Widespread outrage over both the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and violent police crackdowns rages on. That outrage is spreading even to police agencies now returning from deployment to the reservation. Two departments have already refused to return, citing personal and public objections. As if that wasn’t enough, an army of sympathizers is re-purposing social media to combat police efforts in Standing Rock.

Minnesota’s Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department is among that group. Lawmakers, according to MPR News, found police activities in Standing Rock “inappropriate”. It’s to the point where they’re considering rewriting legislation to avoid future deployments to incidents like the pipeline resistance.

Police officials, of course, declined to comment on their return from North Dakota or their feelings on what’s happening there. It’s also made the task of rebuilding trust with the community an even loftier uphill battle. “I do not support Sheriff Stanek’s decision to send his deputies to North Dakota”, says LT. Governor Tina Smith, “nor did we approve his decision to begin with. I do not have any control over the Sheriff’s actions, which I think were wrong, and I believe he should bring his deputies home if he hasn’t already.”

Smith’s comments split the state’s government, however, and she was targeted. Minnesota State Rep. Tony Cornish condemned Smith for prioritizing “the rights of protesters over the needs of law enforcement”, saying she should apologize to the cops.

Sheriffs from Wisconsin’s Dane County were more empathetic, pulling out and refusing to return. According to the Bismarck Tribune, Sheriff Dave Mahoney made the decision after a “wide cross-section of the community” decried the deployment. “All share the opinion that our deputies should not be involved in this situation”, says Mahoney. Dane County’s deputies were deployed to Standing Rock for around a week. Sources report Dane County wasn’t involved in recent arrests, a string of which scooped up an alderwoman from Madison Wisconsin.

Ald. Rebecca Kemble traveled to North Dakota as a “legal observer”, filming and participating in prayer ceremonies. When Morton County officers–if they cans till be called that–grabbed and arrested her for engaging in a riot. According to Kemble, no riot was happening. Other Wisconsin departments have been recalled, with at least one staying behind for a more couple weeks.

Many other citizens have been charged for trespassing and participating in non-existent riots, including journalists. One of the most renowned reporters who’s faced DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline)-related charges was Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Goodman’s team filmed dog attacks by DAPL contractors who lacked proper K9 licenses. The contractors have also been accused of unethical surveillance, intimidation, and sabotaging the movement by attempting to make authorities believe the protesters have finally turned violent.

Other journalists, including documentarian Deia Schlosberg, face decades in prison for filming climate activists at a separate oil project. Journalists from the independent outlet Unicorn Riot, who recently reported use of a sound cannon on water protectors, have also been arrested.

Thousands of opponents to the pipeline have flooded Standing Rock to repel construction and police brutality. More still have taken to the internet, spreading information in the form of writing, video, photography, and art. Among the renegade tactics is using Facebook to “check-in” at Standing Rock. According the Guardian, over a million people–even people I know–have joined the action.

It began with a Facebook post, disclosing that Morton County sheriffs are allegedly using Facebook check-ins to track protesters. “Checking in”–whether you’re at a friend’s, restaurant, or escalating resistance–pinpoints your location to a tee. Once you check in, a notification is sent out to, yes, your friends, but theoretically anyone who’s capable of watching. It’s yet another tool in the bag of tricks authorities have deployed against civilians, and are likely utilizing in Standing Rock.

Some detractors have dismissed the social media action as a waste of time. An editor at The Fifth Column challenged these in a Facebook post, narrating a debate on the subject he’d had. Editor Justin King pointed out that even if the check-in’s wasted two minutes of time, multiplied by hundreds of thousands, that equates to two months of wasted police work. Now imagine how ineffective the surveillance may be with millions continuously checking.

Morton County Sheriff’s, Guardian reports, called claims of police surveillance misguided “rumors”. Morton County, by their own account, isn’t “monitoring Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location for that matter.” Before you trust them, consider that Facebook access for water protectors was reported as “blocked’ during a military-style raid on a camp.

Pixabay

Pixabay

–Data Collection Nationwide–

Other police departments are similarly sketchy when pressured to speak on their surveillance technologies. Wisconsin’s Milwaukee PD hid the use of cell site simulators, or Stingrays, from courts for months. Stingrays mimic cellphone towers, thus tricking phones into providing all manner of user information and data.

Nearby, the Wauwatosa Police Department, despite having admitting to “collecting and analyzing cell phone data” in its public reports, denied ever even coming close to a Stingray. It took the department 5 weeks to respond to that open records request, which is considered unusually long. It remains unknown how Wauwatosa PD, which has been blasted for lack of transparency before, collects cell phone data.

–The Hand’s Fingers In Open Rebellion–

In addition to the general retreat of departments, two officers have already turned in their badges in support of the protesters. North Dakota water protector Redhawk, MintPress reports, disclosed the revelation. The individual also pointed out “you can see it in some of them, that they do not support the police actions.” “Some are waking up”, they continued, “we must keep reminding them that they are welcome to put down their weapons and badge and take a stand against the pipeline as well.” Hints of shame could be seen in the faces of officers who confronted protesters as they blocked them from prayer grounds. As the protesters condemned officers, some of whom looked down or off to the horizon in shame.

The modern era of internet and technology gifts us with a plethora of ways to express ourselves, and help one another. Standing Rock is quickly becoming a stand out of that fact. Citizens, journalists, and activists are all using the internet to achieve their own goals. Whether that be spreading information being blocked, tracking police movements, sending food and rations or just voicing opinions. Standing Rock’s resistance is spreading globally, with protests occurring in Europe and elsewhere. As long as construction doesn’t stop, the movement won’t rest.

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Last Friday, November 4th, Obama quietly signed an Executive Order titled Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda to Achieve a World Safe and Secure from Infectious Disease Threats.

It is the policy of the United States to advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which is a multi-faceted, multi-country initiative intended to accelerate partner countries’ measurable capabilities to achieve specific targets to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats (GHSA targets), whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental.

So basically, the agenda is to push vaccines and normalize quarantine procedures across nations during outbreaks.

GHSA Immunization Agenda states that participating countries must have….

A functioning national vaccine delivery system—with nationwide reach, effective distributions, access for marginalized populations, adequate cold chain, and ongoing quality control.

At least 90% coverage of the country’s 15-month-old population with at least one dose of measles-containing vaccine.

Some notable “Five Year Action Items” include:

  • Conduct routine immunization activities
  • Implement case-based surveillance
  • Achieve and document vaccination of health care workers
obama-vaccine-propaganda-wiki

Bill Gates provided the CDC with a surveillance tool that helps identify “district-level measles risk” based on immunization records. (Source is same CDC link as above).

What’s more, the HHS recently proposed giving the CDC the power to detain and quarantine people without due Process.

When an apprehension occurs, the individual is not free to leave or discontinue his/her discussion with an HHS/CDC public health or quarantine officer.

…the proposed practice to issue Federal orders before a medical examination has taken place.

CDC defines precommunicable stage to mean the stage beginning upon an individual’s earliest opportunity for exposure to an infectious agent.

CDC may enter into an agreement with an individual, upon such terms as the CDC considers to be reasonably necessary, indicating that the individual consents to any of the public health measures authorized under this part, including quarantine, isolation, conditional release, medical examination, hospitalization, vaccination, and treatment: provided that the individual’s consent shall not be considered as a prerequisite to any exercise of any authority under this part.

…individuals who violate the terms of the agreement or the terms of the Federal order for quarantine, isolation, or conditional release (even if no agreement is in place between the individual and the government), he or she may be subject to criminal penalties.

The source of all quotes above is the official proposed rule for the Control of Communicable Diseases by Health & Human Services (HHS).

Watch the full show here.

Vin Armani is the host of The Vin Armani Show on Activist Post, TV Star of Gigolos on Showtime, Author, DJ, and Agorist Entrepreneur. Follow Vin on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube.

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In his first interview (with the WSJ) as president-elect, Trump softened his opposition to Obamacare, suggesting he’ll amend, not repeal it.

In a separate interview to air Sunday on CBS’ 60 Minutes, he stepped back from his pledge to repeal and replace the law, repeating what he told the Journal – indicating a willingness to preserve at least two provisions:

  • assuring coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, one of the law’s “strongest assets,” he said, and
  • and letting young adults remain covered by their parents’ insurance until age 26.

“I like those (provisions) very much,” Trump said. According to the Journal, “(o)ther urgent priorities (include) deregulating financial institutions to allow ‘banks to lend again,” along with border security to keep out undocumented immigrants and illicit drugs, both objectives unlikely to succeed.

Industry profits hugely from unregulated cheap labor. Wall Street banks and the CIA benefit from drugs trafficking. Expect little or nothing interfering with what’s now ongoing

Trump’s jobs creation program involves greater infrastructure spending and “improved international trade deals,” possibly imposing tariffs to incentivize industry to produce in America, not abroad in low-wage countries.

Mindful of anti-Trump street protests, he said “I want a country that loves each other. I want to stress that.” The best way is by “bring(ing) in jobs.”

He intends shifting from confrontational campaign rhetoric to a more positive tone. “It’s different now,” he said.

His campaign pledge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary, if elected, appears discarded. “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve healthcare, jobs, border control (and) tax reform,” he explained.

He got a “beautiful” letter from Vladimir Putin, he said, adding both leaders will speak by phone shortly.

Pre-and-post-election, I stressed Trump will continue dirty business as usual – how America’s political system always works, serving special interests, not the needs, concerns and welfare of everyone equitably.

Yet Trump has his own ideas about foreign entanglements, including wanting better relations with Russia and stepping back from the Middle East mess Obama and Bush made.

He wants ISIS defeated, not Assad ousted in Syria, saying “(m)y attitude was you’re fighting Syria. Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS.”

“Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria…”

“Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are (sic).” Attacking Assad means “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria” – the most encouraging comments he made.

Hopefully his foreign policy intends prioritizing greater diplomacy, less confrontation, taking a major step back from possible devastating nuclear war on Russia – the greatest threat of a Hillary administration had she triumphed last Tuesday.

Overall, political rhetoric is best ignored. Judge Trump solely on how he governs once sworn in as president on January 20 – including who’s chosen for cabinet posts and other key ones.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

 

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War Continues under President Donald Trump

novembre 12th, 2016 by Kurt Nimmo

During his campaign Donald Trump said if elected he will “bomb the shit” out of the Islamic State. He will send troops into Syria and Iraq if the Pentagon agrees.

“Unfortunately, it may require boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State,” he writes in Crippled America (2015).

“I don’t think it’s necessary to broadcast our strategy. (In fact, one of the most ridiculous policy blunders President Obama has committed was to announce our timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.) If military advisers recommend it, we should commit a limited–but sufficient–number of troops to fight on the ground.”

“I would end ISIS forcefully,” he said during an interview with 60 Minutes. “We are going to convey my top generals and give them a simple instruction,” he told a crowd in North Carolina in September. “They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS. We have no choice.”

From his web page, “Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS”:

Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expand intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting.

Another bullet point: “Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War.”

I assume this means severing ties with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf emirates responsible for supporting Salafist terrorism. “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi—take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” he told Fox News in February.

But is he serious? Records submitted to the Federal Election Commission show companies incorporated by Trump are related to a possible hotel project in Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia.

Trump sounds like a Democrat on Afghanistan. “We made a mistake going into Iraq. I’ve never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan,” he said. “And at this point, you probably have to stay because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave.”

He believes Obama should have gone into Syria. “Had he crossed the line and really gone in with force, done something to Assad–if he had gone in with tremendous force, you wouldn’t have millions of people displaced all over the world.”

Trump is on the neocon bandwagon in regard to Iran. “We have people in Washington that don’t know what they’re doing. Now, with Iran, we’re making a deal, you would say, we want out our prisoners. We want all these things, and we don’t get anything. We’re giving them $150 billion dollars plus. I’ll tell you what, if Iran was a stock, you folks should go out and buy it right now because you’ll quadruple–this, what’s happening in Iran, is a disgrace, and it’s going to lead to destruction in large portions of the world.”

Obama didn’t give $150 billion to Iran. Iranian money and assets were frozen after the US and Israel said Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Iran has not developed a nuclear weapon, there is no evidence of this. The United States began imposing sanctions on Iran after the CIA-installed Shah was overthrown. Trump will maintain the status quo. He may even “bomb the shit” out of Iran’s oil fields.

He has called for bombing oil infrastructure in the Middle East. “I’d just bomb those suckers,” he said last year. “I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left.”

Trump also wants to steal the oil. He wanted to steal it before ISIS appeared on the scene. “You heard me, I would take the oil,” he said in 2011. “I would not leave Iraq and let Iran take the oil.”

“We go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then … what happens is we get nothing. You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils,” he said in September.

He also talked about stealing Libya’s oil during the NATO invasion in 2011. “I would just go in and take the oil,” he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News.

This is would be a violation of international law (specifically, the fourth Geneva Convention) and a war crime, but like the neocons Donald Trump does not recognize international law.

Donald Trump has courted neocons and other warmongers, including John Bolton. “You are fooling yourselves if you think Trump, who has advisers such as Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Peter Navarro and Michael Flynn, has some libertarian inclinations,” writes Robert Wenzel.

As president, he would be a neo-con leaning tyrant. He would just go to war for other reasons… Sheldon Adelson isn’t supporting him for nothing.

Interminable war will continue under Donald Trump. The troops will not come home. He has promised to jack-up defense spending. He wants to go after Islam.

I wrote a detailed explanation in August.

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I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps…And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. ” – Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (1935) [1]

 LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Lire

Length (59:07)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

Recognized as Remembrance Day in Canada and the British Commonwealth, and Veterans’ Day in the US, the 11th day of the 11th month is an annual occasion to pay tribute to those who have served their countries on the battlefield.

It is taken as axiomatic that soldiers are heroes for participating in violence at the behest of the State. Even where there is a recognition that the war being fought is unjust, such as the Iraq War or the Vietnam War, community members are called on to ‘support the troops.’

There has been a decisive shift away from the notion of remembering the horrors and brutality of war to the veneration and valourization of the soldier. There is a ritualistic aspect to society’s relationship with the soldier. Even the language of ‘paying the ultimate sacrifice’ evokes a religious flavour to the dynamics of militarism.

US military veteran Stan Goff has come to view nationalism as a modern day civil religion, with the Nation as our God and holidays like Veterans Day performing a liturgical function.

Stan Goff is a Retired Special Forces Master Sergeant who served in eight conflict areas between 1970 and 1996. He has authored several books including Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti (2000), Full-Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century (2004),  Sex & War (2006), and his most recent: Borderline – Reflections on War, Sex, and Church (2015).

 

In this week’s special instalment of the Global Research News Hour, hosted by contributor Jonathan Wilson, Goff speaks at length about how Veterans/Remembrance Day has transformed from a celebration of peace to a cultural tool reinforcing the drive toward more war, imperialism, and masculine domination.

Following the interview, we hear an excerpt of a March 2015 talk by Joshua Key. Speaking from his personal experiences within America’s military system, especially in Iraq, this veteran shatters whatever myths the public may have about the goodness and righteousness of America’s military engagements in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Joshua Key originally from Guthrie, Oklahoma, fled the war in Iraq for reasons of conscience and sought sanctuary in Canada. He is the author, with Lawrence Hill, of the 2007 book, The Deserter’s Tale:The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq.


(video from a 2011 talk. Courtesy of videographer Paul S. Graham)

 LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Lire

Length (59:07)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday Morning from 8:00 to 9:00am. Find more details at www.caperradio.ca 

Notes: 

1) Butler, Smedley D. (November 1935). « America’s Armed Forces. 2. « In Time of Peace »: The Army« . Common Sense ; https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/Vietnam/butler.pdf

Syria ISIS-Daesh Terrorists’ Financing Schemes Unveiled

novembre 12th, 2016 by Sophie Mangal

In late October, the Committee on the Internal Security of the US Congress published a report on the revenue of various terrorist organizations. Inside Syria Media Center analyzed the documents and compared this information to the facts at our disposal. Please notice that the investigation will be published in several parts.

The analysis of the report shows that organizations like the IS use 7 main sources of income. They include oil and gas, goods like grain, fertilizers, cement, salt, etc. and trading antiquities in the black market. In addition, the other funding sources are racketeering, robbing, kidnapping, aid from the Gulf countries and taxation. The new methods of capital’s management and growth also include criminal activity in Western countries, crowdfunding (2% of the budget), as well as online and charitable Islamic funds’ donations.

Oil trade

routes

Routes of oil supplies from the fields controlled by IS, Financial Times

The report contains peculiar facts and figures confirming the information about the schemes. For example, in early 2016, the IS controlled up to 50% of crude oil production in Syria and up to 10% in Iraq i.e. about 300 oil fields were under ISIS control. At the same time, the terrorists’ revenue in 2015 reached $1 billion with more than $500 million coming from oil trade. According to the US Committee, the same year jihadists produced per day up to 80-120 thousand barrels amounting from $2 to 4 million. It should be noted that 125 terrorist supervisors monitored the work of more than 1,600 oil workers. The IS smuggled oil not only to Turkey but also to customers in Europe via improvised plastic pipelines along the Syrian-Turkish border.

The leading business media using their sources in Iraq and in Washington claim that the Islamic State’s oil revenue totals $40-50 million per month. The main volume is produced on the territory of the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor.

Agriculture

The data in the document shows that terrorists control up to 400 thousand farmers in Iraq, earning from wheat and barley’s trading up to $200 million per year.

 

wheat.png

Deliveries of wheat from the areas controlled by ISIS, Reuters

After capturing the fertile territories in the delta of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, ISIS captured a vast territory that has brought a significant proportion of Iraqi-Syrian crop. This step aggravated the food security situation in the region.

There is still no precise estimates of the amount of profit earned by the Islamic state from food trade. However a report “Islamic State Financing and US Policy Approaches” (link to the report: PDF) submitted to the US Congress in April 2015, reveals that wheat and barley’s trading at the black market could bring IS an annual income of approximately $200 million (taking into account the fact that ISIS sells its products with a 50% discount).

Some experts point out that the Islamic State is practicing the so-called ‘laundering’ of products by mixing the booty with the yield from other regions to make it difficult to determine their origin. The terrorists also earn money by grabbing farms’ machinery and leasing it to the former owners.

Antiquities trade at the black market

Antique-trade is another source of income. For instance, the IS earns up to $100 million per year for trading antiquities which then “accidentally” appear in London and New York. Actually, terrorists aren’t personally involved in the archeological excavations but issue licenses to the so-called ‘black archeologists’ imposing a tax on their activity (20% in Aleppo, 50% in Raqqa).

According to the American Association of Antiquaries, the main streams of antique smuggling reach Western countries through Lebanon and Turkey, as well as through Saudi Arabia and Qatar. (Link: Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis). According to various estimates, the total cost of smuggled ancient objects totals about $100 million a year.

Inside Syria Media Center will continue to investigate the other income items of international terrorist organizations. In the next part, we will talk about taxes on the territories controlled by the terrorists, as well as slave trade and donations.

To be continued.

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Did Donald Trump really win Michigan’s 16 electoral votes?

The president-elect’s victory in the rust-belt state was heralded as a fundamental redrawing of the political map. That’s because Michigan, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, had not gone red in a presidential election since the 1980s. Until Tuesday, that is, according to the prevailing narrative.

However, you may have noticed that many news organizations still considered Michigan up for grabs in their electoral college maps of the presidential election as of November 11. That’s three days after the election. In other words, they hadn’t officially added it to Trump’s column yet.

Thus, the answer to the question of whether Trump really won Michigan is:

He’s ahead now.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office in Michigan told Heavy that office has “no reason to believe” there are “significant” numbers of votes somehow unaccounted for. However, Trump’s lead is slender: He has a 13,107 vote lead over Hillary Clinton in Michigan, according to the latest totals from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

The reason many news organizations are hedging in declaring Trump the Michigan victor: The Associated Press has yet to call the race for Trump, and many news organizations follow the lead of the AP. The AP told Heavy on November 11 that it also hasn’t called New Hampshire yet, although Hillary Clinton has a slight lead there. The wire service called Arizona on November 10 for Trump, two days after the election. All other states have been called.

“The races in New Hampshire and Michigan remain too close to call, with recounts possible in both states,” Lauren Easton, media relations manager for the AP, explained to Heavy on November 11. “So long as recounts are possible, AP will not call either race.”

Detroit newspapers have declared Trump the winner, attributing his victory to western, rural areas of the state populated by working class whites concerned about trade and jobs. Hillary Clinton also did not turn out Democratic voters in Michigan at Barack Obama’s levels, and third-party candidates ran stronger than 2012.

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are decked out in campaign signs before the rally in Michigan. His supporters often come dressed up for his rallies, wearing Trump accessories. (Getty)

So what’s the hold up? The Michigan votes will now go through a canvassing system. The New York Times has a county-by-county listing of election results. As of November 11, the Times was giving Trump a 92 percent chance of winning Michigan; the results currently list Trump as receiving 47.6% of the vote and Clinton 47.3%.

Fred Woodhams, the spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, told Heavy, “We have no reason to believe that there are significant numbers of votes that are unaccounted for. All cities and townships in the state (1,500 of them) have reported unofficial vote totals.” He said that no recount has been requested because recounts are filed after certified results are available, not unofficial tallies.

Clinton won the popular vote in the United States as a whole. Trump won the three rust-belt states that were crucial to his victory in the electoral college by a combined total of only about 112,000 votes.

The AP did call the election overall for Donald Trump, naming him as presidential victor, despite remaining unsure about Michigan and New Hampshire. Michigan has 16 electoral votes and New Hampshire 4. Clinton would not prevail in the electoral college even if she won Arizona and those two states:

arizonaetc

The AP explains how it calls races, saying, “The responsibility for calling races rests with experienced journalists in each state. They are armed with on-the-ground knowledge of their territory that no other national news organization can match.” In addition, says the AP, “On election night, race callers in each state are assisted by experts in AP’s Washington bureau who examine exit poll numbers and votes as they are counted.”

Trump: 2,277,914
Clinton: 2,264,807
Johnson: 172,726
Stein: 51,420
Castle: 16,125
Soltysik: 2,231

The Trump victory is too large to trigger an automatic recount in Michigan. A margin of under 2,000 votes triggers an automatic recount in Michigan, but candidates can seek a recount even if the margin is larger. You can learn more about the Michigan recount rules here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/330810338/Michigan-Recount#fullscreen&from_embed 

Woodhams told Heavy: “It’s not for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office to get involved in when national media outlets ‘call’ a state. At this time, county boards of canvassers are verifying election results and will certify them. At the end of the month, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers will certify the results after the county boards complete their work. At that point, election results will be final.”

Asked whether he expected the results to change substantially, he responded, “No, but in every election small vote shifts occur during the canvassing process.”

Woodhams stressed that the canvassing process will by bi-partisan.

“The canvassing process takes weeks to complete to ensure that voters can have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of Michigan elections,” Woodhams said. “The canvassing boards are made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats.”

The Detroit Free Press reported in a blaring headline that Trump had won Michigan, giving the margin as 13,225 votes. However, the newspaper had earlier mistakenly called the race for Clinton based on an analysis of early returns from key precincts.

Jessica McBride is a Heavy contributor. She was a crime, government, and breaking news reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and reporter for the Waukesha Freeman newspaper. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous magazine, newspaper, and online publications. She has also appeared as a crime reporter on Investigation Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Oxygen Channel. She can be reached by email at [email protected] 

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California state and local government officials reported Thursday afternoon that as many as five million votes remain to be counted in the presidential election. This includes both mail-in ballots postmarked no later than November 8 and provisional ballots cast by voters who went to the wrong precinct to vote because they had moved.

If the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton maintains the 62 percent majority that she has won so far in California voting, the count of all the outstanding ballots would likely increase her popular vote lead from the current estimate of 400,000 to approximately two million votes.

If anything, this is likely to be a low estimate, since provisional ballots are disproportionately cast in low-income and minority working-class districts, where Clinton ran up margins approaching 90 percent. More than one million ballots remain to be counted in Los Angeles County alone, and 600,000 in San Diego County. Clinton won more than 80 percent of the vote in Los Angeles and nearly 60 percent in San Diego.

This means that Clinton, the loser in the Electoral College to Donald Trump, would have a margin in the popular vote exceeding at least three winners of US presidential elections in the last half-century. John F. Kennedy won the 1960 election over Richard Nixon by 112,000 votes; Nixon won the 1968 election over Hubert Humphrey by 510,000 votes; and Jimmy Carter won the 1976 election over Gerald Ford by 1.7 million votes.

