claims about Thatcher was this (appropriately diplomatic) statement from President Obama: “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” Those gushing depictions can be quite consequential, as it was for the week-long tidal wave of unbroken reverence that was heaped on Ronald Reagan upon his death, an episode that to this day shapes how Americans view him and the political ideas he symbolized. Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms.

Whatever else may be true of her, Thatcher engaged in incredibly consequential acts that affected millions of people around the world. She played a key role not only in bringing about the first Gulf War but also using her influence to publicly advocate for the 2003 attack on Iraq. She denounced Nelson Mandela and his ANC as “terrorists”, something even David Cameron ultimately admitted was wrong. She was a steadfast friend to brutal tyrants such as Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Indonesian dictator General Suharto (“One of our very best and most valuable friends”). And as my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne detailed last year, “across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown.”

To demand that all of that be ignored in the face of one-sided requiems to her nobility and greatness is a bit bullying and tyrannical, not to mention warped. As David Wearing put it this morning in satirizing these speak-no-ill-of-the-deceased moralists: “People praising Thatcher’s legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless.” Tellingly, few people have trouble understanding the need for balanced commentary when the political leaders disliked by the west pass away. Here, for instance, was what the Guardian reported upon the death last month of Hugo Chavez:

To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.”

Nobody, at least that I know of, objected to that observation on the ground that it was disrespectful to the ability of the Chavez family to mourn in peace…

Exactly the same is true of Thatcher. There’s something distinctively creepy – in a Roman sort of way – about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn’t change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.

[Edited]

Full article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

‘Tramp the dirt down’ – Margaret Thatcher’s death triggers fury at her right-wing legacy [Globe and Mail]

Posted in Chile, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on April 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by “Daily Mail Reporter” [sic]

8 April 2013

…Only a few minutes after the death of the 87-year-old [Thatcher] was announced the Respect MP for Bradford West took to his Twitter writing ‘Tramp the dirt down…’

…When one user wrote that the MP was ‘unbecoming’ in his choice of phrase, the 59-year-old fired back ‘You’re obviously a teenage scribbler then? Or one with no memory.’

It is thought the MP was referring to an Elvis Costello 1989 song in which the singer vows to dance on Thatcher’s grave.

In a further message on the social networking site, Mr Galloway said: ‘Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’. I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.’

Although the internet was flooded with tributes to the Iron Lady, it also showcased venom for Britain’s first and only female political leader.

A Facebook campaign has been launched to take [the] Judy Garland song ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead’ to number one following Margaret Thatcher’s death.

A series of pages urge people to buy MP3 downloads of the song, which features in 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz.

One, called Make ‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ number 1 the week Thatcher dies, already had 590 members by 1.30pm with numbers rapidly rising…

…Less than an hour after her death was made public, a book entitled Thatcher Tributes with a witch on the front was on sale.

The publishers said the book will be released by erbacce-press as a paperback and will be available at bookshops and via their websites.

They said ‘It is an expression of the feelings of ordinary people who will greet the death of Mrs Thatcher with very little regret.’

A website set up three years ago asking ‘Is Margaret Thatcher Dead Yet?’ was today updated for the first time – with the word ‘YES’.

The website currently has more than 130,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and thousands of people have written about it on Twitter.

‘Likes’ on their Facebook page were rocketing at a rate of 2,500 a minute.

Throughout the former prime minister’s deteriorating health the site, isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk, had simply stated ‘NOT YET’ in large capital letters.

But following news at 12pm of the 87 year old’s death the wording was changed to ‘YES’.

A smaller message underneath adds: ‘Margaret Thatcher is dead. This lady’s not returning.’

Another message on the site asks the readers: ‘How are you celebrating?’ and encourages users to use the #nowthatchersdead hashtag on Twitter…

…The site was created by professional musician Antonio Lulic, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

The 30-year-old today said: ‘It was inevitable, she has been unwell for a long time.

‘Judging by the reaction of the people that follow the website on Facebook and Twitter, they seem very pleased about it – I am quietly relieved.

