on: March 14, 2020, 09:22:06 AM
Started by News - Last post by News
|Vital coronavirus questions answered: What is herd immunity? How can you help yourself?By Ben Spencer for the Daily Mail
March 13, 2020 | Updated: March 14, 2020What is the Government's plan?
Officials want to delay the peak of the outbreak. They can no longer contain the virus – it has arrived and is spreading through the population. In a worst- case scenario, 80 per cent of people will become infected.
By telling people to self-isolate for even the mildest symptoms, they hope to 'flatten the curve' of the crisis – or, as Boris Johnson put it, 'squash the sombrero'.
This means delaying onward transmission and spreading out the number of patients who would overwhelm the NHS if they all contracted the virus at once. They also hope that by delaying the peak to the summer months, they will spare hospitals from simultaneously dealing with coronavirus and winter diseases such as flu and norovirus. There is also a hope that, as the virus passes through the country, we will develop 'herd immunity'What does herd immunity mean?
This is when enough people become resistant to a disease that it can no longer spread among the rest of the population. Because Covid-19 is a new disease, none of us has immunity. But if enough people get the virus – and so become resistant to a second bout – the virus will struggle to find anyone to spread to, and the numbers will start to decline.What does this strategy mean for me?
For most people, officially at least, it is a case of carry on as usual and wash your hands more often. The major directive is that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, should go home for a week. This applies to anyone who develops a persistent cough or has a temperature higher than 37.8C.How many have to get the virus to achieve herd immunity?
Experts believe about 60 per cent of the population (40 million people) need to be immune. That is because the outbreak will start to decline only when most infected people stop passing it on. If each person passes the virus on to one more person, the size of the outbreak will stay the same size. At the moment each person passes it on to about three others, on average, so the outbreak grows quickly. When the rate of onward transmissions falls from three to fewer than one, the outbreak will start to decline. So for the outbreak to tail off, two out of every three people who get the virus need to become immune.Why is the 60% figure lower than for other diseases?
Herd immunity against measles, for example, requires at least 95 per cent of people to be immune to the disease – usually through vaccination. That is because measles is far more contagious – each patient passes the viral infection on to 20 others. If an outbreak is to die out quickly at least 19 of those have to already be immune – so 95 per cent of the original 20.Do all scientists think herd immunity will protect us?
They hope it will work. But critics say several unresolved features of the Covid-19 infection may thwart the strategy. First, we don't yet know how much immunity is triggered in the body of someone who becomes infected. There are have been reports in China, for example, that some people have become infected twice. Second, it is not clear how long immunity lasts. The flu jab, for example, has to be given each year because immunity against influenza quickly wanes, and the virus mutates each year. But immunity against other diseases – such as TB – lasts at least a decade.Would a vaccine help?
Yes. Natural herd immunity is not guaranteed and requires a lot of people to suffer unpleasant illness. And many people will die as a result. A vaccine would accelerate the process, providing immunity without the illness. It would also mean if immunity wanes, an annual jab could be used to top it up. But it is unlikely a vaccine would be ready before the current pandemic ends. It would be invaluable, however, to stop a second wave of the virus hitting next year.How does herd immunity help the elderly?
The elderly are much more vulnerable to coronavirus, so the Government is hoping to exclude them from the wider strategy of 'carry on as usual'. This means 'cocooning' the vulnerable and elderly with a 'ring' of immune people around them. This relies on the theory that those who are most able to withstand the virus – the young and fit who will mostly suffer mild symptoms – will become infected, then become immune, without passing it on to the old and sick.How are older people being protected?
Care homes have been told to take action – including stopping visits from anyone with a cough or fever. Care home residents will be isolated in their rooms and staff will wear protective equipment when they care for them. In hospital, decisions may be taken not to treat the most frail people if intensive care units become overwhelmed with patients.And those who live in their own homes?
Officials have also given notice that in the coming days they may ask all elderly people to stay indoors to protect themselves. But this has not been implemented yet for fear of isolating them for months – a situation that would lead to loneliness and depression.Why isn't the UK taking much more stringent action?
The Government's scientific advisers insist it is a matter of timing. In the next few weeks, as case numbers climb, they may introduce further measures – including telling entire families to self-isolate and closing schools. But they insist the time to do this has not yet arrived.Why not act now?
They believe the crisis is going to last for several months. Delaying the introduction of a 'lockdown' will minimise the impact on society and the economy. It will reduce 'crisis fatigue' and make it more likely that people will follow health advice just when the outbreak is peaking.Aren't some firms taking things into their own hands?
Yes. Employers, businesses and many other organisations are taking action over and above the Government's advice. Concerts, sporting events and conferences have been called off, airlines are cancelling flights, courts are in lockdown and many companies have told their staff to work from home.Why not close schools, like other countries?
Boris Johnson says this would do more harm than good – and have a major impact on the NHS as crucial staff members take time off to look after their children. His advisers say to be truly effective you would have to shut a school for three months or more – and even then it would be almost impossible to stop children from playing with each other, undermining the impact. Elderly people would also suffer extra exposure because they are likely to look after grandchildren sent home from school.What about mass gatherings?
Ministers are expected to ban mass gatherings as early as next weekend – and are drafting emergency legislation next week to allow them to do so. They have been cautious about taking this step because they worried it would place a major burden on society and the economy. In reality, however, the decision has been taken out of the Government's hands. The Premier League has suspended all games until April, the London Marathon has been called off, concerts have been postponed by organisers and charities and academic groups are cancelling annual conferences.What exactly does self-isolating involve?
Anyone who has to self-isolate because they have a cough or a raised temperature has to spend a week at home without leaving. They should stay two metres (three paces) away from other people in the home, sleep alone, and ask for food and supplies to be left outside the door.Do I need a test first?
