What Will Be the Future Post-Coronavirus?

Rishi Ji: This blog has been my companion and a source of intellectual nourishment since 2012. I go around posting links on India and Hinduism all over YouTube, and I bet Robert gets a lot of hits through that alone (rabid Indians coming over). I demand, in these tough times that Robert pay me a small amount of money (Just kidding hehe).

On a serious note what do you guys think the future is gonna be like? Can Robert create a topic on this subject? This virus has had a traumatic effect on us as a species the likes of which I doubt have ever been seen. Bigger than 9/11 or even WW2 in my opinion.

What will be the future once (hoping) things resume? Will there be a renewed kindling of all people or we will revert back to the same baloney we were used to? Will China be held accountable in any way?

Surely globalization as a concept will take a hit. I would love a topic- a philosophical one on this subject here. Last month this time I was chilling with my joint pondering which game to play on my PS4, and now it looks like the apocalypse. Robert- you fear death? You are above 60, does the thought enter your mind?

Great comment from Rishi Ja here.

I will let the rest of you all use the comments section to comment about the important questions that Rishi is bringing up.

Thing about aging is you start to think about death a lot. I think about it all the time, pretty much every day and even quite a few times throughout the day. It’s not a terrifying thought like it used to be, so I suppose I have come to some peace about it. It’s not really depressing either. It’s hard to say what I think about it. I just do is all. It’s hard to explain.

It really is good to frame your mortality in your mind as you go about your life. Ideally, it should enable you to try to get as much out of life as possible.

Of course I am very worried about this virus. But I’m a bastard and a rebel, and I pretty much rebel against everything, in part because I’m sort of an asshole, and nobody tells me to do anything. As a matter of fact, I have a date tomorrow and a hot young 22 year old cutie says she’s driving up here to visit me. She’s 40 years younger than me! She explicitly stated that she wants to fuck when she gets here.

We are all supposed to be quarantining, but I will make an exception for dating. I don’t think dating is a big deal. Dating is one on one and that’s not a huge risk. The real risk is crowds. Not only that but close contact with infected people. Close contact has been defined as 10+ minutes within 6 feet or closer to an infected person.

85% of cases in China were spread within the family inside of the house. So prolonged close contact with an infected person seems to be the way it is going. Obviously some people get it outside the house and bring it back, very close prolonged contact follows, and that’s what really spreads it bigtime.

I don’t have any symptoms. Well I do, but they are due to allergies (cough) and asthma (shortness of breath). I know these symptoms very well, and I am certain that the COVID-19 symptoms are quite different.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. People are social distancing in lines at the grocery store. Workers all wear gloves. At the local clinic, workers wore masks and sometimes gloves too. They were shuttling all patients out of the waiting room to individual rooms or out to their cars to wait to be called. Grocery stores are only letting in 50 people at a time. A gas station has a plastic window up between customers and the cashier. Gas stations are deserted.

I was out on Sunday morning, and the town was dead. Most of the people on the streets were homeless, and they were quite prominent. Never realized we had so many in this city. The freeway is almost deserted.

So far this county of 100,000 people has 6 cases, five (or up to 7-8) of them connected to one man, a police officer who works in a nearby county, who probably got it on the job and gave it to his father who lives with him. They then gave it to three more people. In addition, 2-3 more of their contacts have symptoms. All cases are in this city of 60,000 where I live.

The first case in the county, an elderly man in the foothills, has recovered. Five of the six active cases are hospitalized, no doubt in the local hospital where I have elective surgery coming up with pre-op on Thursday. I am wondering whether to cancel it.

One thing I have noticed is how very friendly everyone is when you go out. Cashiers and other workers, fellow shoppers, even just people walking about. Everyone is so nice and kind, even people who are not normally like that. Not sure if I get it except that maybe disasters tend to bring people together, as we finally realize that we are all in this shit together and how much we all depend on solidarity with each other to stay alive and function.

It’s a great time for socialist consciousness, and it’s really exposing how utterly bankrupt neoliberal capitalism really is and how it is literally an out and out death cult.

My phone company is forgoing all bills and late fees for two months, but I think I will pay anyway, as we will probably owe more at the end. Utility company is doing the same, and all cut-offs will be stopped for two months time. Credit card companies don’t seem to be giving breaks. Might be nice if the landlord would blow off the rent, but that’s probably asking too much. I hope to pay my Internet and utility bills anyway this month.

Really this quarantine bullshit is not so different from my day to day life sadly, so this is really nothing new for me.

Your Enemy Doesn’t Exist? Create Him! Your Enemy is a Nice Guy? Force Him to Act Bad!

Jason: There’s not much the small can do but be a bitch of the strong, and the Cubans figured Russia was way nicer to get along with and far away enough.

Sure, what are you going to do? Keep kissing your enemy’s feet and pleading with him to be nice or tell him to fuck off and go ally with anyone else, even his worst enemy if the new guy is offering the peace pipe at a ridiculous discount? Humans aren’t stupid.

I can’t believe we blame Castro for going Commie. We pretty much shove Castro into Communism. By the way, we did that to a lot of places. You want to demonize someone but they don’t act bad yet? Simple. Deviously manipulate them to make them act bad and turn them into your enemy.

All shitty countries and people do this. The US, Israel, Turkey, the Gulf Arabs, the EU, the Latin American Right, and fascists and capitalists (same thing) in general name it. If your enemy doesn’t exist, fucking create him, dammit! If your enemy acts good, force him to act bad, dammit!

And then in your shitty controlled propaganda media, demonize your newly created enemy as your enemy, meaning he is out to screw you, and watch the hundreds of millions of Normietards eat it right up. The biggest joke in the whole world is that human beings are smart. LOL! Come on. If we were really as brilliant as we crow that we are, there is no way that we would ever fall for this nakedly and embarrassingly transparent dishonesty, but nope, we fall for it all the time.

An intelligent species is relatively inoculated against most basic scams on the account of its brains alone. Obviously we ain’t very smart at all if we can’t think our way out of these scams on our minds. I think that is why they are trying to shut down the Dissident Net.

The Dissident Net is tearing away the curtain, revealing the wizard at the helm as nothing but a scam artist, and is showing that the emperor’s arguments in his state and media are as naked as his garb. The Dissident Net is showing Westerners how to think. Since we absolutely do not have any sort of freedom of press at all in the West, this is the only thing that they fear more than anything else: the day their propaganda just doesn’t work anymore.

Alt Left: An Overview of the Early Years of the Cuban Revolution, 1954-1961

transformer: What do you think of this article Robert? I don’t trust right wing sources but how literate was Cuba back in 1959?

That website is falsely named. It is not an “intellectual” website dedicated to the intellect and the pursuit of knowledge. Sure, it is an erudite, bright, and educated website, but the only intellectuals it appeals to are hard rightwingers. It’s basically the philosophy of your average American conservative Republican. Those sites are run by ideologues, and they are not very honest.

I will try to take apart this argument as best as I can, but if you Google these questions, there are many leftwing websites who offer far better rejoinders than I offer here, especially with more facts, figures, and dates.

That argument is not good because there was vast poverty in the countryside along with terrible health and dental care. There was vast inequality in Cuba. There was quite a bit of wealth in the cities, particularly in Havana, but the conditions in the countryside were awful, pure 3rd World.

To give an example, I believe that there may have been no doctors in Cuba outside of Havana. All of the doctors and dentists lived in Havana serving people with money for cash so they could make a lot of money. The Mafia owned Cuba, and Havana was a sleazefest full of criminals, gangsters, and prostitutes.

Blacks had essentially no rights at all. They actually lived under a strict Jim Crow-like segregation that was as bad as what existed in the South. The Blacks in Cuba were fucked.

The whole country was owned by foreign, mostly US, interests, including the sugar cane and tobacco fields, the cigar and nickel industries and the casinos and bars. A few country-sellers latched onto the large US corporations that ran everything in Cuba and got their fair share of the loot.

But the Cuban people as a whole, meaning the Cuban state, barely saw a nickel of profits from any of those foreign-owned fields and industries. There also was little or no trickle down effect from the foreign-owned industry. Most Cubans felt that Cuba had once more become a colony of the US. After all, it was more or less owned by US companies, right?

Cuba used to be a colony of the US. We stole it from the Spanish after the Spanish American War. US rule was not popular. Jose Marti is known as the liberator of Cuba. He led an insurrection in 1898 in which Cuba gained its freedom. The Philippines was also rebelling at this time.

But after the US left, in 1911, a new law was passed called the Platt (?) Amendment that basically said that the US still ruled Cuba and had a right to intervene in Cuba’s affairs anytime it wanted to.

Even the most rightwing anti-Castro Cubans are not particularly pro-US, and if you bring up that amendment, they’ve all heard of it, and they act angry about. After all, most anti-Castro types are Cuban nationalists. Cubans are very nationalistic and proud people. That amendment remained in place until Castro won the revolution in 1959.

Batista’s army collapsed without even much of a fight because at one point in the revolution, even the middle classes in the cities went over to Castro. When the middle class supports a revolution, you are out of power. Previously the middle class had probably been mostly neutral.

Batista was also horribly corrupt and no one was happy about that. As Castro overran Havana, Batista and his government flew out to the US on airplanes. The US lifted them out. There are still quite a few pro-Batista Cubans in the Cuban community in Cuba. That’s why the Cuban exiles are not popular in Cuba.

A lot of Cubans in the countryside were not literate. Even schooling was bad out there. And Castro did run a literacy program that got the country to 99% literacy very quickly.

Castro was middle or even upper-class himself. He was Galician of almost pure Spanish blood (Cuba is full of Galicians). He had just graduated from law school, and he was in fact an attorney. So he was a very smart guy.

Che was actually a physician! He graduated from medical school in Argentina and was granted a license to practice medicine. I’m not sure if he ever actually practiced medicine. He was also a very smart guy.

Che took a motorcycle tour around Latin America, and he was appalled at the poverty he saw there. He had grown up in Buenos Aires in a moneyed family, and this was a hidden secret about the continent for him. A book called The Motorcycle Diaries was later published using the notes he took as he traveled around South America.

He became radicalized by his bike tour. He heard about the Revolution in Cuba, and he went there to help them out pure idealism with stars in his eyes. Che was also White like Castro and came from old Buenos Aires money. He probably had Italian and Spanish blood at the least, like most Argentines.

He married in Cuba and had a couple of kids before he was murdered by the CIA in a hospital in Bolivia in 1967 after being arrested in the nation for rebellion. He was very good to his wife and young children. The wife and children are still alive. You can even go see his son if you go to Cuba and have the right connections.

His wife and kids remember him very fondly. Che was a selfless and altruistic man. There is a slogan in Cuba: “Be like Che.” It is very popular. It means to be selfless and idealistic and sacrifice for others, to not be selfish and greedy. The slogan is popular among university students in particular. If you go to Cuba, you will hear Cuban university students, male and female, saying that their philosophy is to “be like Che.”

There must have been something wrong with the Batista system because a lot of university students, teachers, etc. took part in the early demonstrations against Batista. At some point, the Left went to the mountains and took up arms.

Either before or after, Batista ran death squads that rampaged through Cuba’s cities, murdering teachers, students, and the unarmed Left in general. They murdered thousands of defenseless and unarmed Cubans this way.

The army would not even fight for Batista. That’s how corrupt he was. In fact, many of the anti-Castro Cubans fought with Castro in the mountains to get rid of Batista, but they turned on him when he went Communist. They felt betrayed. I don’t mind these exiles so much. I have spoken with some of their children. At least they fought with Castro. But they tend to be very bitter. They think they got double-crossed and backstabbed by Castro.

Castro was originally simply a social democrat, and the initial revolutionary program was a social democratic one.

However, it was a very nationalistic revolution, and they started seizing foreign-owned businesses very quickly. The Cubans offered to pay off the owners for the market value of the businesses over a 30-year period. That offer it still in effect. 100% of the people and corporations who got their property taken turned down that offer, possibly out of pride and certainly out of ideology.

So their businesses didn’t really get confiscated. Castro offered to pay full value for them, but these stubborn reactionaries turned down the offer. It’s their own damn fault they lost their businesses.

The seizing of the foreign-owned property went on for a couple of years and was extremely popular among the extremely nationalistic Cubans. So you can see that Castro’s revolution, like Mao’s and Ho’s, was also and perhaps primarily a nationalist revolution.

Castro went to New York soon after he took power, and he was greeted with large crowds of cheering supporters. Castro talked about how much he loved America and Americans. I believe he was sincere. A lot of the US ruling class – the rich and corporations – were very suspicious of Castro from the start. They didn’t trust him. They didn’t hate him. They were just very leery of him.

Castro asked for US support and aid to help rebuild the country, but the US had turned hostile  by then due to the business confiscations and refused to give him a nickel. This went on for a couple of years with each side getting more hardened until Castro finally turned to the USSR in desperation in 1961 for support since the US was flipping him off.

Castro’s argument was that he tried to have a relationship with the US, and we told him to go to Hell, so we forced him into the arms of the Soviets. He sealed an alliance with the USSR in 1961. The US promptly imposed a cruel embargo on Cuba which has been there ever since.

The embargo’s official justification was to cause so much poverty and misery in Cuba that the people would rise up and overthrow Castro. Here it is 60 years later, and we still give the exact same reason for the embargo. If the embargo is intended to cause the people to overthrow Castro, when is it going to start working? So far it’s been 60 years of utter failure, but we keep chasing the White Whale.

Over the next year, Castro grew increasingly radical, and by 1962, he abandoned social democracy, his originally ideology, and took up Marxism-Leninism. After Castro went Communist, a lot of his old comrades turned against him along with many others who were not happy with his turn to the hard Left. These contras took up arms, formed guerrilla bands in the mountains, and waged a brutal civil war that went on until 1970.

Yes, the Cuban government executed 10,000 people between 1959-1970, but almost all were for “rebellion,” typically armed rebellion. There have hardly been any executions since.

Alt Left: Social Democracy Only Works in Homogeneous Societies Is Often but Not Completely True

RL:

The US and a handful of other countries are literally the only countries on this planet that regard social democracy with outrage and want nothing to do with it.

A commenter responds:

Mithridates: Yeah, I suspect much of this attitude stems from the ethnic divisions within the US that no one is ever allowed to talk about in any sort of frank or intellectually honest manner. Of course the Pluto/Mammon-worship inherent in the American mythos is a influential factor as well.

But let’s explore the first:

Basically, Ethnos A, the group responsible for most of the country’s productivity, is forced at gunpoint to redistribute a portion of their wealth to Ethnos B (and C in some regions), and a good portion of Ethnos B takes that money, pisses it away on all sorts of stupid instant gratification fuckery and doesn’t add much of anything to the country’s overall productivity; in fact, a sizable minority of Ethnos B behaves in public like zoo animals.

And then A’s gets called horrible bigots if they object to this, and especially if they object to being forced to live within shouting distance of B’s.

Most of the countries with working social democratic economic arrangements tend to have been ethnically homogeneous for most of the period when these systems were in place. And now these countries have tried the mass immigration experiment, and the same sort of shitty results is happening in those places that we here in the US have been experiencing for many decades now.

Natural Law says that humans are extra-clever social primates who are predisposed to be open to sharing among others they consider to be kin. There’s a certain other Ethnos I won’t mention by name or even a single-letter set of punctuation marks that exemplifies this principle very clearly.

Anyway, expecting all members of an Ethnos to consider the entire planet’s population of clever hominids to be a part of their kin group is quite an aberrant expectation; only weird ideologies can invert what to everyone else is a common sense understanding of Natural Law principles. And finally, loving one’s own kin does not necessarily mean hating other kin-groups.

Of course everyone has always known that this is the dirty little secret for Americans’ hostility to socialism. This is why all of the American White Nationalists are also hardline economic Rightists, Republicans and Libertarians despite this being bad for most Whites. Race trumps economics for a lot of folks. Whereas in Europe, most of the nationalist groups, even the White nationalists, are explicitly socialist.

You’d be pissed to, eh?

Actually I am fully aware of this argument, but I’m not pissed at all. For one thing, I have never been part of the wealthy White group, so Whites with money can go pound sand. They are my class enemies. I think in terms of economics. Screw race. Do the rich Whites want to help the poorer Whites? Of course not. So why should I support them. Also I know quite a few low-income Whites who use those redistributive programs that Whites hate so much.

On the other hand, I am not a typical White person. I am very hard to the Left; in fact, I am an out and out socialist.

Many countries have health care for all despite being ethnically diverse. However, in a lot of these countries, public health care and education is simply underfunded, so the dominant group, whoever they may be, simply goes to private hospitals and schools. India is an excellent example of this as is much of Latin America.

All of the Arab World has social democracy under the rubric of Islam, or in the case of Lebanon, ethnic peace, and Lebanon is unstable for ethnic/religious reasons. And some Arab countries with prominent religious of ethnic minorities are very unstable or at war.

All of North Africa has social democracy except Morocco, although minority Berbers are dealt with by denial of their existence and roping them into the main group, Arabs. Ethiopia has tremendous ethnic diversity and some religious diversity, but they have a good working socialist system. Eritrea is the same but the main divide there is religious rather than ethnic.

Zimbabwe has a good working system although it has many tribes. Argentina and formerly Bolivia and Ecuador has or had working social democracies, although all three countries had serious instabilities; in all cases the rich objecting to sharing with the poor and with a racial element in Bolivia. A number of countries in Latin America do have social democracies, but they don’t work very well because the rich don’t want to share with the poor.

In a number of those countries such as Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Haiti,and Mexico also have an ethnic element in that the dominant rich group tends to be Whiter or lighter-skinned though not usually White per who don’t want to share with the poorer, darker, folks who are more mixed with Indian and in some cases Blacks.

A number of countries in Latin America have homogeneous populations, but the rich still don’t want to share with the poor, so that doesn’t solve everything. And historically speaking, most nations were quite homogeneous, nevertheless the rich still shared just about fuck all with everyone else and needed an actual revolution to be convinced to do so.

Russia and China has very good working social democracies although they have many minorities, although China and to some extent Russia has some ethnic warfare. Ukraine has a good system despite minorities and ethnic warfare. Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, and Laos have good systems despite having anywhere to a couple to many ethnic minorities. Malaysia has a working social democracy and it has a large ethnic divide. Japan has minorities with an excellent social democracy.

Most of the former Soviet republics probably still have working systems although most have large minority populations.Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran have social democracies and minority groups. However, in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran are currently embroiled in ethnic separatist wars.

Most of the countries with non-working systems are not only rightwing but also quite poor. Hong Kong is an exception. The government is very rightwing, but there are not ethnic problems. It’s all one ethnic group, but the rich ones hate the poor ones, just as it was traditionally.

Some are just poor. Most of Africa has social democracy, but it often doesn’t work well due to poverty. To some extent this is true in Pakistan, Mongolia, Yemen, Moldova, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, and Thailand. It is also true in Ecuador, Guatemala, most of the Caribbean, Chile, and Paraguay. In these places, social democracy doesn’t work more due to poverty than to diversity.

Alt Left: Refuting Western Media and State Lies about Iran

The Evil Basij Repress the Vast Majority of Iranians

The media in the West says there is this evil group called the Basij who come out and break up every demonstration, no matter how peaceful, with serious violence. Supposedly the vast majority of Iranians are being oppressed by this tiny group of thugs.

First of all, the Basij is simply something like the National Guard of Iran. The Basij has an incredible membership of 11 million men; in other words, an amazing 42% of Iranian men are part of the Basij. The Basij is not some tiny horrible group of monsters oppressing the vast majority of Iranians. The Basij is literally the Iranian people themselves, an army of the people if there ever was one.

Demonstrations, No Matter How Peaceful, Are Not Allowed in Iran and Are Always Broken Up with Violence

This is absolute nonsense. Though Iran is not Cuba where the only people who demonstrate are the Ladies in White – the wives and family members of political prisoners, neither is it China where there are 500 demonstrations every single day.