‘Thousands of people have already commented and we’ve seen thousands of extra ‘likes’ on our Facebook in the last 10 minutes, and that’s only going to get higher.’

…Today unions and campaign groups were critical of the policies she followed while Prime Minister.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: ‘Mrs Thatcher was a powerful politician who will be remembered by many for the destructive and divisive policies she reigned over which in the end, even in the Tory party, proved to be her downfall.

‘Her legacy involves the destruction of communities, the elevation of personal greed over social values and legitimising the exploitation of the weak by the strong.’

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said: ‘Margaret Thatcher laid the basis for policies which wrecked the lives of millions in Britain. But she should also be remembered as a warmonger.

‘She led alongside Ronald Reagan the escalation of the Cold War. She introduced cruise missiles to Britain and fought the Falklands war. Her arms deals with Saudi Arabia were notorious. Her legacy was Tony Blair who built enthusiastically on her record.’

The death of Baroness Thatcher was a ‘great day’ for coal miners, David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association said today.

The ex-miner, who turned 70 today, spent all of his working life at Wearmouth Colliery.

He said: ‘It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

‘There’s no sympathy from me for what she did to our community. She destroyed our community, our villages and our people.

‘For the union this could not come soon enough and I’m pleased that I have outlived her.

‘It’s a great day for all the miners, I imagine we will have a counter demonstration when they have her funeral.

‘Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind.

‘She absolutely hated working people and I have got very bitter memories of what she did. She turned all the nation against us and the violence that was meted out on us was terrible.

‘I would say to those people who want to mourn her that they’re lucky she did not treat them like she treated us.’

Baroness Thatcher’s policies were ‘fundamentally wrong’, former London mayor Ken Livingstone said today.

He told Sky News the former Conservative prime minister was responsible for ‘every real problem’ faced in the UK today, as he claimed she had led millions of people out of work.

Mr Livingstone said: ‘Of course she was popular, she was offering people their homes at a cut price. But she didn’t build any houses.’

‘She created today’s housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment.

‘She decided when she wrote off our manufacturing industry that she could live with two or three million unemployed and the legacy of that, the benefits bill that we are still struggling with today.

‘In actual fact, every real problem we face today is the legacy of the fact she was fundamentally wrong.’

He also said that it was to Tony Blair’s ‘shame’ that he ‘broadly carried on’ most of her policies.

Mr Livingstone added: ‘She once claimed New Labour was her greatest legacy and I am not saying she was joking.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams reacted to the announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death with a scathing assessment of her political legacy in Ireland and elsewhere.

‘Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister,’ claimed Mr Adams.

‘Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.

‘Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.

‘Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.’

Full article link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305760/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-George-Galloway-leads-chorus-celebration-left.html

Edited by Zuo Shou

Imperialism and the “Anti-Imperialism of the Fools” [James Petras Website]

Posted in Afghanistan, Allende, Chile, China, Corporate Media Critique, Cuba, Historical myths of the US, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kosovo, NATO, NATO invasion, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Pinochet, Poland, Psychological warfare, Russia, Spain, Syria, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Venezuela, War crimes, World War II, Yugoslavia - former FRY on February 4, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

12.30.2011 :: by James Petras

* One of the great paradoxes of history are the claims of imperialist politicians to be engaged in a great humanitarian crusade, a historic “civilizing mission” designed to liberate nations and peoples, while practicing the most barbaric conquests, destructive wars and large scale bloodletting of conquered people in historical memory. *

In the modern capitalist era, the ideologies of imperialist rulers vary over time, from the early appeals to “the right” to wealth, power, colonies and grandeur to later claims of a ‘civilizing mission’. More recently imperial rulers have propagated, many diverse justifications adapted to specific contexts, adversaries, circumstances and audiences.

This essay will concentrate on analyzing contemporary US imperial ideological arguments for legitimizing wars and sanctions to sustain dominance.