No. The Government has decided to stop testing people unless they are in hospital. Now anyone who has symptoms, however mild, must self-isolate.Should I contact the NHS?
No. It has been left to people to act responsibly once they have symptoms. The NHS is trying to stop its staff and patients becoming infected – and needs to save resources for the seriously ill.What if my symptoms get worse?
Use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111. If you get seriously ill, dial 999.When can I go back to work?
After seven days, if you feel better and no longer have a fever, you can return to your normal routine. If symptoms last longer than seven days, check NHS 111 online.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8110945/Your-vital-coronavirus-questions-answered.html
on: February 10, 2020, 04:12:59 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
|By John Vidal
February 07 2020 - theguardian.com
Armed ecoguards partly funded by the conservation group WWF to protect wildlife in the Republic of the Congo beat up and intimidated hundreds of Baka pygmies living deep in the rainforests, an investigation into a landmark global conservation project has heard.
A team of investigators sent to northern Congo by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to assess allegations of human rights abuses gathered “credible” evidence from different sources that hunter-gatherer Baka tribespeople living close to a proposed national park had been subjected to violence and physical abuse from the guards over years, according to a leaked draft of the report.Full Article : theguardian.com
on: January 31, 2020, 08:00:16 AM
Started by News - Last post by News
Pipeline or a Pipe Dream: Israel, Turkey Hydrocarbon Conflict is Brewing in the Mediterranean
By Ramzy Baroud
January 31, 2020
Massive natural gas discoveries off the eastern coast of Israel and Palestine is slated to make Tel Aviv a regional energy hub. Whether Israel will be able to translate positive indicators of the largely untapped gas reserves into actual economic and strategic wealth is yet to be seen.
What is certain, however, is that the Middle East is already in the throes of a major geostrategic war, which has the potential of becoming an actual military confrontation.
Unsurprisingly, Israel is at the heart of this growing conflict.
“Last week, we started to stream gas to Egypt. We turned Israel into an energy superpower,” Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, bragged during a cabinet meeting on January 19.
Netanyahu’s self-congratulating remarks came on the heels of some exciting financial news for the embattled Prime Minister, as both Jordan and Egypt are now Tel Aviv’s clients, receiving billions of cubic meters of Israeli gas.
For Netanyahu, pumping Israeli gas to two neighboring Arab countries constitutes more than just economic and political advantages – it is a huge personal boost. The Israeli leader is trying to convince the public to vote for him in yet another general election in March, while pleading to Israel’s political elite to give him immunity so that he can stay out of prison for various corruption charges.
For years, Israel has been exploiting the discovery of massive deposits of natural gas from the Leviathan and Tamar fields – located nearly 125 km and 80 km west of Haifa respectively – to reconstruct regional alliances and to redefine its geopolitical centrality to Europe.
The Israeli strategy, however, has already created potentials for conflict in an already unstable region, expanding the power play to include Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, and Libya, as well as Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, and Russia.
On January 2, Netanyahu was in Athens signing a gas pipeline deal, alongside Greek Prime Minister, Kyriako Mitotakis, and Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades.
The EastMed pipeline is projected to travel from Israel to Cyprus, to Greece and, ultimately, to Italy, thus transporting eastern Mediterranean gas directly to the heart of Europe.
A few years ago, this scenario seemed unthinkable, as Israel has, in fact, imported much of its natural gas from neighboring Egypt.
Israel’s Tamar field partly rectified Israel’s reliance on imported gas when it began production in 2003. Shortly after, Israel struck gas again, this time with far greater potential, in the massive Leviathan field. On December 31, 2019, Leviathan began pumping gas for the first time.
Leviathan is located in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levantine Basin, a region that is rich with hydrocarbons.
“Leviathan is estimated to hold over 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—enough to fill Israeli power-generation needs for the next 40 years, while still leaving an ample supply for export,” wrote Frank Musmar in the BESA Center for Strategic Studies.
Egypt’s share of Israeli gas – 85 billion cubic meters (bcm), with an estimated cost of $19.5 billion – is acquired through the private Egyptian entity Dolphinus Holdings. The Jordanian deal was signed between the country’s national electricity company NEPCO, and American firm, Noble Energy, which owns a 45% stake in the Israeli project.
Jordanians have been protesting Israel’s gas deal en-masse, as they view economic cooperation between their country and Israel as an act of normalization, especially as Tel Aviv continues to occupy and oppress Palestinians.
The echoes of the popular protests have reached the Jordanian parliament which, on January 19, unanimously voted in favor of a law to ban gas imports from Israel. Israel is diversifying beyond exerting regional economic dominance to becoming a big player on the international geopolitical stage as well. The EastMed pipeline project, estimated at €6bn, is expected to cover 10% of Europe’s overall need for natural gas. This is where things get even more interesting.
Turkey believes that the deal, which involves its own regional rivals, Cyprus and Greece, is designed specifically to marginalize it economically by excluding it from the Mediterranean’s hydrocarbon boom.
Ankara is already a massive energy hub, being the host of TurkStream, which feeds Europe, with approximately 40% of its needs of natural gas coming from Russia. This fact has provided both Moscow and Ankara not only with more than economic advantages but geostrategic leverage as well. If the EastMed pipeline becomes a reality, Turkey and Russia will stand to lose the most.
In a series of successive, and surprising moves, Turkey retaliated by signing a maritime border deal with Libya’s internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and by committing to send military support to help Tripoli in its fight against forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar.
“Turkey will not permit any activity that is against its own interests in the region,” Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s Vice-President, told Anadolu News Agency, adding that “any plan that disregards Turkey has absolutely no chance of success.”