Instead it is somewhere in between. Nevertheless there are demonstrations all the time in Iran, practically every day, the vast majority of them are peaceful, and nothing ever happens. Khameini himself recently affirmed the Iranian people’s right to demonstrate peacefully about a wide range of issues.

The Peaceful Demonstrations about a Fuel Price Hike Got Broken up by Evil Regime Elements, Killing 1,500 demonstrators

First of all, that death toll is way off. It’s inflated by at least five times. The highest reasonable toll for those killed during the demonstrations is 300. Furthermore, the demonstrations that were broken up were not about the fuel hike, and they were certainly not peaceful. On the contrary, they were extremely violent, and from day one, they were advocating the violent overthrow of the government. In fact, they were actually trying to do just that – violently overthrow the government.

Here’s the truth about what happened.

Yes, there were large demonstrations about the fuel hike. The demonstrations were dumb though. Iranian gasoline is massively subsidized by the state to the point where Iranians  pay ~10 cents/gallon for gas. The state simply cannot afford to keep subsidizing gas at that level, especially with the extreme sanctions it is under.

Furthermore, the regime advocated only a small raise in price from ~10 cents/gallon to ~20 cents/gallon. So what. In addition, all of the money saved by raising the gas price was going to be given to support the poor of Iran. So the gas hike was necessary, the new price was easily affordable, and the price increase was going for a great cause.

However, these demonstrations, which were all completely peaceful by the way, lasted for only one day. Huge crowds of peaceful protesters showed up to protest the fuel price hikes, and nothing happened to them.

However, at nightfall, violent protesters or rioters showed up, and all the peaceful protesters quickly left. After that it was nothing but violent rioting for a couple of weeks, with ~200,000 mostly young men burning down almost 100 banks and other buildings, destroying everything in sight, and attacking and even killing police.

Furthermore, these violent rioters had already showed up at the peaceful rally on motorcycles and fired on the demonstrators there. So they obviously weren’t there to protest the gas hikes. Instead, as noted, these violent rioters were trying to overthrow the government by force. Most but not all of the dead were violent rioters.

There are indeed demonstrations in Iran that get broken up, often with violence. These demonstrations feature young people, often university students, who are objectively contras or counterrevolutionaries. These demonstrators typically call for the overthrow of the regime either via force or otherwise. Demonstrators yell slogans like “Death to the dictator!” and fly  American and Israeli flags.

The vast majority of Iranians absolutely hate these people. Surveys show that 85% of the population hate these contras, refer to them as traitors, and think that either sufficient force or not enough force was used to put down the riots.

The rioters have no support. Only ~15% support them. However, that boils down to a lot of people. There are ~8 million Iranians who support the violent overthrow of the regime. 8 million people can make a lot of noise and do a lot of damage, but they still only have 15% support.

There Is No Freedom of the Press in Iran

Although there are definitely limits on what you can say in Iran, and some journalists are arrested and sentenced to prison there, the press is freer than you think.

For instance, Iranian social media is a wildly free place swarming with contras. Hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of Iranians regularly post counterrevolutionary material there, often advocating for the violent overthrow of the government. There’s not a lot that the government does about this, as the situation is out of hand. Is Iran really going to arrest 2 million people for speech offenses? Come on.

After the recent accidental shootdown of the  Ukrainian jet in Tehran, I looked at the English language editions of several Iranian papers. I was absolutely stunned by the headlines. All of these papers were furious at the jet shootdown and quite a few articles were demanding the resignation of the government and its replacement with new people.

The truth is that there are two large forces in Iran that are within the revolution. One is called the Reformers and the other is called the Hardliners. Right now, the Hardliners are in charge.

Recently the Reformers captured the presidency of Iran via elections. President Rouhani was a Reformer. However, the Rouhani Administration did not rule very well, and the voters threw them out at the ballot box. Yes, Iran has fairly free and fair elections, although there are occasional cases of vote fraud. Former President Ahmadinejad, a Hardliner, was said to be elected via fraud ion 2009.

Although the Reformers support the revolution, they are quite antagonistic towards the hardliners. All of those papers I saw with those incendiary headlines were run by Reformers. So in that sense, the Iranian media is extremely free.

Surveys of Iranians

Excellent surveys of the Iranian people, some run out of the University of Maryland, paint a completely different picture than the one we get in the Western media.

Surveys show that 78% of the population supports the current system of religious rule, 90% pray every day, 86% hate America, and the same number liked Soleimani. Iranians are very religious people – some of the most religious people on Earth – and Soleimani was the most popular political or military figure in Iran.

The contra riots typically call for an end to Iran’s foreign policy, where it is supporting the armed Shia forces in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon in addition to supporting the Palestinians.

The Western media says the Iranian people are opposed to this foreign policy, which they see as expensive and unaffordable adventurism, but surveys show that ~2/3 of voters support Iran’s support of armed Shia groups in those countries. A similar number also back Iranian support for the Palestinians.

I’ve got some news for brainwashed Westerners. The Iranian Revolution has lots of supporters. Did you see the size of those crowds mourning Soleimani?

Even a lot of these hip young women with their push the limit hijabs you see nowadays showed up in huge numbers. Some of these women were wearing headbands saying things like “I Fight Israel.” I kept seeing photos of these hip young liberal women at the funeral processions, and I thought I must be hallucinating. Except I wasn’t. The media in the West lies constantly about Iran and never tells you the full and true story of what is going on there.

Alt Left: The State of the Alternative Left and Realist Left in the US and around the World

Both the Alt Left and the Realist Left definitely continue to exist. There are Facebook groups, websites, and even a couple of online major magazines for these groups. But both movements are quite small, there are no political parties in the US promoting this view, and as far as I can tell, there are few if any people in national office or even running for national office who are Alt Left or Realist Left.

For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the Alt Left and not the similar but not equivalent Realist Left. The differences between the two movements could be summed up by saying that the Alt Left is further to the left than the Realist Left on economics but further to the right of the Realist Left on social issues.

Some media personalities and political thinkers fall into the category of Alt Left. As an example, I would regard Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, and Chapo Treehouse (the “dirtbag Left’) as Alt Left. They would fall into the category of “Bernie Bros.” There are some male Bernie supporters who are  pretty much Alt Left, but it’s not reflected in the candidate Bernie himself or anyone running along his lines – for example, see “The Squad.”

Interestingly, Bernie used to be part of the anti-Identity Politics Left or so-called “class reductionists.” The Trotskyite World Socialist website of the International Socialist Tendency is in the old Left tradition of class reductionist and  anti-Identity Politics. Most other Trots in the West are extreme SJW’s, as are almost all Western Communists and Leftists.

I would proudly call myself a class reductionist, but it’s used as a term of insult on most of the Left, where it translates to something like “bigot” or “Nazi.” Sanders also used to be a nationalist and the Alt Left is absolutely a nationalist movement, but now Sanders along with the whole Western Left is internationalist, much to their detriment.

There is a sort of an “Alt Left” forming on the Danish and French Left. A couple of the major parties there like Melancon’s in France and the Social Democratic Party in Denmark have taken an anti-immigrant line, a stance which is throwing shock waves through the Left.

Victor Orban in Hungary is said to be a Rightist. In some ways he is, but he has nationalized quite a bit of the economy and promoted huge social spending under the nationalist rubric. If he was in Latin America, we would be calling him a Communist and trying to overthrow him. Orban is virtually Alt Left.

There are also some pretty strange Alt Left-type formations on the Arab Left, especially among Arab nationalists. Keep in mind that Arab nations are very socially conservative, so even the Left parties there reflect that.

The Iranian regime is actually quite far to the Left. Most of the economy is actually nationalized and social spending is huge. They’re almost Marxist in a sense. But they don’t think much of the Cultural Left, so in a sense Iran could be an Alt Left country.

The Russian Communist Party (KPRF) supports Putin, and they are quite socially conservative for a Leftist party. I would absolutely consider the  KPRF to be Alt Left.  Putin himself is rather leftwing believe it or not, but he is very much against the Cultural Left. The Alt Left generally supports Putin, or at least I do, and I consider Putin to be a type of Alt Leftist.

The former Communist regimes were all very much against the Cultural Left, which they called Western bourgeois decadence, so in that sense, most if not all of the former Communist regimes could be thought of as Alt Left. That strain of Communism is pretty much through though.

Things here in the West as far as the Left-Right split have gotten wildly partisan and “party line,” but if you step outside the West, there’s a lot more heterogeneity.

Alt Left: The West Is Complaining about Possible Election Fraud in Guyana

I am trying to see why they might be doing that, as the only time the West bitches about vote fraud is when their guy loses and the guy they didn’t want won. When their guy cheats and steals an election, there’s a mass blackout of the news in the controlled media and in the states of the West.

The basic rule is our guys get to lie, cheat, and steal all they want to, but if their guys do it, we’re going to flip out and declare some sort of a war against them. In fact, if their guys don’t lie, cheat, and steal, we will make up lies and say they do and most shitheads in the West, including almost all liberal Democrats (there’s nothing worse than a liberal Democrat) will believe every word we say because everyone in the West is as brainwashed as a North Korean.

The news has come out after an election in Guyana. The party seeking re-election won in a very close race with some very serious electoral problems. The counting stopped for no reason for days on end and there were more voters on the roles than people. I’m not sure if that adds up to fraud, but it doesn’t look real great.

On the other hand, we really need to know why the West is bitching so much. I mean what’s the reason. The only reason can be that we don’t like the guy who won and we want the guy who lost instead.

Let’s see if that makes sense.

The guy who won is a social democrat and a Leftie. He’s the guy we maybe don’t like. Incidentally, his party has been stealing elections forever, mostly in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I have heard that they knocked it off in recent years, but you never know.

The guy who lost is an out and out Marxist-Leninist. He’s the guy we maybe like.

It already hardly makes sense, right?

Guyana’s politics have been Hard Left for quite some time, but they suck up to the Empire, so no one really cares. This tendency goes back to Cheddi Jagan all the way back in the 1960’s, who was overthrown in a coup by the CIA and especially the British MI6.

The coup was accomplished in about the manner as the 1953 Mossadegh coup in Iran and the recent fascist coups in Ukraine and Bolivia – riots precipitated by outside intelligence (CIA, MI6) followed by an ousting of the president.

We also tried this exact same method last year in Nicaragua and have been trying it for a number of years in Venezuela. We seem to be doing thing in Iran at the moment. It failed and/or is failing in all three countries. We are also trying to do this in Iraq and Lebanon, but it’s failing there too. People are starting to catch onto this shit.

This is how these fake color revolutions work. The color revolutions tend to be more of the peaceful type of coups, but they often turn violent too. The whole ball of wax is called hybrid warfare.

What about the Oil?

There are now reports that Guyana has the 10th largest world reserves of oil. However, the area under discussion is in off the coast on the border of Guyana and Venezuela and is in dispute between the two countries.

Also Guyana recently extended its territorial waters 150 miles off shore. They did this illegally because it could only be done if there were territorial disputes. Guyana lied and said they had no such disputes. Actually they had one with Venezuela, so their 150 mile extension is null.

However, they explored out there anyway, and Exxon found this very large deposit that is the subject of the discussion around Guyana having oil reserves. However, ownership of this deposit is the subject of dispute, as noted. That case has now gone to the World Court. I don’t really know who has a better claim to the area, but they have been fighting over it since 1963.

Why don’t they just split it fifty-fifty and call it a done deal? For some reasons, countries never do this. Why are all geopolitical disputes based on a zero-sum game? Is it that it is simply human nature to boil every dispute among humans down to a zero-sum game. I mean that’s how lower mammals do it. You ever see lower mammals sitting down and hammering out peace treaties? Ok then.

Guyana signed a deal with Exxon for the development of this deposit. This deal is far too generous to Exxon, and Guyana will lose $55 billion over time as a result of this deal. Guyana is getting massively screwed over by this deal but the “left social democratic” party and the “Marxist-Leninist” party are apparently both on board with this nation-selling treason.

It really makes you wonder what it means anymore when a party says it’s leftwing, social democratic, or, Hell, even communist? Do those terms even mean a damn thing anymore in this world of neoliberalism uber alles?

But at the end of the day, the question remains:  Does Guyana even have oil in the first place? I mean forget the world’s tenth largest reserves? I want to know if they even have one barrel. The answer is: well, maybe.

Alt Left: Eight Negative Arguments Smearing China’s Virus Fight That Must Be Refuted

Eight Negative Arguments Smearing China’s Virus Fight That Must Be Refuted

The COVID-19 outbreak in China has begun to decline outside Hubei Province; meanwhile in some countries it is on the rise. This shows that the epidemic is a challenge faced by all humanity and needs to be addressed by all countries. China’s experience in combating the outbreak shows that timely, accurate, and authoritative information disclosure is crucial.

However, “negative energy” arguments in the public opinion sphere which undermine the solidarity and cooperation between human beings and even create panic out of nothing will harm the efforts to fight the epidemic and can be called a “tumor” in the public conversation about the epidemic.

Here we summarize eight typical “negative energy” arguments in international public opinion and reveal their absurdities, hoping to provide a mirror to show the other side of these arguments about the epidemic.

1. The Economic Fall of China Argument Ignores the Complete Picture

During the coronavirus epidemic, the streets in Chinese cities were empty for a time, and as a result, there is no doubt the economy will be affected to some extent. However, to claim that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy have changed and that growth will plummet from mid-high speed to zero or negative is an overstatement.

For example, the New York Times published an article on February 11 titled “Like Europe in Medieval Times”: Virus Slows China’s Economy suggesting that the epidemic has put the Chinese  economy into low gear.

This coronavirus epidemic has been widespread, and many industries such as catering, tourism, and film and television have been severely impacted. However, it should be noted that the impact of the epidemic on China’s economy is mainly reflected in the restriction of the demand side resulting in a short-term structural imbalance between supply and demand.

In the long run, the means of production are still there, and production equipment and technology have not been affected by the outbreak. So the outbreak will not dent the internal dynamics of the Chinese economy. International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman Gerry Rice stated at a press conference on February 13 that “over the medium to long term, we remain confident that China’s economy is resilient.”

The IMF expects a V-shaped recovery for the Chinese economy in which a sharp decline in economic activities would be followed by a rapid recovery. With improvements in containing the epidemic, the supply side will gradually return to normal, while at the same time the potential demand suppressed during the epidemic will be released, and there will be a large rebound in future economic growth.

Structural transformation has given China a strong and resilient economy. First, consumption has become the primary driver of growth. In 2019, consumer spending contributed 57.8 percent to economic growth. Second, the proportion contributed by the service industry keeps rising, and the proportion of value added by tertiary industry to GDP in 2019 is 53.9 percent.

The third is a shift from an excess of savings to an absorption of savings which has led to a continuous increase in disposable household consumption. Fourth, via a huge wave of innovation, the current digitization and intelligent transformation of various industries has led to the rapid development of online business.

Although the epidemic outbreak has increased short-term downward pressure on the economy, the long-term positive trend of the Chinese economy has not changed.

2. The China-US Decoupling Prediction Is Farfetched

During the coronavirus epidemic, the resumption of work in many factories in China has been delayed, which has affected the global supply chain. But it may be delusional to talk about international companies fleeing China and to think that the US and Chinese economies will decouple as a result of the outbreak.

For example, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Channel on January 31 that the novel coronavirus epidemic helps “accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to US and probably some to Mexico as well,” adding that factors such as this will prompt US companies to reevaluate risks such as the supply chain of China-related businesses.

It should be noted that in the face of the epidemic, the Chinese government has demonstrated its firm belief in winning the battle. It is believed that the outbreak will not last long nor will it cause lasting damage to the economy. Business confidence in the future has not disappeared. The experience of the SARS epidemic in 2003 also shows that after the epidemic, people’s desire for consumption will erupt and the economy will see rapid growth.

Compared with the US, where the tertiary industry accounts for 85 percent of the total economy, China’s tertiary industry only accounts for just over 50 percent. There is still more room for development. Naturally, companies will not lose sight of this and abandon huge development space to go to a place where competition is fierce.

The US government’s push for the return of manufacturing is not new. It began during the Obama administration, but the real results have been poor. This is because China is the world’s largest manufacturing base with a complete upstream and downstream industry chain and a large and diversified consumer market.

Only by being close to the Chinese market can companies accommodate cutting-edge demand, have faster production speed, and ensure more reliable product quality.

Of course, China’s industry is in a period of transformation and upgrading, and some enterprises that can no longer adapt to China’s market will leave. This is the natural law of economic development, and it is by no means the exodus that Ross is talking about.

3. The Collapsing Image of China Meme Is Baseless

Under the coronavirus epidemic, some voices in international public opinion have tarnished the image of China.

For example, on February 6, under the headline “This is Not a Coronavirus, It Is an Official Virus,” a Deutsche Welle report stated China’s governance system is not modern, so it was vulnerable in the face of the epidemic.

On some overseas social media, some people have hyped the argument that China’s national image has collapsed in order to disparage China’s image as a responsible power. They even claimed that China would not be able to build a moderately prosperous society as planned.

It is clear that the above slander is groundless and based on a play of words. The “China threat theory” is a virus in the field of international public opinion.

After the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government quickly set up a special team to deal with the problem, deployed team members extensively throughout the country, and assisted relevant countries in evacuating personnel. These things could only be achieved by an excellent governance system with modern capabilities.

Compared to some advanced economies, China has also done a much better job of reducing the risk of the disease spreading globally.

On February 16, in response to the shortcomings and deficiencies exposed in the response to the epidemic, the Chinese government again made a “two-handed” deployment, improving the biosafety law, the national emergency management system, and the distribution of production capacity of key materials.

China’s epidemic prevention measures have been praised by the international community. French President Macron expressed admiration for China’s effective measures and the country’s openness and transparency in fighting the epidemic.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China for taking many prevention and containment measures that go far beyond the relevant requirements for responding to emergencies. This has set a new benchmark for epidemic prevention in all countries. The speed, scale, and efficiency of China’s actions reflect the strengths of its system.

4. The Sick Man of Asia Metaphor Rekindles a Century of Discrimination

Amid the outbreak of the COVID-19, governments, enterprises, and people from dozens of countries have donated humanitarian aid to China to support the country’s fight against the epidemic. Meanwhile, some people have maliciously taken the opportunity to spread discrimination against China. For instance, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” on February 3, hurting Chinese people’s feelings.

We should not only refute such absurdities with a comprehensive victory over the epidemic but also continue increasing China’s public health services and national capabilities, throwing the discriminatory views like the one above into the junk heap of history.

China was once weak due to its seclusion and was taken advantage of by Western powers which derogatorily called China the “sick man of Asia.” Such contemptuous words have been a scar on Chinese people’s  psyche. With unremitting efforts of more than 100 years, China is much stronger than it was, and people’s general health status has reached a new high.

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the country has been improving its public health status, eliminating malignant infectious diseases such as smallpox and cholera and developing a cure for schistosomiasis, which once threatened Chinese people for a long time.

A comprehensive medical system has been established in China, covering all rural areas. China has also sent medical teams to help African countries battle against epidemics such as Ebola. As China is completing the building of a moderately prosperous society, the country is rapidly increasing the budget for medical treatment and public health, assuring residents in cities and towns have basic medical insurance.

Currently, Chinese people’s average life expectancy, which continues to grow, has surpassed that of Americans. Through international medical and health cooperation including the building of a Health Silk Road, China’s experience in medical treatment and public health has been widely recognized and accepted.

5. Yellow Peril Hysteria Is Pure Racism

On February 1, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel had a cover headline saying the novel coronavirus was made in China. At a crucial time when the world is jointly fighting the epidemic, the German magazine inhumanly spread Yellow Peril hysteria, at the core of which is the West’s fear of the East.

The Western world regards the Eastern world as a threat, fears it will lag behind the latter, and thus refuses to accept the fact that the East has become more developed and much stronger than it once was. The West wants to safeguard its dominance in the world.

Hence some nationalists in the West have taken advantage of the COVID-19 epidemic to spread this particular form of racist hysteria.

