Archive for the Mexico Category

“US faces another debacle on Pacific economic treaty” – TPP, fake free trade pact, in trouble [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Australia, Canada, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Chile, China, China-bashing, Economic crisis & decline, Economy, Encirclement of China, EU, European Union, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Media cover-up, Mexico, New Zealand, Obama, Peru, Protectionist Trade War with China, Singapore, south Korea, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam on April 5, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Mike Head
4 April 2015

Having suffered a decisive defeat in its efforts to block other countries from joining the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the US government faces mounting difficulties with regard to its most far-reaching move to dominate the Asia-Pacific region: the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In Hawaii last month, the latest round of five-year-long TPP talks between the 12 governments involved broke up without any further agreement. For the third year in a row, the White House’s deadline for a final deal looks set to be breached in 2015.

Significantly, the main stumbling block this time was reportedly not ongoing differences between the US and Japan over auto and agricultural markets, but doubts over President Barack Obama’s capacity to get congressional approval for the pact.

Falsely presented as a “free trade” deal, the TPP is the opposite. It is aimed at creating a vast US-controlled economic bloc. In return for favoured access to the US market, which is still the largest in the world, the TPP requires its members to scrap all legal, regulatory and government impediments to American investment and corporate operations.

The TPP is an essential component of Washington’s military and strategic “pivot” to Asia, aimed at establishing unchallenged hegemony over the region, including China, which has thus far been excluded from the treaty. The “partnership” seeks to restructure every aspect of economic and social life across the Asia-Pacific in the interests of Wall Street finance capital and the largest US corporations, particularly the IT, pharmaceutical and media conglomerates.

A similar drive is underway to incorporate the European Union into a Transatlantic Trade and I nvestment Partnership (TTIP) bloc. Like the TPP, the European treaty is being negotiated behind the backs of the international working class amid tight secrecy, with hundreds of the world’s largest corporations taking part.

Obama has resorted to blatant anti-Chinese rhetoric in a bid to overcome opposition to aspects of the TPP from sections of the Democratic and Republican congressional leaderships. In one recent interview, the US president declared: “If we don’t write the rules out there, China’s going to write the rules and the geopolitical implications of China writing the rules for trade almost inevitably means that we will be cut out or we will be deeply disadvantaged. Our businesses will be disadvantaged, our workers will be disadvantaged.”

Washington is concerned that other imperialist powers, such as Germany, Britain and Japan, could strengthen their positions in China at the expense of the US unless America “writes the rules” for world trade in the 21st century.

Global financial commentators are drawing attention to what is at stake. Under the headline, “Round two in America’s battle for Asian influence,” David Pilling wrote in the London-based Financial Times on April 1: “Washington’s attempt to lead a boycott of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ended in farce after Britain broke ranks and other nations from Germany to South Korea fell over themselves to join. If round one was a defeat for America, round two hangs in the balance.”

Pilling noted that the TPP’s exclusion of China, on the grounds that its economy was state-owned and centrally planned, was obviously concocted. “In a peculiar display of diplomatic contortion,” he wrote, “Vietnam — a country whose economy is as centrally planned and as rigged [sic] as the best of them — is somehow considered fit for entry.”

The Financial Times Asia editor pointedly added that the TPP was “just as likely to annoy America’s allies in the region as reassure them” because of its intrusive demands, which include the dismantling of state-owned enterprises, tendering restrictions, financial regulations, data protection rules and intellectual property laws.

Washington’s aggressive drive to establish the TPP and TTIP economic blocs marks a reversal of its post-World War II role, when the ascendancy of American industry permitted it to champion the reconstruction of its Japanese and European rivals, albeit always for its own benefit, including via the expansion of markets for its exports.

Today, amid the ongoing decline of US industry, its ruling elite depends increasingly on the parasitic activities of Wall Street, the exploitation of patents by Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the drug companies, and contracts for the supply of military hardware. These rapacious interests will most directly benefit from the TPP.

Many details remain secret, but pro-TPP lobbying efforts highlight the anticipated profit bonanzas. Mireya Solis of the Brookings Institution think tank stressed advantages such as “internationalisation of financial services, protection of intellectual property and governance of the Internet economy.”