Although European countries were quick to condemn Ankara, the latter has succeeded in changing the rules of the game by staking a claim to vast areas that are also claimed by Greece and Cyprus as part of their so-called exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
Not only will Turkey be drilling in Libya’s territorial waters for natural gas, but in disputed water near Cyprus as well. Ankara is accusing Cyprus of violating “the equal claim to discoveries”, an arrangement that followed the military conflict between both countries in 1974.
If the issue is not resolved, the EastMed pipeline project could potentially turn into a pipedream. What seemed like a lucrative deal, with immense geopolitical significance from an Israeli point of view, now appears to be another extension of the wider Middle Eastern conflict.
While the EU is eager to loosen Russia’s strategic control over the natural gas market, the EastMed pipeline increasingly appears unfeasible from every possible angle.
However, considering the massive deposits of natural gas that are ready to fuel struggling European markets, it is almost certain that the Mediterranean natural gas will eventually become a major source of political disputes, if not a war.
Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB.
on: January 24, 2020, 04:47:14 PM
Started by mdw-ntr - Last post by mdw-ntr
Bend foot addendums
Jealous of attention
Dwellers in douendom
Tension since Toussaint won,
Sentences can’t mention
Women we depend on
For de scent of redemption
At a river,
No christening from Christendom
Who also forgot to claim us,
What a pity!
With a pittance,
Floating down a river aimless.
The soul shivers.
A sliver of a human,
Eli, Eli, Lama Sabacthani
Running backwards, and backwards,
From pot-hounds attacking we.
Dripping water on pages,
Going though, de stages,
Blind and deaf and dumb,
Broad smiles on de faces.
Yes we wear a mask
Worn out by the task
Of presenting dusky skins,
To the muskets
When they asked.
From Icacos, to Marac,
To Diego Martin,
marching, and marching.
Marching, and Marching,
Do de damned,
get a pardon?
Marching and marching,
To beg! For piece of plantain.
And we wan’ leave plantation,
Are we done, with de bargaining?
And we no longer owned.
Daylight come and we wan’ go home.
In we queffen,
Several lessons in downpression.
So clever feet leave impressions,
Come and play!
In de clay!
Ma doh want we
Jumbies mount we
So we catching birds with laglee,
And we staying by Ma Lambee
Aborted sons and daughters
And gawked at
With no pants on!
Caught on camera
In a straw hat.
Walk on hand
See with ears,
Feet in air.
Shaking! We derrière!
Until a feathered snake appears!
Like a faced fear.
Like a trail of tears.
We only place,
Running through the jungle,
Naked as we born,
We laughing till de morning
Pitching marble with de fauns!
Slipping off shoes,
Slipping off in canoes,
Peeing on marble statues
Licking salt from a bruise.
At the refuge for the abused.
There we stay,
And we play
Two eye blank,
at de bank,
Such and such.
Dis day go done,
Tomorrow go come,
And we go wander...
out de mangrove,
And at last
Taste de sun.
Den dem people
Better careful!, when we call
And dem children,
To share de ball.
By Chike Pilgrim
on: January 10, 2020, 07:29:01 AM
Started by News - Last post by News
|by Paul Street
January 10, 2020 - counterpunch.org
United States presidents have long lied about the pretexts for, and the nature of, their murderous and criminal foreign policy actions. Remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s fraudulent claims that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq government possessed vast stocks of “weapons of mass destruction” that threatened the world and that Iraq had participated in the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks?
Lyndon Johnson obtained Congressional authority to escalate the crucifixion of Vietnam by spreading disinformation about a 1964 naval incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. He campaigned that year on a pledge not to “send American boy 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” The following year he did exactly that, using the Tonkin lie as his justification.
Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency promising to end the “Vietnam War” while working with Henry Kissinger to undermine peace negotiations in Paris to ensure Hubert Humphrey’s defeat in the 1968 election. Nixon went on to extend and expand the U.S. was on Southeast Asia with the secret bombing of Cambodia.
Ronald Reagan ludicrously justified his regime-change invasion of Grenada with the idiotic claim that the tiny Caribbean island’s radical government posed a lethal threat to the U.S.
George H.W. Bush absurdly sold the U.S. regime-change invasion of Panama as a defense of “democracy” and “human rights.” He advertised his mass-murderous attack on Iraq (“Operation Desert Storm) with the lie that Washington was committed to defending small and peace-loving nations against “wanton aggression.”
Bill Clinton lied when he claimed: that the U.S. bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant because it was manufacturing a chemical nerve agent; that the U.S. bombed Serbia to protect Kosovar Albanians; and that he ordered the military occupation of Haiti to “restore democracy.”
Barack Obama deceptively described his savage aerial destruction of the Libyan government as a noble humanitarian attempt to stop the slaughter of civilians. His assault quickly became an imperial regime-change war with disastrous consequences across North Africa.
Obama promised to end the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 16 months. He never moved to fulfill that promise. Along the way, he never felt the need to tell Americans the truth about the endless Afghan campaign. In the words of an Obama national security official quoted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, “The metrics were always manipulated for the duration of the war.”
Did anyone seriously think the terrible truth-trashing tyrant Donald Trump – a president who has so far totaled up more than 15,000 junk statements (surely a world record) – and his underlings would not contribute to the rich U.S.-presidential tradition of bold imperial mendacity? Trump and his supine bootlickers Mike Pence (Christian Fascist Vice President) and Mike Pompeo (“Secretary of State”) have preposterously claimed that the White House’s assassination of a top Iranian commander on Iraqi soil – an epic war crime – was required because Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani presented “imminent threats to American lives.”
There is no evidence for the claim. “According to one United States official,” the New York Times reported, “the new intelligence indicated ‘a normal Monday in the Middle East’ — Dec. 30 — and General Soleimani’s travels amounted to ‘business as usual.'” Pompeo had been nagging Trump to murder Soleimani for months, the Washington Post has divulged.