In the era of globalization, human civilization should no longer engage in zero-sum games between the East and West and between races but rather in building a community of shared future where people can co-exist and jointly develop. In the face of this public health emergency, no one can really escape and remain isolated. Only cooperation, solidarity, and mutual help can help people win the fight against the virus.

It is high time to put an end to the farce of Yellow Peril hysteria that encourages people to play a “hunger game.”

6. The Comparison with the Novel 1984 Obscures Reality

To fight against the COVID-19, China has adopted various high-tech measures such as Big Data and artificial intelligence to control population flow and reduce cross-infection risks. However, some Western media outlets seem to be frightened by China’s governance capability. Real Clear Politics published an article on Thursday saying, “China’s Government Is Like Something out of ‘1984.’” There are two reasons such viewpoints echo in the West.

First, people are more likely to believe stories they are familiar with. George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 is well known, but not many people know the real China. Therefore, Chinese people find it hard to persuade their Western friends that China is not something out of 1984. This is like giving a friend who has never seen a real panda a toy panda, and the next time you mention pandas, this friend will think of the toy rather than the real panda.

Second, the media always caters its subscribers with reports that draw attention, even though their viewpoints are abnormal. For those media outlets, a frightening China is obviously more effective than a normal China at attracting an audience.

Using 1984 as a metaphor, those Western media outlets can spread fear of China among Westerners and thus make more profit. This is why a very ordinary story with an eye-catching headline can be forged into something that is scary and strange about China. As many Western media outlets are driven by business interests, it is not hard to understand Western people’s stereotype of China.

What 1984 describes can happen anywhere people live. The novel was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual. George Orwell’s masterpiece is not banned in China. Instead, his books have been among the bestsellers in China since the country’s reform and opening-up. China is moving forward in a broad way using Chinese people’s accumulated experience rather than something out of a novel.

7. The Biochemical Weapon Conspiracy Is Pure Fantasy

Conspiracy theories are a constant reality in the international public opinion field. Once there is a disturbance, they will surface.

On January 31, US senator Tom Cotton tweeted “It’s more urgent than ever to stop travel between China and US,” and “MESSAGE TO ALL AMERICANS IN CHINA: GET OUT NOW.” He also claimed that the virus might have originated in a super laboratory in Wuhan.

The Ministry of Heath of Russian Federation on January 29 published a guideline for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the novel coronavirus. The handout stated that COVID-19 was recombination of a bat coronavirus and another coronavirus from unknown origin, triggering speculation that the virus had been developed by the US as a biological weapon.

Although such arguments have been common, even in mainstream Western public opinion, there are few experts who agree.

The Washington Post on January 29 published an article entitled “Experts Debunk Fringe Theory Linking China’s Coronavirus to Weapons Research,” with interviews from five experts from prestigious US universities and research institutes. All of them rejected the idea that the virus was man-made.

An expert on chemical weapons said he and other analysts around the world had discussed the possibility that weapons development at the Wuhan lab could have led to the coronavirus outbreak in a private email chain, but none of them had found convincing evidence to support the theory.

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also pointed out that a good bioweapon in theory has high lethality but low, not communicability, but the opposite is true with the coronavirus. He also described the bioweapon theories as irresponsible misinformation.

The Lancet, the world’s leading general medical journal, released on February 19 a Statement in Support of the Scientists, Public Health Professionals, and Medical Professionals of China Combating COVID-19 signed by 27 top public health experts around the world.

The statement strongly condemned conspiracy theories saying that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin and stated that scientists from multiple countries overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife. The statement also called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.

8. Questioning WHO’s Impartiality Is Destructive

China’s valiant efforts and achievements in fighting the epidemic are obvious to all. Everyone with a realistic attitude will make a fair evaluation. However, some in the international community have been looking at China through colored spectacles and have even stooped to slander those entities and individuals who have praised China.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ affirmation of China’s performance has been described by certain media outlets as skewed in China’s favor.

Tedros was asked on February 12 whether the Chinese government had approached WHO and asked it to praise China’s efforts in confronting the virus and if there was there pressure put on WHO to make statements along these lines, considering how important the notion of saving face is in China. He responded, “China doesn’t need to ask to be praised…because we have seen these concrete things that should be appreciated.”

He noted that he has observed China’s tremendous efforts to stop the virus from spreading to the rest of the world, including notifying other countries of those confirmed cases with outbound travel history.

State leaders and public health experts of various countries have applauded China’s efforts and transparency. Tedros has also called on the international community to stop stigmatizing China and stand in solidarity with the country in fighting against the common enemy, COVID-19.

Similarly, former WHO Director General Margaret Chan Fung Fu-Chun was also criticized in 2015 for taking sides with South Korea in combating MERS.

WHO’s remarks and actions are based on information reported by the government at the epicenter, the latest data generated by the organization, and suggestions given by the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. Clarifying and dispelling rumors and misinformation is also part of its job.

Moreover, the WHO has already taken action to prevent the coronavirus epidemic from triggering a dangerous social media ‘infodemic’ fueled by false information and to try to curb rumors, lies, and misinformation.

Along with China, the Singaporean government is also urging citizens to stop spreading rumors.

Authors: Wang Wen, Jia Jinjing, Bian Yongzu, Cao Mingdi, Liu Ying, Liu Yushu, Yang Fanxin, Guan Zhaoyu, Wang Peng, Liu Dian, Chen Zhiheng, Zhang Tingting, and Zhang Yang from Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Alt Left: The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie about Iraq to Target Iran

A superb article. People need to get this through their damned heads: Iran does not have a Goddamned nuclear weapons program! The CIA even said so itself in its last word in the subject in 2007. Yet this evil government of ours keeps insisting that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This is literally the reason for the entire sanctions regime, the targeting and war threats against Iran, the bombing of pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia militias in Iraq, and the assassination of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

How many Moronicans believe these big fat lie? How many Eurotrash believe this lie. It must be a large majority of both of them.

After all, the entire MSM in the West – every single newspaper, magazine, and TV and radio news show, along with all Western governments insists that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Not even one media outlet anywhere in the West will admit the obvious truth that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons and hasn’t had one for a minimum of 30 lies.

Guess (((who))) cooked up this big, fat lie in the (((US media))). Guess (((why))) the entire media and every state in the West keeps repeating this lie? I’ll tell you why. (((This))) is the reason why. (((These people))) want Iran invaded and destroyed because it is the only country left other than Syria which is a sworn enemy of (((their state))).

Guess who the US, UK, France, and Germany take orders from. (((This)) is who they take orders from.

Granted the US is also out to destroy Iran because the Shia-haters in Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Turkey all hate Iran simply because they are profoundly bigoted Sunnis with a homicidal hatred and paranoia of Shia Muslims.

In addition, US imperialism has had a hard-on for Iran ever since the Embassy Takeover in 1979. We never got over it. And the rule of US imperialism is simply “never forgive, never forget.” Exactly the same motto as (((some people))). Coincidence? For the crime of standing up to the US and shouting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” for 40 years, US imperialism wants Iran gone.

In addition, Iran has no central bank. US imperialism demands that all countries have central banks.

In addition, Iran is selling its oil in currencies other than dollars. This threatens the “petrodollar,” one of the essential pillars of US imperialism. The use of the dollar in international trade has indeed been declining in the past 10 years. It’s down to 63% now and a number of countries are definitely going off the dollar and substituting other currencies or a basket of currencies for international trade. So it’s not just a petrodollar. It’s a world dollar.

As long as most international trade is conducted in dollars, US imperialism can charge full steam ahead. But when that number goes down below 50%, there are going to be some serious problems for US imperialism. Namely that we won’t be able to be the Dictator of the World anymore.

And this World Dictator and Most Powerful Nation on Earth nonsense is one thing that America wants to keep perhaps more than anything else. The US will do most anything, start wars, kill millions of people – it matters not- to retain those positions.

As Lenin said, power does not give up without a fight which was one reason that he said the electoral road to socialism could never happen and why he called people who supported it “parliamentary cretins.” It’s not so much that he opposed it, as he simply thought it would not work.

It is instructive to note that every single country that has gone off the dollar has been either attacked, subjected to heavy sanctions, had coups, color revolutions, or armed insurgencies unleashed upon. Sometimes more than one or all of the above.

  • Iraq went off the petrodollar. It was invaded soon after.
  • Libya went off the petrodollar. It was quickly attacked.
  • Syria went off the petrodollar. It had an insurgency unleashed upon it.
  • Iran is going off the petrodollar. It’s been subject to many threats and vicious sanctions.
  • North Korea went off the dollar. Result was totally brutal sanctions, many deaths, and endless military threats.
  • Venezuela is going off the petrodollar. Result: sanctions, economic warfare, and coup attempts with lockout strikes, use of armed forces, violent street demonstrations and now with an entire fake alternate facts government set up led by a man who was never elected President even one time.
  • Russia and China are going off the dollar. Result: sanctions, tariffs, and hybrid warfare was launched on both countries and both have been designated as top US enemies. A color revolution is being attempted in Hong Kong.

See how this works?

The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie About Iraq to Target Iran

Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, most Americans understand that it was an illegal war based on lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” But our government is now threatening to drag us into a war on Iran with a nearly identical “big lie” about a non-existent nuclear weapons program, based on politicized intelligence from the same CIA teams that wove a web of lies to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2002-3, U.S. officials and corporate media pundits repeated again and again that Iraq had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that posed a dire threat to the world. The CIA produced reams of false intelligence to support the march to war and cherry-picked the most deceptively persuasive narratives for Secretary of State Colin Powell to present to the UN Security Council on February 5th 2003.

In December 2002, Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) told his staff,

If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.

Paul Pillar, a CIA officer who was the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, helped to prepare a 25-page document that was passed off to Members of Congress as a “summary” of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq.

But the document was written months before the NIE it claimed to summarize and contained fantastic claims that were nowhere to be found in the NIE, such as that the CIA knew of 550 specific sites in Iraq where chemical and biological weapons were stored. Most members read only this fake summary, not the real NIE, and blindly voted for war. As Pillar later confessed to PBS’s Frontline:

The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers for that purpose? I don’t think so and I regret having had a role in it.

WINPAC was set up in 2001 to replace the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center or NPC (1991-2001), where a staff of 100 CIA analysts collected possible evidence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons development to support U.S. information warfare, sanctions, and ultimately regime change policies against Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and other U.S. enemies.

WINPAC uses the U.S.’s satellite, electronic surveillance, and international spy networks to generate material to feed to UN agencies like UNSCOM, UNMOVIC, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which are charged with overseeing the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The CIA’s material has kept these agencies’ inspectors and analysts busy with an endless stream of documents, satellite imagery, and claims by exiles for almost 30 years. But since Iraq destroyed all its banned weapons in 1991, they have found no confirming evidence that either Iraq or Iran has taken steps to acquire nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA told the UN Security Council in 2002-3 they could find no evidence to support U.S. allegations of illegal weapons development in Iraq.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei exposed the CIA’s Niger yellowcake document as a forgery in a matter of hours. ElBaradei’s commitment to the independence and impartiality of his agency won the respect of the world, and he and his agency were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Apart from outright forgeries and deliberately fabricated evidence from exile groups like Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), most of the material the CIA and its allies have provided to UN agencies has involved dual-use technology which could be used in banned weapons programs but also as alternative legitimate uses.

A great deal of the IAEA’s work in Iran has been to verify that each of these items has in fact been used for peaceful purposes or conventional weapons development rather than in a nuclear weapons program.

But as in Iraq, the accumulation of inconclusive, unsubstantiated evidence of a possible nuclear weapons program has served as a valuable political weapon to convince the media and the public that there must be something solid behind all the smoke and mirrors.

For instance, in 1990, the CIA began intercepting  Telex messages from Sharif University in Tehran and Iran’s Physics Research Centre about orders for ring magnets, fluoride, and fluoride-handling equipment, a balancing machine, a mass spectrometer, and vacuum equipment, all of which can be used in uranium enrichment.

For the next 17 years, the CIA’s NPC and WINPAC regarded these telexes as some of their strongest evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran, and they were cited as such by senior U.S. officials. It was not until 2007-8 that the Iranian government finally tracked down all these items at Sharif University, and the IAEA inspectors were able to visit the university and confirm that they were being used for academic research and teaching as Iran had told them.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the IAEA’s work in Iran continued, but every lead provided by the CIA and its allies proved to be either fabricated, innocent, or inconclusive. In 2007, U.S. intelligence agencies published a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran in which they acknowledged that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program. The publication of the 2007 NIE was an important step in averting a U.S. war on Iran.

As George W. Bush wrote in his memoirs, “…after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

But despite the lack of confirming evidence, the CIA refused to alter the “assessment” from its 2001 and 2005 NIE’s that Iran probably did have a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. This left the door open for the continued use of WMD allegations, inspections, and sanctions as potent political weapons in the U.S.’s regime change policy toward Iran.

In 2007, UNMOVIC published a Compendium or final report on the lessons learned from the debacle in Iraq. One key lesson was that “complete independence is a prerequisite for a UN inspection agency” so that the inspection process would not be used “either to support other agendas or to keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness.”

Another key lesson was that “proving the negative is a recipe for enduring difficulties and unending inspections.” The 2005 Robb-Silberman Commission on the U.S. intelligence failure in Iraq reached very similar conclusions, such as that“…analysts effectively shifted the burden of proof, requiring proof that Iraq did not have active WMD programs rather than requiring affirmative proof of their existence.

“While the U.S. policy position was that Iraq bore the responsibility to prove that it did not have banned weapons programs, the Intelligence Community’s burden of proof should have been more objective…

“By raising the evidentiary burden so high, analysts artificially skewed the analytical process toward confirmation of their original hypothesis – that Iraq had active WMD programs.”

In its work on Iran, the CIA has carried on the flawed analysis and processes identified by the UNMOVIC Compendium and the Robb-Silberman report on Iraq.

The pressure to produce politicized intelligence that supports U.S. policy positions persists because that is the corrupt role that U.S. intelligence agencies play in U.S. policy, spying on other governments, staging coups, destabilizing countries, and producing politicized and fabricated intelligence to create pretexts for war.

A legitimate national intelligence agency would provide objective intelligence analysis that policymakers could use as a basis for rational policy decisions. But as the UNMOVIC Compendium implied, the U.S. government is unscrupulous in abusing the concept of intelligence and the authority of international institutions like the IAEA to “support other agendas,” notably its desire for regime change in countries around the world.

The U.S.’s “other agenda” on Iran gained a valuable ally when Mohamed ElBaradei retired from the IAEA in 2009 and was replaced by Yukiya Amano from Japan. A State Department cable from July 10th, 2009 released by Wikileaks described Mr. Amano as a “strong partner” to the U.S. based on “the very high degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the IAEA.”

The memo suggested that the U.S. should try to “shape Amano’s thinking before his agenda collides with the IAEA Secretariat bureaucracy.”  The memo’s author was Geoffrey Pyatt, who later achieved international notoriety as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was exposed on a leaked audio recording plotting the 2014 coup in Ukraine with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

The Obama administration spent its first term pursuing a failed “dual-track” approach to Iran in which its diplomacy was undermined by the greater priority it gave to its parallel track of escalating UN sanctions. When Brazil and Turkey presented Iran with the framework of a nuclear deal that the U.S. had proposed, Iran readily agreed to it.

But the U.S. rejected what had begun as a U.S. proposal because by that point, it would have undercut its efforts to persuade the UN Security Council to impose harsher sanctions on Iran. As a senior State Department official told author Trita Parsi, the real problem was that the U.S. wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

It was only in Obama’s second term after John Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, that the U.S. finally did take “yes” for an answer, leading to the JCPOA between Iran, the U.S., and other major powers in 2015. So it was not U.S.-backed sanctions that brought Iran to the table but the failure of sanctions that brought the U.S. to the table.

Also in 2015, the IAEA completed its work on “Outstanding Issues” regarding Iran’s past nuclear-related activities. On each specific case of dual-use research or technology imports, the IAEA found no proof that they were related to nuclear weapons rather than conventional military or civilian uses.

Under Amano’s leadership and U.S. pressure, the IAEA “assessed” that “a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003,” but that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility studies and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”

The JCPOA has broad support in Washington. But the U.S. political debate over the JCPOA has essentially ignored the actual results of the IAEA’s work in Iran, the CIA’s distorting role in it, and the extent to which the CIA has replicated the institutional biases, reinforcing of preconceptions, forgeries, politicization and corruption by “other agendas” that were supposed to be corrected to prevent any repetition of the WMD fiasco in Iraq.

Politicians who support the JCPOA now claim that it stopped Iran getting nuclear weapons, while those who oppose the JCPOA claim that it would allow Iran to acquire them.

They are both wrong because as the IAEA has concluded and even President Bush acknowledged, Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. The worst that the IAEA can objectively say is that Iran may have done some basic nuclear weapons-related research some time before 2003, but then again, maybe it didn’t.

Mohamed ElBaradei wrote in his memoir, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times that if Iran ever conducted even rudimentary nuclear weapons research, he was sure it was only during the Iran-Iraq War which ended in 1988, when the U.S. and its allies helped Iraq kill up to 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons.

If ElBaradei’s suspicions were correct, Iran’s dilemma since that time would have been that it could not admit to that work in the 1980s without facing even greater mistrust and hostility from the U.S. and its allies and risking a similar fate to Iraq.

Regardless of uncertainties regarding Iran’s actions in the 1980s, the U.S.’s campaign against Iran has violated the most critical lessons U.S. and UN officials claimed to have learned from the debacle in Iraq.

The CIA has used its almost entirely baseless suspicions about nuclear weapons in Iran as pretexts to “support other agendas” and “keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness,” exactly as the UNMOVIC Compendium warned against ever again doing to another country.

In Iran as in Iraq, this has led to an illegal regime of brutal sanctions under which thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition and to threats of another illegal U.S. war that would engulf the Middle East and the world in even greater chaos than the one the CIA engineered against Iraq.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is a freelance writer, researcher for CODEPINK and author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Coronavirus Update

My first coronavirus post. I hope to have more later on.

Look here for the best site on coronavirus numbers, updated daily and even more often than that, every hour and often even at intervals in the hour.

Presently worldwide:

  • 20,639 confirmed cases
  • 427 fatalities

Breakdown:

  • Over 600 critical
  • 2,788 serious
  • 632 recovered
  • 23,214 suspected

The virus appears to be much worse than reported or reported at the moment. Thread discussing that here. There are reports of 1 million infected and up to 30,000 dead. It’s really a serious matter. The Lancet estimates that there are 74,000 infections, and that was several days ago. There are videos of nurses in China saying that there are 90-100,000 people infected, and that was a week ago.

There are videos of people literally dropping on the streets. There are other videos of people just lying in the streets or hospital corridors until someone takes them away. There is a video of a hospital with three dead people in the hallway. They’d been there all morning.

There are reports that Wuhan’s crematoria, which normally burn four hours a day, have been burning 24 hours for days now. These reports also state that bodies are being burned without being identified as coronavirus cases. There are also reports that many coronavirus cases are simply being diagnosed as pneumonia.

However, in support of the Chinese government, there is a huge shortage of test kits, which were only recently developed anyway. They only have 2,000 test kits in Wuhan, so they can only test 2,000 people a day. Until they test someone, they cannot diagnose coronavirus.

On the other hand, it may be important for the government to cover this up, at least for now. Let the truth come out later.

If they tell the truth, the resulting total panic all across China will probably kill more people than the virus. The Chinese economy, already taking a hit from this, will blow up. A lot of countries will refuse products from China, especially fruits, vegetables, and meats. Many of the large corporations who have overseas factories might close up or even move to another country.

Everyone knows this is a big deal. The whole city of Wuhan is locked down. When you to the supermarket or any state building, a government employee is standing right there to take your temperature. The state is delivering free meals to many people who are stuck in their apartments. Cars were banned, but the resulting uproar caused them to be unbanned. The roads going out of Wuhan are all blocked with barricades. No one can go in or out.

And now a number of other cities in Hubei Province are locked down too. For now, the problem is mostly confined to Hubei Province, especially Wuhan. There have been a mere eight deaths in the rest of China.