Clinton’s margin in the popular vote could be four times the size of Al Gore’s in 2000. Gore carried the popular vote by 540,000 over George W. Bush, only to lose in the Electoral College after the Supreme Court intervened to halt a recount of ballots in Florida.

Up until now the media has said almost nothing about the scale of Clinton’s popular vote margin. A posting by David Leonhardt in the online edition of the New York Times is the only reference in national publications, along with occasional reports in the California-based media.

Trump’s vote total was actually below that won by Republicans Mitt Romney in 2012 and George W. Bush in 2004, and just barely above the total received by John McCain in 2008, when he lost to Barack Obama by a margin of ten million votes.

As the scale of Clinton’s lead in the popular vote becomes more widely known, Trump’s elevation to the presidency will be seen ever-more widely as politically illegitimate.

It is known, of course, that victory in a presidential election is determined by the allocation of votes in the archaic Electoral College. But in the first 211 years of American presidential history, between 1789 and 2000, there were only three occasions in which the presidency went to the candidate who lost the popular vote.

This first occurred in 1824, when—after a four-way contest in which no candidate received sufficient electoral votes to win—the House of Representatives awarded John Quincy Adams the presidency. There was widespread popular outrage over the “corrupt bargain” that denied Andrew Jackson—the winner in the popular vote—the White House. The presidency of Adams remained under a cloud, and Jackson defeated him in the election of 1828.

In 1876, Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden received approximately 250,000 more votes than Republican Rutherford Hayes, but failed to secure the necessary Electoral College majority. After several months of intense negotiations, the Democrats accepted the elevation of Hayes into the White House. However, the Democrats exacted from the Republicans an immense political concession: the withdrawal of Federal troops from the South, which effectively ended the post-Civil War Reconstruction.

In 1888, President Grover Cleveland lost his bid for reelection to his Republican opponent, Benjamin Harrison. In this case, the Republican candidate won a substantial majority in the Electoral College, but he received approximately 80,000 votes less than President Cleveland. Harrison entered the White House, but the fact that he had lost the popular vote—even though by a relatively small margin—undermined his political authority. Cleveland defeated him in the election of 1892.

For the 112 years after Cleveland’s defeat in 1888, every winning presidential candidate obtained more votes than his rival. Throughout the twentieth century, the results in the Electoral College ratified the outcome of the popular vote.

But two out of the last five elections have resulted in the victory of Republican candidates—Bush and Trump—who lost the popular vote.

George W. Bush’s popular vote deficit in the election of 2000 was significant: approximately 500,000 votes. In Trump’s case, the deficit—which may reach between 1.5 and 2 million votes—will in all likelihood be so substantial that it can hardly be viewed as merely a peculiar anomaly.

The scale of Trump’s defeat in the popular vote underscores the political cowardice that has been displayed by the Democratic Party in its response to the election. Given the circumstances, the Democrats are under no political obligation to do more than acknowledge that Trump, because of his electoral vote majority, has merely won the right to plant his backside in the presidential chair of the Oval Office.

However, there is no justification for the haste with which the Obama administration and the Democratic Party have rushed to build up Trump’s authority and prestige. Neither Obama nor Clinton have issued a warning to Trump, stating bluntly that the unprecedented scale of his defeat in the popular vote has clearly deprived him of any right to claim a mandate for his reactionary agenda. Their silence is all the more criminal as demonstrations protesting Trump’s victory are taking place throughout the country.

The dubious legitimacy of a Trump administration is being further undermined as its political physiognomy becomes clearer. On Friday, Trump reshuffled his transition team, putting his vice president-elect and Christian fundamentalist Mike Pence in charge as chairman, installing ultra-right figures like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich as vice chairs, and naming his three children and his son-in-law to the transition executive committee. The White House is to become another branch of the Trump family enterprise!

President Obama, the leader of the Democratic Party who campaigned throughout the country for Clinton, has said nothing at all about her victory in the popular vote and has repeatedly declared his determination to insure a peaceful and smooth transition to power for Trump and the Republicans.

Can anyone doubt that if the roles had been reversed, and Clinton had won the Electoral College while Trump rolled up a big margin in the popular vote, that the Republican Party would have proceeded far differently?

Always the more ruthless and aggressive of the two right-wing capitalist parties, the Republicans would have denounced a Clinton victory in the Electoral College as “rigged” and undemocratic, demanded her renunciation of the presidency, lobbied for the presidential electors to ignore the vote in their states and accede to the “will of the people” as expressed in the nationwide vote tally, and threatened obstruction and even impeachment of the new president.

The one area where the Democrats and those sections of the military and intelligence agencies that backed Clinton may be pushing for influence in a Trump cabinet is on foreign policy. They do not want to see a retreat on the aggressive attitude toward Russia, which was at the center of Clinton’s election campaign.

California Governor Jerry Brown, soon to be the most powerful elected Democrat, has said nothing about the political implications of the landslide against Trump in his state, the most populous in the United States. Trump has threatened mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, who number in the millions in California, with millions more California citizens in their immediate families.

Again, if the roles had been reversed, with Clinton taking office as a minority president, Republican governors would have been up in arms, seeking to demonstrate their opposition to and defiance of a federal government they would declare illegitimate and oppressive. This was already the case with the Republicans under Obama.

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As of 8:30 pm (Seoul time) on Saturday, November 12, 2016-

South Korean media report 1 million gathered at Gwanghwamun Plaza to demand Park Geun-hye’s resignation. This is the largest protest South Korea has seen since the democratic uprising of June 1987. People from across the country, including conservative strongholds Busan and Daegu have traveled to Seoul to join the protest. Youth in school uniforms and mothers with children are among the protest.

Protesters on the way to the Blue House are blocked by a barricade of police buses near Gyeongbok Palace. The police have also blocked off entrances to subway stations between the police barricade and the presidential residence. Protesters are intent on reaching the Blue House but so far remain peaceful.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon refused to supply water from the city’s fire hydrants to the police, which had threatened to use water cannons to block protesters.  Referring to the death of farmer Baek Nam-gi, hit by a high-pressure water cannon at a mass demonstration in November 2015, Mayor Park said in a radio interview, “No more.” He added, “Water from fire hydrants is intended for putting out fires, not peaceful protests.”

A reporter outside the Blue House says protesters can be heard from the Blue House, which has been in a state of emergency since Saturday morning but has not issued an official response to the calls for the president’s resignation.

screen shots al Jazeera

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions has vowed a general strike if Park Geun-hye refuses to resign. 150,000 workers are among the protesters at Gwanghwamun Plaza- 35,000 public sector and transport workers, 20,000 government employees, 15,000 metal workers, 15,000 service workers, 10,000 teachers, 5000 health and medical workers.

The Saenuri Party has called for an emergency meeting tomorrow amidst growing calls inside the party for Park Geun-hye to leave the party and its leadership to resign.

For updates on the historic demonstration, follow ZoominKorea on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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The people loyal to the Syrian government are happy with Donald Trump winning the U.S. election:

At the passport counter, a Syrian officer’s face lit up when he saw an American traveler.

“Congratulations on your new president!” he exclaimed, giving an energetic thumbs up. Mr. Trump, he said, would be “good for Syria.”

The first significant step of the new administration comes while Trump is not even in office. Obama, selfishly concerned with his historic legacy, suddenly makes a 180 degree turn and starts to implement Trump polices. Lets consider the initial position:

Asked about Aleppo in an October debate with Clinton, Trump said it was a humanitarian disaster but the city had « basically » fallen. Clinton, he said, was talking in favor of rebels without knowing who they were.The rebels fighting Assad in western Syria include nationalists fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner, some of them trained in a CIA-backed program, and jihadists such as the group formerly known as the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

The Obama administration, through the CIA led by Saudi asset John Brennan, fed weapons, training and billions of dollars to « moderate rebels ». These then turned around (vid) and either gave the CIA gifts to al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al Nusra) or joined it themselves. The scheme was no secret at all and Russia as well as Syria pointed this out several times. The Russian foreign Minister Lavrov negotiated with the U.S. secretary of State Kerry who promised to separate the « moderate rebels » from al-Qaeda. But Kerry never delivered. Instead he falsely accuse Russia of committing atrocities that never happened. The CIA kept the upper hand within the Obama administration and continued its nefarious plans.

That changed the day the president-elect Trump set foot into the White House. While Obama met Trump in the oval office, new policies, prepared beforehand, were launched. The policies were held back until after the election and would likely not have been revealed or implemented if Clinton had won.

The U.S. declared that from now on it will fight against al-Qaeda in Syria:

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to find and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria that the administration had largely ignored until now and that has been at the vanguard of the fight against the Syrian government, U.S. officials said.That shift is likely to accelerate once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. … possibly in direct cooperation with Moscow.

U.S. officials who opposed the decision to go after al-Nusra’s wider leadership warned that the United States would effectively be doing the Assad government’s bidding by weakening a group on the front line of the counter-Assad fight.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and other Pentagon leaders initially resisted the idea of devoting more Pentagon surveillance aircraft and armed drones against al-Nusra.


al-Qaeda hears of Clinton’s defeat,  haz a sad (illustrative pic)

Ash Carter is, together with John Brennan, the major anti-Russian force in the Obama administration. He is a U.S. weapon industry promoter and the anti-Russia campaign, which helps to sell U.S. weapons to NATO allies in Europe, is largely of his doing. He saw al-Qaeda in Syria as a welcome proxy force against Russia.

But Obama has now shut down that policy. We are not yet sure that this is for good but the above Washington Post account is not the only signal:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to disrupt al-Nusrah Front’s military, recruitment, and financing operations. Specifically, OFAC designated four key al-Nusrah Front leaders – Abdallah Muhammad Bin-Sulayman al-Muhaysini, Jamal Husayn Zayniyah, Abdul Jashari, and Ashraf Ahmad Fari al-Allak – pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

These designations were taken in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, which today named Jabhat Fath al Sham as an alias of al-Nusrah Front – al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.

Abdallah Muhammad Bin-Sulayman al-Muhaysini was designated for acting for or on behalf of, and providing support and services to or in support of, al-Nusrah Front.

This is a major change in U.S. policy. Nusra will from now on be on the run not only from Russian and Syrian attacks but also from the intelligence and military capabilities of the United States.

The newly designated Al-Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric, is Nusra’s chief ideologue in Syria. Some considered him the new Osama Bin-Laden. Here he is, on the left, arm in arm with chief al-Qaeda in Syria propagandist and « journalist » Hadi Abdullah.


bigger

Hadi Abdullah, friend of the designated al-Qaeda terrorist Muhaysini, just received the 2016 Press Freedom Pricefrom the CIA/Soros financed « regime change » influence operation Reporters Without Borders. Might this mean that Hadi Abdullah is himself a CIA assets? He would not be the first such « journalist » in Syria.

Obama, obviously as a direct consequence of the Trump election, now ordered the Pentagon to wage war on al-Qaeda in Syria just as the Russians do. This after five years of nearly unlimited U.S. support for al-Qaeda and its « moderate » Syrian affiliates. It is not yet know what new orders, if any, Obama gave to the CIA. Will the CIA follow these policies or will it (again) try to counter the Pentagon policies in Syria? It is unusual that the WaPo report above about this new direction includes no commenting voice from the CIA. Why is such missing?

Russia and Syria will welcome the new Obama policies should they come to fruit on the ground. Hillary Clinton had planned and announced to widen the conflict in Syria and with Russia and Iran. Obama would surely not have acted against such policies if she had been elected. But with Trump winning and thereby a new policy on the horizon he now changed course to a direction that will provide « continuity » when Trump takes over.

Not only is Trump kicking a black family out of its longtime limewashed home, he also ends U.S. government support for the disenfranchised Jihadis in Syria and elsewhere. This even months before taking office. He really is the menace we have all been warned about.

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US President-elect Donald Trump is already lining up a tell-tale team of Wall Street and Washington insiders as well as warmongering Neo-Conservatives and sponsors of terrorism to fill his cabinet and serve in key positions within his upcoming administration. He’s also openly reneging on his campaign promises, before even getting into office.

The Intercept in an article titled, « Donald Trump Recruits Corporate Lobbyists to Select His Future Administration, » would reveal that:

Trump for America Inc., a nonprofit group chaired by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., to oversee the Trump transition, has quietly moved ahead, meeting with interest groups and reaching out to lobbyists to plan a future Trump administration.

The group has held regular meetings at the Washington, D.C., offices of Baker Hostetler, a law and lobbying firm.

On Thursday, the group hosted a breakfast at Baker Hostetler attended by Microsoft’s Ed Ingle and Steve Hart, two lobbyists who, according to filings, have worked to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Other transition meetings have included briefings with the Financial Services Roundtable and the Investment Company Institute, two lobby groups that represent Wall Street interests, as well as with the BGR Group, a lobby firm that represents Saudi Arabia and the South Korean government.

Perhaps BGR relayed some information to Trump’s team during these meetings on behalf of their South Korean clients, which is why Trump has now already announced a complete reversal regarding his alleged platform of no longer maintaining America’s vast collection of protectorates around the globe – South Korea included.

Vox in its article, « Trump just completely reversed his policy on South Korea — only 2 days after being elected, » would report that:

Trump has tried to put those concerns to rest by speaking directly with Park over the phone and promising to maintain the existing security alliance. « We will be steadfast and strong with respect to working with you to protect against the instability in North Korea,” Trump told the South Korean president, according to a statement from her office.

This is in stark contrast to Trump’s comments during the presidential campaign. Vox stated:

« We are better off frankly if South Korea is going to start protecting itself,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper back in March. “They have to protect themselves or they have to pay us. » In a January interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Trump said, “We have 28,000 soldiers on the line in South Korea between the madman and them, » referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. « We get practically nothing compared to the cost of this.”

But this is relatively minor in comparison to some other warning signs.

Image: John Bolton (left) is a Bush-era Neo-Conservative. 

As early as August of this year, Trump revealed his consideration of John Bolton as his potential Secretary of State. Breitbart in an article titled, « Trump: We are Seriously Thinking About Picking John Bolton as Secretary of State, » would claim:

“I think John Bolton’s a good man,” Trump replied. “I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it.”

John Bolton is a Bush-era Neo-Conservative who helped sell the war in Iraq to the American people under the false threat of « weapons of mass destruction. » The war would claim a million Iraqis and over 4,000 US troops and has left the nation in ruination to this very day. Bolton would go on to use « weapons of mass destruction » as a pretext for America moving on to a narrowly averted war with Iran.

Additionally, Bolton has spent years lobbying for the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist groupthat has killed US military personal, US civilian contractors, as well as Iranian politicians and civilians through decades of terrorist attacks both within and beyond Iran’s borders. Until recently, and including during Bolton’s lobbying activities, MEK was a US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, listed side-by-side Al Qaeda, the self-proclaimed « Islamic State, » and Boko Haram.

Image: Gingrich, Giuliani and Bolton are all present and accounted for at a confab supporting MEK terrorists. Now all three men are under consideration for positions within Trump’s White House.

 

Today, Bolton characterizes Russia, China, and Iran as US enemies and seeks expanded military spending and military operations abroad to widen already unprecedented tensions with all three nations.

That Trump even considered making this man his Secretary of State should alarm all Americans, whether they opposed the Iraq War under Bush or US military interventions in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq under Obama.

Bolton’s consideration for a place within Trump’s incoming administration all but assures the wars not only continue, they will disastrously expand.

Lobbying for MEK terrorists alongside Bolton was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. They and other fixtures of American Neo-Conservatism backed MEK along with the Royal Saudi Family, according to the US State Department’s own Voice of America (VOA) media platform.

VOA’s article, « Saudi Backing of Iranian Exile Group Inflames Mideast Conflicts, » would reveal:

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a respected former Saudi ambassador to Britain and the United States, startled many observers when he turned up Saturday at a conference in Paris of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq or MEK.

VOA would also report:

In the course of that campaign, the MEK and its “diplomatic” arm, the so-called National Council of Resistance in Iran, paid millions of dollars to ex-U.S. officials of both major political parties. Saturday’s confab featured many of these individuals including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and a contender to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, as well as Bill Richardson, a former New Mexico governor and U.N. ambassador under Bill Clinton, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

Both Giuliani and Gingrich are also likely to receive positions within Trump’s administration. The fact that Trump has cozied up to men working not only for listed terrorist organizations, but terrorist organizations backed by the Saudis, is particularly alarming not to mention ironic considering Trump’s campaign trail rhetoric.

Continuity of Agenda and How to Break the Cycle

The convergence here between Neo-Conservatism, sponsoring terrorism, warmongering, despotic regimes like that in Riyadh, and all the other abuses and outrages started under Bush and eagerly continued under Obama is no coincidence.

Continuity of agenda continues under Trump, just as it would have under Hillary Clinton, just as it has under Obama and before that under Bush, Bill Clinton, and before that under George Bush Sr.

The only real question America should be asking themselves now is not whether the right-wing claws of this scorpion are more dangerous than the left-wing poisoned stinger, but why we are arguing about it and not just going straight for the head.

Protests in the streets by the left, and a right prepared to go back to sleep for 4-8 years as « their guy » takes the helm of wars they have learned to loved to hate for the past 8 years, does nothing to affect the bottom lines of the corporations and financial institutions that dominate both parties of American politics, benefiting regardless of who is in the White House, moving their agenda and interests forward under the cover of a partisan smokescreen, and all at the cost of not only the American people, but increasingly the peace and stability of the entire planet.

If America’s left and right ever decide to meet in the middle, fighting the multinational corporations festering on Wall Street will be the ground upon which they do so. They will not require « elections » or protests to succeed – simply redirecting the daily financial support, time, and energy Americans pour into these corporations and institutions, instead into local alternatives, is all it will take. Recognizing this as the actual solution, amid increasingly tempting partisan pitfalls, will be the hardest part of reaching toward real progress.

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Syria Extends Donald Trump an Olive Branch

novembre 12th, 2016 by Adam Garrie

The Syrian government is willing to discuss options for cooperation with a Trump-led United States, says prominent politician and adviser to President Assad.

The reverberations of Donald Trump’s seismic victory were not just limited to Russia, China and Europe. They were felt in Damascus where as it is for many others, a cautious optimism surrounding  the foreign policy potential of a Trump led America, has replaced years of utter pessimism and consternation with the neo-imperial policies of Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

Syrian politician and an adviser to the president Bouthaina Shaaban was interviewed on American radio where she said that Damascus would be willing to work with a Trump administration, should he deliver on his statements that he doesn’t seek to remove the legitimate President of Syria in a misguided and illegal regime change war. In his debates with Hillary Clinton, Trump stated multiple times that he would prefer to work with Russia and by extrapolation with Syria in going after Islamic terrorism, rather than hysterically agitate for regime change.

Shaaban said that, “I think the American people have sent a great, a very important message to the world” and indeed this is the case. Whilst many say that most voters were more concerned with domestic American issues than foreign policy, during his recent interview with Peter Lavelle, Dr. Ron Paul partially challenged this received wisdom.

Dr. Paul said that when offered the clear alternative between costly war which ultimately puts American lives in danger and destroys America’s credibility abroad, and a non-interventionist/cooperative and diplomatic approach to world affairs, people would generally vote for the latter. He went on to blame the mainstream media for drumming up war fever and effectively brainwashing an otherwise peace loving public into believing that aggression is virtuous.

What Dr. Paul did not mention is that new media sources have taken away much of the influence that mainstream pro-war media once had on the public. As the public become more informed, they become more anti-war.

Furthermore, I believe that Donald Trump did a far better job of selling the anti-war message than he is given credit for, even among his supporters. Whilst Hillary’s line about Russia being a source of evil in the world clearly fell flat, Trump’s pragmatic anti-war but also anti-Islamic terror message, resonated. Even if people state that jobs, tax, health, immigration and trade were the ‘issues of the day’, the unconscious effect of Trump’s challenge to the pro-war establishment is more important than many seem to think it was.

Even for those who know little about foreign affairs, Dr. Paul is absolutely right in saying that most people want peace. The problem is that between the old dying mainstream media and pro-war politicians, they rarely feel that this option is a choice that’s on the table. Trump has changed that.

Even before he is inaugurated, Trump ought to clutch the olive branch being cautiously offered from Syria and open channels of communication with Damascus. Both Trump and Assad are deeply pragmatic men, both are deeply patriotic and both share a hatred for Islamic terrorism. If they were to find common ground, even on a personal level, it could go a long way in opening up meaningful inter-governmental dialogue which could lead the way towards new cooperative efforts in Syria.

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The Ku Klux Klan, who officially endorsed Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump back in April of this year, has announced they will be holding a victory rally for him in North Carolina.

The location is significant as North Carolina, a tightly contested state over the last 20 years, was won by President-elect Trump by 5% points. He received more votes than any other candidate in the history of the state, and outperformed both John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two elections against President Obama.

North Carolina has become ground zero for the “alt-right” movement. It has become famous for its voter discrimination, rampant redistricting, and the controversial HB2 or “bathroom law,” all of which have cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue due to boycotts and loss of corporate events and facilities. The NBA recently moved the All-Star Game out of Charlotte stating:

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”

So far, very few details about the planned rally have been released. The “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” located in Pelham, North Carolina, will be hosting the actual rally.

According to their website, the North Carolina rally will be held on Dec. 3. But there is little information about the actual event, including a time or a location. Their “Victory Klavalkade Klan Parade” states that “Trump’s race united my people.”

The group is believed to have been behind a rally in South Carolina last year protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol building.

David Duke, a former Klan Grand Wizard and Republican State Representative took to social media to thank “his people” for helping to elect Trump.

 

James Woods ( AKA – JamesFromTheInternet) is an independent journalist based in New York City who can be reached on twitter @JamesFTInternet or via email:[email protected]

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Hybrid Wars: Strategies against Africa

novembre 12th, 2016 by Andrew Korybko

The introductory text prefaced the general concepts that the author will be extrapolating on further in the research, and now that the basics of the overall analytical foundation and the contours of the reference map are out of the way, it’s time to begin exploring the influence of hegemonic and institutional regionalism on African geopolitics, widely investigating the asymmetrical threats endemic to each area, and start elucidating China’s overall Silk Road vision for the continent.

African Regions, Their Respective (And Prospective) Leaders, And Interregional Conflict Scenarios

The author’s preferred method of explaining Africa’s geopolitics is to begin as broadly as possible and then gradually become more specific, with the entire continuum of study eventually leading to the reader’s solid understanding of China’s visionary plans. To start off, it’s necessary to divide Africa into five separate regions and identify the state within each which holds the most influential demographic, economic, and military sway (cumulatively described as leadership) and has the most promising long-term potential (operative word) to become a regional heavyweight if it isn’t one already:

afr01

* Brown – North Africa – Egypt
* Yellow – West Africa – Nigeria
* Orange – Horn And East Africa – Ethiopia
* Blue – Central-South Africa – Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
* Red – Southern Cone – South Africa

Interpretation:

It should immediately be said that the above map is a conceptualized representation that includes both current and prospective realities (the latter in reference to the DRC), and that the shaded areas are rough estimates of the approximate spread of each region. There are certainly limits to each identified core country’s influence and it’s predicted that there will obviously be competitive coalitions both within its own sphere and outside of it that assemble to challenge the given state’s leadership over the said region. For example, this can currently be seen by the former French colonies of West Africa having their own Paris-controlled currency and collectively viewing Nigeria’s regional ascendency with suspicion, which has been particularly evident when it comes to Chad and its uninvited (but unopposed) anti-terrorist military involvement in northeastern Nigeria. While admittedly imperfect in certain respects, the simplified map does present a relatively accurate snapshot of the broader geopolitical processes that are presently underway in Africa and allows observers to relatively accurately extrapolate on their predicted trajectory. Therefore, the map should only be seen as a basic working model through which the reader can acquire a generalized idea about the continent and a prism of perspective through which they can thus interpret the rest of the unfolding Hybrid War analysis.

Focal Points Of Overlap:

The introduction spoke about some of the overlap potential between the earlier-identified regions of Hybrid War study, but seeing as how the most recent map is somewhat different in categorizing the entire continent into geographic blocs, it’s necessary to succinctly touch upon some of the areas of overlap that may not have been addressed previously.