US technology firms would benefit from a ban on requiring companies to house customers’ data within a specific country. “If we’re going to serve the customer of Malaysia from, say, a data center in Singapore, the data has to be able to move back and forth between those two countries,” Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, told the Wall Street Journal.

Central to the treaty are punitive Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) clauses, which permit transnationals to sue governments for losses allegedly caused by official policy decisions. WikiLeaks last month published a chapter of the TPP treaty showing that firms could bypass a country’s courts to obtain damages for changes in “environmental, health or other regulatory objectives.”

Apart from the US and Japan — the two biggest partners by far — the other TPP participants are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The willingness of many of these countries to make the required concessions to the US has been undermined by Obama’s failure to secure support for a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill so that he can sign the TPP and then have it ratified by Congress with a single “yes” or “no” vote. Without TPA, Congress could force amendments to the negotiated pact, effectively rendering the agreement void.

According to a Japan Times report: “Several negotiating partners, including Canada and Japan, have publicly stated they will not put their final negotiating positions on the table until Congress grants TPA for the Obama administration. With a presidential election looming in the United States, further delay creates a real risk of TPP being delayed until 2017.”

Much of the US congressional resistance is bound up with protectionist lobbies, based on national-based industries and their trade unions. In response, the Obama administration is ramping up a campaign that explicitly spells out the expected benefits to corporate America.

On March 30, the White House published letters from former senior economic officials, including 10 ex-commerce secretaries representing every administration, Democratic and Republican, since 1973, urging congressional leaders to give Obama TPA authority.

The commerce secretaries stated: “Once completed, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will give the United States free trade arrangements with 65 percent of global GDP and give our businesses preferential access to a large base of new potential customers.”

This demand for “preferential access” by US imperialism threatens to break up the world economy into the kind of rival blocs that preceded World War I and World War II.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/04/tppo-a04.html

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‘Spring Rising’ Protests decry 12 years of U.S. wars abroad [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Cuba, DPR Korea, Genocide, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Obama, Pakistan, Palestine, Pentagon, Philippines, Police brutality, Police State, Russia, Ukraine, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, War crimes on March 26, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 23, 2015

Antiwar actions called Spring Rising, focusing on the 12th anniversary of the criminal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and continued war in Afghanistan, were held in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities around the United States. Spring Rising was initiated by Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and mother of U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq.

In Washington there were four days of actions, including a teach-in, political lobbying and a bus tour of sites of war contractors. The culminating action was on March 21, with a rally of several hundred people, some carrying U.S.-flag-draped coffins, that gathered in front of the White House and marched to the Capitol, with stops at the offices of defense contractors.

Groups that sent delegations to D.C. included Code Pink, Answer Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veterans for Peace, World Can’t Wait, World Beyond War, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together and the International Action Center.

IAC participants came from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Durham, N.C., and linked the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S support of armed fascist, right-wing and mercenary forces in Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria, as well as to racist and militarized police repression at home.
San FranciscoPhoto: Alyssa Eisenberg

San Francisco
Photo: Alyssa Eisenberg

Anti-war demonstrators rallied March 21 at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco and then marched through the downtown area to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Demonstrators raised a number of demands: “Stop President Obama’s AUMF” (the proposed new three-year authorization for the use of military force); “End U.S. war and occupation;” “In the Middle East and Central Asia — U.S. out!;” “No to U.S. sanctions and intervention” against Iran, Venezuela, Korea, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, Philippines, Haiti and everywhere; and “Free Palestine — End U.S. Aid to Israel — Fund People’s Needs, Not Endless War.”

The protest was initiated by the Answer Coalition and endorsed by many groups, including the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, the Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition, BAYAN USA, Haiti Action, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the Palestine Youth Movement and Workers World Party.

Indicting ‘Hellfire Reaper’ brass

Two actions in central New York protested the anniversary of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. On the morning of March 19, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were arrested after trying to deliver a “citizen’s indictment” for war crimes to Hancock Air Base commanders. Demonstrators also blockaded the main gate of the base with giant books, including “Living under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan,” a report from New York University and Stanford law schools.

Soldiers dragged the books away as “evidence,” opening the possibility that their anti-U.S. war information could be introduced at future activist trials.

“Hellfire” Reaper drones targeting Afghanistan are piloted out of Hancock by soldiers in the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. Drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians are also trained at the base. Common Dreams estimates that over 2,500 people have been killed by U.S. covert drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. (commondreams.org)

On Feb. 17, the Obama administration okayed the widespread export of U.S. armed drones, as U.S. defense corporations push for bigger profits in the global drone market.