The Chinese government incredibly enough built a huge hospital in Wuhan with 1,000 beds in only six days! There is another new hospital in Wuhan due to come online on Wednesday, February 6, with another 1,000 beds.

Existing hospitals have only 30 isolation units per hospital. People who are severely ill need to be in ICU units, but those are also in severe undersupply. But that’s not uncommon. In the UK for instance, there are 6,000 ICU units for the whole country of 80 million people. How would the UK fare with an epidemic the size of China’s? Pretty poorly.

The state has massively ramped up the manufacture of surgical masks, as there are shortages everywhere. There are even shortages in places like Australia, as local Chinese are mass buying surgical masks to send back home. Many physicians and nurses from all over China are converging on Wuhan. Many are Communist Party members.

Hospitals are overflowing with people wanting to be tested or worried that they might have the virus. There is a shortage of beds and isolation units, so the hospitals are having to triage and just focus on the worst cases and forget about everyone else.

A lot of people who seem like they have the disease are simply handed some pills (or maybe not) and told to go home and wait it out. A number of people have died in their homes. Everyone in Wuhan and many in other parts of China are wearing masks. Hospital workers are completely suited up.

There has been a huge hullabaloo about China arresting eight physicians who reported on the case very early on. They are being called whistleblowers. There is a lot of anti-China propaganda going on about these whistleblowers.

However, the whistleblowers all got released and had compensation paid to them. The Supreme Court ordered it. So you can see there is quite a bit of democracy in the party, and there are even some separation of powers in the government.

China’s not a complete dictatorship. There are 500 legal demonstrations in China every single day. There are all sorts of organizations that have sprung up about just about every issue or interest to some area: dialects, flooding, pollution, you name it. Most are legal and local Communist Party (CP) officials are often involved.

Also if China is so horrible, why does the CP have 87% support? The Chinese CP is not stupid. They took careful note of the Eastern Bloc and the USSR. They realized that if they do not “serve the people” as Mao insisted, the people would simply throw them out of office. They’re terrified of getting booted out on their asses. So they try to suck up to the people as much as they can within reason.

Jews and Communism Redux

Polar Bear: What little Communist literature I’ve read seemed very pro-German, Ehrenberg?

I don’t understand. Ilya Ehrenberg was one of the most anti-German people who ever lived.

However, after the war, the USSR had excellent relations with East Germany. Communism was quite popular in East Germany, and nostalgia for the GDR is still a big thing there. A lot of people reminisce about the old days and are not happy with the new capitalism. A lot of West German Leftists left and moved to East Germany after the war. Incredible, isn’t it? People actually moving to a Communist country.

Of course Marx was extremely pro-German. He was a German man after all. Marx didn’t really consider himself to be a Jew. Neither did Trotsky. That’s just bullshit made up by anti-Communist antisemites, which is like 95% of them. Pro-Communist or Communist antisemites are rare indeed, despite the blatherings of super Jews, anti-Communist Jews, hardcore Zionists, and other professional liars.

Polar Bear: No, I believe it was Engels. He was also very soft on Jews.

Ha ha ever read The Jewish Question by Marx (1843)? It’s hard to read but a lot of super-Jews really hate the paper. They think it’s antisemitic. I don’t think it really is. It’s anti-Jewish religion. He says there is no Jewish religion – all the religion is is capitalism and love of money ha ha. Good times, good times! Marx didn’t like Christianity either. He didn’t like any religion. I don’t think he disliked Jews ethnically. After all he was Jewish himself. Marx’s father was a rabbi!

Polar Bear: Maybe the great unifier early on was Jews.

There were not that many Communists from Marx’s death until the Russian revolution. The early pre-Soviet Communists were not particularly Jewish. Stalin was a bank robber. Lenin spent most of his time abroad in Germany. They were all wanted men.

Yes, there were a lot of Jews among the early Bolsheviks, but in 1917, 70% of Russian Jews voted for the Zionist party, not the Communists. Also the other socialist parties were also full of Jews. But almost all of the popular parties in 1917 were Left. It was just a question of how far left people were going to go. Most of the Russian people were dirt poor workers or peasants and they were all for the Left.

Hardly anyone wanted the old Royalists back. There were definitely pro-royalists all right though. Those were the Whites in the Russian Civil War. But they lost. Even the Russian Army and especially the Intelligence Services all went over to the Reds.

And the Whites killed a lot of Jews during the Civil War. The Reds probably hardly killed any. Even in the USSR, yes, Jews were prominent in some fields. The NKVD ended up being very Jewish in the 1930’s, but it was run by a Georgian named Beria.

Old Soviets said that ethnicity never mattered in the USSR. You were not supposed to care or talk about things like that. A lot of Jews just drifted into that position at that time for whatever reason. A lot of Russian Jews really hated the Czar, so quite a few of them took to Communism well. But the majority of the people in the USSR supported the Communists. How do you think they won the war?

And there were just as many Latvians as Jews among the early Bolsheviks. Does anyone  talk about evil Bolshevik Latvians? Of course not. It’s like the old adage: Maybe one out of ten Jews is a radical, but five out of ten radicals are Jews. Get it?

Polar Bear: Seems like a lot the men that married Jews ended up hating them.

I don’t know about that. I had a Jewish girlfriend for 5 1/2 years. She was kind of a bitch and she sort of talked down to me and yelled at me a lot to the point that even other women were complaining about how she treated me.

But she adored me and she was a real “stand by your man” and “live your life through your man” type. Almost like a Filipina or Thai woman in that sense. I never expected Jewish women to be like that maybe a lot of them are. They also have a reputation for being nurturing.

As an aside, there are a lot more “stand by your man” and “live your life through your man” types than you think. It’s fairly normal if she’s crazy in love with you. Maybe it helps to be goodlooking too, no idea.

The people who don’t like Jewish women are Jewish men ha ha. I’m not sure if Gentile men even care that much. There’s sort of a war going on between Jewish men and women, sort of like the war between Black men and women.

And I don’t know if it was a factor in Marr’s case.

I think Marr is hilarious. Guy married three different Jewish women, divorces all of them and then forms the Anti-Semitic League, the first openly anti-Jewish organization in modern history. Ha ha! I have no idea what effect his wives had on him. Maybe none. But it is pretty funny just to tell the story because it seems like his Jewish wives drove him so insane that he founded the first modern anti-Jewish organization.

Lulz all around!

Alt Left: The US Murder of Qassem Soleimani – What Was It All About?

The murder of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, a great fighter against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, for the oppressed and downtrodden and against the oppressors all over the Near East and Southwest Asia for the last two decades, was obviously an international war crime. You don’t just get to go around murdering generals of other countries that you aren’t even at war with.

All of the justifications for his killing were fake. He was not planning any attacks against US interests, much less against four of our embassies. Those are just lies made up by the Americans with a little help from some (((friends))).

Soleimani is absolutely not responsible for the deaths of 600 US troops in Iraq. Not that I would care if he was. Those soldiers deserved to die. They waged an illegal, Nazi-like war of aggression on Iraq and then they occupied the land that they conquered and installed their puppet government in while they set about exploiting the resources, especially oil, and out and out stealing $8 million cash.

The reconstruction work was a boondoggle that had huge cost overruns and generally didn’t produce much of anything good. Much of what was produced was shoddy and fell apart. Graft and corruption were huge factors in reconstruction with both US and Iraqi contractors.

The UN itself has stated that the Iraqi resistance does not violate the rules of war and that the Iraqi people have a 100% legal right to resistance against illegal occupiers. So the resistance was both morally and legally proper.’

The 600 US dead is based on some figure for how many Americans were killed by so-called shaped explosive IED’s designed to penetrate the thickest armored vehicles. The technology supposedly came from Iran and it is from this theory that the claim that Iran and Soleimani killed 600 Americans comes. However, the tech did not come from Iran.

Initially, it came from the Lebanese Hezbollah, who were active in the Iraqi resistance also for some time. They taught the Iraqi guerrillas how the technology. From then on it was mostly manufactured inside Iraq by the guerrillas themselves. Yes, one Iranian said to be a spy was captured with shaped explosives in Iraq in 2006. Big deal. The Iraqis already had their own.

For most of the early stage of the war, Iran had no involvement. The British had control of the Shia South and then said that in the early years, they never found any evidence of Iran supplying guerrillas with arms.

Later in the war, Shia militias such as Moqtada Sadr’s army got involved in the war against the US. They got beaten pretty badly for a variety of reasons but they definitely inflicted some casualties on US troops. It is definitely possible that Iran and Soleimani may have helped supply the Mahdi Army with weaponry. But so what? They had a right to fight us anyway.

However, there was a revenge attack against a US base in Najaf. The US had arrested several Iranians and accused them of being spies. They were apparently members of the Qods Force. The US refused to release them.

An Iraqi Shia group launched a very sophisticated attack in which they dressed up in US uniforms and gained access to the base. When there, they took five US soldiers prisoner. Then then escaped with them. The troops were taken somewhere and executed. The Shia militia that carried out that attack definitely had help from Iran and Soleimani. After the attack, the Iranians were released by the US.  So you can definitely credit Soleimani with five US deaths.

Earlier, the British had arrested a number of Iranians who they accused of being spies. These may as well have been Qods Force members. In return, mysterious forces captured four British troops and executed them. The Qods Force may well have carried out this operation. The Qods Force members in British custody were then released.

The overwhelming majority of casualties inflicted on US forces in Iraq were via Sunni guerrillas, often hardline Islamists who hate the Shia and Iran. There is little good evidence that Iran was arming their worst enemies, these forces.

So we so far have a whole nine Western casualties, five Americans and four British, we can credit directly to Soleimani, the Qods Force, and Iran.

For a period of 2001-2019 during which Iran and the US have faced off on the opposite sites in various warzones, that’s not a large number.

You can probably credit more casualties to Soleimani if you include those inflicted by the Mahdi Army, but I’m not sure what that figure is.

There are also complaints that Soleimani helped Hezbollah. He sure did. That resulted in 200 dead (((Israelis))) in 2006. Excuse me, but I didn’t realize that (((“Israelis”))) were the same thing as Americans. But hey, now that Current Year America is more like (((America))), maybe that’s the case.

There is a complaint that Soleimani and Iran massacred hundreds of thousands of Sunni civilians in Syria. Not so. The Qods Force had a small group of advisors embedded in the Syrian Army. They helped the Syrian Army fight and defeat ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other radical Sunni Islamists in many battles. They didn’t fly planes or bomb cities. They didn’t do much of anything.

Yes, Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Hezbollah from Lebanon participated in the war against the Sunni Islamists, but there are not a lot of reports of atrocities committed by them. Much of the civilian casualties have come from bombing of rebel-held cities by Syrian and Russian jets.

Reports of massacres and chemical weapons attacks that killed large numbers of civilians are all made up. The massacres were all done by the rebels of villages that supported Assad. After they chopped the people up, the rebels turned around and accused Assad of doing it. The Western media lapped it up like chumps.

None of the chemical weapons attacks occurred. I’ve studied every single one of them. None of them even happened. None of the chlorine attacks even happened. Assad doesn’t use chlorine gas.

I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy. He’s probably executed 50,000 people in his prison and a lot of others died of maltreatment. But he doesn’t do civilian massacres or chemical weapons attacks. He kills people, sure, but only has certain ways of doing it and he avoids other ways of doing it.

Soleimani helped the Houthi rebels in Yemen. This is supposedly a big crime. Well, good for him! The righteous cause in Yemen is the Houthis. The bad guys are the US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Soleimani fought a number of big battles against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Conveniently, the media left this part of the narrative because it made him look like a good guy.

Soleimani also formed Iraqi Shia militias to fight ISIS. The truth is that if not for Iran and Soleimani, ISIS would have conquered Iraq. That’s simply the dirty truth. You can accept it or not, but it’s still true. There are claims that some of these militias committed atrocities against Sunni civilians. That may well be true. But I understand that Soleimani and Iran were trying to put a stop to this.

The new claims are that Soleimani and Iran were behind a number of rocket attacks on US bases in recent days. No one really knows who did those attacks, though Shia militias are widely suspected. No one has ever claimed responsibility for any of these attacks.

Some of these militias like Kataib Hezbollah have a close relationship with Iran. But I know for a fact that not only do these militias not take orders from Iran (no Iranian “proxies” take orders from Iran), but that Soleimani and Iran had nothing at all to do with these rocket attacks.

The US had been allowing Israel to bomb the bases of these militia on the Syrian border for some time, so the militias that were getting bombed probably decided to start shooting some rockets at US bases in revenge. Why not? Anyway, we started it. The militias were just fighting back.

One attack on a base in Kirkuk killed one American and wounded four more. Trump went ballistic after this attack.

This was followed by a US bombing raid on a Shia militia on the border of Syria and Iran that killed ~27 troops and wounded ~75 others. However the militia that was attacked was part of the Iraqi military. In fact all of the “Iranian proxy” Shia militias are actually part of the Iraqi military. They take orders from the Iraqi Central Command.

Most of the dead and wounded were actually members of the Iraqi military who were not members of that militia. That is because the bases of these militias are full of Iraqi military people who are not members of those militias. It’s all mixed together.

After that, outraged members of the militia that got bombed swarmed the US Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad. They destroyed some stuff but no Americans got hurt. The US blamed “Iran” for the embassy mobbing, although I know for a fact that Iran had nothing to do with it. This militia just got bombed by the US and had its members killed and wounded. You think they need to get orders from Iran to angrily swarm an embassy after that?

We then murdered both Soleimani and Mohandes at the Baghdad Airport, the leader of the PMU Shia militias, which as I said are now part of the Iraqi military. It was the PMU that basically defeated ISIS in Iraq.

Soleimani had been lured to Baghdad to meet with the Prime Minister as part of a Saudi proposal to ease tensions with Iran. So he was there as a diplomat to try to negotiate a peace treaty. It now looks like the US and Saudi Arabia set him up for this by using a fake peace treaty.

The Iraqi government was very mad about this. There is a video of the Iraqi Parliament standing in their seats and chanting, “Death to America.” This is the Iraqi Parliament. The government then voted to order all US forces and forces allied with them to leave Iraq.

The US incredibly thumbed its nose at Iraq and refused to leave. That means that we are now officially occupiers as we are there against the will of the government. Trump threatened Iraq with devastating sanctions if they went through with this.

Later he threatened to seize Iraq’s account at the New York Central Bank that they use for oil sales. We were going steal all of the money that they had in the account (How the Hell is that legal?) and then cut them off from it. Most world trade in dollars goes through the New York Central Bank. See all those rich people in New York? Well, a lot of the are involved in one way or another with the New York Central Bank.

This goes back to the petrodollar, which the US uses to enforce its dictatorship on the rest of the world. US hegemony rests on many things, but the petrodollar is one of them. Most oil and other commodities for that matter are traded in dollars and no in other currencies.

This has many advantages for the US in economic terms which I don’t quite understand. For one thing it allows us to borrow until the cows come home with few to no consequences.

Most of the recent wars and threats of wars we have waged have been to support the petrodollar. Basically, you go off the petrodollar, you get regime-changed or attacked and overthrown.

For example, Saddam went off the petrodollar. Soon after he got invaded. Oh and one of the first things we did after we conquered Iraq was to put Iraq back on the dollar.

Ghaddafi went off the petrodollar. Look what happened to him.

Syria went off the petrodollar. Look at Syria.

Iran is going off the petrodollar. What’s happening to Iran?

Venezuela is going off the petrodollar. What’s up with Venezuela?

Alt Left: Life Is a Conspiracy Theory

Now that I am making meaning of life posts, I thought I would toss this one out there. I’m not sure if it has always been this way, but the only way to analyze much of modern life is via the lens of conspiracy theory. But before you go down that rabbit hole, beware. Much conspiracy theory is out and out absurdity and nonsense, and much of the rest is just wrong. But of the remainder – oh yeah, it definitely seems to be correct.

The explanations of the world, foreign policy in particular, we are given by our government and news media are mostly fake news and propaganda. In order to search for the truth is this disgusting blizzard of lies and bullshit, one must employ conspiracy theory because a lot of the facts of modern life are only explainable for conspiracy theory.

As I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into this explanation of modern life, fake news, and media propaganda, I’ve started to wonder what exactly conspiracy theory encompasses.

For instance, we are now into an era where false flags, fake attacks, and provocations are simply normal. I’m not sure if they’ve always been normal, but it seemed that in the past we didn’t do this as much, but in the last 20 years, it’s been one US-sponsored false flag, fake attack, or provocation after another.

Perhaps this is a symptom of a fading empire lashing out in a wild hail of lies, theft, and cheating. After all, lying, cheating, and stealing is not only the way humans do business and politics, but it’s also part of the toolkit of the desperate man. How many film noir movies do you have to watch to figure that out?

When a man is at the end of his rope, he’s thinking of survival, not getting murdered, staying out of prison, keeping his job, whatever. And all morality tends to go right out the window when faced with avoiding alternatives like that. You can hardly blame a man. But just as a desperate man must be looked at with suspicion, the state equivalent of a desperate man – a fading empire – requires an extremely dubious eye, to say the least.

Anyway, as I chewed this over more and more, I started realizing how deep conspiracy theory seemed to pervade so many things. You would think that the world of business would be immune to this, but you will never see so many devious conspiracies and blizzards of lying, cheating, and stealing as you will see in the world of business and especially corporations.

I am not entirely sure if conspiracy theory pervades human relations that much, but on the other hand, once you figure out that a lot of what  people say and do means something quite a bit different from what they literally say and do, even that starts to make sense.

Human relations are soaked into subterfuge, lying, defenses, and hidden meanings. I spend a good part of my time trying to figure out the hidden meanings in the behavior of my fellow men. I often have to run it by others. Of course, a world where many literal (think “official”) meanings are false and hidden meanings are often true is conspiracy theory in a nutshell.

At some point it hit me. Oh, the Hell with it!

Life itself is a damned conspiracy theory. 

Not completely of course, but enough of it is that this odd aphorism makes sense a lot of the time. Put that idea in your head “life is a conspiracy theory” and go about your daily life. Notice how so many things start making a Hell of a lot more sense when you are plugged into that horrible key to the universe.

At the very least, let’s face it, it’s a damned devious conspiracy to kill us all off when none of either agreed to that fate or wants to die.

In that way, death is the ultimate conspiracy theory.

Death is the last, best practical joke God will ever play on your life.

Alt Left: The Deep State of the US Is All-Encompassing and Surrounds US All of Our Lives

What is the Deep State? Everyone talks about it but no one seems to know what it is. A lot of people say it doesn’t exist. They’re wrong. And I know they’re wrong. I’ve been studying this for decades, and my answer to the question of what the Deep State is, which is both maddeningly complex and ridiculously simple, is the answer I have arrived at after many years of deep study

Most of the US Executive Branch dealing with foreign policy is Deep State.

All of the many intelligence agencies with their $30 billion black budgets are Deep State.

The Pentagon is completely Deep State.

Most all of Congress is Deep State, with a few bright new exceptions.

And most importantly, all of the large corporations of America are part of the Deep State. If you have worked for the CIA, you can walk in the door of almost any corporation in the US and get hired for a serious position. CIA and other intelligence and foreign policy types cycle in and out of the corporate sector and vice versa all the time. It’s all connected, dammit.

In fact, the intelligence agencies are simply the hired intelligence agencies of the rich and the corporations. The Pentagon is simply the hired military of the rich and the corporations. The foreign policy establishment in the Executive and Legislative branches are simply the state structures of the rich and the corporations.

Obviously all of the US MSM is Deep State. Most large US media outlets have long been infiltrated by the CIA. It’s a good guess that many of the top editors in the US media are on the CIA payroll. It was revealed recently that many of the top journalists in the US were actually on the CIA payroll.

This is a result of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird initiated in the 1960’s. It resulted in the infiltration of most if not all of the US MSM by the CIA. The reforms of the Church Committee in the mid-70’s were said to put a stop to that, but the truth is that Operation Mockingbird was never shut down and continues to this very day. It just went underground is all.