Pence even claimed that the assassination was defensible because Soleimani’s Quds Force helped al-Qaida in the 9/11 attacks — a preposterous charge disproved by George W. Bush’s own 9/11 Commission. Yes, Pence went there.
Pompeo denied that Trump threatened to attack Iranian cultural sites even though the videotape of the tangerine-tinted despot doing precisely that is crystal clear.
In a pathetic teleprompter speech awkwardly uttered with stone-faced generals by his side, the United States’ freshly impeached president absurdly argued that the missiles Iran fired at U.S. military bases in retaliation for the assassination “were paid for with funds made available by the last [Obama] administration.” That’s a farcically Orwellian take on Obama’s agreement to unfreeze Iranian assets in return for Teheran agreeing to dismantle its supposed nuclear weapons program.
From the start of his sick presidency and before, Trump has been falsely claiming that Obama and Europe’s nuclear deal left Iran “free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons.”
It isn’t just about Trump and his subordinates, of course. Lyndon Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin lie was spawned in a bigger Cold War sea that falsely portrayed the Vietnamese national independence and social justice movement as nothing more than an arm of international Communist expansions directed out of Moscow and Beijing.
In a similar vein, Trump’s assassination lies swims in a richly bipartisan sea of U.S.-imperial falsehood on Iran and the Middle East. Democrats, conservatives, and the dominant U.S. media have long and fully participated in advancing the fabricated and dishonest notion that Iran is a uniquely evil, dangerous, belligerent, destabilizing, and terrorist actor in the Middle East – a totally absurd narrative (as I argued in my last CounterPunch essay: ‘By comparison to the Saudis, Israel, and above all their sponsor the U.S., Iran is a defensive power. Its modest interventions beyond its borders are about standard realpolitik defense of regional allies [the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Assad regime in Syria, and the Shiite government in Baghdad, not destabilizing regime change and terrorism.’)
Since they buy into all the idiotic doctrinal nonsense about Iran’s special “terrorist” evil, all but a few establishment politicos pull their punches on the arch criminality of Trump’s assassination of Soleimani. They concede endlessly that Soleimani was a “really evil guy” and “bad actor” who “deserved to die” because he was supposedly responsible for the death of “hundreds of American troops” in Iraq – as if Superpower America (which surrounds Iran with U.S. military bases) hasn’t directly and indirectly killed more than a million people in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen in this century alone; as if Muslims both Persian and Arab don’t have the right to defend themselves against imperial intervention and violence.
Soleimani “won’t be missed,” the talking heads say, dismissing the millions mourning their fallen national hero Soleimani in the streets of Iran.
The pundits fault Trump not so much for committing a war crime as for operating impulsively and without a “clear idea of the [unmentionably imperialist] strategic path forward.” One gets the distinct impression that they would have been perfectly fine with a President Hillary Clinton murdering Soleimani as part of a strategy designed and approved by the Council on Foreign Relations.
Why the timing of Trump’s criminal, high-risk assassination? The most likely explanation is that was an attempt to divert the U.S. media and populace’s attention away from his impeachment trial and to make Trump look strong as he enters the election year with remarkably low approval ratings for a president riding a “strong economy.”
That is not without precedent in U.S. presidential history. Recall that the phrase “wag the dog” was invented in connection with the sociopath Bill Clinton’s launching of bombs and missiles while Congress pursued his impeachment for lying about extra-marital fellatio.
So, same as it ever was with lying imperial presidents in the case of the Soleimani assassination? Yes and no. Consistent with the numerous other indications that Trump has made a qualitative neofascist break with the normal bourgeois conduct of the U.S. presidency, the Trump difference here is at least five-fold:
#1. The remarkably reckless and provocative audacity involved in directly assassinating a top military and political figure in a foreign sovereign state on the territory of another government without the government’s permission.
#2. The strong likelihood that Trump impulsively ordered the Soleimani assassination over and against the advice of most top U.S. military and intelligence officials.
#3. The almost complete absence of any effort to wrap Trump’s brazen crime in the flags of international law and coalition-building.
#4. The strong link Trump made between his action and his determination to demean and discredit the other major U.S. capitalist-imperialist party (the Democrats) and his predecessor.
#5. The openly thuggish, mob-like threats to quickly devastate Iraq (a not-so veiled brandishing of the U.S. nuclear arsenal) and to attack Iran’s cultural sites (also a war crime).
For what it’s worth, I sent this this email to Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton this Thursday: ‘Ms. Glanton: did you really write the following in today’s Tribune: “But Wednesday morning, Donald Trump gave us a gift. And we are grateful…Instead of retaliating with military force against Iran for bombing an American military base in Iraq, Trump chose to implement harsher sanctions designed to further weaken the country’s ability to sustain itself economically”? Good God, Ms. Glanton. So, you do not understand that ordinary civilians suffer and die when they live in a nation that cannot “sustain itself economically”? (Perhaps you recall the half-million plus Iraqi children killed by US sanctions in the 1990s). You do not grasp that economic sanctions are a form of crippling and murderous warfare – and part of the context that gives rise to full-on military war? Ms. Glanton, you appear to have lost your moral bearings because you have a “loved one” – you mention your 20-year old nephew – among the US troops who are currently occupying Iraq. Where is your love for the ordinary people, the women, boys, girls, and men of Iran? And why do you think the U.S. has any business occupying the sovereign territory of Iraq (a country “we” criminally and mass-murderously assaulted and occupied in 2003) with military bases in the first place?’ (Email Ms. Glanton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please help Street keep writing at https://www.paulstreet.org/subscribe/https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/10/assassination-lies-and-the-trump-difference/
on: November 11, 2019, 04:35:55 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
by Stephen Lendman
The self-styled newspaper of record never met a bona fide democrat it didn’t want forcibly toppled and replaced by a US-installed tyrant — subservient to its imperial interests, Wall Street, and other corporate America predators.