The Upstate Coalition has waged a nonviolent campaign against drone warfare at the base since 2010; there have been over 160 anti-Reaper arrests at Hancock in the last five years.
Syracuse, N.Y.Photo: Ellen Grady

Syracuse, N.Y.
Photo: Ellen Grady

In the afternoon people assembled at a downtown Syracuse, N.Y., street corner and held up signs protesting past and present wars, including Obama’s request for new war powers from Congress. One speaker talked of being in Baghdad in 2003 as part of a U.S. peace delegation and confronting U.S. Marines who entered the city during the U.S. “Shock-and-Awe” offensive.

A Syracuse University student denounced extensive military funding at the school, including the new Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and the drone-radar defense contractor, Syracuse Research Corporation.

As a steady stream of workers driving home honked in support of the rally, a military veteran spoke of the dreadful effects of war on U.S. soldiers. In addition to post-traumatic stress disorder, he named sexual assaults on 25 percent of women soldiers by other U.S. soldiers and homelessness. Twenty-five percent of homeless people are vets, who are disproportionately people of color.

From reports by Sara Flounders, Terri Kay and Minnie Bruce Pratt.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2015/03/23/protests-decry-12-years-of-u-s-wars-abroad/

US collecting all cell phone calls in Afghanistan [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Julian Assange, Kenya, Mexico, National Security Agency / NSA, NATO invasion, NSA, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Philippines, Somalia, US drone strikes, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Wikileaks, Yemen on May 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Thomas Gaist
24 May 2014

WikiLeaks on Friday revealed that the US has been surveilling all cell phone conversations in Afghanistan as part of its SOMALGET mass data collection program. SOMALGET is one component of a broader NSA effort, including a program called MYSTIC, which collect communications data in Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, Iraq and elsewhere.

Millions of voice clips and reams of telephone metadata are collected and stored as part of the SOMALGET/MYSTIC program, which taps into entire national cellular networks. Three days ago, Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept, revealed that SOMALGET was being used to collect phone calls made from the Bahamas and an unknown country, now revealed to be Afghanistan.

Greenwald said at the time that revealing the second country would “lead to deaths,” and complied with demands from top US security officials that he not publicize the information. The Washington Post also chose to preserve the secrecy of the surveillance against Afghanistan.

In a “statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA” published Friday, WikiLeaks rejected the “national security” rationale for concealing the country’s identity. A statement from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated, “The Intercept stated that the US government asserted that the publication of this name might lead to a ‘rise in violence’. Such claims were also used by the administration of Barack Obama to refuse to release further photos of torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq… WikiLeaks has years of experience with such false or overstated claims made by US officials in their attempts to delay or deny publication.”

“WikiLeaks has confirmed that the identity of the victim state is Afghanistan. This can also be independently verified through forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs,” the statement said.

The mass spying against Afghanistan underscores that a primary function of the spying apparatus is to identify and target opponents of the neocolonial agenda being pursued by the US ruling elite, while terrorizing the civilian population into submission. As noted by the WikiLeaks statement, the US government’s targeted drone program relies heavily on information gathered from NSA surveillance operations.

“We know from previous reporting that the National Security Agency’s mass interception system is a key component in the United States’ drone targeting program. The US drone targeting program has killed thousands of people and hundreds of women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in violation of international law. The censorship of a victim state’s identity directly assists the killing of innocent people,” the WikiLeaks statement said…

New Snowden documents detail political and corporate espionage by US, UK [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Andrew Lukashenko, Belarus, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Peru, Russia, Somalia, Syria, U.K., Ukraine, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, Yemen on April 7, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Thomas Gaist
31 March 2014

The US National Security Agency (NSA) and British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been engaged in aggressive surveillance operations against Germany’s political and corporate establishment and against more than 100 heads of state around the world, secret documents disclosed by Der Spiegel and the Intercept show.

The classified files leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden to the two publications show that the NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and more than 100 other leaders of foreign governments as part of a program known as “Nymrod.”

Heads of state listed on on the leaked files include, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, Peruvian President Alan Garcia, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Malian President Amadou Toumain Toure, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, and Ukrainian Prime Minister and oligarch Yulia Tymoshenko.