North-Central Nexus:

This tinderbox of a locale is defined as the convergence area between Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan, and South Sudan, and it’s marked by an array of interlinked involvement between state and non-state actors in each other’s affairs. Chad and Sudan had earlier vied for influence in the latter’s region of Darfur, and N’djamena also exerts influence in the Muslim reaches of Northern CAR. Khartoum is involved in a back-and-forth proxy war with Juba along their shared frontier which sees both sides supporting a mix of non-state rebel actors (some of which are defined by the respective targeted governments as terrorists), and the globally notorious non-state bogeyman of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army operates between CAR and South Sudan. The below map conceptualizes the dangerous interplay between forces in this totally destabilized region and shows how the only missing factors are the ‘geographic diagonal’ involvement of Chad in South Sudan and Sudan in CAR, and a possibly disruptive humanitarian/militant influence emanating from CAR to Chad (which is not unlikely if confessional tensions spike once more):

afr02

Mountain Mayhem:

The next most conflict-prone area of regional overlap is the mountainous area that straddles the DRC and Uganda, Rwandan, and Burundian borders. After the end of the Second Congo War (“Africa’s World War”), Ugandan and Rwandan pro- and anti-government militia groups ended up controlling this part of the DRC and seizing the profitable mining deposits located here. There’s a lot of legal and illegal cross-border traffic between the two sides, and it’s well known that conflicts from one part of the mountains could easily spill over to the other due to the well-established economic and demographic connections that link them. Burundi figures into the equation because it’s the ‘weak man of East Africa’, a recent civil war state that is now being pushed back to the brink as part of the US’ Hybrid War agenda against China (which will be addressed in full later on at the appropriate section). Destabilization in this country could easily move west and north to DRC and Rwanda, creating a tri-state ethno-regional conflagration that would inevitable come to involve Uganda as well.

For the time being, though, dominant influence between the two identified African regions is pretty one-sided, with Rwanda and Uganda exerting control over the DRC and not the other way around. This is primarily due to their respective nationals and affiliated militias (both pro- and anti-government ones) creating a sort of ‘strategic depth’ that has profoundly penetrated just about all levels of life in the eastern DRC. However, if the DRC ever got back on track after being spectacularly sidelined by the West’s covert war against it in the early 1960s and further weakened by the First and Second Congo Wars, then it’s foreseeable that the cross-border flow of influence could either be equalized or even reversed if the right demographic factors were leveraged under the proper geopolitical conditions.

Regardless of the ‘positive’ movement of influence in either direction, if cross-border Hybrid War triggers are activated, then it’s likely that the general destabilization could also involve Tanzania and possibly even Zambia. The last possibility is more likely so if a renewed Katanga separatist or anti-government campaign is ever launched within the region, which might pan out to be the case if popular former governor and “opposition” leader Moisi Katumbi stirs the pot of regionalism should President Kabila run for what would at this point be an unconstitutional third term, delays the elections, or is accused (whether rightfully or wrongfully) of committing voter fraud that helps him or a hand-picked political successor win at the polls.

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Sahara Terror:

The next interregional conflict overlap in Africa deals with terrorist groups in the Sahara, in particular the interplay between transnational militant organizations operating in the broad expanse between Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, Niger, and Libya. The NATO War on Libya destroyed the most prosperous and stable state in Africa and was the catalyst for destabilizing the rest of the aforementioned states ‘downstream’ via the newly opened weapon and militant channel that was created in the former Jamahiriya. This wide space is sparsely populated but is rich in oil, natural gas, and uranium deposits. For this reason, Sahara terrorism directly affects the global commodities trade and the interests of certain Great Powers and their most prominent transnational corporations.

As a fitting example, France’s nuclear leader Areva controls uranium mines in Niger, and the in-country French military contingent there is also tasked with protecting them, among its other responsibilities. Furthermore, the mixture of destabilization in the region, low energy prices, and rapid LNG industry developments have led to the indefinite shelving of the tentative proposal for a Trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria to southern Europe via Niger and Algeria, but this idea nonetheless still remains a possibility that might one day be revived.

Widening the interregional scope of the Libyan-originated destabilization that is now plaguing the Sahara, the terrorist hijacking of the Tuareg’s 2011-2012 “Azawad” self-determination movement in Mali has also led to a spillover effect of Islamic/Salafist violence in Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast, non-Sahara countries which are part of the greater West African region. Therefore, the two launching pads of inter- and intra-regional destabilization can be identified as Libya and Mali, with the latter becoming totally unbalanced only after the former’s collapse following the US-led NATO war against it.

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Malawi In The Middle:

Formerly part of the British Empire and administered together with Zambia and Zimbabwe as a member of the “Central African Federation” in the closing days of colonialism, Malawi is categorized as part of the Southern Cone sphere of regional influence because most of its international trade runs through Mozambique. The landlocked country is one of the world’s poorest and least-developed nations, and the state’s dire poverty has created a situation where anti-government sentiment can be easily manipulated.

While Malawi isn’t directly a part of China’s larger integrated Silk Road network in Africa, the two countries have quickly moved closer to one another economically over the past couple of years after the African state disowned its prior decades-long relationship with Taiwan, thus raising the covert consternation of the US and pushing Washington to order its top diplomat in the country to prepare for a coup and possible Hybrid War attempt.

Malawi’s geopolitical position is such that any large-scale destabilization within the country’s borders could easily spread to Mozambique, but most important for the research’s focus, it could also just as likely move northwards to Zambia and Tanzania, two pivotal countries that are involved in China’s transcontinental Silk Road projects. Because of the conflict overspill potential that a seemingly tiny and assumedly geopolitically irrelevant state like Malawi can have, it’s accurate to label it a “Second Burundi” in terms of the chances that it could be used to trigger a regional conflagration that could subsequently offset China’s integrative vision for the continent.

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If timed to coincide with a Hybrid War in Burundi, then a prospectively planned one in Malawi would deal double a dose of destabilization to Tanzania and could be used to spark a larger transregional conflict zone between Uganda and Mozambique.

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Furthermore, there exists the potential (which will be discussed at a future point in the research) that this could either trigger the renewed Katanga secessionist crisis or anti-government movement that was mentioned before or be timed to coincide with it in its own right during the elections that are tentatively forecast for late 2016. If this scenario eventuates, then the simultaneously exploding series of latent conflicts would certainly spell the end for all of China’s transcontinental integrative plans, although it might still be possible to salvage the ones dealing only with East African coast (and which will also be described later on in detail).

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The Real African World War:

The nightmare scenario that could one day transpire in Africa is if the super- and sub-equatorial active and potential conflict zones find a way to interlink with one another and turn the whole continent into a massive Hybrid War battleground. While somewhat far-fetched at the moment and tactically hindered by the DRC’s jungled geographic ‘firewall’, if another ‘African World War’ takes place in the Congo, then the resultant destabilization could be enough to surmount this physical difficulty and summon a Black Hole of Chaos that sparks a real “African World War’ which ends up connecting the Saharan-based terrorists with the Lake Malawi militants. This could most realistically be achieved via an outbreak of large-scale turmoil in the Nigerien-Chadian buffer zone and the Zambia-Tanzania-Katanga Province New Silk Road infrastructural nexus.

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Non-African Foreign Military Bases

Keeping with the present security theme, non-African foreign militaries have left a remarkable footprint on the continent. For the most part, it’s primarily the US and France that have spread their units far and wide, although Washington “officially” claims that it only has a single military facility in Djibouti. Despite the technical ‘legalese’ of the Pentagon’s pronouncements, investigative journalist Nick Tursehas unearthed piles of evidence proving that drone bases, logistics hubs, and other covert warfare-facilitating outposts are surreptitiously being utilized all across Africa. The reader is strongly encouraged to read this author’s works and become familiar with his findings, as they detail the contours of the shadow war that the US has been waging on Africa ever since 9/11. To summarize the US role in Africa in the most concisely pertinent way, the Pentagon regularly conducts training exercises with almost every single African military in one capacity or another, and it keeps a more lasting presence in the contiguous Sahara-Sahel-jungled area that stretches from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and has been called “The New Spice Route”. As taken from the last hyperlinked source, here’s a map displaying how this network, which has also been nicknamed “the hippo trench”, looks from a continental perspective, but it should be kept in mind that Ethiopia is no longer a formal part of this arrangement after it asked the US to remove its drone base in early 2016 in the months following the original article’s publication:

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The other military power most actively involved in Africa is France, which had earlier colonized a large chunk of the continent in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The most active part of its force is deployed in the Sahel region as part of “Operation Barkhane” which stretches across what has been referred to as the “G5 Sahel” countries of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. In addition to this, Paris also keeps troops in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Central African Republic (CAR), and Djibouti. Here’s what France’s military deployments look like when they’re mapped out:

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* Red: G5 Sahel
* Pink all others

Comparing the two maps, it’s possible to observe a military overlap between the US and France in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, CAR, and Djibouti:

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While most of the double concentration of foreign military bases lies in Western and Central Africa, the fact that this is also present in Djibouti mustn’t be overlooked. In fact, the miniscule East African nation has a disproportionate military significance in that it concurrently hosts American, French, JapaneseChinese, and soon even Saudi bases, making it by far a global military anomaly in this regard. With the focus now on East Africa, it’s timely to state that this part of the continent beyond Djibouti is also becoming heavily militarized by foreign forces as well. The UAE is suspected of having a naval base in Eritrea and is purportedly prospecting for facilities in Somalia’s autonomous breakaway region of Somaliland, while Turkey is also building a military base in the civil war-torn country.  On top of all of this, Qatar maintains a small amount of “peacekeepers” in both Eritrea and Djibouti ever since 2010as part of its UN-related responsibility in supposedly “mediating” between the two asides after a tense border dispute in 2008. This strategic concentration of forces has the effect of creating the perception that landlocked yet economically promising Ethiopia is being encircled, especially by the GCC-member states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, which will be an important fact that will be returned to later on when the research addresses the Horn of Africa region.

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* Red: Horn of Africa states with foreign military bases
* Orange: Ethiopia

African Military Blocs

Although there’s a diversified non-African military presence all throughout the continent, Africa has still been able to assemble a loose network of regional military-security blocs that operate under the nominal aegis of the African Union (AU). The African Standby Forces, as they’re known, are dividedaccording to Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regions and given defined areas of responsibility. The economic boundaries of most of these geographic blocs overlap with their military ones and will be described more in the next section, but for the time being, here’s what the AU’s allocation looks like:

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* Brown: North Africa Regional Capability
* Yellow: ECOWAS
* Purple: Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
* Orange: East African Standby Force (EASF)
* Red: Southern African Development Community (SADC)

NOTE: South Sudan is not yet a full member of the East African Standby Force, while Angola and Burundi are listed as having dual responsibilities within their shared ECCAS and SADC and the EASF, respectively. Additionally, it’s important to point out that the East African Community is divided between South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi’s commitment to the EASF, Burundi’s additional responsibilities to the ECCAS, and Tanzania’s incorporation into the SADC zone of responsibility. Also, because Morocco is not part of the AU as per the Western Sahara dispute, it’s not party to the African Standby Forces agreement in any capacity.

The last thing that’s important to point out about Africa’s military blocs is that Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad have aligned their forces to battle the Boko Haram threat that afflicts their shared Lake Chad basin. Documenting this on a map, it superficially looks like a formidable military alliance, but it’s actually a poorly coordinated and internally competing force dominated by mutually suspicious Nigeria and Chad:

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To be continued…

Andrew Korybko is the American political commentator currently working for the Sputnik agency. He is the author of the monograph “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change” (2015). This text will be included into his forthcoming book on the theory of Hybrid Warfare.

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS:

Hybrid Wars 1. The Law Of Hybrid Warfare

Hybrid Wars 2. Testing the Theory – Syria & Ukraine

Hybrid Wars 3. Predicting Next Hybrid Wars

Hybrid Wars 4. In the Greater Heartland

Hybrid Wars 5. Breaking the Balkans

Hybrid Wars 6. Trick To Containing China

Hybrid Wars 7. How The US Could Manufacture A Mess In Myanmar

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Trump’s Top Adviser on Israel to Become Ambassador to Tel Aviv

novembre 12th, 2016 by The Palestinian Information Center

Maariv newspaper has said that David Friedman, Donald Trump’s top adviser on Israeli affairs, is a prime candidate to take over the post of the US ambassador to Israel.

57-year-old Friedman, who works as a real estate and bankruptcy lawyer for Trump for long years, is an American Jew whose late father was the rabbi of Temple Hillel in North Woodmere and the president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

About six months ago, Trump appointed Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, another of his attorneys, as co-chairmen of his Israel advisory committee.

Friedman is positioned on the far right of the Israeli political map and considered more hardline in his views than Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

David Friedman with Trump

David Friedman with Donald Trump

He has been a columnist for two Israeli right-wing English-language news outlets, Arutz Sheva and The Jerusalem Post. He also serves as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which financially supports the settlement enterprise.

According to his views, the US must not impose any solutions on Israel or oppose its use of violent methods against the Palestinians to protect its citizens.

He considers Israel’s settlement activity illegal and advocates all kinds settlement construction activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

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Within a day of the election of Donald Trump, leading Democrats have moved with extraordinary speed to declare their support for the president-elect.

President Barack Obama invited Trump to the White House for a friendly 90-minute meeting on Thursday. He declared afterwards that his “number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful.” He added, speaking to Trump, “I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-Elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed—because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”

Obama’s declaration stands in stark contrast to his own statements just a few days ago. Then he asserted that Trump “appears to only care about himself” and “doesn’t know basic facts that you’d need to know” to be president. He added that Trump “spent 70 years on this earth showing no regard for working people.”

That was before the Democratic debacle on Election Day. Now he declares his highest priority to be ensuring that Trump is “successful.”

Obama’s comments followed the statement by Hillary Clinton on Wednesday that she hoped “[Trump] will be a successful president for all Americans.” Senator Bernie Sanders, the supposed socialist, issued his own groveling statement, declaring, “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him.”

With such declarations, the Democrats are in effect abandoning any pretense of acting as an opposition party to a President Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress.

The proclamations of support from top Democrats are made in relation to an individual whose election clearly marks a watershed in American politics. What is coming to power is a government of the extreme right, with fascistic characteristics. There are reports that Trump wants to appoint as his chief of staff Stephen Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, an ultra-right and fascistic media outlet. His top advisors and likely cabinet appointees include reactionary figures such as former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

In their rush to lend the transition of power an aura of normalcy, the Democrats and the media have maintained a studious silence about certain quite striking elements of the election.

No one is noting that a principal factor in the election of Trump was a significant decline in voter turnout. For all of the media talk of a “surge” of white working class voters behind Trump, the Republican candidate actually received one million fewer votes than Mitt Romney received in losing the 2012 election to Obama. Clinton won 6 million fewer votes than Obama won in his reelection, when the outgoing president obtained significantly fewer votes than he had received in 2008. Also virtually ignored is the extraordinary fact that Trump failed even to win the popular vote. Clinton had a higher percentage of the national vote, but she lost in the Electoral College, which involves a complex and antidemocratic apportionment based on victories in individual states. Trump will take office having failed to secure a plurality, let alone a majority, of the overall vote.

In the entire 240-year history of the United States, there have been only five elections in which the incoming president did not win the popular vote. When this happened in 1876, the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, became president, though he had fewer votes than the Democrat, Samuel J. Tilden. The political conflict over the outcome was so intense that the Republicans were able to hold the White House only after agreeing to the effective end of post-Civil War Reconstruction, through the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.

After a split vote in 1888, when Grover Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison, the winner of the Electoral Vote was also the winner of the popular vote for the next 112 years. In the 21st century, this anomaly has now happened twice—in 2000 and again in 2016. In the former case, the selection of George W. Bush as president required the intervention of the Supreme Court to halt the recount of ballots in Florida.

Had Trump found himself in the position of Clinton, he would have taken his time before conceding. His concession speech, when and if it came, would have stressed that he had won the popular vote and that “Crooked Hillary” could not claim a mandate.

The media message would have stressed the need for Clinton to be conciliatory and acknowledge that the majority of the voters had chosen Trump. One can easily imagine CNN announcing the “breaking news” that Clinton had withdrawn the nomination of Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court and invited the Republicans to name the replacement for the deceased Antonin Scalia.

But the Democrats have done just the opposite.

What is behind this universal about-face? President Obama said perhaps more than he intended when he declared Wednesday that “we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage”—that is, a test competition involving players from the same school.

The United States does not really have an oppositional political system. The divisions between the Democrats and Republicans, and between Clinton and Trump, are of an entirely tactical character. They all defend the same basic interests—those of the corporate and financial aristocracy that controls the political system.

Within this framework, the Democrats are always the more accommodating and conciliatory party, since their rhetorical references to defending the interests of working people—including by the likes of Bernie Sanders—are thoroughly vacuous and insincere. In relation to Trump and the dangers he poses, there is an element of complete complacency, which arises from the fact that the danger is not to the Democrats or the privileged social forces for which they speak, but to the working class.

The chief concern of the Democrats is to contain popular anger. Their moves to circle the wagons around Trump are above all a response to the danger they see of the emergence of popular opposition that threatens not only the incoming government, but the capitalist system itself.

Even as Obama, Clinton, Sanders and company prostrate themselves and pledge their loyalty to Trump, thousands of youth and workers are demonstrating around the country against the president-elect. These protests are only a pale and politically disparate foretaste of mass struggles of the working class that are to come.

What is critical is that the lessons of the 2016 election be drawn and all attempts to keep opposition to war and austerity chained to the political corpse of the Democratic Party be rejected. The task is not to “take back” the Democratic Party or push it to the left—the inevitable result of that false perspective has already been demonstrated in the reactionary outcome of the Sanders campaign—but to break with both parties of big business and all forms of capitalist politics and build an independent socialist and internationalist movement of the working class.

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Donald Trump and the Dangers of Expectation

novembre 12th, 2016 by Larry Chin

As the unexpected US president-elect took to the stage, the crowds erupted in jubilation, basking in the historic moment of populist revolution, certain that reform and change had finally come.

This describes Jimmy Carter’s election night win. And Barack Obama’s. As well as many more. Not just Donald Trump’s.

America has been here countless times. Each time, the people were hoodwinked.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was the “humble peanut farmer” outsider who was expected to clean up the nation after the corruption of the Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford/Watergate era. Instead, the Carter administration was a bastion for David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission and international bankers, and the foreign policy agenda of Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was expected to save America from the “malaise” of Carter. The aged Reagan was nearly assassinated shortly after taking office, and further rendered a doddering figurehead. The power was held by vice president George H.W. Bush, who would become the next president, and whose criminal apparatus and overriding influence and New World Order would continue to run or influence every presidential administration to the present.

In 1992, Bill Clinton was “The Man from Hope”, alongside “powerful new age woman” Hillary Clinton, slated to provide salvation from the horrors of the Iran-Contra/Gulf War and George H.W. Bush. Bill and Hillary Clinton, co-conspirators with the Bush network during the Iran-Contra era, continued the agenda of the Bushes, while posing as their adversaries.

ObamaIn 2008, charismatic Barack Obama arrived as the embodiment and symbol of change, expected to rescue a nation outraged and tired of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Obama declared that “change has come to America!”  Posters of Obama’s face with the word “Change” covered walls throughout the world. Instead, Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden and the State Departments of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, continued and worsened the programs of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

So now, the question facing America and the world is:

President Trump: big liar going to Washington or Tribune of the People?

There are no clear answers.

Trump the enigma

Trump is a maverick and an independent who fits no pattern. He combines elements of old-line paleo-conservativism with libertarian ambivalence towards many social issues, and other views that fit no category. He has expressed contradictory views on numerous issues, and has shown no qualms about changing his mind.  He will disagree with those who advise him.

Is he a true anti-globalist, or a stealth establishment neocon? Is he a plant who has gamed the system for personal satisfaction, or on behalf of others?

Trump has hobnobbed with figures of the very “swamp” that his ardent supporters want him to “drain”, including those who believes must be “locked up”. He contributed to the Clinton Foundation, which he has since attacked as a criminal apparatus. He has golfed with Bill Clinton. The Clintons were invited to, and attended, his wedding. Trump is connected to convicted pedophile and Clinton crony Jeff Epstein (but likely did not participate in the pedophilia).

He is a proud mega-capitalist and a libertine, but has devoted his campaign to the issues of the disaffected. Richard Black, Republican senator from Virginia, believes that Trump will usher in a new era of cooperation with Russia and a retreat from foreign conquest. But he also advocates “American exceptionalism”, and muscular military that “kicks ass”.

He entertained a White House run previously as a third party candidate, but instead, for practical reasons,  conducted a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, outraging and alienating the Republican establishment (including the Bushes), making enemies of the Bushes, the Bush-aligned, and the mainstream right-wingers such as Paul Ryan.

Donald Trump is “his own man”—an unpredictable one.

Emerging Trump cabinet promises danger

Trump is but one man, entering a snake pit of corruption, criminality and intrigues. One man alone cannot run a government.

The Trump circle is already swarming with Republicans and neocons, including infamous figures from previous Bush administrations, and right-wing opportunists.

The presence of vice president-elect Mike Pence almost speaks for itself.

Pence is a super conservative neocon, who has supported all things Bush. He supported the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, is pro-torture (opposes the closing of Guantanamo Bay), and supports war in the Middle East and is hawkish on Russia. He supported the toppling of Libya, and thanked Hillary Clinton for doing it. He supports globalization and free trade agreements, supported NAFTA and CAFTA.

He is a corporatist who opposes banking and campaign finance reforms, who praised the criminal Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case that made corporations people. Although Trump openly disagreed with Pence on certain foreign policy issues, he trusts Pence, who now heads the transition team.

The list of names being floated for Trump cabinet positions raises alarms:

  • Gen. Michael Flynn, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Described as « America’s angriest general ». He is a fervent anti-terrorist, who adheres to the idea that America is under attack by outside enemies. His rage towards the Obama administration is based on personal slights (he was forced out) and the belief that Obama’s management of the “war on terrorism” was politicized. He is a major influence on the Trump foreign policy. Flynn believes that the Iraq War a strategic mistake by Bush. Flynn may be the originator of the favorite Trump talking point that ISIS was “created out of vacuum” of Iraq, and Obama/Clinton “stupidity” and “weakness”.
  • John Bolton, fanatical neocon. One of the most notorious warmongers of the Bush/Cheney administration, who continues to aggressively push regime change agendas.
  • James Woolsey , former CIA director, member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), and fanatical war hawk
  • Stephen Hadley . The former National Security Adviser under Bush/Cheney, was one of the chief architects of the lies leading to the Iraq War. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a partner of RiceHadleyGates, a think tank that he runs alongside war criminals Condoleeza Rice and Robert Gates RiceHadleyGates. Hadley has pushed to attack Syria with missiles.
  • Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York. Mike Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon builds a strong case to question Giuliani’s possible operational connections to 9/11, including his knowledge of war games (which manipulated fighter jet response), emergency disaster drills (Office of Emergency Management), communications with Dick Cheney and the White House, and coordination of various federal and local agencies. Michel Chossudovsky notes in America’s “War on Terrorism” that Giuliani’s firm, Giuliani Security and Safety LLC specializes in “mock terror drills” and “emergency preparedness”. Giuliani was present in London during the 7/7 bombings in 2005.  Giuliani is cautious about the idea of prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
  • Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, is an evangelical Republican with standard Republican positions and presidential aspirations. He more recently came out against the Bushes, which has endeared him to Trump.
  • Newt Gingrich, infamous, corrupt and scandalized establishment Republican.
  • Alabama senator Jeff Sessions is a right-wing conservative who fervently supported Bush/Cheney’s war agenda as well as the Bush tax cuts and other Bush domestic programs.
  • Steve Mnuchin, rapacious Wall Street hedge fund and banking mogul, Goldman Sachs veteran, who also did business with George Soros
  • Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil, candidate for secretary of interior
  • Sarah Palin, corrupt and scandal-ridden former governor of Alaska, and John McCain running mate, lampooned celebrity; fanatical right-winger pushing a « Drill, baby, drill! » approach to energy policy.
  • Chris Christie , corrupt former New Jersey governor under criminal investigation for abuses of power. Like Trump, he is a blowhard celebrity and opportunist who has cozied up to both the Bushes and Obama. A former prosecutor, he is against prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
  • Possible choices for chief of staff include Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, or the Republican National Committee’s Reince Priebus.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan. He openly withdrew his support from Trump months ago, with great animosity and vitriol, but claims to have had “fantastic conversations” with Trump since election night.

There are no independents on this list—and no Republicans that are not connected in some way to the Bushes.

Trump alone stands between himself and forces capable of co-opt his presidency, and worse. He faces opposition from a Congress full of Bush surrogates, and angry Hillary Clinton loyalists eager to destroy him.

Will Trump keep the burned bridges burned, or make amends with political enemies?

Will he hold true to the promises made to his supporters, or instead cave to the pressures and intimidation of the political players with whom he will be forced to work with?

Will Trump be threatened by New World Order figures, if he defies their agenda?