The Times cheerled Bolivian President Evo Morales’ Sunday resignation, ignoring the CIA-orchestrated coup plot to topple him and eliminate democratic rule in the country.
There was nothing “disputed” about his October 20 reelection, the claim invented to mobilize rent-a-thugs to rampage in the streets, set buildings ablaze, and commit other violent actions.
Planned and orchestrated by the CIA, its dirty hands are all over what’s been going on in Bolivia, the plot similar to countless others Langley staged throughout the post WW II era.
Democratic values and the rule of law are incompatible with its existence. As long as the agency exists, sovereign independent nations worldwide are threatened by US-installed fascist tyranny.
Governance of, by, and for everyone equitably at home and abroad is considered a threat to national security.
The Times deplores peace, equity and justice. It falsely said Morales resigned Sunday because “protest(ors) accused him of undermining democracy to extend his rule.”
Most Bolivians support him, why he was democratically elected and reelected four times, including on October 20.
A CIA-mobilized mob rampaged against him post-election, a plot well-planned in advance, how fascists running the agency operate.
The Times stressed “widespread concern about (electoral) fraud,” failing to explain claims were invented, not real, as part of the CIA plot to topple him.
The broadsheet quoted former hardline president/US favorite/lead Morales opponent Carlos Mesa, falsely calling Morales’ resignation “the end of tyranny” — what’ll replace him if the CIA coup plot works as planned.
The Times: “Mr. Morales’ increasing grip on the country had been worrying critics — and many supporters — for years (sic).”
Fact: He won four elections democratically. Bolivia’s process under his leadership mocks the US money-controlled system — a one-party state with two extremist right wings, politicians bought like toothpaste.
Bribing and otherwise co-opting Bolivian military and police officials facilitated the CIA’s coup plot, the scheme ignored by the Times — falsely calling Morales a “dictator” based on signs in La Paz put up by CIA-supported fascists calling him one.
The broadsheet reinvented reality, falsely claiming pro-Morales supporters “roughed up people protesting the government.”
Polar opposite happened. CIA-recruited thugs rampaged in La Paz and elsewhere in the country, their actions straight from Langley’s playbook.
Venezuela’s Maduro, Argentina’s President-Elect Fernandez, and former Brazilian President Lula da Silva condemned the anti-Morales coup plot, Lula saying:
“Latin America has a financial elite that does not know how to abide by democracy and the social inclusion of the poorest people.”
Maduro issued a statement saying: “We have to take care of our brother Evo Morales. We must declare a vigil in solidarity to protect him.”
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel called for “(t)he world (to) be mobilized for the life and freedom of Evo.”
Argentina’s Fernandez said “the institutional breakdown in Bolivia is unacceptable.”
Morales stepped down to avoid CIA-orchestrated blood in the streets — the final chapter of this sordid episode yet to unfold.
Freedom or fascism in Bolivia depends on how things turn out.
on: November 11, 2019, 02:53:29 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
|by Stephen Lendman
November 11, 2019
The late William Blum documented CIA coups since WW II.
They’re staged to advance Washington’s aim for unchallenged global dominance. It’s not a pretty picture.
Variations of the same script are used to topple foreign leaders not subservient enough to US interests.
CIA dirty hands orchestrate things — the undemocratic National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and other US agencies also involved.
Foreign right-wing politicians and military officials are bought like toothpaste to go along with diabolical plots to topple sovereign independent governments, US dark forces wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing them.
Blum explained how the plot works, saying “on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition,” adding:
“First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.”
“The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy).”
“It uses every (dirty) trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping(s), beating(s), torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination(s).”
“These efforts culminate in a military (or civilian) coup, which installs a right-wing dictator.”
It can be military figures like Pinochet in Chile earlier and el-Sisi in Egypt now, or civilians installed in Brazil, Afghanistan, Iraq, and countless other countries — figures willing to subordinate their nations’ sovereign rights to US interests.
Citing Association for Responsible Dissent data through 1987, Blum explained that “6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations,” what he called an “American Holocaust” — the number no doubt infinitely higher over the past three decades, notably post-9/11.
US coups have nothing to do with eliminating threats to national security, nothing to do with humanitarian intervention, nothing to do with democracy building — the latter Blum called Washington’s “deadliest export.”
They have everything to do with transforming sovereign nations into US vassal states, controlling their resources and populations, along with gaining market control for corporate America, shutting out competition from Russia, China, Iran, and other nations on the US target list for regime change.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is the latest US imperial victim — even though the coup plot to depose him is an ongoing story, its final chapter unwritten.
On Sunday, he resigned under pressure from the country’s armed forces chief General Williams Kalima.
He, other military officials, and opposition politicians were likely bribed by CIA cash in offshore tax havens, or a similar scheme, to go along with orchestrated street violence and heavy pressure on Morales to call new elections and then resign.
On October 20, he was democratically elected, exceeding the 10% threshold necessary to avoid a runoff with lead challenger Carlos Mesa.
No evidence suggests fraud. Morales agreed to have election results audited. He tacticly erred by letting the US-controlled/Washington-based Organization of American States conduct it.
Results were predictable. Its preliminary report suggested irregularities — following the CIA script, a statement dubiously saying:
“The manipulations to the computer system are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian state to get to the bottom of and assign responsibility in this serious case,” adding:
“The first round of the elections held on October 20 must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again, with the first round taking place as soon as there are new conditions that give new guarantees for it to take place, including a newly composed electoral body.”
US policymakers consider electoral results fraudulent when politicians they oppose win — notably Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, model democrats they labeled “strongmen” or “dictators.”