By this view the Deep State is all around us all the time. It’s omnipresent in this country. You can’t escape it.

The Deep State is nothing other than the Foreign Policy Establishment of the United States. 

As such, it includes:

  • All of the MSM
  • The foreign policy aspects of the Executive Branch
  • The foreign policy aspects of the Legislative Branch
  • The Pentagon.
  • The three letter agencies and the US intelligence agency complex, much of which is “black” or underground and unaccountable
  • All of the large corporations of the US, including all of the Silicon Valley “cool” corporations
  • Most of the rich of the US
  • Most but not all of Hollywood
  • Wall Street

I believe that this theory of an all-encompassing Deep State that surrounds us every minute of our lives is the best definition of the Deep State. Think about it if it doesn’t make sense. If you find the question interesting, keep on thinking about it. After you think for a while, I believe you might just come around to a definition of the Deep State that is not far from mine.

Alt Left: What’s Behind California’s High Housing Costs and High Rates of Homelessness, Poverty, and Welfare Use?

Tulio: Hey RL, just a bit off topic, I was recently reading that California when adjusted for cost of living has the highest poverty rate in the country and that it also has the most welfare recipients.

The Right has been going nuts in the Trump era bashing California and called it a failed 3rd World state that looks the way it does because it’s controlled by Democrats. A lot of that is of course hyperbole, but there is a lot of struggle in California.

I’ve always found this argument a bit specious because there are 15 or so other states where Democrats control the governorship and legislature that don’t have the same quality of life problems. The Right will ignore of course that the majority of high-poverty states are red states.

But there is a question I’m wondering. Is the demographic change of California from majority White to now mostly Latino the reason for these economic problems? It stands to reason that if most of your demographic change is coming from immigrants of a poor country, it will make your state a poorer place.

And this has nothing to do with people voting Democratic per se. If tomorrow 10 million Central Americans immigrated to Nebraska I’m sure you’d see similar issues emerge.

Good question.  This is an excellent hypothesis, actually. I just don’t think there is much of anything to it.

High Cost of Housing: The Secret Behind All of the Problems

The adjusted poverty rate is due to the high cost of housing. Everything else flows from that. What are we supposed to do about it? This is a problem of capitalism. Explain what the state is supposed to do about this housing problem.

I mean we are trying to do a lot of things but the money’s not available for a total solution to the problem. Also our solutions are running into a lot of NIMBYism.

The Homeless Cataclysm

We are fairly kind to our homeless here, so other states kindly put their homeless on buses to California, especially cities like San Francisco. We are trying to deal with this homeless problem as best as we can. What are we supposed to do? The homeless problem is also tied into the housing problem.

Problems of Penal System Reform

The problem is also drugs. Face it, a lot of the homeless are mentally ill or alcohol or drug addicted. They can’t work even if they wanted to. We have decriminalized a lot of drug use here and we released a lot of inmates and reduced a lot of crimes from felonies to  misdemeanors. Also our jails and prisons are badly overcrowded. Hence a lot fewer minor offenders are getting locked up and a lot of them are just roaming the streets instead.

Problems of Drug Decriminalization or Legalization

Everyone says we ought to decrim drug use and I have always tended to agree. But this is what you end up with when you do that. In Seattle, they look the other way on minor drug use and possession, hence there is a huge amount of open drug possession, use, and dealing, a lot of it right out in the open and associated with the homeless.

The drug of choice is often methamphetamine, which can make you act pretty crazy. So you have these crazed meth heads roaming around the streets scaring everyone, certain streets no-go zones due to open drug use, homeless everywhere, even sleeping on sidewalks  where you have to step over them, and rampant crime, mostly petty thievery from stores as addicts steal like crazy to get money for their habits.

I am at a loss to do about any of these problems, sorry. I just want to throw up my hands.

What’s Wrong with Social Programs?

So we have a lot of welfare? Big deal. That’s the state trying to deal with the poverty problem. Good for the state! Keep in mind that to these guys, everything is welfare: Section 8, Food Stamps, Disability, Workman’s Comp, reduced utility bills, on and on.

Serious Limits on What a Mere State Can Do about These Things

We are a very liberal state with a very liberal Legislature that cares a lot about these problems, but they are beyond the scope of the state government to deal with, much less fix. But we are trying our best. Ask these Republicans what we ought to be doing instead.

I don’t think changing from a majority White state to a majority Hispanic state has much to do with it. There is a lot of poverty, here but there is also a lot of wealth. Keep in mind that California has the 8th largest economy on Earth, higher than the vast majority of actual countries. And we’re not even a country. We are just a state.

Alt Left: Economics and Culture: The Deadly Duo

Tulio: Are you familiar with Tim Pool? Would you say he’s Alt-Left? Also do you think Tulsi Gabbard is Alt-Left?

In a way, Tulio is brilliant. He has this knack of summing up whole complex issues in a sentence or two. He’s a genius at that. When the Alt Left first came out, Tulio said, “The Alt Left is just redpilled socialists!” That hit it so perfectly. However there are both liberal and Leftist wings and the left economics ranges from Keynesianism with a safety net to socialism and even communism and anarchism, though there are not many of the latter.

Yeah, Tulsi is Alt Left. So is Yang. So it Cenk Uighur, Kyle Kuklinski and the Young Turks. I just looked up Tim Pool, and yes, he would be Alt Left for sure. Who’s the comedian with glasses who works with Kuklinski? He’s Alt Left too. We’re out there.

There is also a movement called the Dirtbag Left that is Alt Left. It’s associated with Chapo Tree House, an internet radio show. That show would be Alt Left too. There are people called Bernie Bros, who supposedly sexist or at least antifeminist men who are Bernie supporters. They would be Alt Left, although we are opposed to sexism.

The Russian Communist Party would be Alt Left.

I really hate to say it but a couple of those mass shooters were Alt Left. The Christchurch shooter was very hard to categorize. He was not a typical rightwinger at all. Sadly, I’m afraid he was Alt Left. And the El Paso shooter was also Alt Left.

The way I see it is any time you have any sort of leftwing economics and rightwing or centrist on culture, it’s automatically Alt Left. In that case, Third Positionism, NazBols and even Strasserites would be Alt Left.

Obviously you can have very good and very bad people with the combination of leftwing economics and right or centrist on culture.

Really though, the official Alt Left movement would have to preclude the two shooters, Nazbols and Strasserites due to their racism. So the official Alt Left has some but not complete overlap with Third Positionism.

The whole problem is that culture has become completely married to economics and the left/right split. If you’re anti-Cultural Left, you are automatically rightwing and you go rightwing on economics. No exceptions. Now you can be rightwing on economics but left on culture. Those are Libertarians, and we are similar to them in some ways but not in others. Now if you’re left on economics, you must go left on culture. No exceptions.

Our movement got written up in some Polish  political magazines and a prominent political scientist actually wrote an article on us. There is a Polish Left, but Poles tend to be rather conservative on cultural stuff.

Left on economics: Pro Cultural Left, no exceptions!

Anti-Cultural Left: rightwing on everything, no exceptions. This has been the bete noir of the Alt Left, our bugaboo. Every time we find someone who is anti-Cultural Left, they’re more or less conservative. Or they start out left on economics but as they pound away at the Cultural Left stuff, they start drifting further rightwing on economics and other things. It’s as if culture and economics are locked together somehow.

The exceptions are:

Pro-Cultural Left: Can be right or left on economics. Mostly left but there are a lot of Libertarian rightwingers too.

Right on economics: Can go either pro or con on Cultural Left. Libertarians go pro-Cultural Left.

Alt Left: Why Conservatism Is Inherently Dishonest and Undemocratic

Wisdom and knowledge are not on the side of the rich. The economics and politics of the rich is a fool’s errand – great for the rich but disastrous for everyone else. This is why the rich buy up all the media and the state and use both to push 24-7 propaganda lies about how the economics of the rich is the best thing for your everyday person.

They have to lie about this all the time because it is so manifestly untrue. This is why conservatism, at least the political economic variety, is always undemocratic and completely dishonest.

If the rich were honest about this matter, they would say, “The political economy that we push is great for us but terrible for most of the rest of you. But you all should support because reasons.” Incredibly enough, many ordinary Americans more or less believe this, but they see their non-wealthy status as a failure for which they blame themselves, and they tell themselves their whole lives that they are going to be rich too one day.

Alt Left: Six European Nations Join Worthless INSTEX Trade Mechanism with Iran, by Stephen Lendman

As you can see, the much-vaunted INSTEX is more or less useless, but it allows the EU nations to say that they are doing their best to engage in humanitarian trade with Iran.

Six European Nations Join Worthless INSTEX’s Trade Mechanism with Iran

The EU Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) with Iran became operational in June — a smoke and mirrors scheme to bypass dollar transactions, unrelated to restoring normal European trade with Iran.

It’s an illusory financial transactions mechanism, pretending to reinstate normal trade with Iran — not fulfilled since announced in January.

What’s supposed to be an oil for goods mechanism is only for what the Trump regime hasn’t sanctioned, failing to cover exports of Iranian oil, gas, petrochemicals, and other products. It also falls woefully short of facilitating Iranian imports of food, medicines, and medical equipment.

Establishing it created the phony appearance of Brussels wanting normal trade relations with Iran. Reality is polar opposite.

European countries operate as US colonies, following its diktats, especially regarding relations with nations on its target list for regime change like Iran. JCPOA signatories Britain, France, Germany, and the EU failed to fulfill their mandated JCPOA obligations, going along with the Trump regime’s aim to kill the deal while pretending to want it saved.

On November 29, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden issued a joint statement, saying the following:

They

attach the utmost importance to the preservation and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program by all parties involved (sic)…

adding:

The nuclear agreement was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council and is a key instrument for the global non-proliferation regime and a major contribution to stability in the region.

In light of the continuous European support for the agreement (sic) and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it (sic), and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran (sic), we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of…INSTEX.

Fact: The above named countries, other European ones, and Canada breached the JCPOA by failing to abide by its provisions. Since the Trump regime illegally abandoned the agreement, breaching international and US constitutional law, European countries and Canada severed normal economic, financial, and trade relations with Iran.

Nations joining INSTEX changed nothing. They remain in breach of their international obligations by failing to observe JCPOA provisions. Unless and until they change policy, they remain complicit with Trump regime economic terrorism on Iran for its opposition to US aggression, support for Palestinian rights, and unwillingness to sell its soul to the imperial state at the right price.

Weeks earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the following:

For the past five months, Europe has been trying to give us credit in return for the sale of the Iranian crude oil to make the country stay in the JCPOA, but it has not been able to do even this little job because it is not even allowed by its master to spend its own money for its own security.

Its member states refuse to exercise their sovereign rights in dealings with Iran unless a higher power in Washington permits it.

On Saturday, Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission spokesman Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said European JCPOA signatories have been in breach of the deal since the Trump regime illegally abandoned it. Iran’s legitimate incremental pullback of its voluntary JCPOA commitments failed to encourage its European signatories “to fulfill (their) obligations.”

On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Gholam Hossein Dehqani said:

inhumane (US) sanctions have negatively impacted the supply of medicines and treatment for more than 70,000 victims of chemical weapons in our country and have in fact hindered the treatment of chemical attacks victims.

In response to six more European nations joining INSTEX, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi  said the following:

The more European countries join the INSTEX mechanism as the shareholders, the better, but the effectiveness of the mechanism is another matter

adding that he doubts Europe will take practical steps to restore normal trade relations with Tehran.

The JCPOA is in “intensive care,” he stressed, Europe failing to save it by following hostile US policies toward Iran. Tehran joined the JCPOA to restore normal economic, financial, and trade relations with Europe. Without normalization, the deal is meaningless.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Alt Left: “Hong Kong – Pure Western Insanity,” by Peter Koenig

I don’t really know what to say about this article. But I do not support these protests in Hong Kong at all. They’re all pro-US conservatives! The protestors also support US foreign policy to the hilt and they support all neoconservative regime change operations. Why on Earth should I support any pro-US movement anywhere? They’re mostly bad news.

Hong Kong negotiated a deal with China in 1997. Over a 50 year period, Hong Kong would slowly revert back to Chinese rule, and all Chinese laws would be enforced. That’s what is happening here. The rioters are trying to go back on the deal. The thing is, Hong Kong is part of China! That’s all there is to it. If they don’t like being a part of China, maybe they should take off.

This whole mess started when a man in China murdered his wife. He was arrested in Taiwan. However, Taiwan has no extradition treaty with China, so he was not extradited to China, though he was wanted there for murder. So all of these riots started to support a wife killer.

Also, Hong Kong is full of corrupt officials. It’s one of the most corrupt places on Earth. It’s also an international money laundering haven for rich people in the West. That is its main value to the US and UK – as a money laundering center.

The government has always been very rightwing and pro-business. Business gets to do whatever it wants. The corruption among government officials is extreme, as they are all from the very rich and are tied in with the business community. Whenever you have a government of businessmen, you always have the most extreme corruption. Capitalists and corruption go hand in hand.

China wants to prosecute a number of these officials for corruption because the Hong Kong courts and justice system are completely corrupt and is controlled by the same wealthy corrupt businessmen that run the economy and the government.

I’m not really understanding the rest of the rioters’ demands. However, they have been extremely violent since early on, and the police have been remarkably easy on them. I doubt if police would go that easy on rioters anywhere else in the world.

A good 40% of the population oppose the riots because of the violence and destruction. However, the demonstrators and rioters do have major support inside Hong Kong. I don’t know what to say about that.

Obviously these are secessionists. They want to secede and become a US colony. That’s not going to happen and China is right to be alarmed at this color revolution right next door. The CIA and all the rest of the US regime change color revolution organizations have been involved in this from Day One.

Hong Kong – Pure Western Insanity

The impunity with which the US aggresses Hong Kong is insane. Equally or more insane is Western media coverage of what is going on in Hong Kong. Not one word on how the incredible “pro-democracy” vote of the rather unimportant District Council Elections was achieved. Of the 18 District Councils, 71% went to “pro-democracy” candidates.

Such an extreme anti-Beijing vote could only be obtained by massive Western propaganda at the cost of millions of dollars, targeted with algorithms developed on the principles of the now (apparently) defunct Cambridge Analytica. And this with 70% of eligible voters going to the polls.

None of this practically non-realistic result was analyzed by the West and reported on. In reality, the vast majority of Hong Kongers is sick and tired of the western inspired violence, but are very much proud of being Chinese citizens.

They were told by the propagandists that voting for ‘democracy’ candidates was the way to bring peace. And Peace is what everyone wants. After all, integrated into China in 1997, they have enjoyed much more freedom than under British colonialism, where they were not even allowed to vote for their district councils.

The absurdity does not stop here. The US Congress has recently passed legislation that would allow the US monitoring ‘democracy’ and human rights in Hong Kong, the so called “Human Rights and Democracy Act”, with the caveat of imposing sanctions if Beijing would transgress on the US imposed rules. Can you imagine? Can anyone imagine this all-overarching arrogance?

The US Congress passing legislation to control another foreign territory? And the West goes along with it. It may happen soon in Europe too that the US dictates what sovereign nations are allowed to do and not to do.

It is already happening. The US prohibits Europe to do business with whom they want – i.e. Iran, if not, they are being punished. No comments. It’s just the new normal. In the case of Hong Kong, Beijing has protested, called the US Ambassador twice to discuss the matter – to no avail.

It gets even more ludicrous. Madame Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, has published in the Saturday issue of the South China Morning Post an article seeking full and “independent and impartial judge-led investigation” into police conduct at protests as part of confidence-building measures.

The statement in itself already takes sides, as it does in no way address the foreign-inspired violence of protesters, who, for example, are using a university campus to build Molotov-type bombs and other incendiary devices.  The Chinese Government immediately rebuked the article accusing Ms. Bachelet of further inflaming ‘radical violence’.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Chen Yaou, spokesman for China’s permanent mission to the UN, launched a scathing attack on what he called an “erroneous article” by Michelle Bachelet. Chen emphasized that China “strongly opposed” Bachelet’s article, saying she had interfered in the internal affairs of China and would only encourage protesters to use more radical violence. Mr. Chen added that

the protesters were seeking to create chaos in the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), paralyze the HK SAR government and seize the administrative power of the Hong Kong SAR with the aim of rendering the ‘one country, two systems’ principle defunct.

Cheng also said that his government stands fully behind Ms. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive.

Despite the overwhelming pro-democracy vote on 24 November 2019, protests continue. Thousands took to the streets on Saturday afternoon assembling before the United States Consulate in Central, to “express gratitude” for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. They were waving US flags and chanting the Star-Spangled Banner and were asking for more support. They pledge not to let go until all their demands are met.

Essentially, they want total independence from Beijing and to become a US colony. They should look to Puerto Rico at what it means to be a US colony if they what Washington does to its colonies. Or closer to their own history. They should look at their UK colonial past, and remember their state of oppression, the almost zero rights they had then.

What does this all mean for Hong Kong? At the time of the UK handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong contributed about 18% to China’s GDP. Already before the protests began some 6 months ago, it had shrunk to a mere 3%. Within the last few months HK’s economic output has further declined, as key financial institutions want stability and therefore are leaving Hong Kong for safer venues, i.e. Singapore, and, indeed, even for Shanghai, which is rapidly becoming the financial hub of the east.

The real purpose of the 50-year special status of Hong Kong that the UK (and US) negotiated with Beijing was to keep this unregulated Eastern financial paradise alive for Western oligarchs’ often illicit and tax-evading financial transactions of which the Western – UK and US – bankers and financiers were the key beneficiaries and profiteers.

These US-inspired violent protests are meant to destabilize the Government of Beijing – which is, of course, a pipe dream – when in fact, they are slowly committing suicide. Washington and London are disabling Hong Kong of her West-serving money-laundering capacity.

And if it comes really down to the level of intolerant crime and violence against the majority of HK citizens by this foreign-inspired and -funded disruption of SAR, Beijing could in less than 24 hours put an end to it. So simple. The West could just gape but say nothing, because it is in Beijing’s full right to restore law and order in their territories.

Now, let’s look again at the US arrogance to pass legislation to control a foreign territory. Could anyone imagine the logical opposite? Suppose China passes legislation to ban any foreign interference in their territories with the threat of sanctions.

These could include outright import bans for certain US goods – for example, agricultural produce, or stopping crucial exports to the US (iPhones, computers, other US-outsourced manufactured-in-China goods), barring certain US citizens from entering China – or, God forbid, building a military base in Venezuela and/or Mexico – Mexico being the latest Latin American country being harassed by the US for its left-leaning government.

It is only by equals facing equals that maybe, just maybe, we can achieve harmonious and peaceful coexistence. This applies politically as much as it does economically – and in economics, China is the unspoken front-runner with a strong and stable currency backed by her economic output and gold, versus an entire not only US but Western economy based on fiat money.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank he penned Implosion, an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. Exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image: More than a million Hong Kongers joined marches in June to oppose a China extradition law. But some say the US is quickly backing the protests. Photo: Don Ng/ EyePress

Male Bullying of Other Males in Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood

Jason: I can handle “guys being guys,” but that’s not how @Robert Lindsay and others probably see “guy behavior”. No, I don’t condone the behavior of the Karate Kid (the original movie) bullies!

Wait a minute! I don’t support grown men being out and out bullies! That behavior needs to stop by age 20 or so. As a grown man there are better ways of driving the point home than bullying – shunning, rejection, disapproval, etc.

I really dislike men who bully other men. I really don’t see the point, honestly. I’m not an asshole and I don’t get off on screaming and yelling at and threatening other men. I don’t like mean men very much. Sometimes I even cheer when they get murdered LOL.

I don’t know why you keep saying I support bullies. It’s true that in childhood some boys are such extreme outliers that they probably need some bullying to get them to act in a more prosocial direction. Furthermore, a lot of times it works. Anyway, boys will never accept boys who are serious outliers. They will torment them until the end of time. So you are tilting at windmills here and fighting a war you will never win.