* Contextualizing Imperial Ideology *

Imperialist propaganda varies according to whether it is directed against a competitor for global power, or whether as a justification for applying sanctions, or engaging in open warfare against a local or regional socio-political adversary.

With regard to established imperial (Europe) or rising world economic competitors (China), US imperial propaganda varies over time…

…[i]n the run-up to World War II, European and US imperial powers, while exploiting their Asian colonies condemned Japanese imperial powers’ invasion and colonization of China. Japan, in turn claimed it was leading Asia’s forces fighting against Western imperialism and projected a post-colonial “co-prosperity” sphere of equal Asian partners.

The imperialist use of “anti-imperialist” moral rhetoric was designed to weaken rivals and was directed to several audiences. In fact, at no point did the anti-imperialist rhetoric serve to “liberate” any of the colonized people. In almost all cases the victorious imperial power only substituted one form colonial or neo-colonial rule for another.

The “anti-imperialism” of the imperialists is directed at the nationalist movements of the colonized countries and at their domestic public. British imperialists fomented uprisings among the agro-mining elites in Latin America promising “free trade” against Spanish mercantilist rule; they backed the “self-determination” of the slaveholding cotton plantation owners in the US South against the Union; they supported the territorial claims of the Iroquois tribal leaders against the US anti-colonial revolutionaries … exploiting legitimate grievances for imperial ends. During World War II,the Japanese imperialists supported a sector of the nationalist anti-colonial movement in India against the British Empire. The US condemned Spanish colonial rule in Cuba and the Philippines and went to war to “liberate” the oppressed peoples from tyranny….and remained to impose a reign of terror, exploitation and colonial rule…

The imperial powers sought to divide the anti-colonial movements and create future “client rulers” when and if they succeeded. The use of anti-imperialist rhetoric was designed to attract two sets of groups. A conservative group with common political and economic interests with the imperial power, which shared their hostility to revolutionary nationalists and which sought to accrue greater advantage by tying their fortunes to a rising imperial power. A radical sector of the movement tactically allied itself with the rising imperial power, with the idea of using the imperial power to secure resources (arms, propaganda, vehicles and financial aid) and, once securing power, to discard them. More often than not, in this game of mutual manipulation between empire and nationalists, the former won out … as is the case then and now.

The imperialist “anti-imperialist” rhetoric was equally directed at the domestic public, especially in countries like the US which prized its 18th anti-colonial heritage. The purpose was to broaden the base of empire building beyond the hard line empire loyalists, militarists and corporate beneficiaries. Their appeal sought to include liberals, humanitarians, progressive intellectuals, religious and secular moralists and other “opinion-makers” who had a certain cachet with the larger public, the ones who would have to pay with their lives and tax money for the inter-imperial and colonial wars.

The official spokespeople of empire publicize real and fabricated atrocities of their imperial rivals, and highlight the plight of the colonized victims. The corporate elite and the hardline militarists demand military action to protect property, or to seize strategic resources; the humanitarians and progressives denounce the “crimes against humanity” and echo the calls “to do something concrete” to save the victims from genocide. Sectors of the Left join the chorus, finding a sector of victims who fit in with their abstract ideology, and plead for the imperial powers to “arm the people to liberate themselves” (sic). By lending moral support and a veneer of respectability to the imperial war, by swallowing the propaganda of “war to save victims” the progressives become the prototype of the “anti-imperialism of the fools”. Having secured broad public support on the bases of “anti-imperialism”, the imperialist powers feel free to sacrifice citizens’ lives and the public treasury, to pursue war, fueled by the moral fervor of a righteous cause. As the butchery drags on and the casualties mount, and the public wearies of war and its cost, progressive and leftist enthusiasm turns to silence or worse, moral hypocrisy with claims that “the nature of the war changed” or “that this isn’t the kind of war that we had in mind …”. As if the war makers ever intended to consult the progressives and left on how and why they should engage in imperial wars.!