Morales was democratically reelected to a fourth term as Bolivian president. The fate of the nation, himself, and vast majority of its people hang in the balance following post-October 20 events, culminating with dubious OAS accusations, Bolivia’s military abandoning Morales, and his Sunday resignation.
With attribution to baseball great Yogi Berra, the only possible bright spot is “(i)t ain’t over till it’s over.”
Most Bolivians support Morales. Will they rally en masse for him, resisting the US coup plot to replace him with pro-Western fascist rule?
Will they resist what’s going on like masses against social injustice, corruption, and other abuses of power in France, Chile, Brazil, Haiti, Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Will they organize, mobilize, take to the streets, and challenge dark internal and foreign forces, wanting Bolivia transformed into a US vassal state — their rights and welfare eliminated if the plot succeeds!
In announcing his resignation on Sunday, Morales explained the following:
“I’m telling the whole world and the Bolivian people that one of the police officers publicly announced that he had been given instructions for my detention, according to the illegal warrant that he received,” adding:
“An aggressive group of people attacked his house.”
Earlier, hard-right opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho said: “It’s confirmed! A warrant has been issued for the detention of Morales! The police and the military are looking for him in Chapare.”
In announcing his resignation, Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera stepping down with him, Morales saying:
“We are resigning so that our brothers and sisters, civil servants, are not subjected to attacks and threats.”
Calling what’s happening a coup d’etat against Bolivian democracy, he added:
“Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you that our struggle is not ending. We will continue to fight for equality and peace. Now my duty as president is to find a way to calm the situation.”
According to Bolivia’s Constitution, the country’s line of succession if both president and vice president resign are the Senate’s chairperson (Adriana Salvatierra Arriaza) and Chamber of Deputies head (Victor Borda).
They both resigned, leaving a power vacuum, a situation its dark forces in cahoots with the CIA are going all-out to exploit.
While Bolivian law doesn’t indicate a line of succession beyond the above positions, second Senate second vice-speaker Janine Agnes announced her self-appointment as interim president — perhaps chosen by the CIA to replace Morales until new elections are held.
Conditions in the country remain in flux. What’s going on is a developing story, the outcome yet to unfold. More on the US plot to eliminate Bolivian democracy as events warrant.
Make no mistake. What’s happening in the country is an old-fashioned CIA-orchestrated coup plot to eliminate democratic governance, depose Morales, and replace him with fascist puppet rule subservient to US interests.
The jury is out on whether Langley’s plot will work as planned. Despite resigning on Sunday, Morales said: “The struggle continues.”VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
on: October 20, 2019, 12:19:11 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
|By Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and columnist
October 16, 2019 - blackagendareport.com“Western radicals must take a consistent anti-imperialist position despite the internal contradictions or problemsthat existwithin a state in the Global South.”
Despite so many self-defined radicals’ reading and claims to understand Gramsci’s corrective to Marxism-Leninism’s mechanistic understanding of the relationship between the base and the ideological superstructure, the ease by which some radicals are manipulated by the crude ideological machinations of the ruling class is truly astonishing. It is quite understandable that liberals would be manipulated by fairly innovative ideological gimmicks like the notion of “humanitarian intervention” and the “responsibility to protect,” which relied on the assumption, proving correct, that the liberal consciousness would react favorably to appeals to oppose “authoritarians” and authoritarian systems. However, I suspect that state propagandistsdidn’t realizethe potential effectiveness of this ideological device when they first began to disseminate this framework for its ability to also mobilize radicals to the side of the bourgeois state and imperialist adventures.
The latest misadventures in Syria over the last few weeks revealed just how effective the bourgeois ideological apparatus has been in winning over not only liberals to support the “regime change” policies of the Obama administration in Syria, but also radicals and self-defined revolutionaries throughout the Western world.“The ease by which some radicals are manipulated by the crude ideological machinations of the ruling class is truly astonishing.”
The construction of the narrative in which street demonstrations against the Assad government would go from supposedly non-violent demonstrations to a “justifiable” call for armed struggle in a matter of weeks and gain support from Western radicals was an amazing feat.
Without rehashing the details and timeline of this sad spectacle — which resulted in millions internally displaced and as refugees,hundreds of thousands dead, the Syrian nation divided by sectarianism, and the state constricted with its territory occupied — it is, however, important to be reminded that the armed wing of the rebellion that received uncritical support from liberals and Westernized radicals was the “Free Syrian Army (FSA).”
When some of us warned Western radicals that they were being manipulated, that the so-called revolution in Syria had become fraudulent because it lacked an organic, independent social base, and was being driven by imperialist forces who cared little about democratic reforms, the working class or Syria as an independent sovereign state, we were condemned as “Assadists” and “Putin puppets.”
Expunged from acceptable discourse was any consideration of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed states, the real geostrategic and economic class and national interests in contention in Syria and the region, or the legality of intervention outside the framework of the United Nations Charter.
Instead, the hegemonic framing of Syria was driven by the convergence of a left-right, paternalistic form of white saviorism ethically legitimized by the concept of humanitarian intervention, itself constructed on the normalized belief in the superiority ofthe white West, be it in its’ current capitalist form or its’imagined socialist future. Politically, the logical stance for both versions of this Eurocentric self-delusion is that any people striving to emulate either of those Eurocentric visions should be supported.“The hegemonic framing of Syria was driven by the convergence of a left-right, paternalistic form of white saviorism ethically legitimized by the concept of humanitarian intervention.”
However, in the case of Syria, that carefully constructed ideological framing is now imploding as a result of its own internal contradictions. The white supremacist “responsibility to protect,” the 21stcentury version of the “white man’s burden,” requires an adolescent bad guy-good guy framing. The dictator/authoritarian figure and the suffering people longing for freedom -- Western style freedom that is- provided a familiar cultural framing for this epic struggle between “good” and “evil.”