The documents also show that GCHQ targeted three German firms in complex operations that involved infiltration of their computer systems and surveillance of employees…

…These are only the latest revelations showing that the NSA’s surveillance activities have targeted Germany’s leadership. As of yet, Germany has been hesitant to mount a legal challenge to the operations, as such a move could exacerbate already growing tensions between US and German imperialism. “The launch of legal proceedings against GCHQ agents or NSA employees would quickly become a major political issue that would further burden already tense trans-Atlantic relations,” Der Spiegel wrote.

The documents also show that the NSA’s Special Source Operations (SSO), which oversees the agency’s “corporate partnerships” with US telecommunications companies including Google, Microsoft, Verizon and AT&T, received an open-ended FISA court authorization in 2013 to conduct surveillance against targets in Germany.

According to Der Spiegel’s report, the FISA court has granted similar authorizations for blanket surveillance operations against Mexico, Venezuela, Yemen, Brazil, Guatemala, Bosnia, Russia, Sudan and China…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/31/nsas-m31.html

Leaked documents tell what NSA spy programs do [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Austria, Belgium, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, China-bashing, Germany, Iran, Israel, Mexico, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, NSA, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on February 16, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Chris Fry on February 14, 2014

Revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency spy programs have appeared in German and Dutch magazines. The articles’ source appears to be former NSA contractor and now whistleblower Edward Snowden.

On Dec. 29, the German magazine Der Spiegel published a lengthy article titled “Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit.” The article describes a secret NSA computer hacking unit called the Office of Tailored Access Operations. A former head of TAO wrote a document urging her bosses at the NSA to “support Computer Network Attacks as an integrated part of military operations.”

To do this, she wrote, TAO needs to acquire “pervasive, persistent access on the global network.” The Der Spiegel article states that “the NSA hackers have been given a government mandate for their work.”

Some of the NSA’s TAO operations have included:

Operation WHITETAMALE — the Mexican Government Secretariat of Public Security was penetrated. Its email accounts were downloaded, and then the entire network, including employee addresses and video surveillance records.

Operation STUXNET — jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli agents, a computer “worm” was created to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.

XKEYSCORE spying tool — a program designed to “fish” computer “crash” reports to Microsoft to gain access to those computers and intercept all of its Internet traffic.

QUANTUMTHEORY — a “toolbox” of computer “malware” programs, which are designed to not only monitor but also misdirect target computer systems. One of these programs — QUANTUMINSERT — was used, according to the article, “to attack the computers of employees at partly government-held Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom.” The same programs were used to attack the OPEC computer network in Vienna, which meant that the U.S. “gained unhindered access to valuable economic data using these tools.”

The article also describes how the NSA’s TAO has its own covert servers, known by the codename FOXACID. Targeted users are directed to fake websites on these servers, from which malware is transferred onto their computers.

SEA-ME-WE-4 — an operation designed to penetrate the largely underwater computer cable system. As the article states, with the help of a “website masquerade operation,” the agency was able to “gain access to the consortium’s management website and collected Layer 2 network information that shows the circuit mapping for significant portions of the network.”

– Sharpening the tools of oppression –

Not satisfied with installing malware to remotely monitor and attack computers and networks, the NSA actually intercepts ordered computers before they are delivered, opens them up, installs both hardware and software, closes them up and resumes delivery. They call this “interdiction.” The NSA considers this among “the most productive operations” that allow TAO to obtain access to networks “around the world.”

A Dutch magazine published an article in November exposing another NSA program used to download information from cell phones — the Apple iPhones are said to be particularly vulnerable to this. Contact lists and other private information are being fed into the NSA databases.

Clearly the NSA spy program is not simply a case of an expanding government bureaucracy. It is designed to serve the ruthless competitive goals of the largest U.S. banks and corporations. That is, of course, consistent with all the activities of the capitalist government. And it can and almost certainly is used against peoples’ movements around the world.

Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who wrote the first stories based on materials from Snowden, pointed out in an interview with democracynow.org that while the U.S. government has attacked the Chinese government for conducting electronic spying and placing spyware hardware and software on the computers that it sells, it has not proven these charges. However, the U.S. NSA expanding spyware programs are doing this very thing on a massive scale.