In the contemporary period the imperial “anti-imperialist wars” and aggression have been greatly aided and abetted by well-funded “grass roots” so-called “non-governmental organizations” which act to mobilize popular movements which can “invite” imperial aggression.

Over the past four decades US imperialism has fomented at least two dozen “grass roots” movements which have destroyed democratic governments, or decimated collectivist welfare states or provoked major damage to the economy of targeted countries.

In Chile throughout 1972-73 under the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, the CIA financed and provided major support – via the AFL-CIO–to private truck owners to paralyze the flow of goods and services. They also funded a strike by a sector of the copper workers union (at the El Tenient mine) to undermine copper production and exports, in the lead up to the coup. After the military took power several “grass roots” Christian Democratic union officials participated in the purge of elected leftist union activists. Needless to say in short order the truck owners and copper workers ended the strike, dropped their demands and subsequently lost all bargaining rights!

In the 1980’s the CIA via Vatican channels transferred millions of dollars to sustain the “Solidarity Union” in Poland, making a hero of the Gdansk shipyards worker-leader Lech Walesa, who spearheaded the general strike to topple the Communist regime. With the overthrow of Communism so also went guaranteed employment, social security and trade union militancy: the neo-liberal regimes reduced the workforce at Gdansk by fifty percent and eventually closed it, giving the boot to the entire workforce. Walesa retired with a magnificent Presidential pension, while his former workmates walked the streets and the new “independent” Polish rulers provided NATO with military bases and mercenaries for imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2002 the White House, the CIA , the AFL-CIO and NGOs, backed a Venezuelan military-business – trade union bureaucrat led “grass roots” coup that overthrew democratically elected President Chavez. In 48 hours a million strong authentic grass roots mobilization of the urban poor backed by constitutionalist military forces defeated the US backed dictators and restored Chavez to power .Subsequently oil executives directed a lockout backed by several US financed NGOs.They were defeated by the workers’ takeover of the oil industry. The unsuccessful coup and lockout cost the Venezuelan economy billions of dollars in lost income and caused a double digit decline in GNP.

The US backed “grass roots” armed jihadists to liberated “Bosnia” and armed the“grass roots” terrorist Kosova Liberation Army to break-up Yugoslavia. Almost the entire Western Left cheered as, the US bombed Belgrade, degraded the economy and claimed it was “responding to genocide”. Kosova “free and independent” became a huge market for white slavers, housed the biggest US military base in Europe, with the highest per-capita out migration of any country in Europe.

The imperial “grass roots” strategy combines humanitarian, democratic and anti-imperialist rhetoric and paid and trained local NGO’s, with mass media blitzes to mobilize Western public opinion and especially “prestigious leftist moral critics” behind their power grabs.

* The Consequence of Imperial Promoted “Anti-Imperialist” Movements: Who Wins and Who Loses? *

The historic record of imperialist promoted “anti-imperialist” and “pro-democracy” “grass roots movements” is uniformly negative. Let us briefly summarize the results. In Chile ‘grass roots’ truck owners strike led to the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and nearly two decades of torture, murder, jailing and forced exile of hundreds of thousands, the imposition of brutal “free market policies” and subordination to US imperial policies. In summary the US multi-national copper corporations and the Chilean oligarchy were the big winners and the mass of the working class and urban and rural poor the biggest losers. The US backed “grass roots uprisings” in Eastern Europe against [the] Soviet[s], exchanged Russian [satellite-hood] for US domination; subordination to NATO instead of the Warsaw Pact; the massive transfer of national public enterprises, banks and media to Western multi-nationals. Privatization of national enterprises led to unprecedented levels of double-digit unemployment, skyrocketing rents and the growth of pensioner poverty. The crises induced the flight of millions of the most educated and skilled workers and the elimination of free public health, higher education and worker vacation resorts.