The “bad boys” like SHI was are not always bad people, and most of them grow out of it as they get older. I don’t condone that behavior because they pick on a wide spectrum of boys beyond the designated victims. But I don’t know if you can stop that much either.

If you teach boys to toughen up and figure out why they are getting bullied, it helps. The bullies are picking on something about you. It might be healthy to identify what they are targeting in you and try to change it if you want to. That’s how you can make yourself a lot more bully-proof.

Quit being a nerd and turn into a cool guy LOL. I’m not mandating making these changes, but often if you figure out why they are attacking you and strive to change those things about you (provided you think they need changing) a lot of the bullies will fade away. Bullies don’t pick on popular people.

I’m not supporting bullying in high school, but extremely weird outliers like extreme, laughable nerds, well, they’re going to get it, sorry. Quit acting like such a damned freak, dammit! I mean assuming you can change that is.

Once you get past 20 or so, most men need to knock it off. Face it, bullying other males is childish behavior. That what little boys and teenage boys do. Grown men are not supposed to bully other men like shitty teenage delinquents. There’s not a lot of good you can say about adult men bullying other men.

I know society likes it – Forbes has an annual feature called “The 100 Meanest Bosses in Corporate America.” These are supposedly the best bosses in the country! So capitalism supports this pathology. I don’t see why it’s necessary for your boss to be a bullying, screaming, yelling, threatening psychopathic maniac.

Alt Left: Treatment of Official Minority Groups in China

SHI: They are forcing the Uyghurs, what remains of the Tibetans and the Mongols in Inner Mongolia to intermarry with the Han population so that the country’s Sinicization is complete. They’re already 95% Han Chinese in that country. It’s not good enough for them, so now they want to push it to 100%.

I haven’t heard about that. Perhaps that is because those ethnicities are in rebellion.

There are ~80 officially recognized ethnic groups in China. They represent millions of people. They have full cultural rights. They all also have a right to native tongue education in school – that’s right, most Chinese minorities get to take their education in their native language.

For the larger ethnicities like the Uyghurs and Tibetans, I believe they even have universities in their languages. They are allowed to have TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines in their native languages. I’m not aware of any efforts to wipe out any other ethnicities by marrying them into the Han. Mostly they just live in their ethnic areas (which are often autonomous zones), and everyone just leaves them alone to do what they want.

All of those ethnicities were in terrible shape before the Communists took over. The CCP improved things dramatically for all of those groups. A lot of them were living in feudalism or near-slavery. Also the CCP dramatically improved all of these groups in terms of economics. There was a webpage up for a while from the Chinese government that over in great deal how the  Chinese government had improved matters for each ethnic group. It was very convincing.

China has long been at the forefront of good treatment for its minorities. The USSR was too.

The thing is that a Kashmir-type episode probably would never happen in China. Kashmiris would have been given full cultural rights and right to education in their native tongue in China. Also they would have given them an autonomous zone. It doesn’t sound like India has done anything like this to Kashmir, right?

Are you aware the current fascist leadership of India is planning to send 2 million people in Assam to detention camps?

2 million Assamese to camps? Wow.

SHI: I just feel a large nation state like PRC is too powerful for its own good.

The problem is that the enemies of China are the ones who want to break it up. They want to do this in order to weaken it. See how that works? Why break up your country to make it weaker when that’s nothing but a plot via your enemies?

Alt Left: India and China: A Comparison

SHI: The Rapeublic of India is taking a leaf out of the PRC book when it detains Kashmiri politicians and opposition leaders. So every time I read about the Uyghurs in China, it rings close because the Indian fascist regime is engaged in closely similar tactics.

They’re different countries. China is a Communist dictatorship. Commies don’t mess around. They kill people, put lots of people in prisons, etc. It’s just what they do.

India is theoretically a democracy. They should not be acting like a totalitarian state. That’s way out of line.

To me, China runs on the Maoist principle of serve the people. They are also one of the countries on Earth (unlike us) who believe in the greatest good for the greatest number. They really are out to help everyone, with a special emphasis on the poor. Does India (or the US for that matter) work on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number? Of course not.

India has utterly failed its poor. India and China were approximately equal on most social figures in 1949. Since then, China has leaped far ahead of India.

And the Indian capitalist system has resulted in 200 million excess deaths compared to China since 1949. That is, if they had followed the Chinese model, 200 million lives would have been saved. There are still 4 million excess deaths in India every year compared to China. Check out Amartya Sen’s work. That’s where I got most of these figures.

Further, at least 30 years ago, 14 million people died of malnutrition and hunger-related illnesses every year in the world. Most of those deaths were in South Asia. In my opinion, most of those deaths are tied into the private ownership of land (I am talking farmland here).

Neither India nor Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Nepal ever did a proper land reform. The issue comes up from time to time in India, but the Indian state is ruled by large landowners (instead of  corporations), so it never gets implemented. India’s going to have terrible problems until they do a proper land reform.

for Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Pakistan still has semi-feudal land relations with debt bondage and sharecropping, and it also has always been ruled by large semi-feudal landowners.

Alt Left: “Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated as Their City Loses to Mainland China,” by Andre Vltchek

I am sure most of you have heard of the riots convulsing Hong Kong. The Western media is only providing one point of view about these riots – heroic rioters fighting evil Communist dictatorship for freedom and democracy and sugar and spice and everything nice.

I urge you to think again. I don’t support these rioters. There’s really nothing to support. Further, as I hope to show in future pieces, the rioters absolutely do not have majority support. If you go against them, they beat you with clubs, fists and boots. They are destroying public property all over Hong Kong for no particularly good reason.

These are the children of the rich and the upper middle classes. The working class of Hong Kong, the poor, and older people are nowhere to be seen. Go talk to some of them and they will all tell you that they oppose these destructive riots.

If there was a referendum tomorrow on what the rioters want, it would lose. The rioters represent a significant group, but they are not a majority. They only have 35-40% support, and 60-65% of the people are against them.

Your average working class, poor, or older Hong Konger is a fairly conservative person. These silly riots go against traditional Chinese values. Sure, China is revolutionary, and that involves chaos and destruction, but since when are contras revolutionaries? Contras are never revolutionaries.

The young rioters think they are citizens of something called Hong Kong that is not a part of China. The silent majority with their more conservative values are proud to be what they have always considered themselves to be: citizens of China and heirs to its great civilization.

The rioters don’t get it. Hong Kong is not some separate thing. Hong Kong is part of China. It always was part of China. Sure, the British stole it for a while (during the Opium Wars to boot), but it was still part of China even then.

Hong Kong is now back to China where it has always been. The rioters are citizens of China, not some fake thing called Hong Kong. They obviously lack majority support in China proper, where recent polls show ~86% support for the Communist Party.

The CP runs China. Almost everyone in China supports the CP. I hate to tell people to love it or leave it, but if these kids don’t want to be part of China, perhaps they might wish to leave. Macao is right next door. And then there’s Taiwan. Or just calm down and quit being tools of the West.

I would like to add that a century of extreme anti-Communist propaganda is also driving these riots. Most Hong Kongers are extremely anti-Communist. Except now they live in a Communist country. Maybe it’s time they made some adjustments. You can only push a rock uphill for so long. At some point, even Sisyphus wears out and becomes just one more victim of the Law of Gravity. Maybe some causes are doomed from the start.

Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated, as Their City Is Losing to Mainland China

Hong Kong is losing to Mainland China. Its poverty rates are high; it suffers from corruption and savage capitalism. It is now the most expensive city on earth. People are frustrated, but paradoxically, they are blaming socialist Beijing for their problems instead of the legacy of British colonialism. ‘Across the line’, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Xiang and other cities are leaving Hong Kong behind in almost all fields.

When my dear friend and great concert pianist from Beijing, Yuan Sheng, used to live in New York, recording, giving concerts, and teaching at prestigious Manhattan School of Music, he told me that he used to cry at night:

“In the United States, they smear China. I felt hurt, defenseless.”

He returned to Beijing, gave back his Green Card and began teaching at Beijing Conservatory. He never regretted his decision. “Beijing is much more exciting than New York these days”, he told me.

It is obvious that Beijing is booming: intellectually, artistically; in fact, in all fields of life.

Yuan’s friend, who returned from London and became a curator at the iconic “Big Egg” (the biggest opera house on earth), shared her thoughts with me:

“I used to sit in London, frustrated, dreaming about all those great musicians all over the world. Now they come to me. All of them want to perform in Beijing. This city can make you or break you. Without being hyperbolic, this is now one of the most important places on earth.

Just under one roof, in one single night, we can have a Russian opera company performing in our big halls, in another there is a Chinese opera, and there is a Bolivian folklore ensemble in the recital hall. And ours is only one of Beijing’s theatres.”

When Chinese artists and thinkers are fighting for the prime venues with their Western counterparts, it is usually Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen ‘against’ London, Paris, and New York. Hong Kong is ‘somewhere there’, behind, suddenly a backwater.

While Hong Kong University and the City University of Hong Kong used to be the best in China, many mainland institutions of higher learning, including Peking University and Tsinghua, are now producing many more cutting-edge creative thinkers.

I spoke at all of these schools and can confirm that the young people in Beijing and Shanghai are extremely hardworking and endlessly curious, while in Hong Kong, there is always that mildly arrogant air of exceptionalism and a lack of discipline.

It used to be that the so-called “Sea Turtles” (students who went abroad or to Hong Kong and then returned to Mainland China), were treated like celebrities, but now, it is much easier to get a job with Mainland China’s diplomas.

Recently, while filming the riots in Hong Kong, I was told by a receptionist at one of the major shopping plazas:

“We do not treat visitors from Mainland China well. And they lost interest in Hong Kong. Before, they used to come here to admire out wealth. Now, most of them are avoiding this place. What we have, they have too, and often better. If they travel, they’d rather go to Bangkok or Paris.”

These days, the contrast between Xiang, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong is shocking. Mainland infrastructure is incomparably better. Public areas are vast, and cultural life much more advanced than in the former British colony.

While the Mainland Chinese cities have almost no extreme poverty (and by the end of 2020 will have zero), in Hong Kong, at least 20% are poor, and many simply cannot afford to live in their own city.

Hong Kong is the most expensive place on earth. Just to park a car in the city could easily cost over US $700 per month, and that’s just for working hours. Tiny apartments cost over a $1 million. Yet Salaries in Hong Kong are not higher than those in London, Paris, or Tokyo.

The city is run by an extreme capitalist system ‘planned’ by corrupt tycoons/developers. The obsolete British legal system here is clearly geared to protect the rich, not the majority. That was essentially why the “Extradition Bill” was proposed: to protect Hong Kong inhabitants from the unbridled, untouchable, as well as unelected de facto rulers. But after months of riots sponsored by the West, the Hong Kong administration scrambled the bill.

But there is also this ‘deal’ negotiated before Hong Kong was returned where it belongs – to China: “One Country, Two Systems”. It is an excellent contract for the turbo-capitalist magnates and for the pro-Western “activists”. And it is an extremely bad one for the average people of Hong Kong.

Young hooligans know very little about their city. I talked to them extensively during their first anti-Beijing riots in 2014, the so-called “Umbrella Revolution”.

Correctly, then and now, they have been frustrated about the declining standard of living and the difficulties of getting well-paid jobs and finding affordable housing. They told me there was no future for them and that their lives were going nowhere.

But quickly, their logic would collapse. While realizing what tremendous progress, optimism, and zeal could be observed in the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party, they still demanded more capitalism, the very thing which was actually ruining their territory. In 2014 and now, they are readily smeared the Communist Party.

Being raised on the shallow values of selfishness and egotism, they have now betrayed their own country, and have begun treasonous campaigns, urging foreign powers, including US and UK, to “liberate them”. All for a fleeting moment of fame, for a “selfie uprising”.

To liberate them from whom? China does not (unfortunately for Hong Kong) interfere in Hong Kong’s economic and social affairs. If anything, it builds new infrastructure, like the enormous bridge now connecting Hong Kong with Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and a high-speed train system linking Hong Kong with several cities in Mainland China.

Huanzhou high-speed train station, one of the biggest in the world

The more restraint Beijing shows, the more it gets condemned by the rioters and Western media for ‘brutality’. As more subway stations and public property get destroyed by rioters, more sympathy flows for them from the German, US, and British right-wing politicians.

For decades, the British colonialists humiliated  the people of Hong Kong while simultaneously turning their city into a brutal and by the Asian standards ruthless and fully business-oriented megalopolis. Now people are confused and frustrated. Many are asking, “Who am I?”

For Hong Kong, this is a difficult moment of soul-searching.

Even those who want to “go back to the UK” can hardly speak English. When asked why they were rioting, they mumble something about the democracy and freedom of the West, plus the evilness of Beijing. Brochures from obscure, extremist Japanese religious cults are distributed amongst the rioters.

It’s pure intellectual chaos. Rioters know nothing about Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and other countries which are being ruined by the West.

Leaders like Joshua Wong proudly collude with the Western embassies. To praise Chinese socialism publicly is now dangerous – people get beaten by the “pro-democracy” rioters, for such “crimes”.

Highly educated and overly-polite Singapore is literally sucking out hundreds of foreign companies from Hong Kong. Its people speak both English and Mandarin. In Hong Kong, the great majority speaks only Cantonese.

Many foreigners in Hong Kong are also relocating to Shanghai. Not only big businessmen: Shanghai is now full of European waiters.

Even tourism is down in Hong Kong, by 40%, according to the recent data.

Absurdly, the rioters want precisely what the Communist Party of China is providing: a real struggle against corruption, a determined attempt to solve housing crises, the creation of new jobs, and the provision of more public services. They want better education and generally a better life. They want “Shanghai or Beijing”, but they also say that they want to be a colony of the UK or a dependency of the USA.

They loosely define communist goals, and then they shout that they are against Communism. In short, politically speaking, they are very confused.

HNKChina is now ready to celebrate its 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People’s Republic of China.

Clearly, the West is using Hong Kong to spoil this great moment.

After leaving Hong Kong, in Shanghai, I visited a brilliant socialist realism exhibition at the iconic, monumental China Art Museum. The country under the leadership of President Xi is once again confident, revolutionary, and increasingly socialist, to horror of declining West.

It is a proud nation with great, elegant cities constructed by the people, for the people, and with a progressively ecological countryside. Its scientific, intellectual ,and social achievements speak louder than words.

China Art Museum, Shanghai.

The contrast between Hong Kong and Shanghai is tremendous and growing.

But do not get me wrong: I like Hong Kong. I have  more than 20 years of history with that old, neurotic, and spoiled lady. I can feel her pulse. I love old trams and ferries and out-of-the-way islands.

But Hong Kong’s charm lies in its decay.

Mainland China’s beauty is fresh. China is one of the oldest cultures on earth and one of the deepest. But it feels crisp, full of hope, and positive energy. Together with its closest ally, Russia, it is now working and fighting for the entire world; it is not selfish.

Hong Kong is fighting only for its vaguely defined uniqueness. Actually, it is not Hong Kong that is fighting, as most of people there want to be where they truly belong – in their beloved nation – China. It is a gang of kids with their face masks that is fighting. In brief: a relatively big group of pro-Western extremists whose leaders are putting their fame above the interests of the people.

Hong Kong has no “Big Egg”: no famous theatre where the greatest musicians are stunning the world. Its only art museum has been closed for reconstruction for years and will re-open only at the end of 2019. Its cultural life is shallow, even laughable, especially pathetic for the place that is branding itself “Asia’s World City”. There are no great discoveries made here. It is all business. Big, big business. And creeping decay.

Beijing could ‘liberate’ Hong Kong easily to give it purpose, pride, and future.

But young hooligans want to be liberated by Washington instead. They want to be recolonized by London. And they have not consulted their fellow citizens. That clearly reflects their idea about ‘democracy’. Not the “rule of the people” but the “rule of the West”.

Not only do they feel spite for their country, but they also scorn and intimidate their fellow citizens who only want to live meaningful lives based on Chinese values.

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook where this article was originally published. 

Alt Left: Show Me One American Corporation That Won’t Promote Fascist Coups in the Third Word

RL: Elon Musk is the US corporate leader who wants to get his mitts on that lithium more than anyone else. I always suspected he was a piece of crap but I could never quite prove it (though stories about how he forbids unions and grossly abuses his workers were suggestive), and if it’s true that he was behind this fascist coup, then I was right.

SHI: Musk’s a pure scumbag. Pretends to be a humble person and has his mitts on every new technology that will be used in a future Orwellian state – security cameras, smart vehicles, biometrics, thought control (Artificial Intelligence), etc.. Just another Antichrist agent. I hate this man; he makes me sick to my guts.

I don’t hate all capitalists. I mean when I was in college I used to look up to Bill Gates, as I was aspiring to be a computer nerd myself. Sure he’s a psychopath and a monopolist, but at least he’s someone I can relate to and have a good conversation with. The likes of Elon Musk have a God complex that sees all human beings as tiny insects.

In other words, Elon Musk is a monster. I was worried that that might be the truth about that man. There was always something creepy about that man. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Would Bill Gates support fascist coups by the US government? That’s my litmus test. Almost 100% of US corporations support fascist coups to remove leftwing governments. They will not abide any leftwing governments anywhere on Earth.

Not all capitalists act bad. In a number of countries, the capitalists are reigned in by the state. The Indian capitalists at least do not support Western corporate imperialism and do not go around the world overthrowing every Left regime in sight.

India has good relations with a lot of Left countries. So that means that the Indian state is not run by its capitalists. Instead the Indian state, for all of its faults, is a proud leader of the Nonaligned Movement, which I strongly support.

I also think that to some extent, India has a national economy and has a state that in some sense guides and runs the economy. There is some sort of an Indian state that is separate from the Indian capitalists. Well, right there in the Indian Constitution it says that India is a socialist country, so there is that pedigree.

For instance, Indian capitalists apparently don’t care that India has good relations with Venezuela, Iran, Syria, etc. Indian capitalists are perfectly willing to abide by and trade with a leftwing country.

The capitalists in Turkey, Russia, a lot of the Arab World (except the Gulf countries – especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE, which are in bed with Western corporate imperialism, much to their discredit), South Asia in general, Southeast Asia, most of East Asia, Oceania, Central Asia, and most of Africa are similar. The states that those capitalists reside in are all part of the non-aligned movement.

The real fascist monsters of the world who won’t abide by any left government anywhere on Earth are the US, Canada, Australia, most all of Europe (with sometimes exceptions of Italy and Spain, Japan, and any rightwing government in Latin America.

They run around the world strong-arming every country to let their corporations in to rape and steal the resources of that country, and if you don’t let them in, they get hostile, put sanctions on you, or try to fund a fascist coup. And most of those European states are officially socialist (social democracies).

I’m starting to have a very low opinion of European social democrats. For one, they all support fascist coups against democratically elected leftwing leaders. Since when do socialists support fascist coups against leftwing and socialist regimes?

I was mystified for some time but then I realized that social democracy, for all of its benefits, is basically just capitalism. Even in Sweden, 93% of the economy is capitalist. So the foreign policies of the European social democracies are to do whatever benefits their corporations. The European social democracies are run by their corporations, just like the US.

European social democracies used to be different back in the 1980’s. They supported the Communist Bloc, the Sandinistas, and even the FARC rebels in Colombia.

Something terrible happened, maybe the fall of the Eastern Bloc. After that, there was one superpower, the US, and I suppose all the European countries in NATO just lined up behind the sole superpower.

In case you are interested, NATO has always been run by the US. It’s basically an American-run organization. The rest just follow along.

Alt Left: Probable Reason for the Bolivian Fascist Coup: Bolivia Has Huge Lithium Deposits

I am thinking that the fascist coup in Bolivia was due to lithium deposits, and I am really starting to think that Elon Musk was in on this coup. China and Bolivia are two countries that have significant lithium deposits. I believe that Afghanistan has some too, and some say that that is one of the main reasons we are over there with our damned army.

China’s are locked up and the US wants Bolivia’s lithium. A month ago, Morales nationalized the lithium deposits and said they were for the Bolivian people only. This was around the time that big foreign corporations were badgering him to let them develop the lithium deposits.