Revelations of the NSA spy programs have generated public outrage. With growing resistance to the capitalist crisis both here and abroad, it is clear that the U.S. is sharpening its tools of repression. This NSA campaign of electronic warfare must be stopped now!

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/02/14/leaked-documents-tell-nsa-spy-programs/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Greatest Threat To World Peace: The United States of America [Commondreams.org / Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Canada, Mexico, Pentagon, Russia, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on January 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Sarah Lazare

Jan 1, 2014

Over 12 years into the so-called “Global War on Terror,” the United States appears to be striking terror into the hearts of the rest of the world.

In their annual End of Year survey, Win/Gallup International found that the United States is considered the number one “greatest threat to peace in the world today” by people across the globe.

The poll of 67,806 respondents from 65 countries found that the U.S. won this dubious distinction by a landslide, as revealed in the chart below…

[Chart shows US is considered greatest threat to world peace by 24% of respondents.]

The BBC explains that the U.S. was deemed a threat by geopolitical allies as well as foes, including a significant portion of U.S. society.

Predictable in some areas (the Middle East and North Africa) but less so in others. Eastern Europe’s 32% figure may be heavily influenced by Russia and Ukraine [???], but across most of Western Europe there are also lots of figures in the high teens.

In the Americas themselves, decades of US meddling have left an awkward legacy. Its neighbours, Mexico (37%) and Canada (17%), clearly have issues [sic]. Even 13% of Americans see their own country as a danger.

Full article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/greatest-threat-to-world-peace-the-united-states-of-america/5363302

White Supremacy: Exploring the Contours of Race and Power in America [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Genocide, George W. Bush, India, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Obama, US imperialism, USA on May 19, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Anthony Mustacich

May 11, 2013

It is widely believed that white supremacy is a racist ideology of hatred promoted by marginal extremist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nations. Often overlooked and neglected in this view are the structural inequalities that ensure the continued supremacy of whites over non-whites in all facets of social life. Also conveniently disregarded are the more subtle, yet frequent and numerous, manifestations of white supremacy that are woven into the fabric of Amerikan culture. In this sense, white supremacy is just as much of a social reality as it is an ideology. Indeed the two often go hand in hand, although this isn’t always the case.

There are many white people who hold supreme positions in the social hierarchy, over and above the masses of non-white people, without consciously adhering to any white supremacist ideology. This essay will explore the complex reality of white supremacy in America, examining its existence in the social structure, analyzing its cultural expressions, considering some of its ideological forms, and finally investigating its causes.

There can be little doubt that while supremacy is built into the very social structure of America when one considers the fact that the politico-economic structure of the U.S. was designed bywhite people to serve the interests of white people. For example, the Constitutional Congress that created the American government consisted of 55 members and all of them were white, while 15 of them were African slave owners (Beard, pp.74-151).

There were absolutely zero Blacks, Latinos or Native Americans involved in forming the government of the U.S. To this day only one non-white has ever attained the presidency of the U.S. government, while Blacks make up only 7% of the U.S. Congress, with Latinos making up only 4% (Henschen and Sidlow, p. 110). Although subordinate races have now been assimilated into Amerikan society, the social structure still functions in such a way that maintains the supremacy of whites, excepting certain token reforms such as Affirmative Action. A simple look at the empirical data confirms this.

Aside from the political structure, virtually even,’ social indicator unequivocally confirms that whites are levels above non-whites in the most essential domains of social life.1The supremacy of whites on the economic terrain is indisputable and highly instructive. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, in 2005 the median family income for whites was $62,300, compared to just $36,075,$38,558 and $37,387 for Blacks, Natives and Latinos respectively (U.S. Census Bureau [USCBJ. 2009. p. 38).

The CQ Researcher reported that in 2002 the median weekly income for white workers was $624, while Black workers earned $498 and Latinos a mere $423 (CQ Researcher [CQR], 2003, p. 601). In 2005, the poverty rate for white families was only 6.3%, while a staggering 23.4% of Black families, 21.1% of Native homes, and 21.4% of Latino households lived below the poverty line (LTSCB. pp. 38-39). And finally, the real unemployment rate for whites was 9.5%, compared to 37% of Blacks and 31% of Latinos (USCB, 374). All of these statistics illustrate the fact that whites in Amerika collectively enjoy economic privileges over and above their Black. Native and Latino counterparts.