Throughout the now capitalist Eastern Europe and USSR highly organized criminal gangs developed large scale prostitution and drug rings; foreign and local gangster ‘entrepeneurs’ seized lucrative public enterprises and formed a new class of super-rich oligarchs Electoral party politicians, local business people and professionals linked to Western ‘partners’ were the socio-economic winners. Pensioners, workers, collective farmers, the unemployed youth were the big losers along with the formerly subsidized cultural artists. Military bases in Eastern Europe became the empire’s first line of military attack of Russia and the target of any counter-attack.

If we measure the consequences of the shift in imperial power, it is clear that the Eastern Europe countries have become even more subservient under the US and the EU than under Russia. Western induced financial crises have devastated their economies; Eastern European troops have served in more imperial wars under NATO than under Soviet rule; the cultural media are under Western commercial control. Most of all, the degree of imperial control over all economic sectors far exceeds anything that existed under the Soviets. The Eastern European ‘grass roots’ movement succeeded in deepening and extending the US Empire; the advocates of peace, social justice, national independence, a cultural renaissance and social welfare with democracy were the big losers.

Western liberals, progressives and leftists who fell in love with imperialist promoted “anti-imperialism” are also big losers. Their support for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia led to the break-up of a multi-national state and the creation of huge NATO military bases and a white slavers paradise in Kosova. Their blind support for the imperial promoted “liberation” of Eastern Europe devastated the welfare state, eliminating the pressure on Western regimes’ need to compete in providing welfare provisions. The main beneficiaries of Western imperial advances via ‘grass roots’ uprisings were the multi-national corporations, the Pentagon and the rightwing free market neo-liberals. As the entire political spectrum moved to the right a sector of the left and progressives eventually jumped on the bandwagon. The Left moralists lost credibility and support, their peace movements dwindled, their “moral critiques” lost resonance. The left and progressives who tail-ended the imperial backed “grass roots movements”, whether in the name of “anti-stalinism”, “pro-democracy” or “anti-imperialism” have never engaged in any critical reflection; no effort to analyze the long-term negative consequences of their positions in terms of the losses in social welfare, national independence or personal dignity.

The long history of imperialist manipulation of “anti-imperialist” narratives has found virulent expression in the present day. The New Cold War launched by Obama against China and Russia, the hot war brewing in the Gulf over Iran’s alleged military threat, the interventionist threat against Venezuela’s “drug-networks”,and Syria’s “bloodbath” are part and parcel of the use and abuse of “anti-imperialism” to prop up a declining empire. Hopefully, the progressive and leftist writers and scribes will learn from the ideological pitfalls of the past and resist the temptation to access the mass media by providing a ‘progressive cover’ to imperial dubbed “rebels”. It is time to distinguish between genuine anti-imperialism and pro-democracy movements and those promoted by Washington, NATO and the mass media.

Excerpted / edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1886

Tribute to Salvador Allende in a “Different Chile” [Prensa Latina]

Posted in Allende, Chile, Pinochet on September 17, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Santiago de Chile, Sep 11 (Prensa Latina)

This year, Sept. 11 is going to be different, because Chile is different, according to the organizers of a march on Sunday to pay tribute to former President Salvador Allende and victims of the Pinochet dictatorship.

The Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared and the Association of Relatives of Persons Executed for Political Reason noted that the annual tribute would take place this year amid mass social mobilizations with anti-neoliberal demands.

Participants will march to the General Cemetery as they do every Sept. 11, and this year the march will begin in the Plaza de los Heroes.

The Memorial Museum will hold what it called an “audiovisual tribute to the men and women killed by State violence from Sept. 11, 1973 to March 10, 1990.”

The exhibit consists of the projection on a giant screen of about 2,000 photographs of people who were murdered or went missing during the regime of terror imposed by the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship (1973-1990).

As part of the tribute to Allende, a political and cultural event was held Saturday night in the Plaza de la Constitucion, with performances by rock bands, singer, poets, and actors, and those attending included lawmakers from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in Chile for the 3rd Latin American Conference for Truth and Justice, which began Friday at the University of Santiago.