In Syria, Assad was the villain and the Kurds the virtuous other who took on the savage forces of ISIS -- that appeared out of nowhere according to this version of the story. While the Kurds were saving Western civilization from ISIS -- and that is how it was framed because
the only way real support is generated for non-European life (you have to be saving white folks) -- the good guy revolutionaries and moderate opposition in the form of the FSA were fighting Assad to liberate the millions of people who didn’t seem to understand that they were being oppressed by Assad.
But all of that has now been turned on its head with the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the Kurds and give a greenlight to the illegal invasion of Syria by Turkey,
with none other than the FSA acting as the point of the spear operating with the Turkish army to crush the Kurds.“The white supremacist ‘responsibility to protect,’ the 21stcentury version of the ‘white man’s burden,’ requires an adolescent bad guy-good guy framing.”
In the anger toward Trump,the corporate press forgot the memo that the FSA were the good guys who had been supported by U.S. authorities from the very beginning of the manufactured war. The new framing became the “Turkish supported FSA,” especially after gruesome videos began to circulate that demonstrated in graphic images what many of us knew, along with the CIA and most of the honest foreign policy community, that the FSA was always al-Qaeda’s Syria operation in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadist militias.
Independent journalist Aaron Mate, who was one of the many journalist smeared as an Assadist simply because he attempted to raise objective questions about what was unfolding in Syria and the impact of U.S. policies in the region,
suggests that now that it is no longer viable to pretend that the FSA and the so-called moderate rebels ever existed, all those who smeared independent analysts on this question should apologize.
I am confident that an apology of that sort will never happen; nor do I think Aaron believes that either because arrogance and self-righteousness is so deeply ingrained into the cultural DNA of most Westerners. Similarly to how U.S. radicals desperately tried to find a revolutionary entity to support in Syria to justify their objective alignment with U.S. imperialism, they will find a way to explain away what everyone can clearly see today, that the war on the people of Syria was a monstrous crime against humanity.“It is no longer viable to pretend that the FSA and the so-called moderate rebels ever existed.”
Instead of apologies, real justice demands that there should be international prosecutions beginning with Obama, Clinton and all the Western leaders who perpetrated this crime.
The ideological struggle is real. It shapes consciousness and informs actions. There is no middle ground. Western radicals must take a consistent anti-imperialist position despite the internal contradictions or problems
within a state in the Global South. This is their task and responsibility, especially of those individuals and organizations that reside at the center of the empire.
What distinguishes the Western radical from its counterparts in the global South is the fact that Southern-based radicals understand that any nation that finds itself in the crosshairs of U.S. and Western imperialism is a nation that, in one way or another, is considered a threat to imperialist domination. It’s time Western radicals understood this as well and stopped aligning themselves with the enemies of collective humanity.Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. Baraka serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council and leadership body of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch. He was recently awarded the US Peace Memorial 2019 Peace Prize and the Serena Shirm award for uncompromised integrity in journalism.https://blackagendareport.com/syria-exposing-western-radical-collaboration-imperialism
on: September 17, 2019, 04:56:19 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
|Some of the Many Things Most Americans Never Heard About 9/11By Paul Craig Roberts
September 14, 2019
The “Dancing Israelis” who turned out to be Israeli Mossad agents caught filming and celebrating the destruction of the twin towers. Arrested by police and released without investigation, they were not mentioned in the 911 Commission Report. Later on Israeli TV they said they were sent to New York to film the destruction of the twin towers. Allegedly, there was no advance warning of the event, but obviously the Israelis knew.
The alleged fundamentalist orthodox fanatical Muslims who were prepared to die to be martyrs, but who drank, drugged, and lived with strippers and prostitutes in Florida. They were the patsies paraded through flight schools and left a highly visible public record. They all flunked out and could not even fly small planes, but performed miraculous flight feats in their attacks on the WTC towers and Pentagon that military and civilian airline pilots say are beyond their own skills. These Saudi Arabians were being operated by US or Israeli intelligence to create a record to serve as a parallel patsy operation that could be used to cover up the false flag attack.
Numerous video cameras recorded whatever exploded at the Pentagon, but the FBI has refused to release them for 18 years. Clearly, the videos do not support the official story.
About half of the alleged hijackers have been found alive and well and deny that they had ever left their countries.
In 2001 no cell phone calls were possible from aircraft at the altitudes from which calls were reported.
The airliners that allegedly hit the twin towers were flimsy compared to the steel and concrete of the towers. The airliners would have smashed against the structure and fallen to the street below.
Pre-knowledge of 9/11 was widespread. The stocks of the two allegedly hijacked airlines were sold short prior to the event, resulting in large profits when the stocks fell in response to the hijackings. The short-sellers were swept under the carpet and not investigated.
FBI director Robert Mueller was instrumental in covering up for the false official story of 9/11, a story that has zero evidence in its behalf.
If a handful of young men with no intelligence service or government support can defeat the entire national security state of the United States and all of its NATO and Israeli allies and successfully attack with devastating results both New York and the Pentagon itself—the very symbol of American military supremacy—the Soviet Union could have wiped out the US and all of Europe without detection. Don’t you wonder how we survived the Soviet Union when the “Great American Superpower” was so easily defeated by a handful of young Saudi Arabians?
Four hijacked airliners are alleged hijacked, all at airports served by an Israeli security company. All four airliners allegedly crash. Two into the WTC towers, one into a field in Pennsylvania, and one into the Pentagon. Yet no airliner debris exists. The Pentagon’s lawn is not even scratched.
The President of the United States refuses to testify before the 9/11 Commission unless he is accompanied by his handler, Vice President Cheney. Both refuse to testify under oath. The 9/11 Commission is oh-so-respectful to the distinguished president and vice president.