There arc also glaring discrepancies in the domains of education and healthcare.

In 2005 86.1% of whites graduated high school, compared to 80.7% of Blacks and only 59.3% of Latinos. In the realm of higher education 28.4% of whites had college degrees, compared to just 18.5% of Blacks and 12.4% of Latinos (USCB. 145). A good generalmeasure of a people’s quality of healthcare is found in the infant mortality rate. In 2004, the infant mortality rate for whites was 5.7 per 100,000, compared to 13.8 for Blacks (ibid., p. 81).

Equally revealing is the fact that in 2005 only 14% of whites were without health insurance, while 20% of Blacks and a whopping 32% of Latinos were uninsured (ibid., p. 107). Although numbers can’t convey the human dimensions of emotion and suffering involved in these differences, they do make clear the objective disparities that exist between whites and non-whites in these crucial realms of social life. These disparities indicate that white supremacy is not merely a matter of personal prejudice, but rather a social reality rooted in the basic structure of Amerikan society.

White supremacy is not only built into the social structure of America, it is also deeply embedded in Amerikan culture. Many day-to-day instances of white supremacy are so commonplace they go practically unnoticed by most people. These are virtually impossible to quantify since they only play out on a subjective level, although many of them do have very tangible consequences. In his 2006 book Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, author Michael Eric Dyson points out that “although one may not have racial intent, one’s actions may nonetheless have racial consequence” (p. 20). Using Hurricane Katrina as an example, he shows how government negligence, although not the result of “active malice,” was ultimately caused by a “passive indifference” to the plight of poor Blacks in New Orleans. In other words, the Bush administration’s response, or lack thereof, to Hurricane Katrina was probably not motivated by a desire to see impoverished Blacks destroyed, but it didn’t really care enough to save them from ruin either. No matter the case, poor Blacks ended up suffering more than whites. Indeed, as Dyson goes on to explain:

“…active malice and passive indifference are but flip sides of the same racial coin… if one conceives of racism as a cell phone, then active malice is the ring tone at its highest volume, while passive indifference is the ring tone on vibrate. In either case, whether loudly or silently, the consequence is the same: a call is transmitted, a racial meaning is communicated.” (Dyson, pp. 20-21)

Today most expressions of white supremacy take this form of passive indifference, allowing many whites to sit back in relative comfort and privilege while non-whites suffer the effects of while supremacy.

As was pointed out earlier, one need not adhere to white supremacist ideology to benefit from its effects. It has been empirically demonstrated that whites collectively enjoy a relative privilege over and above non-whites in the most important areas of social life- in the political structure, the economic structure, the educational structure, and even in the healthcare system. This is true whether or not individual whites are racist. The social reality of white supremacy is a fact beyond dispute, albeit still disputed. The ideology of white supremacy seeks to rationalize this social arrangement by attributing to white people an inherent superiority that makes their supremacy seem natural. Whereas most whites seek to ignore or deny their privilege, the white supremacist ideologue takes pride in it and seeks to justify, protect and expand it.Historically white supremacist ideology has taken on two main forms. The first is in the form of Christianity, from its very inception, America has always been a devoutly religious country, although today there is a noticeable trend towards secularism in urban cities and industrial areas. In his 2006 book American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, author Kevin Phillips notes that Amcrica is one of the most religious nations in the world, ranking alongside Israel, India and Iran (pp. 100-101). According to recent polls, 98% of Amerikans believe in the Christian God and 55% believe that the Bible is literally true, both percentages being much higher than in any other industrialized nation (ibid, p.98). What makes Israel and the U.$. unique in all of this, according to Phillips, is that each holds a widespread conviction that they share a sort of “covenant” with God and have a special relationship with Him as His “chosen people.”

In the case of the U.$., this ”covenant” pledged that the settlers would strictly adhere to “God’s Word” with a heavy emphasis on Old Testament scripture, in exchange for God’s paternal protection in the hostile “wilderness” of Amerika (ibid, pp. 125-131). This notion that Amcrikans [sic] have a covenant with God led to the imperial doctrine of “manifest destiny,” which asserted that it was God’s will for the white man to conquer and dominate all of North Amerika. Obviously African slaves and Native Americans were not part of this covenant. In fact they were among the very threats that the settlers were expecting God to protect them from. Most settlers viewed Africans and Indians as heathens, which allowed them to justify their subjugation and exploitation of the “heathens” on religious grounds.