According to Roger Stone, an outside advisor to Trump, the greatest concern is for Trump’s personal safety.

Transition of tension

International reaction to Trump has been mixed, adding to global uncertainties. Trump’s win signaled an improvement in US-Russia relations, possibly averting an immediate nuclear conflict that would have come with a Hillary Clinton victory. Similarly, the leadership in China prefers Trump to future dealings with the even more antagonistic Clinton.

Trump and Obama had what appeared to be a cordial meeting to discuss the transition of power. However, it was a noticeably cooler meeting compared to the gleeful handovers between crime partners Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and between George W. Bush and Obama.

However, Obama still has over one month in power, and can still start or provoke a war, set off false flag events, or cause financial chaos to force Trump’s presidency into a corner, even before it begins. A massive cyberattack of Russian banks on November 10 remains unexplained.

Obama would know this trick. In 2008, he inherited a financial crisis deliberately set off by Wall Street and the outgoing Bush/Cheney administration, an intractable war, and a deadlocked Congress (including Republicans who swore that they would never cooperate with him).

The hordes of “Madam President”

A behind-the-scenes counter coup staged by whistleblowers, and current and former military and intelligence officers, may have foiled Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. As previously written:

There is one more remote possibility that would cast [FBI Director] Comey’s actions in a different light. Perhaps the counter coup has actually done its job, by having now publicly exposed the existence and possession of highly damaging evidence against the Clintons and much of Washington, capable of bringing the entire system down. The Hillary campaign did lose significant ground in the past week, while Trump has surged since Comey’s October 28 flip-flop. Maybe this “nudge” was enough. If the threat of exposure alone has been enough to force the Clinton campaign to “stand down”, even if the most damaging revelations never see the light of day, then the counter coup has given the Clintons and Washington a dose of their own blackmail poison. “Stand down, and we will let you go without exposing you. Or we will blow up the entire system.

In this highly optimistic ‘peaceful surrender that leaves the system intact’ scenario, which was suggested in the Steve Pieczenik video statement, the Establishment will permit Trump to win, and Hillary will be allowed to walk away like Richard Nixon: disgraced but not prosecuted.

Trump’s win may have been a result of this process. Another possibility is that Trump himself cut a deal, allowing Hillary to get off the hook (altogether or lightly), perhaps with Obama pardoning her, if she stood down.

But have Hillary Clinton and her apparatus given up?

Hillary may have put on the show of concession, but this has not stopped operatives from orchestrating violent protests around the country, fomenting carnage to reverse the election, to avenge their victimized martyr queen. The violence reeks of Democratic Party fronts exposed by Project Veritas. They are pushing America towards a civil war, as well as to an all-out race war.

The Obama administration has not lifted a finger to stop any of it so far.

Violent propaganda about “racist/sexist/misogynist/fascist/Russian agent/Hitler” Trump is being pumped out around the clock by the Clinton-controlled mainstream corporate media. Every mainstream newscast pushes a strong anti-Trump line. Hollywood celebrities and entertainment figures, whose dimwitted views drive much of popular opinion, are uniformly massing against Trump, calling for boycotts and protests. While the facts of Hillary Clinton’s criminality and fanatical views are whitewashed, the depiction of Trump as the world-ending demon has been coordinated to fuel and expand street violence.

The Clinton forces, who engaged in election fraud throughout the campaign and on election night, are now accusing the Trump campaign of fraud. They are pushing to flip the election results on December 19 by  strong-arming electors. They are likely concocting ways to add “previously lost” votes to the Hillary vote counts in disputed swing states.

If indeed a counter-coup was what “encouraged” Clinton to stand down, then yet another one may be needed between now and January 2017 to stop one last ditch attempt by the Clintons to grab power.

Too tall an order?

Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters and fans are embracing bombastic hopes that he will lead the greatest American revolution since 1776; that he will “drain the swamp”, clean out Washington, and usher in a sunny American future.

The odds are against him. But Trump is a businessman, and the art of business deals is compromise and negotiation, not purity. He must control the looming figures within his own cabinet, defend against legions of political enemies, battle a hostile Congress, a vicious mainstream media, and deal with hatred from segments of a deeply divided nation.

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It is clear that Saudi Arabia’s ability to bribe and blackmail the highest United Nations officials, including, by his own admission, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, makes a mockery of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of the United Nations itself. 

It is a disgrace that. after blackmailing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and bullying him into removing Saudi Arabia from the “ list of shame” for mass slaughter of civilians in Yemen,  and Saudi Arabia’s egregious and flagrant violation of Articles 5 and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, as well as  its violation of the Universal  Convention on the Prohibition of Torture, Saudi Arabia, nevertheless, has been permitted to bribe and bully its way  on to a seat on the Human Rights Council.  This transpired last week despite Saudi Arabia’s heinous violations of human rights, both domestically and internationally.   Saudi Arabia should, instead be referred to the International Criminal Court for the tyrannical and barbarous practices of its regime, one of the most notorious in modern history.

As the precedent of referring countries to the Security Council for alleged gross human rights abuses has been established, the case of Saudi Arabia should be “seized” by the UN Security Council, for referral  to the International  Criminal Court.  Why is the United Nations totally impotent in prohibiting  or sanctioning Saudi Arabia’s gross human rights violations?  Why is the UN failing to effectively protect Saudi journalist Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for criticizing the notorious Saudi tyranny, and the country’s infamous hardline religious establishment which inflicts barbarous Sharia law?  The torture of Badawi, the excruciating torture of 1000 lashes, in addition to 10 years imprisonment is the most obvious example of systemic and egregious Saudi human rights violations.  According to Dr. John Hayward, the doctor who evaluates torture victims for the organization “Freedom From Torture, the torture inflicted on Badawi and innumerable others not only causes depression and can precipitate suicide, but causes the trans-generational trauma which will inflict agonizing suffering on his wife and three children, and their decendants.

While there are loud calls for regime change in Syria, where are calls for regime change in Saudi Arabia?  Why has the UN not prohibited Sharia law, which condemned a 12 year old girl to death by stoning  in Somalia for refusing a forced marriage?

Where is the line between religious “freedom” and colluding in the tortures and massacres inflicted by religion, from the Crusades to the Inquisition, to the Sharia torture of Badawi?  Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:  “No one shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”  Article 19 states:  “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;  this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”  Raif Badawi is the victim of criminal infringement of these rights.

Saudi Arabia is the most notorious example of the monstrous hyprocrisy denounced by the great philosopher, Freidrich Nietzsche, who, in abhorring religion, exposed the duplicity of religious leaders who inflict sadistic rules on their subjects, the very restrictions which they themselves flagrantly ignore.  Nietzsche’s “The Geneology of Morals” is the ultimate scathing condemnation of this hypocrisy.

The culpability of Saudi Arabia was highlighted in a 1980 documentary entitled: “The Death of a Princess,” which exposed the licentious behavior indulged in by the Saudi royal family.  The documentary filmed and revealed the Saudi monarchy’s depravity, in which the Royal males are notorious for having harems, while their pampered wives cruise the streets in limosines and recruit men whom they fancy for amusing sexual adventures.  This very same Saudi monarchy pronounced the death sentence, by beheading, of a Saudi Princess who fell in love with a student, not of royal birth, and married him.  Both she and her husband were beheaded.  The famous documentary was produced by the British, who coveted Saudi oil, and, cowering before Saudi threats to cut off their oil supply,  immediately withdrew presentation of this documentary which revealed the degeneracy and extreme cruelty of the Saudi monarchy and the entire system.

Where are UN calls for Regime Change in Saudi Arabia?  Since the UN Security Council authorized the destruction of two of the most progressive states in the Arab world, Iraq and Libya.  where is UN Security Council authorization for regime change in one of the most corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Arab world?   Where is the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) boasted about by the United  Nations, and why is this “Responsibility to Protect” not extended to Saudi journalist Raif Badawi, demanding that the 1000 last punishment inflicted by Saudi Arabia be overturned?  Does Saudi Arabia control the United Nations?

As an ally of the United States, under US protection, a strong case could be made that Saudi Arabia controls the UN, dictating policy to the Secretary-General, burying its criminal violations of the UN Charter, and now stealing a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.  How much was paid to craven UN member states to collude in the theft of this seat on the UN Human Rights Council?  And how much was paid in treasure and threats by the Saudi protector to eject Russia from the Human Rights Council?

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The Obama administration faced reality on Friday when they recognized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would not be ratified by this Congress. The TPP is dead.

How did people power win?

We have worked to stop the TPP and other Obama trade agreements for more than five years. We were part of the ‘movement of movements’, the largest coalition ever opposing a corporate trade agreement, which stopped it. It included all sorts of activists who work on human rights, worker rights, the environment, climate change, Internet freedom, health care, food safety and more.

People told us stopping the TPP was impossible. Even after the election of Trump, people still told us we could not win, the corporations wanted this and they would get it. But, after years of work, the impossible became the inevitable and the TPP is dead.

Even before the election the TPP was near death. Years of people working to stop it made TPP stand for Toxic Political Poison. First, the movement exposed the TPP which the Obama administration had sought to keep secret while it negotiated a global corporate coup with the aid of hundreds of corporate lawyers, executives and lobbyists.

The movement organized spectacle protests that drew attention to an agreement being secretly negotiated. People across the country organized leafletting, teach-ins and visibility actions. There were national and global days of action, and there were Twitter storms and memes on Facebook. It became impossible to hide the TPP. The secret was exposed. Once exposed, the movement educated people about what it contained. Wikileaks and others leaked portions of the document. As more was exposed, it became less popular.

The movement conducted national call-in days that garnered hundreds of thousands of calls to Congress. When we went to Congressional offices, phone calls coming in on the TPP were constant. When fast track was being considered in 2015, we built an encampment on Capitol Hill for three weeks. We worked across the political divide with Tea Party and conservative Republicans who shared our concerns about the trade deficit, lost jobs and loss of sovereignty.

The battle over fast track trade promotion authority slowed the progress of the TPP. It took years longer to get fast track than the administration had hoped. One compromise that the administration made to get fast track was to publish the TPP text after it was completed so the public and members of Congress could read it. Again, the more people read about it, the less popular it became.

These political battles also showed the risk associated with the TPP. John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House, lost his job because of how he twisted arms to get votes for fast track and how he punished Republicans who exposed fast track. Members fought back against these tactics and Boehner’s career was quickly ended. He may have won fast track for Obama, but lost his place in Washington, DC. A message was sent to all elected officials – be careful with the TPP, it is politically toxic.

By delaying fast track the TPP was pushed into an election year and that was a key to our victory. In the campaign, those running for office were forced to answer to the people. Do you support the TPP? Do you support giving up US sovereignty? Allowing unsafe foods into the country? Forcing GMO’s into global agriculture? Increasing the prices of pharmaceuticals? Making corporations more powerful than governments? The questions kept coming because the TPP affects everything.

Every candidate for president had to come out against the TPP. The only one who didn’t was Gary Johnson who did not seem to understand the agreement. He believed the slogan “free” trade when in fact it was corporate trade, crony capitalism on an international scale. Senators who supported TPP changed their positions in order to keep their jobs. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan continually warned the President that the votes were not there to ratify the agreement, even in a lame duck session.

Popular Resistance has been planning all year for an action camp and series of protests next week to kick off the lame duck and stop ratification. This will now turn into a celebration — the people stopped a global corporate coup. The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) also died as a result of people powered pressure on both sides of the Atlantic. We will ensure that the final agreement, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), perhaps the most dangerous of Obama’s three agreements, is also dead. TiSA is also in trouble as member nations experience difficulty completing its negotiations.

All these Obama agreements failed because the corporations demanded too much. They wanted to force the US big finance capital system on countries all over the world. They wanted to institutionalize pushing public services into private profit centers. They wanted the power to sue corporations if their profits were impacted by laws written to protect the public interest. Leaks showed the US was the most aggressive on behalf of corporate interests out of all the countries involved in these negotiations. This almost made it impossible to reach agreement on the TPP and has stopped agreement on TTIP and TiSA. If Trump attempts to negotiate a “better deal” for US corporations it will be almost impossible to get other countries to agree. The TPP and Obama trade agenda may end up like the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has made little progress since the Seattle protests of 1999. They are likely to flounder and go nowhere.

Now, we need to put forward a new approach to trade, an approach that protects the people and planet and that is negotiated in a transparent and participatory way. Trade must make the Paris climate agreement goals a reality, lift up international labor standards and protect the environment as well as the food supply, Internet, access to healthcare and more. We need agreements that allow communities to protect themselves from corporate abuses. The death of the TPP is a step toward ending neo-liberalism that has privatized public goods, enriched corporations and created a global wealth divide. Future trade agreements should work toward making the International Declaration of Human Rights and related agreements reality. Trade can uplift the world but it must be clear that is one of the goals of trade.

The defeat of the TPP is a tremendous victory that should propel us forward. It shows organized people have power even in the US oligarchy. We need to build on this power, continue our unity as a movement of movements and demand that the people’s agenda becomes the political agenda, not the agenda of big business and the wealthy oligarchs. It is time for people power to rule. We still have a lot of work to do, but we should celebrate this great victory and move to set a people’s agenda for the United States.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance.

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Hillary Clinton exige que Trump retire une vidéo

novembre 11th, 2016 by Truth Seeker

Cette vidéo ci-dessus faisait partie de la propagande de Donald Trump durant la course présidentielle. Hillary Clinton et son entourage politique ont tenté de faire supprimer cette vidéo qui dresse un portrait à la fois négatif et révélateur de la candidate démocrate.

Mondialisation.ca publie cette vidéo à titre d’information, mais nous ne partageons pas les opinions partisanes de Donald Trump et la propagande exprimées dans cette vidéo (bien que celle-ci mette à jour des renseignements véridiques sur Hillary Clinton). 


Hillary Clinton exige que Trump retire cette vidéo –  » Trump révèle Hillary comme jamais auparavant  »

Vidéo originale en anglais : https://youtu.be/w0e05Yz59og par Truth Seeker

« Hillary Clinton Demands Trump Take Down This Video – Trump Exposes Hillary Like Never Before »

Le 09-11-2016 : Vidéo traduite et sous-titré en français par Armageddon16x16.

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Le Pivot vers l’Asie de Washington : une débâcle en cours

novembre 11th, 2016 by Prof. James Petras

En 2012, le président Obama, la secrétaire d’État Hillary Clinton et le secrétaire à la Défense Ashton Carter ouvraient un nouveau chapitre dans leur entreprise de domination mondiale : un réajustement stratégique visant à déplacer les priorités du Moyen-Orient vers l’Asie.

Intitulé Pivot vers l’Asie, il indiquait que les États-Unis concentreraient leurs ressources économiques, militaires et diplomatiques vers un renforcement de leur position dominante et un affaiblissement de l’influence croissante de la Chine sur la région.

Le Pivot vers l’Asie n’a pas diminué les moyens mis en œuvre au Moyen-Orient, il a augmenté les engagements militaires dans la région, tout en provoquant plus de conflits avec la Russie et la Chine.

Le Pivot vers l’Asie signifiait que les États-Unis cherchaient à élargir et approfondir leurs alliances militaires régionales afin d’affronter et d’encercler la Russie et la Chine. Le but était de paralyser leur économie et de favoriser l’agitation sociale menant à l’instabilité politique et au changement de régime.

L’assaut lancé par les États-Unis pour étendre leur empire dépendait de la coopération de mercenaires et d’alliés pour atteindre ses objectifs stratégiques.

Le soi-disant Pivot vers l’Asie adoptait une double approche, basée sur un pacte commercial économique mais aussi divers accords et traités militaires. Toute la stratégie américaine de maintien de la suprématie mondiale dépendait de la sécurisation et du renforcement de son contrôle sur ses alliés et mandataires régionaux. L’échec du régime Obama à conserver les États vassaux de Washington accélère son déclin et provoque des manœuvres politiques désespérées.

Une posture militariste

Il n’y a pas de doute que toutes les décisions et mesures militaires prises par l’Administration Obama à l’égard de la région Asie-Pacifique n’ont visé qu’un seul but : affaiblir les capacités de défense de la Chine, miner son économie et forcer Pékin à se soumettre à la domination de Washington.

Dans sa poursuite de la suprématie militaire, Washington a installé un système avancé de missile en Corée du Sud, a augmenté son armada aérienne et maritime et a étendu ses activités provocatrices le long du littoral chinois et de ses itinéraires commerciaux maritimes vitaux. Washington a entrepris une campagne d’extension de ses bases militaires en Australie, au Japon et aux Philippines.

Cela explique pourquoi Washington a exercé des pressions sur son régime vassal de Manille sous l’ancien président Nonoy Aquino Jr. pour faire juger son différend territorial avec la Chine, concernant les îles Spratley, devant un tribunal relativement obscur des Pays Bas. La décision européenne, sans surprise en faveur de Manille, fournissait aux États-Unis une couverture légale pour leur agression planifiée contre la Chine dans la mer de Chine méridionale. Les îles Spratleys et Paracels sont pour la plupart des îles coralliennes et des bancs situés le long des routes commerciales les plus fréquentées du monde, expliquant le refus de la Chine (Pékin et Taipei) de reconnaître la Cour d’arbitrage spécial.

L’intervention stratégique contre l’économie : Le Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP)

Les États-Unis ont rédigé et promu le Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) − un accord sur le commerce et les investissements couvrant 12 pays du Pacifique − conçu pour assurer la domination économique régionale des États-Unis tout en laissant délibérément la Chine de côté. Le TTP devait être la clé de voûte des efforts étasuniens pour augmenter les profits des multinationales américaines à l’étranger en réduisant les règles de protection des producteurs nationaux, les lois du travail et les règlements environnementaux. En raison de ces dispositions nationales impopulaires, qui avaient aliéné les travailleurs et les consommateurs américains, l’électorat a obligé les deux candidats à retirer leur appui au TPP – ce que le scribouillard du Financial Times dénonçait comme «les dangers de la démocratie populaire». Les constructeurs de l’empire de Washington ont envisagé le TPP comme un outil pour dicter et faire respecter leurs règles sur un système commercial Asie-Pacifique captif. Du point de vue des grandes entreprises américaines, le TPP était l’instrument de choix pour maintenir leur suprématie en Asie tout en excluant la Chine.

La fin du siècle asiatique de Washington

Pendant plus de soixante-dix ans, les États-Unis ont dominé l’Asie, ravageant le continent avec deux guerres majeures, une en Corée et l’autre en Indochine, qui ont fait des millions de victimes, et de multiples interventions de contre-insurrection en Indonésie, en Thaïlande, en Malaisie, aux Philippines, au Timor, au Myanmar, au Pakistan et en Afghanistan. L’objectif stratégique a été d’élargir leur pouvoir militaire et politique, d’exploiter les économies et les ressources et d’encercler la Chine et la Corée du Nord.

Mais sous le régime d’Obama-Clinton-Kerry, les structures impériales se dissolvent.

Le TTP anti Chinois de Washington s’effondre et a été remplacé par le Partenariat économique régional intégré [Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP en anglais, NdT], parrainé par la Chine et établi avec plus de cinquante pays membres dans le monde, y compris les dix nations de l’Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est (ANASE), la Corée et la Nouvelle-Zélande. Bien sûr, la Chine finance la majeure partie du partenariat et, sans surprise, Washington n’a pas été invité…

En raison des conditions très favorables du RCEP, tous les alliés et colonies, anciens comme contemporains, des États-Unis ont signé, établissant des alliances commerciales avec la Chine et modifiant effectivement la configuration du pouvoir.

Déjà le Cambodge, le Laos, la Thaïlande et l’Indonésie ont officialisé des liens économiques croissants avec la Chine. La débâcle du TTP vient d’accélérer la transition vers le nouveau pacte commercial chinois (le RCEP). Les États-Unis ne pouvaient plus compter que sur leurs quatre fidèles alliés, un Japon stagnant économiquement, l’Australie, la Corée du Sud et son ancienne colonie pauvre, les Philippines [jusqu’à très récemment seulement, NdT], pour soutenir sa tentative d’encercler militairement la Chine.

Les dangers de la démocratie populaire : Le pivot vers la Chine du président Duterte et la fin de la suprématie étasunienne en Asie du Sud-Est

Depuis plus d’un siècle (depuis l’invasion des Philippines en 1896), surtout depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, lorsque les États-Unis ont affirmé leur primauté en Asie, Washington a utilisé l’archipel philippin comme un trampoline pour contrôler l’Asie du Sud-Est. Le contrôle des Philippines est fondamental pour l’impérialisme américain : la supériorité stratégique de Washington dépend de son accès à la mer, à l’air, aux communications et aux bases terrestres et opérationnelles situées aux Philippines et d’une classe dirigeante philippine complaisante.

La pièce maîtresse de la stratégie américaine visant à encercler et à renforcer le contrôle sur les routes maritimes de la Chine, vers et depuis cette économie mondiale, est l’accumulation massive d’installations militaires américaines aux Philippines.

Le soi-disant pivot vers l’Asie des États-Unis implique cinq bases militaires visant à dominer la mer de Chine méridionale. Le Pentagone a élargi son accès à quatre aéroports stratégiques et à une base militaire par l’entremise de l’Accord renforcé de coopération en matière de défense signé par le président philippin Aquino en 2014, mais suspendu par les tribunaux philippins jusqu’en avril 2016. Il s’agit notamment de :

(1) La base aérienne d’Antonio Bautista sur l’île de Palawan, située près des îles Spratleys contestées, en mer de Chine méridionale.

(2) La base aérienne de Basa à 80 km au nord-ouest de la capitale des Philippines, Manille, surplombant la mer de Chine méridionale.

(3) La base aérienne de Lumbia située dans le port de Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, une immense installation américaine en construction.

(4) La base aérienne de Mactan – Benito Ebuen située sur l’île de Mactan au large des côtes de Cebu, dans le centre des Philippines.

(5) Le fort Magsaysay situé à Nueva Ecija, sur Luzon, centre d’instruction et de commandement central de l’armée philippine, sa plus grande installation militaire qui servira aux États-Unis comme base d’entraînement et d’endoctrinement de l’armée philippine.

Les planificateurs du Pentagone avaient envisagé de cibler les navires et les bases aériennes chinoises dans la mer de Chine méridionale à partir de ces nouvelles bases sur les côtes occidentales des Philippines. Elles menacent essentiellement la stabilité de toute la région, en particulier les routes commerciales vitales chinoises vers l’économie mondiale.

Washington a intensifié son intervention en mer de Chine méridionale en s’appuyant sur les décrets émis par son précédent mandataire, Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino, III (2010-2016). Ceux-ci, cependant, n’ont pas été ratifiés par le Congrès et ont été contestés par la Cour suprême philippine.

Le Pivot vers l’Asie de Washington prévoyait de centrer son renforcement militaire sur les Philippines. Mais cette possibilité est maintenant menacée. Le nouveau président Rodrigo Duterte, qui a succédé à Aquino en juin 2016, poursuit une politique étrangère indépendante visant à transformer les Philippines du statut de colonie militaire américaine pauvre et subordonnée aux États-Unis à celui de pays ouvert à des liens économiques et commerciaux à long terme avec la Chine et les autres puissances économiques régionales. Duterte a ouvertement contesté la politique américaine qui voudrait utiliser les Philippines pour encercler et provoquer la Chine.

Le Pivot vers la Chine philippin est rapidement passé d’une rhétorique colorée à une importante réunion sur le commerce et l’investissement entre le Président Duterte accompagné d’une énorme délégation de chefs d’entreprise philippins et leurs homologues chinois à Pékin, fin octobre 2016. Tout au long de ses trois premiers mois au pouvoir, Duterte a reproché à Washington de s’ingérer dans sa campagne contre les seigneurs de la drogue et leurs revendeurs. Aux prétendues «préoccupations pour les droits de l’homme» d’Obama contre sa campagne antidrogue, il a répondu par des contre-accusations disant que les États-Unis s’étaient acoquinés avec des narco-politiciens-oligarques notoires pour poursuivre le programme d’expansion de leurs bases militaires. Le président Duterte et sa guerre contre la drogue vont au delà d’allégations d’alliance américaine avec les narcotrafiquants et entrainent deux changements stratégiques : (1) il a promis de mettre fin aux patrouilles maritimes américaines et philippines dans les eaux contestées de la mer de Chine méridionale qui ne sont destinées qu’à provoquer Pékin ; et (2) le Président Duterte a annoncé qu’il mettrait fin à des exercices militaires avec Washington, en particulier à Mindanao, parce qu’ils menaçaient la Chine et sapaient la souveraineté philippine.