Lithium makes the batteries that all those cellphones run on. Maybe electric cars too. It’s a must-have element and the US wants to lock up a lot of the market for it. There was no way we were going to tolerate Morales keeping control over the lithium deposits for the Bolivian people.

Elon Musk is the US corporate leader who wants to get his mitts on that lithium more than anyone else. I always suspected he was a piece of crap but I could never quite prove it (though stories about how he forbids unions and grossly abuses his workers were suggestive), and if this is true, then I was right.

I’m starting to think that just about all corporate capitalist types are pure ratfucks. It’s like they can’t possibly be anything other than scumbags. If they try to act decent, they will get destroyed by the pond scum.

This is making me even more of a socialist. I’m also starting to think that capitalists will always support fascism and will always go fascist if it comes down to that. I now believe that capitalists will always hate democracy and try to destroy any Left government that gets anywhere near power.

I am thinking that capitalists will start wars over money and kill huge numbers of human beings just so they can make a sleazy buck. I mean how low of a person is that? Capitalists literally kill completely innocent people for money. They do it all the time, habitually, without a thought in their minds. That’s pretty low, like Ted Bundy low.

And if capitalists are doomed to be this way, then capitalism cannot be reformed, sorry. You can manage it like the Chinese and Russians are doing and use it as a carefully controlled tool to develop the productive forces, but you can’t let it take over and become a form  of Politics, like it is in most of the world. It doesn’t work. It’s never worked in the past, it doesn’t now, and it will never work in the future. Capitalism is doomed.

The Secret to China’s Success – The Capitalists Are Kept out of Politics

China isn’t really a capitalist country. Why not? Because the capitalists are not in politics. They don’t run the country. The market or the capitalists are a tool to develop the forces of production instead of a form of Politics as they are most everywhere else, where they manage to conveniently screw up most everything for the masses.

The Communist Party rules China and the Hell if they are going to let the capitalists take over their country and run it into the ground like they do everywhere else. Instead the market is simply a tool, and the capitalists are barred from politics as they ought to be.

Capitalists should just make stuff. They’re pretty good at that. Once they gain political power, they seem to blow up everything and turn it all to Hell. Want some evidence? Open your eyes and look around at the capitalist world. See?

In China the capitalists have to go along with the Communist Party’s plans. New labor laws? Suck it up, capitalists. New pollution controls? Better fix those smokestacks, capitalists. The capitalists don’t have any say in this because if you let them take over, they always vote to ruin labor and destroy all the environmental laws because that’s what the profit motive demands.

Capitalists in China have to follow the Party’s five year plans. They have to do what the government says, or orders, for that matter. If the capitalists defy the party and don’t do as they’re told, the Party will just go in and confiscate all their property.  They’ll steal all your stuff. So that’s good motivation to get along and go along. Then they will either nationalize it or turn it over to one of their friends who is a bit more obedient.

There is a Party committee that sits on the board of directors of all large corporations. Large corporations are frequently bought out and nationalized. The state must own a proportion of all foreign corporations that set up shop in China. Apple wants to set up a factory? Fine, but the government gets a piece of that.

The banking is almost all controlled by the state. This is how China among a few other countries weathered the bankster economic crash of 2008. The state owned the banks so China was not plugged into world capitalist finance.

Japan is similar. There are a few very large banks at the top of the economic pyramid, and they are owned by the state.

Like in Korea, economic decisions about the development of the country are made by teams made up of the government and corporations. Korea’s giant conglomerates are nearly state-owned in part.

The Russian government is similar. It either owns outright or owns 50% of almost every large corporation in Russia.

A number of China’s state corporations are among the largest companies on Earth. They are right there in the Forbes 100 or even in the Forbes 50. They are immensely profitable and they generate a tremendous amount of money for the state, which is then used to develop the country or distributed to the people in one way or another. What’s wrong with that?

The Chinese state spends a staggering amount of money developing their country.  They do things quite easily, quickly, and even cheaply there – such as developing deep water ports or high speed rail systems – that either take forever and cost a fortune in the US or are simply not done, as they are economically unfeasible.

For instance, the US has decided that high-speed rail is not economically feasible in the US. How is it economically feasible in China, Japan, and Europe then? That argument is senseless.

China is presently pouring vast amounts of money into the rural areas, as they have been neglected. A lot of rural people move to the cities to seek their fortune. A lot of them don’t make it. China allows them to keep their farms as insurance when they do this, so rural folks who don’t make it in the cities always have the fallback of moving back to their farms. Hey, at least they can eat and survive.

This is where having the state own all the land in China comes in. Since the state owns all the land, the rural farms can remain as a backup insurance policy for rural workers who migrate to the cities and don’t make it.

If land in China was privately owned, that backup would not be available, and Chinese cities would be teeming with awful slums made up of rural dwellers migrated to the city. This sad scene is typical all over the capitalist world. But maybe it’s not necessary.

As noted, all land in China is owned by the state. Every inch of it. This is important as the private ownership of land is one of the main reasons that the India – Pakistan – Nepal – Bangladesh South Asian region is such a shithole. The best single thing India could do would be to abolish the private ownership of land.

In China, you get to own your house but not the land it’s built on. Sure you can lease out state land, even for a long time, but you can’t own it. In Netherlands, similarly all land is owned by the state. It’s not a bad idea.

A vast amount of the Chinese economy – 45% and growing – is publicly owned at some level or other, often at the municipal or even village level.

The state owns the vast irrigation system that underpins the entire rural economy. If that were privatized, all Hell would break loose. Think about it. You can’t have private corporations running the irrigation networks. Hell, we don’t even have that in the US.

The state used to run small schools and even medical centers in most rural villages, although they are getting away from that. Education is free through the graduate level. This also helps free graduates from being mired in poverty in debt for years or decades after they graduate. They keep their money to spend in the economy instead having most of their money go via debt bondage to parasitical bankers who don’t create anything of real value anyway.

Most capitalist banks in the West are giant loan-sharking institutions or casinos in the sky. Speculation isn’t real investment. It’s like going to the casino. If everyone just goes to the casino, this is good for the economy how? This is what happens when all that’s left of your economy is the economic mirage called “finance.”

Similarly, China now covers almost all typical medical care that people need. The state pays 85% and people pick up the rest. It’s easily affordable for most anything other than a very serious injury or illness such as cancer, which, unfortunately, the state won’t pay for.

This is a black mark to me, but it’s still better than our for-profit medicine system that wastes incredible amounts of the productive forces on overhead and executive payouts.

Medicare’s overhead is 2%. All the rest goes to medical treatment of patients, as it ought to. The overhead and profit of private insurance companies comes to 20%. So with Medicare, 98 cents of every dollar goes to actual health care, and with private insurance, only 80 cents of every dollar goes towards patient care. That’s obviously a grossly inefficient waste of economic resources. What’s this about the state being inefficient and the private sector being so efficient?

Once again, when the state covers your medical care, workers can not only relax, but they also don’t have to go into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty to  pay their medical bills. All of which helps whom? The vultures called for profit hospitals and insurance companies?

Why should sick people be financially ruined and living on the streets because they were so sick that they had to give every time they owned to some human shark in a corporate suit? In what possible world is this a just or even acceptable outcome?

Instead of being ruined, losing everything they own, and going homeless due to medical bills, with state health care, workers can keep working at their jobs and keep their money and their wealth as the state foots the doctor bills. So these workers remain productive and continue to spend money in the real economy. Win-win.

Alt Left: “Bolivia Faces Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, and South African-Style Apartheid?” by Andrew Korybko

Granted, there’s a lot of hyberbole in this article. There’s no evidence that ethnic cleansing of or South African-style apartheid against Bolivia’s Indians is going to happen, and it seems a bit far-fetched.

But trust me when I say that this coup is absolutely racist to the core.

The opposition in Bolivia is strange. They’re White Supremacist Nazis who aren’t even White people! They just think they’re White. I really doubt if there are more than 5-10% actual Whites in Bolivia – never mind that they’ve always run the country.

The Bolivian Nazi opposition are actually mestizos – how dark they are is a matter of conjecture – but they’re not pure White by any means. I remember the time I saw a Bolivian opposition woman waving a Nazi flag. I looked closely at her and she was quite brown-skinned. She had more or less White features, but she obviously had some Indian in her. The contrast was shocking. I’m thinking why in the Hell is this brown-skinned mestizo woman waving a Goddamned Nazi flag?

I guess they’re Whiter than the Indians so they think they’re White?

What’s odd here is that this seems to lend credence to the moronic anti-racists’ attitude that there’s no such thing as race and that race is simply a social construct.

That’s obliviously not true, but it’s definitely the case that the race people identify with is not necessarily their own. In other words, people’s own racial identification is often a hallucination or a product of their mind.

The opposition comes from the wealthier eastern part of Bolivia which is more of a tropical jungle than the freezing Andean highlands where the Quechua and Aymara Indians with the bowler hats reside and have long worked in the mines, lately mostly tin mines. Bolivia has long been one of the world’s biggest producers of tin.

Recently riches of oil and natural gas have been discovered in the east, and this has resulted in a lot of prosperity in that region.

Morales’ economy was not socialist by any means, but he infuriated these mestizos in the east by nationalizing the oil and gas reserves for the Bolivian people. Previously they had been privately owned, and having them owned by the private sector was a great way for a lot of the people in the east to suck a lot of that oil and gas money out of the country and into their pockets.

There are also Indians over in the east – lowland jungle Indians. I’m not sure that the easterners have any problems with them.

Morales also massively redistributed wealth in the country, taking a lot of the oil and gas wealth from the east and shifting it over to the Indians in the west. Obviously this infuriated the easterners. Well, if you think income redistribution is the definition of socialism, I suppose Morales had a socialist economy, but that’s not the way I define the term.

As the article points out, Bolivian politics have always been about the ruling mestizos and Whites’ overwhelming hatred of the Aymara and  Quechua Indians of the western mountains. That’s the theme running through Bolivian politics for over 100 years.

With Morales, for the first time, the Indians had power in Bolivia. It must have been a supreme insult for these haughty mestizos to be ruled by those lowly Indians. A similar dynamic is going on in Venezuela. The light-skinned ruling class is furious that darker-skinned more or less “niggers” are ruling over them. It’s like the maids and the servants taking over your mansion and locking you in your bedroom while they party with your stuff.

Morales also engaged in a lot of affirmative action with the Indians, so a lot of jobs were opened up to Indians that were closed off to them in the past. I assume that Bolivian Indians are about as competent or intelligent as Bolivian mestizos, so I don’t have a problem with AA when the groups are relatively equal.

I just don’t like lesser qualified people being hired and promoted over the more qualified ones. To say that’s perverse is an understatement.

But I believe that that AA for the Indians is definitely on its way out with this new government. They’ve made some statements along those lines.

Frankly, the statements being issued by the new fascist coup regime officials are absolutely shocking in their outrageous and blatant racism against Indians. There’s also a frightening amount of venom behind those words.

I knew the US always loves fascists, but I didn’t know we loved actual Nazis. Well, we supported them in prior fascist governments in South America in Bolivia and Argentina in particular.

And we installed a blatantly Nazi regime in Ukraine, mostly anti-Russian Nazis in that case. By the way, Israel was a strong supporter of the Nazi putschist regime in Ukraine. Many young Israelis went over to Ukraine to fight in the Maiden alongside out and out Nazis.

I’m sorry but I lose all respect for any Jew who supports Nazis for whatever insane reason they have. I really don’t care what happens to Jews like that. You don’t support your worst enemies for God’s sake. If you do, you’re an utterly amoral slug of a person, barely fit for life. You don’t stand for anything and you have no morals, no values, nothing at all of any consequence. You’re basically just a pure whore of a human being.

Here we are again, supporting Nazis, this time anti-Indian Nazis. Just when I think my country can’t get any lower, we do something like this.

Bolivia Faces Ethnic Cleansing, Racism and South African-Style Apartheid?

Post-coup Bolivia is at risk of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and South African-like apartheid unless the protesters succeed in putting substantial international pressure on the new “authorities” and ensuring that genuinely free and fair elections are held as soon as possible as the most realistic attempt to reverse the recent regime change.

Far From Over

The Hybrid War on Bolivia succeeded in carrying out regime change and could potentially have far-reaching geostrategic consequences, but its most devastating impact might be domestic if the new “authorities” are allowed to carry out their socioeconomic agenda.

Post-coup Bolivia is at risk of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and South African-like apartheid unless the protesters succeed in putting substantial international pressure on Jeanine Anez and her military backers in order to ensure that genuinely free and fair elections are held as soon as possible as the most realistic attempt to reverse the recent regime change.

“Former” President Morales’ Movement For Socialism (MAS) reached an agreement with the the self-professed “president” on Thursday night to work towards new elections, during which time lawmakers also voted to approve a member of MAS as the new Senate head. Although there are still protests and the death toll continues to rise, the latest political developments are somewhat encouraging, but that doesn’t mean that the Hybrid War itself is over, or even close to it.

A Christian Supremacist As The “Head Of State”

Anez is a Christian supremacist who harbors extremely racist views towards her country’s indigenous population. She wrote in a now-deleted tweet from April 14, 2013 that

“I dream of a Bolivia free of Satanic indigenous rites. The city is not for the Indian: they should go to the highlands or the Chaco”.

She also dramatically declared herself president while brandishing a gigantic Bible and stating that “the Bible has returned to the palace“, which was meant to imply that President Morales wasn’t really a Christian like he claimed but a paganist because of his previous support of indigenous religions.

It’s also extremely symbolic that her so-called “cabinet” doesn’t include a single indigenous person, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that the capital was convulsed in an orgy of violence against Morales’ many indigenous supporters the night that the coup succeeded.

Taken together, it convincingly appears that one of the hyper-nationalist coup plotters’ agendas is to ethnically cleanse the indigenous population out of the cities and back to the countryside where their racist supporters believe that they “belong” so that the “civilized” parts of the state can become “purely” Christian.

The Roots Of Racist Rage

President Morales’ 13 years in office saw the massive influx of indigenous people to the cities as this demographic became empowered through his socioeconomic policies and finally began to more actively play their rightful role in the country’s affairs.

This shift upset some of the mestizos who felt that their comparatively privileged positions were being challenged with the connivance of the state, which contributed to their rising anger against the long-serving leader and the racist-fascist views that some of them started to more openly embrace as a result of perceiving this to be a “civilizational struggle”.

Investigative journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton exposed the dark social trends behind the Bolivian coup in their piece last week titled “Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire — with foreign support.”, The article drew attention to the shadowy role played by Croatian-Bolivian oligarch Branko Marinkovic, who they wrote:

“has long been dogged by rumors that his family members were involved in the country’s powerful fascist Ustashe movement.”

It’s a well-known fact that many former fascist fighters from all over Europe fled to South America after the war, so it wouldn’t be surprising if those rumors about his family are true.

The Croatian Connection

Those journalists’ investigation revealed that Marinkovic shares Anez’ Christian fundamentalist views which also not-coincidentally align with the Ustashe’s.

Hence, the case can be put forth that some of the former fascist fighters who fled to South America (of which Marinkovic’s family might have been a part) fertilized the social soil over the past seven decades and made the revival of World War II-like fascism possible in present-day Bolivia.

Modern-day Croatia, one should be reminded, is the partial geopolitical revival of a Nazi puppet state, and it carried out the largest ethnic cleansing in Europe since 1945 during 1995’s US-backed “Operation Storm” against over 200,000 members of its indigenous Serbian minority.

History has an odd way of repeating itself, and while that same scenario probably won’t unfold the exact same way in post-coup Bolivia, its ethnic cleansing end game could potentially be pursued by pressuring the indigenous population to leave the cities en masse following a forthcoming campaign of state-supported intimidation against them.

“Clever” Ethnic Cleansing

This could be “cleverly” conducted away from the watchful eye of the international community through “plausibly deniable” means such as turning a blind eye towards fascist mob violence, the de-facto imposition of discriminatory hiring practices by coup-sympathizing mestizos, and the dismantlement of the plurinational state promulgated under President Morales on the basis of “removing societal divisions”.

The latter isn’t just purely speculative either since Anez said that:

“We want to be a democratic tool of inclusion and unity…We leave behind those times in which ethnic and class resentments which divide Bolivians are used as an instrument of political control…”

…which could be interpreted as a dog whistle to her supporters that the coup “authorities” intend to reverse the hard-earned socioeconomic and political gains that the indigenous population received during President Morales’ tenure.

Affirmative action programs could therefore be rolled back on the basis that they were “polarizing the country along ethnic and class lines” in a way inimical to Anez’ “inclusive and unifying” vision, potentially even making the AA programs restricted to specific territories instead of demographics so as to encourage indigenous migration back to the countryside as a first step towards apartheid.

Bolivian Bantustans

After all, to crudely paraphrase the feelings that many of the coup’s mestizo supporters have towards their indigenous compatriots, the mestizos believe the Indians are “uncivilized heathens” who “deserve” to live in ethnic “reservations” that would de-facto function as a Bolivian form of South Africa’s notorious “Bantustans”.

Putting pressure on this enormous segment of the population to “return to their rightful homes” for both physical safety and social security after being intimidated to leave the cities and having their affirmative action rights stripped from them unless they live in specific territorial zones could eventually accomplish the dual goals of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and the imposition of South African-like apartheid.

All the while, these Indians would also risk becoming slaves to the neoliberal-globalist system that the coup plotters are planning to impose upon the country, therefore becoming second-class citizens once again after almost a decade and half of finally experiencing freedom.

It’s therefore incumbent upon the Indians to do everything within their power to put substantial international pressure on the new coup “authorities” and ensure that genuinely free and fair elections are held in order to avert this worst-case scenario before it’s too late and the world stops caring.

This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America,” by John W. Whitehead

Interesting article. I do not think much of Mr. Whitehead or his lousy institute. I believe he is a fundamentalist Christian, and his institute is of that ilk.

Anyway, this is an interesting piece. However, I am getting a bit tired of hearing about this. The seems to be some sort of background evil in many capitalist societies. In fact, I know a man who became a Communist solely because of sex trafficking. He said that sex trafficking is an essential feature of capitalism. I would be inclined to believe. If you have capitalism, it seems that you have sex trafficking. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The usual propaganda that appears in all such articles in well on display in this piece. That includes the typical feminist lie of conflating adult women with minor teenage girls and little girls (They’re all the same – didn’t you know?) and especially conflating teenage girls with little girls (Didn’t you know that a 17 year old girl is exactly the same as a 7 year old girl?). I would wager that most of the “little girls” in this article are actually teenage girls.

That doesn’t mean it’s not horrible, but still, let’s be fair. Exactly how many little girl children are being trafficked in the US to pedophiles or child molesters? Exactly how many men who buy sex in the US want to be a damned little girl? I would say few.

Unfortunately, a Hell of a lot of male sex buyers would love to purchase a teenage girl, but that’s a bird of a different feather.

We also have the usual feminist crap about going after pimps (fine) and going after johns, while leaving the whores alone. Yeah, let’s prosecute the men who buy whores and let the whores off the hook! That’s the ticket. Because if it wasn’t for these evil men buying whores, there would be no such thing as whores. Haha.

There have probably been whores as long as there have been human females. Whoredom is an essential component of the Feminine Spirit for a variety of reasons that we need not go into here.

Wars on Prostitution strikes me as about as stupid as Wars on Drugs,Terror, Crime, Violence against Women, and other hopeless conflicts that cannot be won. None of these things are going to go away in the forseeable future, and they will probably not go away in any future I would imagine. At any rate, if the future looks about like today, surely all of these things will always be with us.

And this is the problem with female thinking. Women actually believe that we can wipe out terrorism, drugs, crime, and especially violence against women. All we need do is declare war on it and wa-la!

Every woman I know thinks we can wipe violence against women off the face of the Earth. How moronic. See how simple-minded women are? This is because women are utopians who more or less live in a fantasy world of gingerbread houses, princes and princesses, and everyone living happily ever after.