Article link: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=322651&Itemid=1

Stalin Caught in Liberal Cobweb [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Anti-communism, Chile, Fascism, France, Germany, Nazism, Pinochet, Psychological warfare, Russia, Stalin, U.K., US - Nazi connection, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Winston Churchill on June 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

6.21.2011

by Nil Nikandrov

Progressive revision of the principal results of…WWII [is] a very dangerous sign. Never before [have] the endeavors to depict Hitler and Stalin as equally responsible for unleashing the war…been so obstinate, purposeful and bluntly hostile towards Russian people and Russian state…

No doubt that the propagandistic identification of Stalin as a totalitarian-style leader is aimed to justify the secret diplomatic maneuvers made by the West in the late 1930s to provoke German-Soviet conflict. The appeasement policies and permanent British and French concessions to Berlin eventually prompted the aggression of the Nazi monster. Following a series of military triumphs in Europe, on June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany invaded Russia and started realizing Operation Barbarossa supposed to defeat and break down the USSR. Another top secret Nazi plan Ost proposed to ‘depopulate the barbarian country’ turning the survivors into lunatic [sic] manpower serving…the German ‘masters’.

Most likely the liberal hawks among historians and sovietologists ‘specialized’ in Stalin’s period are preparing basis for a new blitzkrieg, now without bombings and tank attacks. Today Hitler’s strategic schemes are being realized using new media technologies, manipulations of facts and senses, demonization campaigns against Soviet leaders, first of all Stalin, being portrayed as ‘war criminals who avoided Nuremberg’.

The brainwashing is going on in a systematic, comprehensive, aggressive manner. Principal intellectual centers elaborating [a] contemporary version of Generalplan Ost are located in the United States and the UK. They obviously do not suffer any shortage in resources. The allegation that the USSR was a totalitarian state equally responsible for the outbreak of World War II with Nazi Germany is being routinely knocked, hammered, drummed into the heads of Americans, Europeans, Asians and even citizens of the post-Soviet countries.

They want Russia as the successor of the USSR to admit equal responsibility with Nazi Germany for the onset of the global drama. Apparently the consent of the new Russian elites to ‘de-Stalinization’ of the Soviet history would eventually lead to enormous and totally unfair compensation claims from the ‘occupied’ countries. The West believes that concessions and capitulation – habitual stereotype behavior of the Russian ruling class since Gorbachev – are inevitable now as well. They are convinced that the Russian elite’s private financial considerations would outweigh the national interests of the country again.

The anti-Stalin rhetoric by the troops of historians, political scientists and commentators inside Russian generously nurtured by Western donors already dominates the public discourse. They insist on ‘Stalin’s guilt to be expiated’, his ‘criminal accord with Hitler’, ‘Eastern Europe occupation’, ’40 million of repressed/assassinated’ in the USSR. I remember a surprised Chilean journalist saying to me once: ‘If I believe everything they talk about Stalin, Pinochet comparing to him would represent a sample of a righteous humanist.’

Collecting materials for my book about prominent Soviet intelligence agent Iosif Grigulevich who was stationed in South America in 1940-1946, I spent a lot of time reading war-time newspapers in libraries of Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile and Caracas. These sources irrefutably testified that for Latin Americans Stalin used to be a symbol of Soviet heroic resistance to Hitlerism and a beacon of social progress and historical optimism. In that epoch, even Stalin’s fiercest opponents could not think of likening him to Hitler.

Communists were indeed the staunchest fighters against fascism at the time. That is why US intelligence networks were seeking contacts with the leaders of communist parties in Latin America to engage them in uprooting the fascist underground there. Stalin approved the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 to strengthen Soviet Union’s ties with the Allies. He voiced [sic] for the dialog and trust-building in the post-war period, but the West responded with Churchill’s notorious Fulton address which marked the beginning of the Cold War. At that moment, Stalin was branded as an enemy of the Western civilization, and what we witness today is essentially the same approach and the same perception.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/06/21/a-web-of-liberal-intrigues-around-stalins-name.html