Le président Duterte, en poursuivant son agenda nationaliste indépendant, a rapidement et de façon décisive renforcé le pivot des Philippines vers la Chine qui, dans le contexte de l’Asie du Sud-Est, est en train de normaliser les relations commerciales et les règles d’investissement avec son géant de voisin. Durant la troisième semaine d’octobre (2016), le président Duterte, son équipe politique et 250 chefs d’entreprise ont rencontré des dirigeants chinois pour discuter de projets d’investissement et d’accords commerciaux de plusieurs milliards de dollars, ainsi que de relations diplomatiques plus étroites. Les premiers résultats, qui sont prometteurs, représentent plus de 13 milliards de dollars en projets commerciaux et en infrastructures essentielles. Alors que le pivot des Philippines vers la Chine progresse, il provoque un profond changement dans la politique et la militarisation de l’Asie du Sud-Est. Sans un contrôle étasunien total sur les Philippines, l’arc stratégique d’encerclement de Washington contre la Chine est brisé.

Selon un récent arrêt de la Cour suprême des Philippines, le controversé Accord de coopération militaire renforcé imposé par l’ancien président Aquino par voie de décret sans ratification par le Congrès peut être résilié par le nouveau président, par décret. Cette décision a creusé quelques trous importants dans ce que le Pentagone considérait comme un accord en acier trempé concernant ses bases stratégiques aux Philippines.

Le gouvernement Duterte a annoncé à plusieurs reprises l’engagement de son administration pour mettre en place un programme de modernisation économique et de reconstruction sociale pour la société philippine. Ce programme ne peut être réalisé que par des décisions qui entrainent des investissements de plusieurs milliards de dollars dans l’infrastructure, des prêts et la coopération technique de la Chine, alors que rester une colonie militaire américaine en retard ne menacera pas seulement ses partenaires économiques asiatiques mais condamnera les Philippines à une autre génération de stagnation et de corruption. Uniques en Asie du Sud-Est, les Philippines ont longtemps été embourbées dans le sous-développement, obligeant la moitié de leur main-d’œuvre qualifiée à chercher une servitude contractuelle à l’étranger, alors qu’à la maison la société est devenue victime de trafic de drogue et de gangs liés aux oligarques.

Conclusion

Le Pivot vers l’Asie de Washington, empêtré dans ses efforts pour embrigader les pays asiatiques dans sa croisade contre la Chine, ne se déroule pas comme l’avait envisagé l’équipe Obama-Clinton-Kerry. Cela s’avère être une débâcle majeure de politique étrangère pour les administrations présidentielles américaines sortantes et (vraisemblablement) entrantes. Hillary Clinton, candidate au parti démocrate, a été forcée de dénoncer le Partenariat commercial transpacifique (TPP), alors qu’il était l’un de ses projets préféré lorsqu’elle était secrétaire d’État. La stratégie militaire de base du Pentagone, bloquée dans sa vision de l’Asie du Sud-Est digne des années 1980, est sur le point d’imploser. Les Philippines, ancienne colonie et État vassal, se détournent enfin de leur asservissement total aux dictats militaires américains et se dirigent vers une plus grande indépendance et des liens régionaux plus forts avec la Chine et le reste de l’Asie. L’Asie du Sud-Est et la mer de Chine méridionale ne font plus partie d’un grand échiquier soumis aux tentatives de domination du Pentagone.

Par désespoir, Washington pourrait décider de recourir à un coup de force militaire – un coup d’État aux Philippines, soutenu par une coalition d’oligarques, de narco-patrons et de généraux, basés à Manille. Le problème avec une tentative précipitée de changement de régime est que Rodrigo Duterte est immensément populaire auprès de l’électorat philippin – précisément pour les mêmes raisons qui poussent  l’élite de Washington et les oligarques de Manille à le mépriser. Le maire de Manille, Joseph Estrada, lui-même victime d’un changement de régime instauré par Washington, a déclaré que tout coup d’État soutenu par les États-Unis sera confronté à une opposition de masse d’un million d’adhérents et de tout le groupe des hommes d’affaire nationalistes, déjà orientés vers la Chine. Un putsch défaillant, comme le coup fatal au Venezuela en 2002 contre Hugo Chavez, pourrait radicaliser la politique de Duterte bien au-delà de son agenda nationaliste et isoler davantage les États-Unis.

James Petras

Article original en anglais :

United-States-US-Military-Bases-Asia-1-400x273

Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding, publié le 25 octobre 2016

Traduit par Wayan, relu par cath pour le Saker Francophone.

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Selected Articles: Examining the Anti-Trump Protest Movement

novembre 11th, 2016 by Global Research News

Trump ClintonChange.org Petition to Unseat Donald and Make Hillary President

By Stephen Lendman, November 11 2016

Change.org is a for-profit enterprise, not an NGO – deceiving supporters by using the .org domain suffix, not .com as it should. Its business is getting people to sign petitions, along with selling advertising and personal data for added profits.

trump

Crowds of Americans are Protesting the Election of Donald Trump. Who Is to Blame?

By Barbara Nimri Aziz, November 11 2016

I hear that crowds of Americans are protesting the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US head of state. They blame the president-elect himself. Who is really at fault? And to whom or what should these disillusioned voters address their demands? Unhappy citizens have to blame someone, or something; I understand this. So here are some suggestions.

madam-president-newsweek

The Anti-Trump Protesters Are Tools of the Oligarchy. Their Objective: Delegitimize Donald, Install “Madam President”

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, November 11 2016

Who are the anti-Trump protesters besmirching the name of progressives by pretending to be progressives and by refusing to accept the outcome of the presidential election?  They look like, and are acting worse than, the “white trash” that they are denouncing.

trump 2

The Trump Effect: Protesting the Result

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, November 11 2016

Donald Trump, even without raising a single pen, or signing a single legal document, has already had a profound effect on activism in the United States.  Much of this has taken form among the student body of various schools, a brushfire reaction of fury that has seen empty classrooms and vacated schools.  Walkouts have taken place over two days.  Instructors have followed.

elections USA

Donald Trump Wins US Presidency: A Blow to the Global Establishment…or Its Latest Iteration?

By Ghada Chehade, November 11 2016

Is Trump the beginning of the end of the global establishment or is he just a revision, a new direction, a preparation for a new iteration of the status quo? Of course, Trump is part of the elite given his immense wealth and corporate muscle. But as the Centre for Research on Globalization explains, the elites are not a monolith [1], and there may be divisions and factions within the global elite that do indeed oppose the present and historical direction of the global establishment. Is that what Trump represents, the division within the global power structure?

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Bonjour du compte Twitter de l’armée Israélienne…

novembre 11th, 2016 by Gideon Levy

« Tous les matins, sur son compte Twitter, l’armée israélienne décrit ses méfaits de la nuit précédente, avec quelque fierté » : décryptage par l’opposant israélien Gideon Levy.

Photo : Capture d’écran du compte Twitter officiel de TsahalComment appelle-t-on un régime qui, chaque nuit, tire des personnes de leur lit ? Comment qualifier les détentions de masse sans mandat ? Comment définir les fouilles brutales de maisons en pleine nuit, dont certaines n’ont d’intention que de faire des exercices d’entraînement ? Comment appeler de telles actions perpétrées chaque nuit par l’armée, la Police des Frontières et le Shin Beth, service de sécurité intérieure israélien ? Comment appeler un état au nom duquel ils agissent – une démocratie, la seule du Moyen Orient ? Se rappelle-t-on les sombres régimes, pense-t-on aux juntes latino-américaines, est-on scandalisé par la Turquie ? Bienvenue à l’occupation israélienne de la Cisjordanie, nuit après nuit, à quelques kilomètres de chez vous !

Tous les matins, dans son compte Twitter, l’IDF (Tsahal) décrit ses méfaits de la nuit précédente, avec quelque fierté : « Au cours de la nuit, nos forces armées ont arrêté des hommes recherchés, soupçonnés d’activités terroristes populaires et de participation à de violentes émeutes ». Hommes recherchés, terreur populaire, émeutes – le langage est raffiné mais guindé, parsemé d’acronymes puérils en hébreu, qui semblent cacher un secret. Le choix de mots est convenu, les noms n’existent pas et ne révèlent donc pas l’humanité des détenus. L’armée ressemble à un chasseur nocturne qui, tous les matins, exhibe sa capture de la nuit.

La semaine dernière, en une nuit, on a compté 23 arrestations, 14 la semaine d’avant, 10 et 11 les précédentes. Pas une seule nuit sans enlèvements de la sorte. Qui sont-ils ? qu’est-ce qu’ils ont fait ? Qui s’en soucie ? Ils font partie du mouvement de « terreur populaire », tous maintenant aux mains des services de sécurité.

Parfois, on vous sert de petits délices : « Cette nuit, à Naplouse, nos forces ont bouclé un appartement et un entrepôt qui avait servi à la préparation d’engins explosifs de terreur ». Engins explosifs ? Un appartement ? Un entrepôt ? Par quelle autorité ? Naplouse est dans la zone A, censée être contrôlée par les Palestiniens, mais qui se soucie de tel détail ? De temps à autre, il s’agit d’argent : « Au cours des opérations de la Brigade Territoriale d’Etzion, nos forces ont saisi des milliers de shekels utilisés pour financer la terreur. On les a transférés aux forces de sécurité ». Parfois ça frise le grotesque : « Les forces de la Brigade Territoriale d’Ephraim ont également arrêté un individu soupçonné d’inconduite violente, lorsqu’il est monté dans un véhicule, il y a deux mois. Les forces de sécurité lui ont fait subir un interrogatoire ». Il est monté dans un véhicule ? Faut-il rire ou pleurer ?

Pour ceux qui connaissent ce genre d’opérations, celles-ci n’ont rien d’amusant. Elles vous inquiètent. Des centaines de personnes vivent constamment dans la terreur : des enfants mouillent leur lit, des parents ont peur de fermer les yeux une seconde. Les soldats font sauter les portes des maisons et envahissent. Avant de comprendre ce qui se passe, vous voyez des douzaines d’hommes armés, le visage parfois couvert, dans votre maison, dans votre chambre, dans celle de vos enfants, dans la salle de bain. Voilà comment débute le cauchemar, la fouille et les arrestations, sans aucune explication, sans décision judiciaire.

Parfois, on tire les habitants de leur maison pour les jeter à la rue, sans leur permettre de se vêtir. De temps en temps, on bat un père devant ses enfants. Les affaires personnelles sont souvent endommagées. Le tout accompagné de harcèlement et d’humiliation. Dehors, les voisins se font souvent arroser de gaz lacrymogène :

Expériences traumatiques pour tout être humain.

Tous les Palestiniens, sans exception, ont fait cette expérience. Aucun Israélien ne peut l’imaginer. Il m’est arrivé une fois de passer une nuit dans le camp de réfugiés de Jénine. Quand les soldats se sont approchés de la maison où je me trouvais, je suis presque mort de peur. À la fin, ils ne sont pas entrés mais je n’oublierai jamais ces moments de terreur. Ce n’est que le début du cauchemar. On saisit « l’individu recherché », on le menotte et on lui bande les yeux en vue d’une interrogation dont il est difficile de prédire la fin. Ça va durer des semaines et ça comprendra humiliation et torture, parfois sans raison. On a arrêté près d’un million de Palestiniens de cette façon au cours de l’occupation. Près d’un million !

La semaine dernière, l’agence de presse Ma’an a signalé que, selon un rapport des Nations Unies, entre le 4 et le 17 octobre il y a eu 178 raides nocturnes de ce genre, c’est-à-dire 14 par nuit. Ceci s’est passé dans une période plutôt calme, à part les attaques de loups solitaires, que nul raid ne peut empêcher. On ne va pas arrêter la nuit, une fille qui veut mourir : La terreur nocturne pourrait en conduire d’autres à une attaque désespérée.

Voilà ce qui se passe chaque nuit, pendant votre sommeil.

Et puis après, d’autres Israéliens osent déclarer – par ignorance ou arrogance – que l’occupation, c’est fini ; qu’en parler, c’est pour le moins, ennuyeux.  »

Gidéon Levy

Article original en anglais : Good Morning From the Israeli Army’s Twitter Account, Haaretz,7 novembre 2016

Traduit par Chantal C. pour CAPJPO-EuroPalestine

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Trump : les raisons de la victoire

novembre 11th, 2016 by Bruno Guigue

La veille du scrutin, un grand journal américain écrivait : « Trump est dans son bunker comme Hitler la veille de sa mort ». Quel brillant pronostic ! Il résume l’aveuglement impressionnant de ces élites bien-pensantes qui croient que leur monde est le monde tout court. Provoquant un véritable séisme politique, le businessman new-yorkais vient de conquérir la Maison blanche à la hussarde. Il a transformé le camp adverse en champ de ruines. Il a ridiculisé les médias qui n’ont eu de cesse de le vilipender.

Enfin, et ce n’est pas rien, il frappe de stupeur une classe politique européenne qui s’était amourachée d’Hillary Clinton parce qu’elle lui ressemblait. A l’image d’un président Hollande qui bredouille des platitudes faute d’avoir quelque chose d’intelligent à dire sur la déculottée qu’il vient de recevoir, cette classe politique ne sait plus à quel saint se vouer. Elle croyait au mythe de l’Amérique « leader du monde libre », et ce mythe ridicule s’évanouit sous les vivats qui saluent le discours de victoire de ce nouvel élu qu’elle abhorrait. Il va falloir qu’elle s’en accommode.

Pourquoi Donald Trump a-t-il gagné ?

On peut formuler trois hypothèses.

Premièrement, de larges couches de la population ont vu dans le candidat républicain un recours contre des politiques libre-échangistes qui les ont appauvries. Les mêmes analystes qui fulminent contre Donald Trump oublient généralement de rappeler qu’aux USA il y a 20 à 25% de pauvres. Les classes moyennes ont encaissé le choc en retour de la crise de 2008 et les travailleurs ont fait les frais de la mondialisation libérale encensée par les démocrates. Après huit années de présidence Obama, ce délabrement de la société américaine peut difficilement être porté au crédit du président sortant. Première leçon de cette élection : quand ceux qui se disent progressistes ne le sont qu’en paroles, le peuple essaie autre chose.

Deuxièmement, Donald Trump a gagné parce qu’il est apparu à tort ou à raison comme un électron libre, sans allégeance particulière, voire étranger au système politique traditionnel. Le milliardaire qui pavoise les gratte-ciel de son nom en lettres géantes, bien sûr, est un pur produit du système capitaliste. Il aime se présenter comme un self-made man qui s’est taillé un empire immobilier dans la jungle new-yorkaise. Evidemment ce n’est qu’une belle histoire enjolivée pour les besoins de la cause, mais peu importe puisque les Américains qui votent pour lui ont follement envie d’y croire.

Représentatif d’une couche de managers chevillée au marché intérieur, il a fait fortune dans l’immobilier, la télé-réalité et les élections de miss. Trump, c’est l’homme qui vend du rêve aux Américains, de préférence « blancs, masculins et peu éduqués », comme disent aimablement les sociologues. Il a choisi son cœur de cible et il s’y est tenu, quitte à caresser dans le sens du poil les tendances xénophobes et islamophobes de l’Amérique profonde, avivées par le climat international et les problèmes liés à l’immigration clandestine.

Du coup, il a pu tenir un discours contre le système oligarchique tout en étant lui-même un parfait oligarque. Contrairement à Hillary Clinton, il n’a pas sollicité le soutien des lobbies qui font et défont les carrières politiques aux USA. Les magnats de l’armement, les financiers de Wall Street et les prête-nom d’Israël lui ont préféré son adversaire. N’étant pas leur débiteur, rien ne le retenait de faire le procès de « l’establishment » comme s’il n’en faisait pas partie. Capitaliste sans complexe, mais franc-tireur, il a su détourner à son profit la vindicte populaire contre les vautours de la finance qui se sont enrichis pendant la crise sur le dos des classes moyennes. Deuxième leçon de cette élection : quand le peuple en veut à l’oligarchie, il vaut mieux montrer qu’on ne dépend pas d’elle, même si on en fait partie.

Troisièmement, Donald Trump doit aussi son succès massif, bien sûr, au climat pestilentiel qui régnait autour de la candidate démocrate. Experte en double langage, Hillary Clinton s’est pris les pieds dans le tapis à force de multiplier les mensonges. Elle s’est mouillée jusqu’au cou avec Wall Street, allant jusqu’à confesser qu’elle se sentait « plus proche des financiers que de la classe moyenne depuis qu’elle et Bill avaient gagné des dizaines de millions de dollars ». Le trucage éhonté des primaires démocrates et l’affaire rocambolesque des emails ont fait le reste. Les ploucs qui se lèvent tôt le matin pour aller nourrir leur famille ou payer les études de leurs enfants viennent de renvoyer l’ascenseur à celle dont ils ne supportaient plus la duplicité. Direction le sous-sol.

On va beaucoup dire, à gauche, que la victoire de Trump est surtout la défaite de Clinton parce que c’était une mauvaise candidate. Mais peu d’observateurs iront jusqu’à admettre que c’était une mauvaise candidate parce que le parti démocrate lui-même est une véritable planche pourrie. C’est pourtant vrai. Et si ce parti est en putréfaction, c’est parce qu’il s’est livré au clan Clinton, cheval de Troie des intérêts capitalistes les plus rapaces au sein du système politique américain.

Pourtant, pour la première fois, le parti démocrate avait un candidat honorable. Bernie Sanders n’était ni menteur, ni corrompu. Il avait des idées sur la société américaine qui séduisaient cette partie de la jeunesse qui ne voulait pas passer sa vie à se prosterner aux pieds du dieu-dollar. Mais il n’avait aucune chance parce que le système n’en voulait pas. Avides de pouvoir, les Clinton l’ont cyniquement descendu en plein vol pour le compte d’une oligarchie cupide. Le symbole des Clinton, c’est la fondation du même nom. Cette pompe à fric financée par les Saoudiens fut l’instrument d’une effroyable corruption et d’une compromission éhontée avec les sponsors du terrorisme. Vaincue, Hillary Clinton ira donc rejoindre le club des conférenciers à 300 000 dollars. Bon débarras.

Bruno Guigue

9 novembre 2016

Photo:  Gage Skidmore

Bruno Guigue, est un ex-haut fonctionnaire, analyste politique et chargé de cours à l’Université de la Réunion. Il est l’auteur de cinq ouvrages, dont Aux origines du conflit israélo-arabe, L’invisible remords de l’Occident, L’Harmattan, 2002, et de centaines d’articles.

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image: Newsweek’s failed edition, printed prior to election results

“Reform always provokes rage on the part of those who profit by the old order.”  Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,  The Crisis of the Old Order

Who are the anti-Trump protesters besmirching the name of progressives by pretending to be progresives and by refusing to accept the outcome of the presidential election?  They look like, and are acting worse than, the “white trash” that they are denouncing.

I think I know who they are. They are thugs for hire and are paid by the Oligarchy to delegitimize Trump’s presidency in the way that Washington and the German Marshall Fund paid students in Kiev to protest the democratically elected Ukrainian government in order to prepare the way for a coup.

The organization, change.org, which claims to be a progressive group, but might be a front, along with other progressive groups, for the Oligarchy, is destroying the reputation of all progressives by circulating a petition that directs the electors of the Electoral Collage to annul the election by casting their votes for Hillary.  Remember how upset progressives were when Trump said he might not accept the election result if there was evidence that the vote was rigged? Now progressives are doing what they damned Trump for saying he might do under certain conditions.

The Western presstitutes used the protests in Kiev to delegitimize a democratically elected government and to set it up for a coup.  The protest pay was good enough that non-Ukrainians came from nearby countries to participate in the protest in order to collect the money.  At the time I posted the amounts paid daily to protesters. Reports came in to me from Eastern and Western Europe from people who were not Ukrainian but were paid to protest as if they were Ukrainians.

The same thing is going on with the Trump protests. CNN reports that “for many Americans across the country, Donald Trump’s victory is an outcome they simply refuse to accept. Tens of thousands filled the streets in at least 25 US cities overnight.” This is the exact reporting that the Oligarchy desired from its presstitutes and got.

I hope no one thinks that simultaneous protests in 25 cities were a spontaneous event.  How did 25 independent protests manage to come up with the same slogans and the same signs on the same night following the election?

What is the point of the protests, and what interest is served by them?  As the Romans always asked, “who benefits?”

There is only one answer: The Oligarchy and only the Oligarchy benefits.

Trump is a threat to the Oligarchy, because he intends to stop the giveaway of American jobs to foreigners. The jobs giveaway, sanctified by the neoliberal junk economists as “free trade,” is one of the main reasons for the 21st century worsening of the US income distribution.  Money that was formerly paid in middle class wages and salaries to American manufacturing employees and college graduates has been re-routed to the pockets of the One Percent.

When US corporations move their production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to Asian countries, such as China and India, their wage bill falls. The money formerly paid in middle class incomes goes instead into executive bonuses and dividends and capital gains to shareholders. The ladders of upward mobility that had made America the land of opportunity were dismantled for the sole purpose of making a handful of people multi-billionaires.

Trump is a threat to the Oligarchy, because he intends peaceful relations with Russia. In order to replace the profitable Soviet Threat, the Oligarchy and their neoconservative agents worked overtime to recreate the “Russian Threat” by demonizing Russia.

Accustomed to many decades of excess profits from the profitable Cold War, the military/security complex was angry when President Reagan brought the Cold War to an end.  Before these leaches on American taxpayers could get the Cold War going again, the Soviet Union collapsed as a result of a right-wing coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The military/security complex and their neoconservative agents cooked up “the war on terror” to keep the money flowing to the One Percent. But as hard as the presstitute media worked to create fear of “the Muslim threat,” even insouciant Americans knew that the Muslims did not have thousands of ICBMs carrying powerful thermo-nuclear weapons capable of destroying the entirety of the United States in a few minutes.

Neither did the Muslims have the Red Army capable of overrunning all of Europe in a couple of days. Indeed, the Muslims haven’t needed an army. Refugees from Washington’s wars enabled by Europeans are overrunning Europe.

The excuse for the annual trillion dollar ($1,000 billion ) military/security budget was missing. So the Oligarchy created “the New Hitler” in Russia. Hillary was the Oligarchy’s principle agent for heating up the new Cold War.

Hillary is the tool, enriched by the Oligarchy, whose job as President was to protect and to increase the trillion dollar budget of the military/security complex.  With Hillary in the White House, the looting of the American taxpayers in behalf of the wealth of the One Percent could go forward unimpeaded.  But if Trump resolves “the Russian threat,” the Oligarchy takes an income hit.

Hillary’s job as President was also to privatize Social Security in order that her Wall Street benefactors can rip off Americans the way that Americans  have been ripped off by the insurance companies under Obamacare.

Those Americans who do not pay attention think, mistakenly, that the FBI cleared Hillary of violating National Security protocals with her email practices. The FBI said that Hillary did violate National Security, but that it was a result of carelessness or ignorance.  She got off from indictment, because the FBI concluded that she did not intentionally violate National Security protocals. The investigation of the Clinton Foundation continues.

In other words, in order to protect Hillary the FBI fell back on the ancient common law rule that “there can be no crime without intent.”  (See PCR and Lawrence Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions.)

One would think that protesters, if they were legitimate, would be celebrating Trump’s victory.  He, unlike Hillary, promises to reduce tensions with powerful Russia, and we hope also with China.  Unlike Hillary, Trump says he is concerned with the absence of careers for those very people protesting in the streets of 25 cities against him.

In other words, the protests against the American people for electing Trump as their president are pointless.  The protests are happening for one reason only. The Oligarchy intends to delegitimize the Trump Presidency.

Once President Trump is delegitimized, it will be easier for the Oligarchy to assassinate him.  Unless the Oligarchy can appoint and control Trump’s government, Trump is a prime candidate for assassination.

The protests against Trump are suspicious for another reason. Unlike Hillary, Obama, and George W. Bush, Donald Trump has not slaughtered and dislocated millions of peoples in seven countries, sending millions of refugees from the Oligarchy’s wars to overrun Europe.

Trump earned his fortune, and if by hook or crook, not by selling US government influence to foreign agents as Bill and Hillary did.

So what are the protesters protesting?

There is no answer except that they are hired to protest.  Just as the Maidan protesters in Kiev were hired to protest by US and German financed NGOs.

The protests in Kiev were equally pointless, because presidential elections were only months away.  If Ukranians really believed that their president was conspiring with Russia to keep Ukraine from becoming a Western puppet state and wished to become a puppet state regardless of the costs, the opportunity to vote the government out was at hand.  The only reason for the protests was to orchestrate a coup. The US did succeed in putting their agent in control of the new Ukrainian government as Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador in Kiev confirmed in their telephone conversation that is available on the Inernet.