This form of white supremacist ideology finds its ultimate expression in the modern-day doctrine of the Christian Identity movement. This doctrine “holds that white people arc the genuine descendants of the Biblical Hebrews… Jews and Blacks are the devil’s spawn” (CQR, 2009, p. 433). Although this teaching is rejected by mainstream Christians, many settlers believed that Africans were the cursed descendants of Noah’s son Abraham, and that slavery was in fact God’s punishment being inflicted on the wicked African heathens. Either way, Christianity was used to justify white supremacy, African slavery and indigenous genocide.

The second main form of white supremacy cloaks itself in secular language and masquerades as science. It is well known that Europeans have frequently devised bogus scientific constructs to justify their colonial conquests of non-European peoples. Scholar Samir Amin observed that genetics has been used to claim “that biological traits, sometimes called ‘racial’ characteristics, are the source of cultural diversity and create hierarchy within diversity” (Amin. 1989. p. 97). Now largely discredited in Europe, these pseudo-scientific theories took on a new impetus in Amerika with the 1994 publication of Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s controversial book The Bell Curve: Intelligence und Class Structure in American Life. Drawing on a long tradition of imperial discourse, the authors argued that all races arc genetically predisposed to a general level of cognitive ability or IQ. Whites are shown to possess a much higher IQ than Blacks, Natives and Latinos, which accounts for their supremacy in social life (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994, pp. 319-339).

The authors claim that the reason non­whites tend to be the most impoverished, the most dependent on welfare, the most susceptible to crime and the most unemployed is because they have relatively low IQ levels. According to this logic, non-whites are not the victims of white supremacy; they arc simply condemned by nature to occupy the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy. The authors intended their book to be an argument against Affirmative Action. This type of self-serving logic is nothing more than an attempt to rationalize white supremacy and scale back some of the token reforms that non-whites won during the Civil Rights struggle.

There is a trend of thought amongst some of those who have been most victimized by white supremacy to attribute it to some malicious evil inherent to white people. This view is somewhat understandable to anyone who is familiar with the historical record of colonialism, the Atlantic slave trade or modern imperialism, but it falls short of supplying us with a materialist understanding of history and at times borders on the absurd. The most extreme expression of this type of thinking is found in the religious doctrine of the Nation of Islam (N.O.I ), which has had a considerable influence on Blacks in Amerika.

According to the N.O.I., white people have attained supremacy of the world through deceit, murder, slavery, rape, plunder, and all sorts of barbarity—which is true enough. But the N.O.I. claims that whites are wicked and immoral by nature. Elijah Muhammcd, founder of the N.O.I., taught that about sixty-six hundred years ago, the earth was a paradise inhabited by a highly advanced Black civilization. As the story goes, these Blacks were the original humans and they were righteous practitioners of Islam. Greed, murder, rape and evil were unknown to them. But along came a rogue scientist named Yacub who became discontent and embittered towards God. Out of spite he decided to unleash havoc upon the earth, ‘through genetic engineering he created a race of genetically recessive white “devils” that would destroy the Black man’s civilization and rule the world for six thousand years. The whites used trickery and deceit to set the Blacks against each other and eventually conquered the planet through murder, pillage and savagery (Malcolm X, 1965, pp. 173-183). From a historical standpoint this is obviously a religious myth, no different from the Christian Identity narrative. However it does have a certain emotional appeal to many who have suffered the vicious effects of white supremacy.

To avoid falling into these metaphysical traps which inevitably lead to simplistic reductions that depict whites as inherently evil, it is necessary to place our analysis of while supremacy in the historical context of European capitalist development. In his groundbreaking 1989 study Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat, author J. Sakai offers a historical materialist interpretation of America that provides us with a solid theoretical framework for understanding white supremacy. He suggests that “the key to understanding Amerika is to see that it was a chain of European settler colonies that expanded into a settler empire” (Sakai, 1989, p. 5). Adding the concept of settler colonialism into our analysis allows as to see that capitalism was the driving force behind European immigration to North Amerika, the genocide committed against the Native Americans and the African slave trade. It will be shown on the basis of Sakai’s analysis that Europeans aren’t wicked by nature, but rather they were compelled to expand to every comer of the world, conquering non-Europeans in the process, by the very logic of the capitalist system: accumulation.