One member of the 9/11 Commission, a US Senator, resigned from the Commission, saying that “the fix is in.” After the Commission report was issued, the Commission chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel wrote books in which they said that information was withheld from the Commission, that the Commission was lied to and considered referring the false testimony to the Justice (sic) Department for prosecution, and that “the Commission was set up to fail.” And not a peep from the controlled pressitute media whose only function is to deliver the controlled explanations that the ruling oligarchs want planted into Americans’ minds.
Tenants of the WTC buildings reported constant noises, floors sealed off, service disruptions and that the excuse was the installation of fiber optic cable. If the buildings faced condemnation as reported because of asbestos fireproofing, who would go to the expense of installing fiber optic cable to upgrade the Internet capability of condemned buildings?
Scientists have found reacted and unreacted nano-thermite and other elements used in controlled demolition. They have proved the existence of these elements. They have samples from the WTC dust left which they have offered to scientists and governments for testing in order to prove or disprove their own findings. No takers.
Instead, we have the appearance of nonsensical claims that the WTC buildings were brought down by a directed energy weapon and by nuclear bombs. These are preposterous allegations, the purpose of which is the deliberate creation of disinformation in order to focus attention away from the false official story and bury it in disagreements about what caused the buildings to fail.
I have checked with weapons specialists who are critics of US government foreign policy and who monitor every development in weapon systems in the US and Russia. This is what they tell me: “I can confidently state that no direct energy weapon, capable of demolishing such a structure at the Twin Towers, existed in 2001, nor does it exist today.”
Another reported that there are lab tests of directed energy in Russia but no deployed weapon. He suggested that people who believe in this fantasy story should explain the safe source of high energy that the alleged weapon used, and how it was moved on site and removed without detection. Moreover, a directed energy burst would show on detectors which monitor the electromagnetic spectrum. No such evidence exists. Since no such weapon has ever been tested to bring down skyscrapers, why would the government take the risk of using such a weapon for the first time in a public scenario where who knows what could go wrong and explanations would have to be given? And why reveal to foreign powers the existence of such a weapon? Controlled demolition is an old and familiar technology that works. And it did.
I could go on and on.
As I wrote in a previous column, when Americans fell for the 9/11 deception, they lost their country, and peoples in seven countries lost their lives, limbs, and families.Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/09/11/some-of-the-many-things-most-americans-never-heard-about-9-11/?fbclid=IwAR0d0Slnuur26otpKrYAA7veq8E7EHsTnOr1Vj0DWYmADC46yB1bTE5Y0Tg
on: September 17, 2019, 04:53:24 PM
Started by News - Last post by News
|By Eric Margolis
September 14, 2019https://ericmargolis.com/2019/09/who-was-really-behind-9-11/
A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. I am one of them.
The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our religions – is wearing very thin as contrary evidence piles up.
Ever since the attacks, I’ve held the belief that neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan’s Taliban were involved, though bin Laden did applaud the attacks after the fact and remains a key suspect. Unfortunately, he was murdered by a US hit squad instead of being brought to the US to stand trial. Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was adamant that bin Laden was not behind the attacks.
So who did it? In my view, the attacks were financed by private citizens in Saudi Arabia and organized from Germany and possibly Spain. All the hijackers came from states nominally allied to the US or its protectorates.
Fifteen of the 19 were Saudis. Two came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and one each from Egypt and Lebanon. Amazingly, during the national uproar after the attacks, little attention was focused on Saudi Arabia, a key US ally (or protectorate) even though most of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and a planeload of important Saudis were quietly ushered out of the US by the CIA soon after the attacks.
Saudi Arabia was too important to US domination of the Mideast to point any fingers at the Saudis. The Saudi royal regime in Riyadh did not appear to have been involved – why would it since their survival and gravy train depended on US protection?
But the royal regime does not represent all Saudis, as many people believe. Saudi Arabia is a collection of tribes played off against one another by Riyadh and kept in line by the US Air Force from its bases in Saudi and a tribal force, ‘the white army,’ led by American ‘advisors.’ Saudi Arabia has little in the way of a regular army because its rulers fear coups by the armed forces such as occurred in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
In addition, over 40,000 Americans live and work in Saudi. Another 5,000 US military personnel are stationed there. Much of the kingdom’s technology – banking, telecommunications, airports and flights, trains, military affairs, TV and radio – are supervised by foreigners. This process began in the 1920’s when the British moved into Arabia and helped promote the Saudi tribe to prominence.
A sizeable Yemeni community lives in Saudi. The bin Laden family originally hailed from Yemen. Saudi also has an important Shia Muslim minority, about 20% of the population, with smaller numbers of other Muslim sects. Most important, the reactionary, ultra rigid Wahabi religious sect still dominates the nation and royal family. The Wahabis hate Shia, calling them apostates and heretics. A similar dim view is taken of the nine million foreign workers, principally Indians, Pakistanis and other South Asians, who do all of the Kingdom’s dirty work.
Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington.
While covering the Afghan War in the 1980’s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor.
“When we succeed in kicking the Russians out of Afghanistan,” Azzam told me, “we will go on and kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia.” I was shocked, never having heard of Americans called ‘occupiers’. Azzam was murdered by a bomb soon after, but his words kept ringing in my ears. He thought of the Americans as much colonialists as the Soviets.
Private nationalist groups in Saudi who bitterly opposed foreign domination of their country could very well have financed and organized 9/11. But, of course, Washington could not admit this. That would have brought into question the US occupation of Saudi.
What’s also pretty clear is that Israel – at minimum – knew the attack was coming yet failed to warn its American ‘allies.’ Israel was the chief beneficiary of the 9/11 attacks – yet its bumbling Arab foes and bin Laden were blamed for this crime.Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia. https://ericmargolis.com/
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2019https://ericmargolis.com/2019/09/who-was-really-behind-9-11/