The Maidan protests were pointless except for making a coup possible. The protests were without any doubt arranged by Washington through Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, a neoconservative brought into the State Department by Hillary Clinton for the purpose of creating conflict with Russia.

Trump is being protested in order to make him vulnerable in the event he proves to be the threat to the Oligarchy that he is thought to be.

Trump won the presidency, but the Oligarchy is still in power, which makes any real reforms difficult to achieve.  Symbolic reforms can be the product of the contest between President Trump and the oligarchs.

Karl Marx learned from historical experience, and Lenin from Karl Marx, that change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them.  We have proof of this throughout South America. Every revolution by the indigenous people has left unmolested the ruling class, and every revolution has been overthrown by collusion between the ruling class and Washington.

Washington has conspired with traditional elites to remove the elected presidents of Honduras on a number of occasions. Recently, Washington  helped elites evict the female presidents of Argentina and Brazil. The presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia are in the crosshairs and are unlikely to  survive. Washington is determined to get its hands on Julian Assange. To achieve this Washington intends to overthrow the Ecuadoran government that, in defiance of Washington, gave Julian Assange political asylum.

Hugo Chavez had the power to exile the elite groups in Venezuela when they participated in a CIA coup against Chavez.  But before the CIA could kill Chavez, the people and the military forced his release. Instead of punishing the criminals who would have killed him, Chavez let them go.

The foregoing is the classic mistake of the revolutionary.  To rely on good will from the overthrown ruling class is the certain road to the defeat of the revolution.

Latin American has proved itself unable to learn this lesson:  Revolutions cannot be conciliatory.

Trump is a dealmaker.  The Oligarchy can permit him the sheen of success in exchange for no real change.

Trump is not perfect. He might fail on his own.  But we should back him on the two most important elements in his program:  to reduce tensions between the major nuclear powers, and to halt Washington’s policy of permitting globalism to destroy Americans’ economic prospects. 

If tensions between nuclear powers worsen, we won’t be here to worry about other problems.  The combination of the economy hollowed out by globalism and immigration is an economic nightmare. That Trump understands this is reason to support him.

Note:  Some believe that Trump is a ruse conducted by the Oligarchy. However, as Hillary is the bought-and-paid-for representative of the Oligarchy, such an elaborate ruse is unnecessary. It is preferable for the Oligarchy to win on its own platform than to install a president on the opposite platform and then change him around. Another sellout increases the anger of the people. If Hillary had won, the Oligarchy would have had the voters’ mandate for their platform.

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Change.org is a for-profit enterprise, not an NGO – deceiving supporters by using the .org domain suffix, not .com as it should.

Its business is getting people to sign petitions, along with selling advertising and personal data for added profits.

Best to ignore its petitions altogether, especially a deplorable one now circulating with nearly two million signers – calling for the Electoral College to make war goddess/racketeer/perjurer Hillary president when it votes on December 19 – wanting Trump’s election annulled.

Democracy in America is pure fantasy. Change.org wants it undermined more than already – for its bottom line interests exclusively, taking advantage of state-sponsored and media anti-Trumpism, unrelated to electoral results or anything else.

What it asks for, is the following:

“On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win.”

“However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!

We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.”

 

Change.org says Trump is unfit to serve, but Hillary is, citing an array of anti-Trump propaganda reasons.

It claims “24 states fine electors. If (they) vote against their party, they usually pay a fine. And people get mad. But they can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states.

Here’s what the National Archives and Records Administration says about Electoral College voting:

Throughout US history, “more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged” – for the winner of the popular vote winner in states they represent.

“There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law requiring Electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their States. Some States have such requirements.”

“Note that 48 out of the 50 States award Electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis (as does the District of Columbia).” Nebraska and Maine alone don’t follow the winner-takes-all rule.

If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, House members choose the president from among the three candidates receiving the most votes. In this case, each state gets one vote.

Denying Trump the office he won, as Change.org urges, would border on insurrection – perhaps enough to create a national convulsion and blood in the streets.

Trump won’t be a people’s president. Neither was any previous leader in US history – not Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln or either Roosevelt. John F. Kennedy came closest – assassinated by the CIA for doing the right thing.

Trump will be inaugurated on January 20 as America’s 45th president. He saved humanity from the possible scourge of nuclear war under Hillary had she defeated him.

His wanting better relations with Russia is the most hopeful sign for perhaps better US geopolitical relations than currently under the nation’s war party – Hillary a leading member as first lady, US senator, secretary of state and two-time presidential aspirant, now politically dead. Let her stay that way!

A final point. Who paid Change.org to circulate its petition – the DNC or Hillary campaign?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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In Western Ghouta, the Syrian forces managed to take control over the road between the southern side of al-Darousheh village and the Air-Defense housings. Following this, Syrian troops attacked Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch) and its allies in the eastern outskirts of Khan al-Sheih. There is no confirmed information about casualties of the sides.

Since November 8, the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces and the Desert Hawks Brigade have made a series of attacks on the Minyan area, liberating about 90% of this area from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies from Jaish al-Fatah.

Clashes are ongoing in the neighborhoods of al-Assad and Jam’iyat al-Zahra in western Aleppo. At the same time, Syrian army and Hezbollah threaten the southern flank of Jaish al-Fatah’s positions in al-Assad. Considering the recent developments, the government forces would have control of al-Assad in the nearest future.

In the recent days, the government forces liberated the 1070 Apartment Project, the Al-Rakhmih Hill, the Motah Hill and seized the strategic area of Hikma School in western Aleppo.

On November 10, intense firefights erupted in the ‘Oweija District in northeastern Aleppo and reports appeared that the Syrian military was ready to re-launch the offensive in eastern Aleppo.

The coalition of Turkish-backed militant groups, known as the Free Syrian Army, and the Turkish Armed Forces took control of a number of areas in the direction of the strategic ISIS-controlled town of al-Bab in the province of Aleppo. The Ankara-led forces seized Musaybin, Zamkiyah and Şhex Alwane and deployed in about 11 km from al-Bab.

Turkey’s Fırtına howitzers shot 90 ISIS targets 306 times and 5 Kurdish PKK and YPG targets 5 times. The report confirms that the Turkish military continues to target Kurdish forces in Syria despite a shaky US-backed truce between the YPG and the Ankara-led forces. Clashes between the YPG and Turkish-backed militants were reported on the al-Hassiah-Tuwainiyah road.

Tensions between the Ankara regime and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the YPG, have grown significantly since the SDF announced the advance on Raqqa with the support of US-led anti-ISIS coalition. Turkey was excluded from the operation.

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Donald Trump, un espoir pour la paix?

novembre 11th, 2016 by Julie Lévesque

Donald Trump, président des États-Unis. Si cela vous donne l’impression d’assister à une mauvaise comédie, dites-vous que l’élection de Clinton nous aurait fort probablement fait vivre un véritable film d’horreur.

Les grands médias ne semblent pas voir à quel point Hillary Clinton est une femme dangereuse. On parle de ses compétences, de sa connaissance des enjeux, du fait qu’elle est une femme et qu’elle aurait brisé un plafond de verre. On affirme qu’elle n’est pas parfaite, mais qu’elle était le meilleur choix.

Vraiment?

Devrait-on élire n’importe quelle femme à la tête d’un pays seulement pour faire l’histoire? En quoi l’élection d’une menteuse avérée, va-t’en-guerre, financée par le régime le plus misogyne de la planète, l’Arabie saoudite, qui, par ailleurs, finance le terrorisme au Moyen-Orient, aurait été un meilleur choix pour l’humanité et la condition féminine?

 

Cette femme a appuyé des coups d’État en Ukraine et au Honduras, s’est réjouie de la torture et de l’exécution extra-judiciaire d’un chef d’État africain, elle a contribué à la destruction de la Libye et de la Syrie en appuyant des terroristes qui font reculer les droits des femmes, elle parle de guerre contre l’Iran et la Russie, et de guerre nucléaire pour régler des conflits. Cette femme est plus violente et antiféministe que bien des hommes.

Il n’y avait pas de meilleur choix dans cette élection. C’était un peu comme choisir entre la cécité et la tétraplégie. Si Trump est dangereux pour les États-Unis, Hillary Clinton est dangereuse pour le reste du monde.

L’élection de Donald Trump n’est pas en soi une bonne nouvelle. Si toutefois il s’avère non interventionniste, comme il l’a promis durant la campagne, il s’agira d’une petite victoire pour la paix.

Les promesses électorales étant ce qu’elles sont, vaut mieux ne pas y croire. Barack Obama, le prix Nobel de la paix qui a bombardé sept pays en huit ans, en est le meilleur exemple. Trump, lui, a promis à la fois de hausser les dépenses militaires et de réduire les interventions militaires, ce qui est totalement incohérent.

Au lendemain de sa victoire, les actions des grands marchands d’armes ont bondi. Cela laisse malheureusement présager un avenir sombre.

Julie Lévesque

 

Julie Lévesque, journaliste et activiste

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President Donald Trump? How did such a thing happen? A competent and purposeful Clinton campaign should have beaten Donald Trump. How did Hillary Clinton and one-percenter Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory?

It’s over. The crotch-grabbing racist con man beat the lying corporate warmonger. Donald Trump is president-elect of the US.

It didn’t have to happen that way. Trump’s winning 58 million votes were a hair fewer than Clinton’s popular vote, a million or two less than Republican losers McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, six and ten million behind Obama’s 2012 and 2008 numbers. The buffoonish Trump was elected with such a low turnout because Hillary Clinton’s campaign was even less competent and credible. To borrow the condescending language Barack Obama deploys before black audiences, Hillary’s campaign never gave Cousin Pookie much reason to get up off the couch and vote.

Republican and Democratic parties are alike owned by their one-percenter investor/contributors. Democratic party shot callers decided they’d risk losing with Hillary Clinton rather than winning with Bernie Sanders. So Democratic party leadership, their media allies and the entire black political class got behind Hillary Clinton and helped collude and conspire to eliminate VT Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrat with the best chance against any Republican opponent.

Once Bernie Sanders was eliminated Hillary waged a lazy and ineffective campaign, playing a hand with just three cards.

The first was the broken record of how unthinkable and unprecedented a disaster a Trump presidency would be… a clownish sexual predator who pronounced climate change a hoax and would criminalize abortion, open concentration camps, repeal Obamacare, legalize stop and frisk, build a wall, appoint neanderthals to the Supreme Court, deport six or ten million immigrants instead of Obama’s paltry two million and who might be in hock to the Russians. Except for the thing about the Russians, it’s roughly the same picture Democrats have drawn of every Republican presidential candidate since Nixon. A story told that many times just gets old. Party leaders counted on it anyway, and it wasn’t enough. That was incompetence.

A second and relatively weak card Democrats played was conjuring up an Imaginary Hillary Clinton, a defender of womens’ and human rights who held hands with the moms of killer cop victims, and occasionally mumbled about black lives mattering and the need to reform the criminal justice system. But Hillary’s decades-long record as a tool of banksters, billionaires and one-percenters was so well established in the public mind that Imaginary Hillary was a difficult sell, not credible.

The one-percenter Democrats’ third card, on which they staked a lot was the early and unconditional endorsement of Hillary Clinton by the First Black President and Michelle. This had proven effective in Chicago in 2011 and 2015 where Obama’s blessings in 2011 and 2015 were key to fastening Rahm Emanuel on the city’s jugular vein after a half century of Daley rule. The entire black political class got behind Hillary too, from civil rights icons who ruminated on how they hadn’t seen Bernie Sanders back in the day to some other wise heads who assured us a vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka was an act of “narcissism” or maybe white privilege. But at the end of the First Black President’s time in office, the Obama endorsement didn’t carry the clout it used to.

Thanks to two generations of lazy Democrats who refused to try to consolidate the victory of the 1965 Voting Rights Act the Supreme Court in 2013 nullified its key provisions, enabling a constellation of laws and practices aimed at limiting access to the ballot on the part of students, minorities, the elderly and constituencies likely to vote Democratic. In the 2016 election cycle these practices stripped another few million Democratic voters from the rolls.

All in all, Democrats were the authors of their own defeat this presidential election. Hillary couldn’t campaign against the one percent because her party is a party of the one percent. Hillary Democrats including Bernie himself after the convention could no longer acknowledge joblessness, low wages, lack of housing, permanent war or the high cost of medical care or they’d be campaigning against themselves.

Donald Trump didn’t win because of some mysterious upsurge of racism and nativism. He won because Hillary Clinton’s campaign was even less inspiring and less competent than his own, and worked hard to snatch its own defeat from the jaws of victory. America might not deserve President Donald Trump. But Hillary Clinton didn’t deserve to win,

Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and co-chair of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached at [email protected].

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For much of the last six years since winning the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar appeared to be taking a slow and torturous path towards some degree of reform. Yet, in an increasingly conservative world in which human rights are put on the backburner, fears among rights and trade union activists that lofty Qatari promises of labour reform and some degree of greater liberalism may not be much more than just lofty undertakings appear to be gaining steam.

To be sure, the controversial awarding of the hosting rights has contributed to more open discussion in Qatar of hitherto taboo subjects including the rights of workers who constitute the vast majority of the population of the tiny, energy-rich Gulf state; the definition of Qatari identity; what rights, if any, non-Qataris should have in obtaining Qatari citizenship; and the rights and social position of women and gays.

 

A 28-year old Qatari, in the latest pushing of the envelope that brings into the open issues that in the past were kept private because of Qataris’ sense of privacy and family honour, earlier this month decried in an article in Doha News that government policy denies young men and women the right to marry the person of their choice.

Writing under the pseudonym Yousef, the young Qatari described how he was forced to divorce his wife of East European origin after the government refused to sanction the marriage and give his spouse a residence permit because she was not a Muslim even though she had converted.

“Our marriage changed me. It took me outside my bubble, and made me question our culture’s values. I didn’t understand why, for example, we Qatari men are allowed to go to clubs where alcohol is served, but at the same time the committee was telling me that my wife’s culture and traditions did not fit ours. This was not making any sense to me,” Yousef wrote.

“I feel that the Qatari government is playing with people’s lives. It hurt to see my country talking about human rights on the global stage, but then denying citizens the right to marry whoever they choose. I want to know why my request was refused. Was it because my family isn’t important enough? Do we not know the right people? I know plenty of Qatari men married to foreign women who got their approval in less than a month, just because they know someone in the government. And why is it ok to marry a second wife or a third wife, but refuse a man permission to marry just one? he added.

Yousef ultimately came to the conclusion that “I will have to leave Qatar and live abroad if I want to get married to a foreigner. I hate that it has to be like that. I love my country. I don’t want to leave Qatar or leave my family, but what options do I have?”

Like the rights of migrant workers caught in a sponsorship system that puts them at the mercy of their employers, Yousef’s plight goes to the heart of Qatar’s most existential problem: the viability of a demography in which the citizenry accounts for a mere 12 percent of the population and fears that any change will endanger their grip on their society, culture and state.

Six years into the preparations for the 2022 World Cup, the belief among many activists as well as world soccer body FIFA officials that Qatar’s stark demographic reality was forcing it to move slowly on reforming, if not abolishing the sponsorship or kafala system is wearing thin.

To be sure, Qatar in the wake of the awarding of the World Cup and in contrast to other Gulf states initially cooperated with it critics who took it to task for the labour and living conditions of workers constructing World Cup-related infrastructure. The Qatari 2022 committee as well as a few other major Qatari organizations adopted standards and model contracts in cooperation with the likes of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

New measures designed to streamline and curtail abuse of the sponsorship or kafala system are scheduled to come into law before the end of the year. The measures fall short however of granting workers’ basic rights.

Against the backdrop of a recent Amnesty report that counters assertions of the Qatari committee that it is applying the standards but cannot enforce them on non-World Cup contractors, FIFA is likely to take on more direct responsibility for the issue and come under greater pressure regarding the labour issue.

With a Dutch trade union taking FIFA to court in Switzerland on the issue of labour rights in the Gulf state, the soccer body has announced that starting with the Qatar World Cup it would scrap local organising committees for its flagship event.

The 52-page Amnesty report listed eight ways in which World Cup workers employed for the showcase Khalifa International Stadium were still being abused and exploited. It charged that despite efforts to the contrary workers still pay absorbent recruitment fees, live in appalling conditions, are lured to Qatar with false salary and job promises, do not get paid on time, cannot freely leave Qatar or change jobs, and are threatened by employers when they dare complain.

The Qatari 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy asserted in a statement that “challenges in worker conditions existing during early 2015” that had been identified by Amnesty had largely been addressed by June of this year. It said the problems involved four of some 40 companies involved in work on the Khalifa stadium and that three of those firms had been banned

“The tone of Amnesty International’s latest assertions paint a misleading picture and do nothing to contribute to our efforts. We have always maintained this World Cup will act as a catalyst for change — it will not be built on the back of exploited workers. We wholly reject any notion that Qatar is unfit to host the World Cup,” the statement said.

The Qatari committee, in a further indication that Qatar may be backtracking on promises, said that current restrictions on alcohol consumption would be upheld during the World Cup. Qatar had earlier said that venues for alcohol consumption would be expanded from hotel bars to specific locations around the country during the tournament.

Not that alcohol is the litmus test of a successful Qatari World. The tournament moreover may attract a different demography with far more fans from the Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim world who care less about alcohol than their Western counterparts.

Nonetheless, the backtracking on alcohol coupled with increasingly strained Qatari relations with human rights groups and trade unions, and the snail pace of labour reform casts a shadow on Qatari sincerity.

Qatar may well feel that the rise of populist leaders across the globe could reduce pressure on it to embark on real reform. That could be true. Yet, by the same token, populist leaders who ride a wave of nationalism may also have to also be seen to be standing up for the rights of their nationals working in foreign lands.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a recently published book with the same title, and also just published Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario.

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In this article I’m breaking a personal vow. It is a vow that I never made publicly but kept internally for a decade or more, probably since around 9/11. Anyone who has followed my writing over the years may have noticed that I rarely comment on American politics. While I have written widely on US foreign policy, I almost never write or talk about US internal or domestic politics.

I have long understood the US administration(s)—with the exception of JFK’s brief tenure—to be a puppet show that is two-parts smoke screen, one-part entertainment and one-part distraction from the neo-con, war mongering, globalist deep state that actually calls the shots. This is so true for me that when other people talk about US politics with deep seriousness—i.e., as if political candidates, parties, democracy, a free press, etc., actually matter or exist in the US—I almost automatically tune out. While all politics is theatre to a certain extent, the US is exceptional in this regard. And the notion that there is much that is real, authentic or autonomous in US government and politics is so foreign to me that I cannot connect to it, or respond to it, with much seriousness.

With all that said, today I break my silence, in order to comment briefly on the 2016 US presidential election in the aftermath of Trump’s victory. At the beginning of this presidential campaign, I thought Donald Trump’s candidacy might be a publicity stunt; like a bombastic prime time reality show. But I was aware that the hard-core neocon, war mongering Hilary Clinton was the real danger, in terms of foreign policy and international politics. Her policies and past crimes are completely in-line with the current US-imperial agenda of endless war and military might, and this makes her far far more dangerous than Trump. It also made her far more likely to win the election, I presumed.

His extreme outrageousness and egomania aside, I felt from the outset that Trump is perceived as a threat to the global corporate, militarized establishment and its political allies, and that this is the real reason he has been demonized adhominem by the political establishment and the media in the US, across party lines. Most democratic and republican politicians and media pundits are part of the global establishment machine.

Trump’s greatest crime seemed to be his unwillingness to acquiesce to the global establishment. His views on foreign policy, military spending and economic and trade policy demonstrate this. Because of his apparent threat to the global military industrial, US-led, global banking/war empire, I was certain that the deep state and global elites simply would not allow him to win. Even if they had to rig the elections in an already rigged political system, I was certain they would not “let him” win.

Now that he has, I’m not sure what to think, especially considering FBI director Comey’s sudden flip flop and condemnation of Clinton, reopening the investigation into the Clinton email (email Gate) scandal, in the eleventh hour. Does the FBI wish to see Trump in office? If so, what does that mean about his threat to the establishment? Is Trump the beginning of the end of the global establishment or is he just a revision, a new direction, a preparation for a new iteration of the status quo? Of course, Trump is part of the elite given his immense wealth and corporate muscle. But as the Centre for Research on Globalization explains, the elites are not a monolith [1], and there may be divisions and factions within the global elite that do indeed oppose the present and historical direction of the global establishment. Is that what Trump represents, the division within the global power structure? Does he have friends in high places that wish to revamp the current global militarized corporate and banking oligarchy? Or, is he but its latest iteration of it? Is he a gateway to what is to come–Martial Law, etc [2]? It remains to be seen.

For now, I’m guardedly optimistic about the new direction that economic policy and US foreign policy could take under his presidency. If he is willing (and able) to rein in either, then he will have surpassed the broken promises of the previous US administration. He has stated numerous times that he opposes many elements of the war on terror (the invasion of Libya, current US operations in Syria and attempts to oust the existing regime, covert support of ISIS by the US, etc) and the military industrial complex. And while he is no doubt a capitalist, he is more of the old-school nationalist capitalist or protectionist-isolationist kind, not the neoliberal global capitalism that has put everyone out of work. This alone made Trump better than Hilary, so to speak. But the fact that he is no doubt part of the economic elite and that he was able to win at all, despite resistance from all sides of the political and media spectrum (both democratic and republican), raises questions.

Notes

[1] http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-elections-november-chaos-what-youre-not-being-told/5554954

[2] http://www.globalresearch.ca/joining-the-dots-why-the-establishment-hates-donald-trump/5518526

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The establishment including the Military-Industrial Complex and the mainstream-media (MSM) put their money on Hillary Clinton and lost. They placed their bets on Clinton who was supposed to become the U.S. president but were clearly defeated as Donald Trump cruised to victory. Hillary Clinton sent her campaign chairman John Podesta to inform her loyal grieving supporters to “go home and get some sleep” and that “We will be back and we’ll have more to say tomorrow.” The following day she conceded to Donald Trump. Clinton must have been completely distraught by her loss (she was probably crying her tears out the night before on the missed opportunity to start World War III by launching a thermo-nuclear war against Russia). For now, Hillary Clinton is history.

The mainstream-media (MSM) particularly The New York Times published an article titled ‘Donald Trump’s Victory Promises to Upend the International Order’ by Peter Baker which claims that Trump’s victory is “upending an international order that prevailed for decades and raising profound questions about America’s place in the world.”America is the engine of the ‘international order’ or the ‘New World Order’ (NWO) in fact; it has intervened in numerous countries by launching wars of aggression and has instigated numerous coups since the end of World War II. They have imposed international trade policies that favored U.S. corporations, advocated for open borders on an international level and maintained U.S. dollar hegemony as the world’s reserve currency. The New York Times article claims that Trump’s “America First” policy will have repercussions worldwide:

For the first time since before World War II, Americans chose a president who promised to reverse the internationalism practiced by predecessors of both parties and to build walls both physical and metaphorical. Mr. Trump’s win foreshadowed an America more focused on its own affairs while leaving the world to take care of itself.

The outsider revolution that propelled him to power over the Washington establishment of both political parties also reflected a fundamental shift in international politics evidenced already this year by events like Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. Mr. Trump’s success could fuel the populist, nativist, nationalist, closed-border movements already so evident in Europe and spreading to other parts of the world

Global markets fell after Tuesday’s election and many around the world scrambled to figure out what it might mean in parochial terms. For Mexico, it seemed to presage a new era of confrontation with its northern neighbor. For Europe and Asia, it could rewrite the rules of modern alliances, trade deals, and foreign aid. For the Middle East, it foreshadowed a possible alignment with Russia and fresh conflict with Iran

Is Donald Trump really an anti-establishment president?