As the capitalist order was consolidated upon the ruins of feudal Europe, vicious class struggles were unleashed all across England. Millions of peasants were driven off their lands into the urban towns where they became wage laborers (i.e. proletarians). Living conditions were unimaginably miserable so that ”participating in the settler invasion of North America was a relatively easy way out of the desperate class struggle in England for those seeking a privileged life” (Sakai, p. 5). What compelled people to leave their homelands and travel across the Atlantic was “the chance to share in conquering Indian land” (ibid. p. 5). Thus it was the material conditions of capitalist development in England, combined with a desire for land, that drove so many Europeans to settle in colonial Amerika.

The problem was that North America was already inhabited by some 300 indigenous nations, encompassing over 10 million people (Sakai, p. 7). As the European influx continued and accelerated, it became necessary for the settlers to expand further westward, deeper into Indian territory. This brought the Natives and the settlers increasingly into conflict. Naturally the Indians were not eager to give up more of their lands, so the settlers simply “killed off millions of Native Americans to get the land and profits they wanted” (ibid, p. 7). Between 1600 and 1900 the Indian population was reduced from 10 million to approximately 250,000 (ibid. p. 7). Sakai observes that “the point is that genocide was not an accident, not an excess, not the unintended side-effect of virile European growth. Genocide was the necessary- and deliberate act of the capitalists and their settler shock-troops. The ’Final Solution’ to the ‘Indian Problem…’” (ibid. p.7). Whites didn’t kill the Natives simply because they were racist and hated them, but rather, they killed them for their land plain and simple, using racism to justify their conquests. Once all the land was taken, the genocide stopped—or at least became less explicit.

Another problem the settlers confronted was that there was a major labor shortage in the colonies. Since the majority of settlers owned their own farmlands, there were very few, if any, wage laborers. At the time of the War of Independence, 15% of the population were temporary workers who would soon move on to become small capitalist farmers, while only 5% were laborers (Sakai, p. 10. emphasis mine). To solve this problem the settlers simply imported millions of African slaves to do all the necessary work of building up the colonies. There were white indentured servants too, but they were generally freed after four years of service and then moved on to become small farmers or small capitalists of some sort (ibid, p. 11). Not all whites owned slaves, but all benefited from slavery in some way. For example, slavery allowed white laborers to earn wages at least double those of their European counterparts—sometimes even earning up to six rimes more (ibid. p. 11. emphasis mine). Sakai points out that what’s important isn’t “…the individual ownership of slaves, but rather the fact that world capitalism in general and Euro-Amerikan capitalism in specific had forged a slave-based economy inwhich all settlers gained and took part” (ibid. p. 8). All of these factors go to show that the material basis of Amerika, from the beginning, was the oppression and exploitation of non-whites. Genocide and slavery are the twin pillars that hold Amerika up.

Throughout Amerikan history, whites have always had power over and above Natives, Blacks and Latinos. There is literally no point in history where this hasn’t been true. White supremacy is, and always has been, a basic reality of Amerikan life. The ideology of white supremacy, and racism more generally, is merely a cultural expression of this reality. As Noam Chomsky remarked,

“If you’re sitting with your boot on somebody’s neck, you’re going to hate them, because that’s the only way you can justify what you’re doing, so subjugation automatically yields racism” (Chomsky, 2004, p. 567).

In this sense, it is not SO much racist thinking that is the problem, but rather the material conditions which give rise to such thoughts.

Eradicating white supremacy is not simply a matter of reeducating prejudiced whites to appreciate cultural diversity, but involves a much more concrete and systematic social approach. What is essential is that the relationship of power between whites and non-whites be changed. Justice dictates that white Americans right the wrongs of their ancestors since they all benefit, directly and indirectly, from the crimes of Amerika’s past. Reparations should be paid in the form of land and capital to all descendants of African slaves in America as well as all Native American nations. The Amerikan territory stolen from Mexico in the nineteenth century should likewise be returned to Mexico with full compensation. These are concrete steps that Amerika can take to desettlerize and give up the luxuries of white supremacy.

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/white-supremacy-exploring-the-contours-of-race-and-power-in-america/5334690