If women need to believe this to get through the day, that’s just fine. We all have our crutches. But when female thinking becomes public policy and law, all Hell breaks loose, and society descends into chaos. Which is exactly what is happening in the West now that we are living in a Matriarchy where female values, codes, rules, and ethics are set in stone in public policy and law.

Given that this  sex trafficking garbage has been going on for so long, how come we can’t get rid of it? Isn’t there any way to reduce the incidence of this nasty stuff – sex trafficking of minors?

The article at least gets the term sex trafficking right. A lot of feminist kooks are describing all prostitution as sex trafficking. The recent Epstein court case involved some pretty shady definitions of sex trafficking.

Sex trafficking is pretty much sex slavery, and it typically involves pimps. If you have been forced into prostitution or especially if you can’t leave any time you want to due to coercion, threats, or imprisonment, you are being trafficked. Any female prostitute who is free to go at any time is not being sex trafficked, period.

This article also tries to make the case that this is a new thing. It’s not.

It also tries to say that this stuff is exploding due to porn and whatnot. I’ve not seen any evidence that sex trafficking is on the rise in the US. If someone can provide me with some figures, I would happy to look at them.

I suppose the world is pretty much a lousy place, and horrors like this are simply part of modern capitalist society. But this crap was going on with primitive tribes before there was any capitalism. In a typical war, the victorious tribe killed all the men and took all the women as sex slaves. See Mohammad’s victory over the Jewish tribes of Arabia. And he wasn’t the only one. This has been the traditional method of tribal warfare for as long as we can tell.

Probably the best conclusion is that we humans are not that great. Sure, we have a lot of good in us, but we also have a Hell of a lot of evil (especially us men). It seems to be part of the human condition, and there doesn’t seem to be any getting away from it. Perhaps it’s best to accept that certain horrors characteristic of humans are here to stay and move on. We only have one life after all. No point wasting it wailing at the sky when all your crying won’t change a thing.

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America

Important article by John Whitehead first published by the Rutherford Institute and Global Research on April 24, 2019

Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old.

This is America’s dirty little secret.

Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big business in America, the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns.

As investigative journalist Amy Fine Collins notes,

“It’s become more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns. A pound of heroin or an AK-47 can be retailed once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day—and a ‘righteous’ pimp confiscates 100 percent of her earnings.”

Consider this: every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry.

According to USA Todayadults purchase children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.

Who buys a child for sex? Otherwise ordinary men from all walks of life.

They could be your co-worker, doctor, pastor or spouse,” writes journalist Tim Swarens, who spent more than a year investigating the sex trade in America.

In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 7,200 men (half of them in their 30s) seek to purchase sex with adolescent girls each month, averaging roughly 300 a day.

On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude.

It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.

“Human trafficking—the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution—is on its way to becoming one of the worst crimes in the U.S.,” said prosecutor Krishna Patel.

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

This is an industry that revolves around cheap sex on the fly, with young girls and women who are sold to 50 men each day for $25 apiece, while their handlers make $150,000 to $200,000 per child each year.

This is not a problem found only in big cities.

It’s happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.

As Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children points out,

The only way not to find this in any American city is simply not to look for it.”

Don’t fool yourselves into believing that this is merely a concern for lower income communities or immigrants.

It’s not.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged child sex workers in the U.S. These girls aren’t volunteering to be sex slaves. They’re being lured—forced—trafficked into it. In most cases, they have no choice.

In order to avoid detection (in some cases aided and abetted by the police) and cater to male buyers’ demand for sex with different women, pimps and the gangs and crime syndicates they work for have turned sex trafficking into a highly mobile enterprise, with trafficked girls, boys and women constantly being moved from city to city, state to state, and country to country.

For instance, the Baltimore-Washington area, referred to as The Circuit, with its I-95 corridor dotted with rest stops, bus stations and truck stops, is a hub for the sex trade.

No doubt about it: this is a highly profitable, highly organized and highly sophisticated sex trafficking business that operates in towns large and small, raking in upwards of $9.5 billion a year in the U.S. alone by abducting and selling young girls for sex.

Every year, the girls being bought and sold gets younger and younger.

The average age of those being trafficked is 13. Yet as the head of a group that combats trafficking pointed out,

“Let’s think about what average means. That means there are children younger than 13. That means 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds.

“For every 10 women rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women who are brought in by the traffickers. Unfortunately, they’re not 18- or 20-year-olds anymore,” noted a 25-year-old victim of trafficking. “They’re minors as young as 13 who are being trafficked. They’re little girls.”

Where did this appetite for young girls come from?

Look around you.

Young girls have been sexualized for years now in music videos, on billboards, in television ads, and in clothing stores. Marketers have created a demand for young flesh and a ready supply of over-sexualized children.

“All it takes is one look at MySpace photos of teens to see examples—if they aren’t imitating porn they’ve actually seen, they’re imitating the porn-inspired images and poses they’ve absorbed elsewhere,” writes Jessica Bennett for Newsweek. “Latex, corsets and stripper heels, once the fashion of porn stars, have made their way into middle and high school.”

This is what Bennett refers to as the “pornification of a generation.”

“In a market that sells high heels for babies and thongs for tweens, it doesn’t take a genius to see that sex, if not porn, has invaded our lives,” concludes Bennett. “Whether we welcome it or not, television brings it into our living rooms and the Web brings it into our bedrooms. According to a 2007 study from the University of Alberta, as many as 90 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls aged 13 to 14 have accessed sexually explicit content at least once.”

In other words, the culture is grooming these young people to be preyed upon by sexual predators. And then we wonder why our young women are being preyed on, trafficked and abused?

Social media makes it all too easy. As one news center reported,

“Finding girls is easy for pimps. They look on MySpace, Facebook, and other social networks. They and their assistants cruise malls, high schools and middle schools. They pick them up at bus stops. On the trolley. Girl-to-girl recruitment sometimes happens.”

Foster homes and youth shelters have also become prime targets for traffickers.

Rarely do these girls enter into prostitution voluntarily. Many start out as runaways or throwaways, only to be snatched up by pimps or larger sex rings. Others, persuaded to meet up with a stranger after interacting online through one of the many social networking sites, find themselves quickly initiated into their new lives as sex slaves.

Debbie, a straight-A student who belonged to a close-knit Air Force family living in Phoenix, Ariz., is an example of this trading of flesh. Debbie was 15 when she was snatched from her driveway by an acquaintance-friend. Forced into a car, Debbie was bound and taken to an unknown location, held at gunpoint and raped by multiple men. She was then crammed into a small dog kennel and forced to eat dog biscuits. Debbie’s captors advertised her services on Craigslist. Those who responded were often married with children, and the money that Debbie “earned” for sex was given to her kidnappers. The gang raping continued. After searching the apartment where Debbie was held captive, police finally found Debbie stuffed in a drawer under a bed. Her harrowing ordeal lasted for 40 days.

While Debbie was fortunate enough to be rescued, others are not so lucky. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children go missing every year (roughly 2,185 children a day).

With a growing demand for sexual slavery and an endless supply of girls and women who can be targeted for abduction, this is not a problem that’s going away anytime soon.

For those trafficked, it’s a nightmare from beginning to end.

Those being sold for sex have an average life expectancy of seven years, and those years are a living nightmare of endless rape, forced drugging, humiliation, degradation, threats, disease, pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages, torture, pain, and always the constant fear of being killed or, worse, having those you love hurt or killed.

Peter Landesman paints the full horrors of life for those victims of the sex trade in his New York Times article “The Girls Next Door”:

Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners–toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens–as well as what she called a “damage group.” “In the damage group, they can hit you or do anything they want to,” she explained. “Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it’s always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group.”

What Andrea described next shows just how depraved some portions of American society have become.

“They’d get you hungry then to train you” to have oral sex. “They put honey on a man. For the littlest kids, you had to learn not to gag. And they would push things in you so you would open up better. We learned responses. Like if they wanted us to be sultry or sexy or scared. Most of them wanted you scared. When I got older, I’d teach the younger kids how to float away so things didn’t hurt.”

Immigration and customs enforcement agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., report that when it comes to sex, the appetites of many Americans have now changed. What was once considered abnormal is now the norm. These agents are tracking a clear spike in the demand for harder-core pornography on the Internet. As one agent noted,

“We’ve become desensitized by the soft stuff; now we need a harder and harder hit.”

This trend is reflected by the treatment many of the girls receive at the hands of the drug traffickers and the men who purchase them. Peter Landesman interviewed Rosario, a Mexican woman who had been trafficked to New York and held captive for a number of years. She said:

“In America, we had ‘special jobs.’ Oral sex, anal sex, often with many men. Sex is now more adventurous, harder.”

A common thread woven through most survivors’ experiences is being forced to go without sleep or food until they have met their sex quota of at least 40 men. One woman recounts how her trafficker made her lie face down on the floor when she was pregnant and then literally jumped on her back, forcing her to miscarry.

Holly Austin Smith (image on the right) was abducted when she was 14 years old, raped, and then forced to prostitute herself. Her pimp, when brought to trial, was only made to serve a year in prison.

Barbara Amaya was repeatedly sold between traffickers, abused, shot, stabbed, raped, kidnapped, trafficked, beaten, and jailed all before she was 18 years old.

“I had a quota that I was supposed to fill every night. And if I didn’t have that amount of money, I would get beat, thrown down the stairs. He beat me once with wire coat hangers, the kind you hang up clothes, he straightened it out and my whole back was bleeding.”

As David McSwane recounts in a chilling piece for the Herald-Tribune:

“In Oakland Park, an industrial Fort Lauderdale suburb, federal agents in 2011 encountered a brothel operated by a married couple. Inside ‘The Boom Boom Room,’ as it was known, customers paid a fee and were given a condom and a timer and left alone with one of the brothel’s eight teenagers, children as young as 13. A 16-year-old foster child testified that he acted as security, while a 17-year-old girl told a federal judge she was forced to have sex with as many as 20 men a night.”

One particular sex trafficking ring catered specifically to migrant workers employed seasonally on farms throughout the southeastern states, especially the Carolinas and Georgia, although it’s a flourishing business in every state in the country. Traffickers transport the women from farm to farm, where migrant workers would line up outside shacks, as many as 30 at a time, to have sex with them before they were transported to yet another farm where the process would begin all over again.

This growing evil is, for all intents and purposes, out in the open.

Trafficked women and children are advertised on the internet, transported on the interstate, and bought and sold in swanky hotels.

Indeed, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government’s war on sex trafficking—much like the government’s war on terrorism, drugs and crime—has become a perfect excuse for inflicting more police state tactics (police check points, searches, surveillance, and heightened security) on a vulnerable public, while doing little to make our communities safer.

So what can you do?

Educate yourselves and your children about this growing menace in our communities.

Stop feeding the monster: Sex trafficking is part of a larger continuum in America that runs the gamut from homelessness, poverty, and self-esteem issues to sexualized television, the glorification of a pimp/ho culture—what is often referred to as the pornification of America—and a billion dollar sex industry built on the back of pornography, music, entertainment, etc.

This epidemic is largely one of our own making, especially in a corporate age where the value placed on human life takes a backseat to profit. It is estimated that the porn industry brings in more money than Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Yahoo.

Call on your city councils, elected officials and police departments to make the battle against sex trafficking a top priority, more so even than the so-called war on terror and drugs and the militarization of law enforcement.

Stop prosecuting adults for victimless “crimes” such as growing lettuce in their front yard and focus on putting away the pimps and buyers who victimize these young women.

Finally, the police need to do a better job of training, identifying and responding to these issues; communities and social services need to do a better job of protecting runaways, who are the primary targets of traffickers; legislators need to pass legislation aimed at prosecuting traffickers and “johns,” the buyers who drive the demand for sex slaves; and hotels need to stop enabling these traffickers, by providing them with rooms and cover for their dirty deeds.

That so many women and children continue to be victimized, brutalized and treated like human cargo is due to three things: one, a consumer demand that is increasingly lucrative for everyone involved—except the victims; two, a level of corruption so invasive on both a local and international scale that there is little hope of working through established channels for change; and three, an eerie silence from individuals who fail to speak out against such atrocities.

But the truth is that we are all guilty of contributing to this human suffering. The traffickers are guilty. The consumers are guilty. The corrupt law enforcement officials are guilty. The women’s groups who do nothing are guilty. The foreign peacekeepers and aid workers who contribute to the demand for sex slaves are guilty. Most of all, every individual who does not raise a hue and cry over the atrocities being committed against women and children in almost every nation around the globe—including the United States—is guilty.

Alt Left: The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

More than 46 years of initially military-imposed neoliberalism in Chile has finally exploded into widespread frustration, protest, and violence. This neoliberalism culminated in 2017 with twelve businessmen, among them Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, monopolizing at least 17% of the national GDP, demonstrating the huge gap in wealth equity.

There is little doubt why the latest protests have exploded violently, with 18 dead so far – Piñera had declared war on his own people to protect his lucrative monopoly racket.

It is without surprise he had declared war. The aggressive neoliberalism that has dominated Chile since the 1973 Chilean coup d’état when socialist President Salvador Allende was killed and eventually replaced by neoliberal Augusto Pinochet with the backing and blessing of U.S. President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, the CIA, and the so-called “Chicago Boys” neoliberal economic team.

Although the so-called communist threat was defeated in Chile, it was not until 1990 that the kinder face of neoliberalism returned to the country with the first democratic election taking place since the coup. The return to democracy did not equate to any changes in the economic system.

The appearance of GDP growth in the South American country created the mythology of the Chilean miracle, ‘thanks’ to the Chicago Boys, the group of young Chilean economists who studied at the University of Chicago under the adviser to U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, professor Milton Friedman.

They were the so-called economic liberators and advised Pinochet on applying complete free-market policies – essentially to privatize state-owned industries and companies and to open the economy.

The pernicious globalist model was applied and deemed a miracle because of significant GDP growth. However, this was only to the benefit of shareholders and private companies and did not reflect the average Chilean’s experience. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Gini coefficient value, a method to measure wealth distribution, stood at a record 0.50 in 2017, one of the highest inequality coefficients in the world.

This is because the incomes of the richest 10 percent of Chile are 26 times higher than the incomes of the poorest 10 percent of the population. This is partly also due to an unfair taxation system that creates a massive tax burden on the poor, as Chile’s government earns less from income taxes than any other country in the 35-member OECD.

Despite praise for the supposed fantastic economic performance, almost a third of Chilean workers are employed in part-time jobs, with one in two Chileans having low literacy skills according to the OECD.

And now as Chile literally burns and 18 people are dead, we cannot forget that former president Michelle Bachelet grotesquely dedicated lessons on “human rights” against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Although Piñera has apologized, he did not do so for his declaration of war against the people but rather for decades of unresolved problems, which he  followed with an announcement for a new social and economic program.

A reversal of the crippling neoliberal economic system? Highly doubtful and probably more a Band-Aid option.

Neoliberal propagandist Enrique Krauze Kleinbort – accused of the coup attempt to overthrow Mexican President López Obrador – proclaimed that Chile was ‘the role model’ for Latin American economic growth. If inequality is considered a ‘role model,’ it shows that the oligarchs of Latin America have not recognized the growing trend of violent opposition to neoliberalism as the recent case in Ecuador demonstrates.

The very fact that Piñera attempted to increase transportation and energy costs in Chile demonstrates his lack of knowledge about international outrage to neoliberalism.

The French Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) in France began their actions 12 months ago, which soon spread across Europe, when neoliberal President Emmanuel Macron attempted to increase gasoline taxes. In 2018, Brazilian truck drivers blocked roads in a demand for a decrease in diesel prices. Mexico in 2017 saw a 20% rise in fuel prices that exploded into riots.

However, the attempted increase in transportation and energy costs was only the spark that lit the fire. As Piñera the man who is part of a monopoly over the Chilean economy, was forced to admit this is an explosion after decades worth of frustration, neglect, and abuse.

Candida Cecilia Morel, the wife of the billionaire Piñera, sent a WhatsApp message that was leaked in the media in which she comments on the violence and the protests shaking her country, and it certainly does show the disconnect that the elite of Chile have with the common Chilean.

The message said that “we are absolutely overwhelmed, it is like a foreign invasion, alien,” and that “we will have to decrease our privileges and share with others.” Her suggestion to decrease “privileges” is a stark reminder of Charles Dickens 1800’s Britain.

With such elitist comments and referring to Chileans as aliens, there is little wonder that there has been little calm despite Piñera’s half-done apology and promises of more neoliberalism with a softer punch.

Although circles close to the Chilean Presidency affirm that the disturbances and destabilization are orchestrated from abroad, it is unlikely to be true. We can of course expect that Venezuela will be the scapegoat by some Chilean oligarchs just as the oligarchs in Ecuador and Colombia have done, but there remains little evidence that this is the case.

Rather, as Piñera has had to attest, decades of neoliberalism is the cause of the disturbances. Perhaps inspired by events in Ecuador, it appears that the Chilean people are finally exercising the neoliberal ghost of Pinochet from its country.

It appears that the violence will not end unless the Chilean president makes drastic changes to the Chilean economy. Whether he does this remains to be seen.

This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.


Alt Left: Identity Politics, the Working Class, and the Left

If a gay man were to come up to me and say, “I’m a gay worker!”

I would answer him this: “Pick one.”

Either your identity is gay or your identity is worker. Not both. It’s fine and dandy to fight for your rights and all of that, but silly things like gender, race and sexual orientation shouldn’t take precedence over true hard realities of political economy like whether someone is a worker, a capitalist, or an entrepreneur.

Suppose instead or in addition to identifying as a worker, I ID’d as “straight.” Well, I am straight, so why not ID as straight. I could go join some straight rights groups and fight for me people. Actually I would only ever join any group like that to get laid, but that’s another matter.

I would get all worked up about how put upon we poor straights are and how teh geyz and the trannies are hogging all the rights. I would probably start to get quite angry at the gays and he-she’s oppressing us poor cis straights.

Why on Earth is me being straight of all things an important matter? It’s not.

I could ID as a male instead of IDing as a worker. I could get all wrapped up in fake victimhood and wound-nursing and get all hopping mad at women and how they are oppressing us bepenised ones. Why should I do that? That’s just going to make me all angry and miserable and I’m going to get quite mad at women. How is any of that going to help me. Besides, is the most important thing about me that I am a man? Are you kidding?

I could go join some White rights group and fight for my fellow palefaces. I would end up constructing a big narrative of endless victimhood and a sense of being picked on, bullied, attacked and oppressed by those bad non-Whites. Obviously I would end up getting very mad at non-Whites because that’s what White IP does – it makes you mad at non-Whites.

Have you noticed something? Straight IP makes straights hate gays and trannies. Male IP or Men’s Rights makes men hate women. White IP without fail makes Whites hate non-Whites.

IP always ends up making you hate the group that is supposedly picking on you.

Hence:

Black IP makes Black people hate Whites. That ought to be obvious by now but this is  continually impressed upon me.

Women’s IP or Feminism makes women hate men. That’s way more than obvious by now, proven so many times we don’t even need to discuss it.

Gay IP has a tendency to make gays hate straights.

Tranny IP definitely makes trannies hate us “cis scum.”

Have you ever noticed something else?

None of these people are happy.

Blacks into Black IP seem miserable.

Feminists always look angry and unhappy.

The Gay IP crowd acts like they have a wild hair up their ass. No wait.

Straight IP people (straight pride marches) don’t seem very happy. Their “pride” parades are more like hatefests.

Men’s IP or Men’s Rights people seem pretty damn unhappy. MRA’s always seem to have a sour look on their faces, then when they are not actually raging and shouting threats at women.

If there’s one thing that impressed me about the White IP crowd or White nationalists, it’s that they are not real happy. These are very angry and often mean people. They’re not happy campers. Many of them positively seethe and rage with pure hate. They don’t seem to be having a good one.

All Identity Politics divides the working class, and it all makes classes of people who ought to work together, such as workers, to divide into hateful tribes and declare war on each other. All Identity Politics focuses not on rights for the group but more on hatred for the supposed oppressor.