The establishment is concerned that Trump would “shake-up” long standing policies under the Democratic and Republican duopoly that benefitted private interest groups:

He promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and temporarily bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. He questioned Washington’s longstanding commitment to NATO allies, called for cutting foreign aid, praised President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, vowed to rip up international trade deals, assailed China and suggested Asian allies develop nuclear weapons

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall” Trump said in 2015. Trump’s plan to build a wall along the borders of Mexico will not stop immigrants from crossing the borders without addressing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has devastated millions of small Mexican farmers. In a February 2014 report by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch titled ‘NAFTA’s 20-Year Legacy and the Fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’ specified NAFTA’s impact especially on Mexican farmers:

The agricultural provisions of NAFTA, which removed Mexican tariffs on corn imports and eliminated programs supporting small farmers but did not discipline U.S. subsidies, led to widespread dislocation in the Mexican countryside. Amidst a NAFTA-spurred influx of cheap U.S. corn, the price paid to Mexican farmers for the corn that they grew fell by 66 percent after NAFTA, forcing many to abandon farming. Mexico’s participation in NAFTA also helped propel a change to the Mexican Constitution’s land reform, undoing provisions that guaranteed small plots – “ejidos” – to the millions of Mexicans living in rural villages. As corn prices plummeted, indebted farmers lost their land, which newly could be acquired by foreign firms that consolidated prime acres into large plantations. 

As an exposé in the New Republic put it, 

As cheap American foodstuffs flooded Mexico’s markets and as U.S. agribusiness moved in, 1.1 million small farmers – and 1.4 million other Mexicans dependent upon the farm sector – were driven out of work between 1993 and 2005. Wages dropped so precipitously that today the income of a farm laborer is one-third that of what it was before NAFTA. As jobs disappeared and wages sank, many of these rural Mexicans emigrated, swelling the ranks of the 12 million illegal immigrants living incognito and competing for low-wage jobs in the United States

Mexico’s economic problems caused by NAFTA did not end there; in fact hunger became increasingly prevalent. NAFTA increased the poverty rate adding more than 19 million more Mexicans. More Mexicans are now living in poverty than they did 20 years ago. Today 60 percent of people live below the poverty line due to NAFTA’s policies:

Although the price paid to Mexican farmers for corn plummeted after NAFTA, the deregulated retail price of tortillas – Mexico’s staple food – shot up 279 percent in the pact’s first 10 years. NAFTA included service sector and investment rules that facilitated consolidation of grain trading, milling, baking and retail so that in short order the relatively few remaining large firms dominating these activities were able to raise consumer prices and reap enormous profits as corn costs simultaneously declined. This result stands in sharp contrast to promises by NAFTA’s boosters that Mexican consumers would benefit from the pact. 

Prior to NAFTA, 36 percent of Mexico’s rural population earned less than the minimum income needed for food, a share that grew by nearly 50 percent in the agreement’s first three years. On the 10-year anniversary of NAFTA, the Washington Post reported, “19 million more Mexicans are living in poverty than 20 years ago, according to the Mexican government and international organizations. About 24 million – nearly one in every four Mexicans – are classified as extremely poor and unable to afford adequate food.” Today, over half of the Mexican population, and over 60 percent of the rural population, still fall below the poverty line, despite the promises made by NAFTA’s proponents

NAFTA was a decisive victory for U.S. President Bill Clinton and the interest groups he represented behind closed doors. Trump wants to rewrite NAFTA. If Trump’s plan is genuine and it moves forward, Mexico can possibly regain its farming sector and provide the Mexican people with jobs that would allow Mexican immigrants residing in the U.S. to return home. One of Trump’s policies is the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants which is highly unpopular among many Latinos and pro-immigrant advocates.

As for NATO troops who are supported by U.S. taxpayers, Trump told Charles Lane and the editorial board of the Washington Post on March 21st, that he does “not” want to pull out NATO. Here is what he said:

LANE: As you know, the whole theory of NATO from the beginning was to keep the United States involved in the long term in Europe to balance, to promote a balance of power in that region so we wouldn’t have a repeat of World War I and World War 2. And it seems to be like what you’re saying is very similar to what President Obama said to Jeffrey Goldberg, in that we have allies that become free riders. So it seems like there’s some convergence with the president there. What concerns me about both is that to some extent it was always thought to be in our interest that we, yes, we would take some of the burden on, yes, even if the net-net was not 100 percent, even steven, with the Germans. So I’d like to hear you say very specifically, you know, with respect to NATO, what is your ask of these other countries? Right, you’ve painted it in very broad terms, but do you have a percent of GDP that they should be spending on defense? Tell me more. Because it’s not that you want to pull the U.S. out.

TRUMP: No, I don’t want to pull it out. NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We’re not a rich country. We’re borrowing, we’re borrowing all of this money. We’re borrowing money from China, which is a sort of an amazing situation. But things are a much different thing. NATO is costing us a fortune and yes, we’re protecting Europe but we’re spending a lot of money. Number 1, I think the distribution of costs has to be changed. I think NATO as a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved. And I think we bear the, you know, not only financially, we bear the biggest brunt of it. Obama has been stronger on the Ukraine than all the other countries put together, and those other countries right next door to the Ukraine. And I just say we have, I’m not even knocking it, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s fair, we’re not treated fair. I don’t think we’re treated fair, Charles, anywhere. If you look everything we have. You know, South Korea is very rich. Great industrial country. And yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do. We’re constantly, you know, sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games, doing other. We’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing

Trump will support NATO as long as the EU pays for it.

One other positive note, Trump does want a better relationship with Russia who has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces against the Islamic State. Trump wants the U.S. and Russian forces to work together to defeat the Islamic State. Putin has expressed his willingness to work with Trump to rebuild a relationship that is mutually beneficial. The New York Timesalso made accusations that “with Mr. Trump praising Mr. Putin and American investigators concluding that Russians had hacked Democratic email messages.” There is no proof that Russia hacked the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) emails or that Trump is linked to Vladimir Putin. The New York Times itself reported on October 31st ‘Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia’, perhaps Mr. Baker forgot to read his own news organization’s articles on the subject:

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump

Baker’s article also mentions that Trump has “assailed China” when it comes to trade. Will Trump create a trade war against China? Trump has criticized China and wants to start “levying tariffs” on China’s exports to the U.S. In an interesting twist, Trump also wants to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement with 12-nations led by the U.S. designed to isolate China. U.S-China trade deals will become complicated under Trump. A trade war between the U.S. and China could become a possibility under a Trump presidency.

Trump supports Israel and some in Israel support Trump. However, Baker makes the case for Israel’s concerns regarding the U.S. role in the Middle East:

Israel was another place where Mr. Trump enjoyed some support, mainly because of the perception that he would give the country a freer hand in its handling of the longstanding conflict with the Palestinians. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders and commentators worried about a broader disengagement from a Middle East awash in war, terrorism and upheaval.

“Decisions cannot be postponed,” said Yohanan Plesner, a former member of the Israeli Parliament now serving as president of the Israel Democracy Institute. “The situation in Syria is very chaotic. The unrest in the region is continuing. America has to decide whether it wants to play an active role in shaping the developments of the region”

Washington wants to remain in the Middle East for its natural resources. Israel also needs Washington to continue to fund their military (Israel Defense Forces) for any conflict against their neighbors and to maintain their illegal occupation. Trump will not change that arrangement. In fact, Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital defying international law standards which would instigate an uprising by the Palestinians. Trump would also raise tensions with Iran (who he called a “state sponsor of terror”) by insisting that Iran’s Nuclear Deal must be renegotiated. The question is will the Iranian government renegotiate with the Trump administration? I don’t think so. Expect more conflicts and regime change in the Middle East. A Trump presidency would be a disaster in the Middle East.

Will Donald Trump Stop the ‘New World Order’? Questions Linger

Can Trump’s foreign policies stop the NWO in its tracks? Will Trump expand the military and give it unconditional support with more federal funding or will he close U.S. bases around the world? Would Trump escalate or deescalate the war in Syria? Will Trump reach out to Vladimir Putin and work together to defeat the terrorist networks originally created by Washington? Will he pull back U.S. bases out of Europe and elsewhere encircling Russia and China? Will Trump support “regime change” in Latin America? Would he pull out U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq? Would he continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen? Would he give Israel a free hand in dealing with the Palestinians or its neighbors including Hezbollah and Syria? All remains to be seen. Trump has said that he will be both “reliable” and “unpredictable” as president in his foreign policy speech last April. So tighten your seatbelts, the planet might be in for a ride.

As for Trump’s domestic policies, he said he would cut taxes for businesses and working class families and would immediately eliminate Obamacare, which is something he can move forward with in the first 90 days in office. Would he eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy of doing business in the U.S.? Would he also implement a nationwide “Stop and Frisk” policy in an attempt to reduce crime which is clearly a fascist policy? Would he seek the arrest of Hillary Clinton and seek a criminal investigation into the Clinton Foundation? There are many more questions on what Trump would do when he assumes office this coming January.

Many say Trump is “anti-establishment” but at the same time he is choosing prominent members of the establishment like James Woolsey, a former CIA director and a neoconservative as his senior advisor on national security issues. Woolsey was an advocate for the war in Iraq and the Middle East. Trump initially has called the war in Iraq and Libya “disasters” now he selects an extremist advocate who is for war in the Middle East. You know where this is going. Trump’s Vice-President Mike Pence is also an ultra-right wing war monger. Pence mentioned that a safe zone should be established and launch a military strike against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad to protect civilians in Aleppo. He would also like to deploy a missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland to counter Russia. That is something Russia would not tolerate. Trump would most likely authorize regime change in Latin America as Telesur reported on October 25th “With a victory in November everything will change, that change includes standing in solidarity with the suffering of the people of Cuba and Venezuela against the oppression of the Castro and Maduro regimes” Trump said at campaign rally in St. Augustine, Florida. Trump has said many things that are questionable especially when it comes to U.S. foreign policy.

What is interesting about Trump’s victory is that the MSM was writing him off as a serious contender. Trump did it without spending enormous amounts of money as did the Clinton campaign. The MSM gave him all the publicity he needed and ran with it. The majority of people who voted for Trump were voting against Hillary Clinton and the establishment. Many voters were also Bernie Sanders supporters (who were angry with Hillary Clinton undermining his campaign) and independents. With Trump, there are many uncertainties and that is something the world would have to learn to live with. The irony is that as horrible as Hillary Clinton was, at least you knew what to expect and that is something no one can ever deny.

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In the two days following the election of Donald Trump as US president, Wall Street celebrated by driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new record high. At the close of trading on Thursday, the Dow was up by an additional 218 points, or 1.2 percent. This brought it to 18,807, surpassing the previous high of 18,636 reached last August. The index has moved up by 5 percent this week.

The financial aristocracy is salivating over the prospect of major corporate and income tax cuts, increased military spending, and the scrapping of regulations, especially on banks and finance.

Trump has pledged to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent and cut income taxes for the ultra-wealthy to the tune of hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of dollars.

The other major factor behind the stock market surge is the political support for President-Elect Trump from the Democratic Party.

Democrats, beginning with President Obama, who has promised a smooth transition to the new administration, through to Hillary Clinton, “left” liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren and the self-styled “socialist,” Senator Bernie Sanders, have all pledged to work with the incoming president.

The rise in the Dow is paralleled by an increase in the broader-based Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which has posted a weekly gain of 4 percent. Some of the biggest gains in this index were recorded by banks in anticipation of higher interest rates, which boost profits from loans, and the scrapping of regulations on finance.

Trump has pledged the repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which, while doing little to curb the predatory and outright criminal activities that led to the crisis of 2008, includes some regulations that finance regards as restricting its profit-making.

Financial shares in the S&P 500 rose 3.7 percent yesterday, taking their gains for the week to 11 percent. Shares of the New York finance houses Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase saw some of the biggest increases.

Firms in the armaments industry are also licking their chops in view of Trump’s opposition to the automatic cuts in military spending enacted under budget sequestration legislation that was enacted in 2011. Trump has advocated increased military spending across the board.

Others anticipating profit windfalls are pharmaceutical and health care companies, which saw their stocks rise on the prospect of their pricing policies facing less regulation under a Trump administration.

The only area of the market to decline has been the hi-tech sector. This is based on fears that Trump’s nationalist economic agenda, including his commitment to rewrite trade deals and enact measures against China, could impact their cost structure, because their bottom line depends so heavily on access to cheap labour through global supply chains. There are also concerns that immigration restrictions could affect their ability to bring in highly qualified staff.

The view in the markets that restrictions on the banks may be eased, if not entirely lifted, has been encouraged by reports that Trump’s transition team, headed by Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, may be considering Texas House of Representatives member Jeb Hensarling for the post of treasury secretary. Hensarling is a major opponent of the Dodd-Frank legislation and a critic of Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen. He chairs the House Financial Services Committee.

In brief note on its web site, the Trump transition team said it would be “working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job-creation.” Hensarling described the statement as “music to my ears.”

Another clear sign that financial moguls are going to play a major role in the new administration is a report from the business news channel CNBC that Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan, is also being considered for treasury secretary, along with the present front-runner for the position, the Trump team’s campaign finance chief Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin started his career at Goldman Sachs, where he amassed a personal fortune of $40 million before branching out on his own.

A key appointment will be Trump’s chief of staff, where one of the leading contenders is Steve Bannon, who took over as Trump’s campaign chairman in August. Another former Wall Street operative for Goldman Sachs, Bannon has been head of the ultra-right-wing Breitbart News since 2012, making it the vehicle for the promotion of “white nationalism” and fascistic opposition to immigrants and minorities. He has criticised the Republican congressional leadership for being too soft on immigration and foreign trade.

Within just two days of the election, the response on Wall Street and the nature of those being lined up to fill key positions point to the character of the new administration. Trump has said he will run his presidency like he ran his businesses–in other words, through a combination of speculation, confidence tricks and, above all, a ruthless drive for profit.

His entire campaign was in the long tradition of American tricksters, con artists and snake oil salesmen. Tapping into the legitimate grievances of millions of workers and their hostility to the banks and corporations, the Democratic Party and the trade union apparatuses, he is organising an administration based on those same banks and corporations.

There are also other, even more significant historical parallels. In the 1930s, the regime of Adolf Hitler provided an immediate boost to the German economy based on an economic nationalist agenda, combined with a hothouse program of infrastructure spending and armaments. However, this economic agenda did not resolve the underlying contradictions that gripped German capitalism. Rather, it led to an economic crisis and ultimately to war.

The Trump administration is not a repeat of the Nazi regime, but there are both economic and political similarities. Apart from the promotion of a nationalist economic agenda, in this case “America First,” one of the most striking parallels is the way in which the US political establishment, like its German counterpart before it, has turned on a dime.

In both cases, after denouncing the contender as “unfit” to rule, it has immediately gathered around the new “leader” to pledge support, recognising that he defends the interests of the corporate elites on which they all rest.

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So-called liberals and leftists in the US and around the world, are now wailing and gnashing their teeth in reaction to Hillary Clinton’s crushing defeat. They are, however, the first to blame for the outcome of the US presidential elections. Their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was the embodiment of a totally corrupt political system.  She is a hypocrite par excellence, talking to the bankiers of Wall Street behind closed doors differently than to the American people. Her rhetoric for the rights of women and blacks and other minorities sounded disingenuous.

The Clinton Foundation received large donations from Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, countries rewarded in return by huge arms transfers overseen by her as Secretary of State. Her involvement in this corruption was no theme for the media. According to emails published by WikiLeaks, her campaign manager John Podesta was or is on the payroll of the Saudis. All of this was not considered worth reporting by the media. Virtually all national media in the United States supported Clinton’s candidacy. Instead of reporting how the machinery of the Democratic Party and the Clinton team stole the primary elections to prevent the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the media demonized Donald Trump.

I do not wish here to defend Donald Trump. He made numerous stupid, racist, sexist, and anti-Islamic statements that were rightly criticized.  Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was treated with kid gloves while her huge criminal political record was glossed over.  Instead of coming to grips with their abject failures, the liberals and their media continue in slandering Donald Trump. Trump’s first declarations show already that he has conquered new frontiers.

An American President is not a free and politically independent person. From day one, a President-elect can’t anymore go around the corner and grab a hot dog or a hamburger. He is reigned in by a military and security establishment that holds the President fit for public consumption. Trump, as any other president, can be expected to follow their rule and political suggestions.

I doubt very much that Trump will keep the promises of his election campaign, such as building a wall along the American-Mexican border, deport all illegal immigrants or ban Muslims from immigrating into the US. I even doubt that he will go after Hillary Clinton and her husband’s dubious foundation. There exists a code of honor among thieves.

Trump won precisely because of the shrill one-sided media propaganda and because of his rhetoric against the Washington establishment, including his own Republican Party. Now, this Republican establishment dominates both houses of Congress. Trump belongs also, however, to the US establishment but of another sort. Nobody should believe that the Washington establishment will follow Trump’s lead. Even his positive statements about Vladimir Putin or his suggestion to discard NATO, will probably vanish. But what I do hope is that he stands to his rejection of TPP and TTIP and his pragmatic view of Vladimir Putin.

Whether Trump will stop American adventurism in the Middle East remains to be seen. His close ties with Netanyahu do not bode well for the Palestinians. He sees Zionist colonization of the rest of Palestine as no hindrance to peace. And while he has promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I doubt that he will carry out this provocation against international law and the entire Muslim world.

The German political and media class was not only surprised by the results of the US elections, but did not even try to hide its revulsion against the choice of the American people. The entire political class in Germany perceived and presented the Trump campaign in the same one-sided manner as American media did. Chancellor Angela Merkel sent the President-Elect Trump a warning in the guise of a congratulation. Her political impudence was garbed within obsequious blabber about the allegedly honorable nature of German-American ties:

« Germany and America are bound by common values — democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. It is based on these values that I wish to offer close cooperation, both with me personally and between our countries’ governments.”

Other German politicians did not even attempt to hide their disdain for American voters by diplomatic language. Germany’s Foreign Minister Steinmeier called Trump a « preacher of hate », and Deputy Chancellor Gabriel cartooned Trump as a

“trailblazer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement… [who wants] a rollback to the bad old times in which women belonged by the stove or in bed, gays in jail and unions at best at the side table.”

During the election campaign, Trump called Merkel’s mass-immigration policy « insane » and “what Merkel did to Germany” a “sad shame”.

The media and the political class should at this point stop pontificating. Their double morals and unprofessional coverage of the US elections should prompt them to more humility. They should rather blame themselves for their biased reporting, which led directly to Clinton’s defeat. Ordinary Americans are not as stupid as the Establishment wants us to believe. Established parties and media would be well advised to give the new US President a chance to prove his worth. There will be, without doubt,  many occasions in the future for fact-based criticism.

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Alep : entre trêve humanitaire et troisième guerre mondiale ?

novembre 11th, 2016 by Antoine Charpentier

Une énième trêve humanitaire a lieu à Alep où l’Etat syrien, comme stipulé dans l’accord, a ouvert deux passages afin que la population civile, notamment les plus vulnérables comme les blessés, les enfants et les personnes âgées, puissent sortir vers l’ouest d’Alep. Quant aux combattants, l’Etat syrien a laissé le choix à ceux qui le souhaitent de rendre les armes en rejoignant les postes de l’armée, bénéficiant de l’amnistie présidentielle toujours en cours, ou partir vers une destination de leur choix comme l’a déjà évoqué M. Staffan de Mistoura[1], qui a proposé dans un élan de générosité de les accompagner personnellement. L’Etat syrien a encore une fois donné une preuve de son respect des décisions prises par la communauté internationale.

L’Etat syrien a encore une fois prouvé sa bonne volonté, ainsi que son souhait d’avoir une solution politique afin de mettre un terme à la guerre qui se déroule sur son sol. Il a accepté une nouvelle trêve malgré les événements passés à Deir Es-Zor lors du dernier cessez-le-feu. La Russie a fait pression sur son allié syrien à la demande des Français et des Allemands pour prolonger la trêve. Ce que l’Etat syrien s’est employé à faire.

Les mercenaires de l’est d’Alep n’ont pas trouvé mieux que d’empêcher les civils de quitter les lieux par les bombardements des passages ouverts par l’armée syrienne, laquelle a gardé son sang-froid, et s’est retirée vers l’arrière sans riposter. Les snipers sont également entrés en action afin d’empêcher les civils de faire mouvement vers l’ouest d’Alep. Certains voient dans le comportement des groupuscules armés, ainsi que dans l’escalade verbale de leurs sponsors, un certain désarroi mais leur attitude révèle surtout une volonté de persister dans la logique de guerre.

Les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés disent avoir de l’influence sur les combattants de l’est d’Alep, mais ils ne montrent aucune bonne volonté pour trouver une quelconque solution politique. En même temps, ils ne cessent pas d’exiger des trêves humanitaires. Toutefois, la question qui mérite d’être posée est la suivante : le terme humanitaire concerne vraiment les civils, ou les combattants ? Le but est-il de trouver une solution politique ? Ou de trouver des issues pour les combattants de l’est d’Alep, en ralentissant l’avancée de l’armée syrienne et de ses alliés ? Pourquoi les trêves échouent aussitôt qu’elles sont instaurées ?

Les données du terrain démontrent qu’à chaque fois que l’armée syrienne est sur le point de remporter une bataille, les adversaires de la Syrie se précipitent pour instaurer un cessez-le-feu ainsi qu’une trêve humanitaire, trouvant en parallèle les moyens pour faire échouer le processus.

Une éventuelle sortie d’Al-Nosra de l’est d’Alep ne signifie guère la fin de la guerre en Syrie. Ses ennemis mèneront encore et toujours une guerre par procuration. L’intérêt de sortir les combattants d’Al-Nosra de l’est d’Alep, ou encore de laisser Daech se replier sur l’est de la Syrie suite à sa débandade de Mossoul, est-il une stratégie afin de disséminer les combattants ailleurs sur le territoire syrien ?

Mais où est la coalition internationale dont nous avons tant entendu parler face au repli de Daech sur l’est de la Syrie ? Pourquoi ne frappe-t-elle pas les convois de Daech afin d’être en cohésion avec les discours de ses dirigeants qui souhaitent de toutes leurs forces éradiquer le terrorisme ?

En parallèle de ces faits, les Américains menacent la Russie d’un éventuel affrontement direct au risque d’une troisième guerre mondiale. Il convient de préciser que la guerre du bloc Occidental contre la Russie a déjà commencé depuis longtemps, et dans plusieurs domaines. À titre d’exemples : les sanctions économiques, les péripéties des Jeux Olympiques et actuellement la volonté de l’Union Européenne d’interdire les médias russes en Europe, sans oublier le problème ukrainien. Le complexe de supériorité exagéré d’une partie de l’establishment américain pousserait-il le monde au bord du brasier ?

Enfin, le conflit syrien demeurera une guerre par procuration en raison de l’incapacité des Etats-Unis à intervenir directement en Syrie. Sans négliger le fait que dans un scénario de frappe directe des Etats-Unis en Syrie, certains de ses alliés au Moyen-Orient pourraient constituer une carte de pression très importante.

Sauver l’hégémonie américaine primerait-il sur la vie de milliers et de milliers d’innocents, dont le peuple américain fait partie ?

Antoine Charpentier


[1] Face à l’avancée de l’armée syrienne arabe à Alep, et dans un excès de désespoir, M. de Mistura a proposé un accompagnement personnel pour 900 combattants d’Al-Nosra sur 4 000 enfermés dans les quartiers d’Alep-est, afin de les sortir vers les destinations de leurs choix. Mais qui sont ces 900 combattants ? Et que vont devenir les autres combattants qui resteraient à Alep ?

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The University of Manitoba is on strike. Since 1st November, more than 1,200 faculty members took to the picket line to protest the lack of funding for education, a need for workload protection and safeguarding for fairer tenure and promotion procedures, in addition to addressing several job security issues for instructors and librarians. Author of The Capitalist University, Henry Heller is a professor of History at the University of Manitoba, he writes here of the strike and how the walkout resonates with the themes of his book.

*        *       *

Authors don’t often get to live out the denouement of their books. Yet that is what is happening to me as I blog. On 20 October Pluto published The Capitalist University: The Transformations of Higher Education in the United States, 1945-2016. Its last chapter deals with the development of the neoliberal university and the growing resistance to it on the part of faculty and students and other workers. Two weeks have gone by and I find myself on a picket line at the University of Manitoba on a faculty strike against the neoliberal university. As we stand vigil at the gates of the University the days are rapidly shortening and getting colder. Overhead the geese are quickly and excitedly fleeing to the south. But each morning since 1 November I find myself on the morning shift defying the university’s attempt to impose total control over the work of professors and librarians at our university. We are an important part of a rising tide of class struggle developing both inside and outside of universities across the globe against the ravages of neoliberal capitalism.

The Capitalist University

The heyday of the universities came between 1945-80 at the height of the Cold War and was marked by massive support from government including the military for universities. Universities defined their mission as directed to public service and strove to create knowledge which had both practical as well as theoretical aspects. In the humanities and social sciences a few scholars even pursued a critical knowledge which sought disinterested truth in the analysis of ideas and society. The climax of this era came in the 1960s when unprecedented student protests over civil rights, the U.S. war in Vietnam and bureaucratic domination over university life spilled over into society at large and led to challenges to the capitalist order.

Academic Capitalism

But from the 1980s onward so-called academic capitalism took hold and universities not only more and more redefined their mission as serving private business and themselves becoming as far as possible profit-orientated in their mode of operation and objectives. In the light of this academic capitalism new faculty, administrative and business networks sought to promote a cognitive capitalism, creating new forms of knowledge which could be more or less immediately commodified as intellectual property.

These changes are central to the emergence of the neoliberal university marked by the decline of the humanities and social sciences, cuts in public financing, enfeeblement of faculty and student roles in governance, increases in tuition, growing student debt and a fall in the number of tenured faculty and increasing use of adjunct professors. These changes have been accompanied by dramatic increases in the number and salaries of administrators, centralization of management in the hands of presidents and boards of governors based on total quality management, preoccupation with endowments, predatory financing of growing student debt, research parks, real estate deals and globalized university ranking systems.

The influence of big business already great became overwhelming. Capping off these changes are the growth of for-profit universities like Phoenix University and the growth of mainly business-backed Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) which augur a decline in the need for permanent faculty and investments in fixed capital. These developments which follow from the logic of neoliberal economics which continues regnant in the operation of universities suggest the eventual extinction of the modern university and its replacement by new kinds of market-driven institutions of higher learning – a depressing prospect for most people that can bring a smile only to the lips of a University of Chicago economics professor.

But in The Capitalist University I show that these trends toward privatizing knowledge far from auguring well for capitalism inhibit its functioning and put into question its legitimacy and reflect the depth of capitalism’s crisis in which it seeks to parasitize and undermine those practices and institutions which once helped to sustain it economically and ideologically.

Historical Amnesia

A conservative tendency emerged on campuses, beginning with the election of Reagan in 1980. Followed by a widespread abandonment of Marxism and depoliticization, linked to the emergence of postmodernism, the cultural turn and neoliberal economics. All three intellectual currents were marked to a greater or lesser degree by a turning away from history in a way which is reminiscent of the historical amnesia in the humanities and social sciences during the 1950s. At the same time all three saw a further opening of American academic life to cosmopolitan influence. Reinforced by the scientism and reifications of neoliberal economics these decades saw the step-by-step offensive of academic and cognitive capitalism and reorganization of the universities into neoliberal institutions. Seemingly in isolation, Marxist literary critic and philosopher Fredric Jameson towered above American scholarship as the interpreter of this dark period.

The onset of financial and economic crisis in 2008 brought with it widespread revival of interest in Marxism, the growth of union militancy on campus and the revival of political movements like Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the Bernie Sanders primary election campaign in which students played leading roles. As in the 1960s, universities proved to be springboards to campaigns aimed at the transformation of American society. Moreover, as key sites of training, research and economic development, universities have become central locations within the structures of contemporary capitalism for which knowledge industries closely inter-connected to universities are the leading edge. The labour force within academic institutions and these enterprises including most teachers and researchers are of course already made up of wage workers who are already involved in productive, i.e. profitable labour or soon will be. Tenured faculty themselves are losing control of their work. In the face of these currents imposed from above the obvious rejoinder is struggle from below which in the form of the development of unions is only in its early stages. Knowledge workers, who by definition have high levels of skill, work at strategic productive locations and need to cooperate with one another in an increasingly dependent work process, are in a position to struggle effectively against academic capitalism.

Driven by the need for revenue and for reasons of prestige, universities have become deeply enmeshed in seeking intellectual property rights or monopolistic control of patents, inventions, copyrights and even trademarks. The number of patents applied for by universities has multiplied from a few score in the 1970s to over 5000 at the turn of the millennium. In an early phase of capitalism such rights undoubtedly helped innovation. Today, the dominant economic view is that protection of such intellectual property rights is key to economic innovation. Indeed, the contention is that the privatization of new knowledge in this way is creating new links on a national and global level with private industry. The economic progress of the recent past was due not to intellectual property rights but was the fruit of earlier public investment in science and technology, rather than facilitating the spread and application of knowledge such claims are creating an atmosphere of exclusivity and secrecy; litigation is becoming more important than creativity and the spread of intellectual property rights will obstruct future progress by promoting fragmentation of information, unnecessary duplication of effort, secrecy and lawsuits. Historically science has been a collaborative process in which large numbers of individuals contribute a part to a cumulative and collective process. This ethos is at antipodes to the neoliberal system of intellectual property which depends on a single agent claiming credit for the entire process.

UMFA on Strike

This returns us to the fundamental questions raised by the students in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley fifty years ago. While university administrators, politicians, businessmen and neoliberal economists seek to turn knowledge into exchange value, it proves difficult to do so. Indeed, the creation and dissemination of knowledge is being held captive by the fetters of academic capitalism. The incredible accumulation of academic knowledge begs to be set free as a use-value as part of a general intellect or mass democratic consciousness which almost certainly will assume political and social control over society. At the same time, the continuing attack on the idea that the universities should serve the public good and the undermining of the place of the humanities and social sciences in universities is among other factors helping to undermine the political legitimacy of capitalism.

Right now faculty at the University of Manitoba are holding firm on the picket lines. Talks with management continue. To settle this strike we are demanding minimal protection against arbitrary workload increases, fair assessment practices and job security. Yet as I walk the line in the bitter cold talking with chemists, social workers, sociologists, accounting professors it occurs to me that we are in the end the university and that management is in the end the product of an ongoing usurpation of both labour and knowledge. Next week I will lecture on this in an improvised teach-in on the picket line. Learning must go on. •

Henry Heller is a Professor of History at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He is the author of The Birth of Capitalism: A 21st Century Perspective (Pluto Press, 2011), The Cold War and the New Imperialism: A Global History, 1945-2005 (Monthly Review Press, 2006) and The Bourgeois Revolution in France (Berghahn Books, 2006).

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I hear that crowds of Americans are protesting the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US head of state. They blame the president-elect himself.

Who is really at fault? And to whom or what should these disillusioned voters address their demands?

Unhappy citizens have to blame someone, or something; I understand this. So here are some suggestions:

  •  The celebrated, pervasive and multifaceted, right-center-left US media are first and foremost responsible. Our press, the ‘fourth estate’, regarded as the ultimate check on abuse is, in my view, guilty of gross exploitation, motivated by profit, creator of teams of shoddy pundits, polls, and personalities. The US public and perhaps global viewers too have been lured, misinformed and manipulated for eighteen months while media giants, both print and broadcast corporations, indulged themselves in their free speech license. They focused on presidential personalities of any caliber to the exclusion of real issues and their task of educating the public. They sought out and exaggerated salacious detail – tempting us with sexual scandal and financial abuse. Commentators Glen Greenwald  and Wayne Barrett  rightly focus criticism here.
  • Those forlorn protesters in the streets ought to shout not in front of Trump Towers; they need to hammer real hard at the gates of the NY Times, WaPo, Fox News, ABC, NBC, and even the breaking-with-the-rulers-Democracy Now. Journalism students: start questioning your professors’ habitual invocation of purportedly liberal NYT coverage. Aspiring journalists: reject invitations to these deceivingly biased, self-serving news manufacturers.
  •  News agencies themselves will be leading the call for the capture of Wikileaks director Julian Assange. With his masterful hacking service, even while exiled for four years within the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange has arranged releases of emails exposing Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign plotting. This party and their candidate’s campaign have indeed rigged the election process.
  • Unquestionably the Democratic Party must answer for its illegal methods to lockout rival Bernie Sanders. It hasn’t even apologized for its insider dealing, which are more damaging to democracy than Clinton’s email irregularities as secretary of state.
  • Related to this was FBI director Comey announcing just before election day that more Clinton email investigations were underway. What? Clinton-supporting news media were outraged by this reprehensible government meddling, but not by internal party plots.
  • This is the second US election where social network platforms, especially Twitter and Face Book, are considered essential and reliable democracy handhelds (part of what is now called Fifth Estate). Millennials and media professionals indulge these communication tools as a sure means of free speech, inclusive citizenship and truth. With these in hand, their liberal views will surely prevail. So convinced are American free speech advocates of the merits of these devices, that youths in China, Syria, Venezuela –whichever governments the US seeks to undermine– must have them too. (Although social networking seems to have flummoxed American Clinton supporters, they are supposed to help stir democratic revolutions abroad.)
  • Nationalists will claim foreigners are responsible for November 8th’s  failures. Not Russia but Syria will top the list, with Afghanistan and Somalia as seconds. After all, those hordes of fleeing citizens threaten US stability and security–thus the success of Trump in winning over so many Americans. Cheap Mexican labor dislodging US workers is another culprit that won Trump votes.
  • One sees little attention directed to the flawed US electoral system however, or to the imperfect American constitution. The US is run by a party duopoly that chokes us between two megastars. Then, the Electoral College (capitalized by Webster dictionary!) defies the popular vote.
  • Have you ever heard of a coalition government in the US? When fellow Americans are questioned about why the constitution can’t be changed to remove its proven flaws, they respond with blank stares and wonder. What: question the wisdom of America’s founding fathers?

Then what about finding a way to dislodge an incompetent or criminal president without launching a long, disruptive process of congressional impeachment and court procedures? Ever heard of a simple vote-of-no-confidence, a snap election? No; American presidential and congressional elections can occur only every four years. Period.

Finally, although this list can be expanded, we have to admit sloppy procedures at the many polling stations. A country engaged in the electronic collection of mega data on citizens and foreigners could surely streamline its election process to ensure that no citizen has doubts or fears about their eligibility and where and when to vote.

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As the U.S. Presidential selection circus draws to a close, the United States and Turkey have announced a new plan to defeat ISIS, the same terrorist organization both countries have created, funded, armed, and facilitated, in Syria. The plan revolves around the conquering, occupation, and governing of sovereign Syrian territory in the East, most notably Raqqa.

According to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, after meeting with his Turkish counterpart, that “The coalition and Turkey will work together on the long-term plan for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa.”

The statement by Dunford seems to confirm the fact that the United States will not move forward in its campaign for Raqqa without working closely with the Turks, who are themselves concerned about the makeup of the proxy forces destined to hold power once the campaign is over. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the proxies of choice in this battle, are made up of many Kurdish militias and fighters, an issue that provides much worry on the part of the Turkish government.

As CNN reports,

But DoD News reported that Sunday’s meeting reinforced a longstanding agreement that the US-led coalition would not move ahead with the seizure of Raqqa, “without incorporating the Turks and their perspective into our plans,” according to Dunford.

The Turkish army said in a statement that the military heads had discussed “the methods of a common struggle” against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, “especially in Al Bab and Raqqa in coming days.”

Addressing the sensitivities around the ethnic makeup of the forces involved in the operation, Dunford said: “We always knew the SDF wasn’t the solution for holding and governing Raqqa.

“What we are working on right now is to find the right mix of forces for the operation.”
He said the US would work with Turkey to determine the composition of the forces that would seize and govern the territory, he said.

He said the right approach was for locals to lead the mission to retake the city and run it after ISIS was driven out.

“[The operation needs] a predominantly Arab and Sunni Arab force,” he said, according to DoD News. “And there are forces like that. There is the moderate Syrian opposition, the vetted Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army forces, and there is some initial outreach to forces in Raqqa proper.”

Dunford said the SDF were moving south to isolate ISIS positions in Raqqa and the surrounding areas — a phase that would take months.

Essentially, the United States and Turkey are devising a plan by which to control Raqqa and the territory surrounding it by using proxy forces to overthrow other proxy forces. In other words, the fighters in Raqqa will simply undergo another name change, be replaced with a heavy Kurdish contingent, and act as a carefully placed chess piece by which to prevent the Syrian or Russian militaries from liberating the city. After all, these SDF forces will be presented as “moderate,” a label that cannot be attached to the ISIS fighters currently inhabiting Raqqa.

Raqqa has acted as the ISIS capital since the mysterious appearance of the group two years ago and has gone virtually untouched as the Syrian military has been bogged down in major cities and western/central areas of the country in their fight against the Western-backed terrorists. Notably, despite its rhetoric of fighting to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, the U.S.-led coalition has yet to bomb Raqqa.

Fresh on the heels of a major public relations victory in Palmyra, however, the Syrian military is now inching toward Raqqa and, if successful, it will score one of the biggest victories in the five-year war. This is not only because the de facto ISIS capital will be eliminated or because the SAA will gain more territory, it is because the liberation of Raqqa will be yet another example of how the Syrian military will have accomplished in weeks what the United States and coalition members have claimed may take a decade to do. It will be another instance where the lack of will on the part of the United States to actually destroy Daesh is put on display for the rest of the world, either causing the U.S. to look weak in the eyes of the world or exposing it for actually supporting the terrorist organization to begin with. Regardless, the victory for the Syrian government will be twofold.

That is, unless the U.S. gets there first . . . .

The U.S. has been using the presence of ISIS in Syria as an excuse to bomb, send Special Forces, publicly support terrorists, and possibly invade since the Western-backed terror group appeared on the scene two years ago. Yet, despite its rhetoric, the United States and its coalition have not bombed Raqqa and have largely abstained from bombing (see here and here) any other terrorist group. Instead, the U.S. has focused on bombing Syrian military targets, civilians and civilian infrastructure (see here also), and acting as a deterrent to the Syrian military’s movement in many “rebel-held” areas of the country.

Now, however, the United States seems to have great interest in Raqqa as it aids its loose collection of terrorists, fanatical Kurds, and Arabs known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in “battles” around the ISIS capital.

So why the sudden interest in Raqqa? It’s fairly simple. The United States sees clearly that the Syrian military and its Russian allies are going to liberate Raqqa soon enough and the U.S. does not want to suffer another public relations setback. A defeat for ISIS is thus a humiliation for the United States. That fact alone should raise some eyebrows.

Regardless, the United States would like to have its own “victory” in Raqqa before the Syrians and the Russians can have theirs. If the SDF is able to “take” Raqqa, the U.S. will then be able to shout from the rooftops that America has liberated Raqqa and defeated ISIS in its own capital.

The U.S. also has another goal in Raqqa – the theft of more Syrian territory by using its proxy forces going by the name of the SDF. Whether or not ISIS proper is in control of Raqqa is merely a secondary concern for the United States. If the SDF succeeds in imposing control over the city and the province, then the West will have succeeded in cementing control over the area in the hands of its proxy terrorists once again, but with yet another incarnation of the same Western-backed jihadist fanaticism. The U.S. can then use the “moderate rebel” label to keep Russia and Syria from bombing the fighters who merely assumed a position handed to them, albeit through some level of violence, by ISIS.

This also allows the Western powers supporting their terrorist proxies the opportunity to provide the terrorists with a parcel of land inside Syria’s borders which can be used as a forward operating base and a staging ground for more attacks and operations launched at the rest of the country.

With the situation as it stands, there is now the very real possibility of some type of major confrontation taking place in Raqqa that could very well have international ramifications. On one hand, there is the Syrian military, backed by the Russian Air Force and Russian Special Forces heading east to Raqqa while, on the other side, there is the SDF, backed by the U.S. Air and Special Forces, heading west toward Raqqa. Both sides are in a race to gain control over the ISIS capital, gain territory, and declare a victory for the world to see. But what if they arrive in Raqqa at the same time?

In other words, there is a distinct potential that, in the race for Raqqa, the Syrian/Russian alliance might find itself face to face with the possibility of direct military conflict with the U.S./SDF (terrorist) alliance. At that point, the question will be who, if either, will back down? If both forces decide to push forward, the result could be devastating not only for Syria but for the rest of the world.

Regardless of what happens, it is important to remember that the Syrian military is acting entirely in self-defense both against the terrorists posing as “rebels” and the United States. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have all been invited in to Syria, acting legally and with the assent of the Syrian government, while the United States and its coalition are once again acting completely outside of international law in an attempt to shore up its terrorist proxies; and, once again, the United States and its coalition of the willing is pushing the patience of the rest of the world.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 850 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

 

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The Trump Effect: Protesting the Result

novembre 11th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Donald Trump, even without raising a single pen, or signing a single legal document, has already had a profound effect on activism in the United States.  Much of this has taken form among the student body of various schools, a brushfire reaction of fury that has seen empty classrooms and vacated schools.  Walkouts have taken place over two days.  Instructors have followed.

Two days after the result, San Francisco witnessed gatherings of young protesters, most below voting age, marshalling themselves at the Civic Centre and effectively shutting down Market Street. Local journalists repaired to the scene in hurried enthusiasm, and helicopters were dispatched to film the gathering crowd.  Would Trump’s America flare up, notably in parts of the country where his support was minimal?

The San Francisco Unified School District explained that it had not given the seal of approval to the protest, though it was hard to flaw the actions of students emboldened by their constitutional protections. “We recognize our students’ right to free speech and understand their need to use it.  The walkout this morning was not authorized by SFUSD staff.”

Curiously enough, news anchors were careful about how best to cover these actions.  On realising they were being filmed, various members of the crowd proceeded to chant obscenities with gusto.  Unmistakably colourful gestures were also flashed in front of the camera, causing consternation among the local news anchors.  Even in Trump’s emotionally liberated America, civility had to be shown.  Yet again, the establishment was telling people how best to behave.

A few sensible voices found time to give news crews what they wanted.  An African American girl loomed into view, eager to express her opinions about the events of the last few days.  “I feel that Donald Trump is a horrible man.”  She insisted, not that we did not notice, that she was “a woman of colour.”  She was also gay and troubled.

The night before, the violent aspect of the anti-Trump response came to the fore.  Some 7,000 protestors found voice on Oakland’s streets.  Molotov cocktails, fireworks and other projectiles were directed at police.  Over time, the fractious gathering dispersed into smaller groups, setting fires and inflicting acts of vandalism upon businesses.  Three Oaklandpolice officers were also injured, and three Pleasanton patrol cars damaged.

According to the official statement from Oakland police, “Throughout the evening, the large group splintered into smaller groups that began vandalizing numerous businesses in the downtown area.”  Oakland’s Mayor, Libby Schaaf, was beside herself with frustration the next day, urging calm and the need for peaceful protest.  Hooliganism would not be tolerated.

Behind the protest agenda here is the monumental difficulty of acceptance.  Blue collar whiteness doesn’t wash well in these noisy circles.  Aggrieved, the message of “Not my president” has been chanted across city centres – in as many as twenty-five across the country.  Trump effigies have been burned.

This language of protest signals the cutting divisions through the country: be wary of what is white, and working class if you find yourself in metropolitan centres, or in areas of a technology boom.  If you are an immigrant, be even more fearful.

“Trump and Pence make so sense,” went the Wednesdaymessage among anti-Trump protestors as they marched from Union Square to Washington Square Park in Manhattan.  Outside Trump Tower, Lady Gaga joined some 5,000 others.  Such instances of pop agitation do little to measure the levels of inclusion.  Across the aisles, the country remains divided, and intolerance is being met by intolerance.

In truth, Trump has given little to his detractors to work with.  Slogans have been aplenty, and the “vision thing” about making America great again has been more mantra than substance. He has been indifferent to blueprints and policy outlines, making any genuine critique of him beyond personal characteristics and tendencies near impossible.  Only the emotions count.

What has mattered is the feared contingency and hypothetical.  Trump’s nascent tenure might, argued protestor Nick Powers to CNN in New York, encourage more robust stop-and-frisk policies in the name of law and order.  Sexist opinions would also be normalised.  Society would somehow become more brutal.  The ease, in other words, of seeing Trump as the instigator of violent exception, rather than a beneficiary of a rotten malaise, becomes a rule.

The protestors might have to wait that bit longer, notably for Trump’s cabinet appointments and those to the Supreme Court, before burning down the front store with urgent enthusiasm. It is hard to imagine that the president elect will be restrained on various fronts, be it Obamacare, social policy or the regulating of finance and capital.  Nor should it be assumed that his relations with the Republicans will be warm and functional in Trumpland.

Trump took on the dynasts, including those within the Republican movement. He generated such hostility from the paladins and doyens that even Clinton thought she might have a chance garnering their support. How wrong they all were, as they continue to be.  Deafness tends to be a fatal drawback in politics.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at SelwynCollege, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: [email protected]

 

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The case of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India has reached the Supreme Court. The government has said it will bow to the court’s eventual ruling. That ruling could green-light GM mustard as first commercial GM food crop. If this goes ahead, there will be wide-ranging implications for Indian food and agriculture.

Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues has petitioned India’s Supreme Court, seeking a moratorium on the release of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment pending a comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocol in the public domain conducted by agencies of independent expert bodies, the results of which are made public.

As the lead petitioner, Rodrigues’ case is that, to date, serious conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, regulatory delinquency, cover-ups, lies and scientific fraud has tainted the entire appraisal process concerning GM mustard. Moreover, the case is made that there is a general lack of rigour and expertise and overall incompetency where India’s assessment and regulation of GMOs is concerned.

In a response to the petition, the government (Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change) has issued a Reply Affidavit, which Rodrigues now says (in a rejoinder affidavit) is an astonishing filibustering, copious response that clearly reflects a high degree of scientific and technical incompetence in the regulatory oversight of HT Mustard DMH 11 (GM mustard). She says that the ‘Reply’ is brazen, misleading and weak in its interpretation of available data and facts.

In a 7,000-plus word response (read the Rejoinder Affidavit here: rejoinder-affidavit-mustard-final-dmh-8th-nov-2016ia) response to the government’s Reply Affidavit, Rodrigues goes into a fair amount of technical detail. She argues that that HT Mustard DMH 11 and its two HT parental lines that are before the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial approval are funded by the regulators, promoted by them and regulated by them. This is, she argues, simply unacceptable: the evidence shows the outcome of such hand-in-glove, subterranean regulation that seeks to hide the data from scientific and public scrutiny and release HT mustard to the detriment of India.

She states that the regulators acquiescent role in the fudging of field trail data invites “a charge of criminal conduct and intent to deceive, with inestimable ramifications of harm to our nation. A criminal investigation is required into these processes.”

The Rejoinder Affidavit argues that, counter to the arguments set out in the 72-page Reply Affidavit by the government, the following is the actual reality underpinning GM mustard in India.

1)      Field trial data was fudged.

2)      HT DMH 11 and its two parental line GMOs are scientifically and unambiguously herbicide tolerant (HT) crops.

3)      India is indeed a centre of diversity/domestication of mustard with a rich germplasm. Contamination from commercialised HT DHM11 of India’s mustard germplasm is a certainty.

4)      Field trails of the GM mustard discarded scientific norms wholesale and are invalid.

5)      HT Mustard DMH 11 remains unproven on scientific grounds as a superior hybrid-making technology.

6)      The cumulative evidence is that HT DMH11 (and its GMO parental lines) are a monumental and dangerous bluff and the nation has been fooled into believing that it will reduce imports of oilseeds because it will provide high-yielding hybrids.

Fudged data and invalid field tests

Rodrigues presents various field trial data and goes into much technical detail to make the case for how data was fudged to present GM mustard in a favourable light. Readers are urged to consult the Rejoinder Affidavit for the details.

Made for Bayer?

While there appears to be an attempt to confuse the issue in the government’s Reply Affidavit, Rodrigues argues that the gene for glufosinate herbicide resistance will be present in GM mustard hybrids, making the crop resistant to (Bayer’s) herbicide. And while the government argues “there is no proposal to use this herbicide in the farmers’ field,” such arguments, according to Rodrigues “smack of ignorance and carelessness of how a HT GM crop can be possibly used and more dangerously, approved for commercialisation by the GEAC.”

In other words, the government’s argument in the matter of DMH 11 is “a blatant misrepresentation of facts, expedient policy and scientifically untenable.”

Contamination and the crucial importance of centres of genetic/biological diversity

Rodrigues cites examples to highlight that a 20-year history of GMOs in various countries shows that GMO Contamination of non-GMO crops is a biological certainty and is irreversible. Such contamination leads to a loss of native varieties that contain important genetic diversity needed for future traits. These traits are bred into crop varieties through traditional breeding techniques that genetic engineering has failed to match.

GM crops themselves must rely on nature’s genetic diversity to supply what is required in traits of parental lines to meet new problems and diseases. India holds a rich store house of genetically diverse germ plasm and plant traits that is vital for future food security and well-being.

The case of Bt brinjal is referred to. India has the world’s greatest brinjal diversity of 2,500 varieties and this is in large part why the indefinite moratorium was imposed in 2010. An assessment by several leading international scientists revealed the great malaise of Indian GMO regulation at the time and exposed the rot. Rodrigues argues that the regulatory oversight of HT mustard DMH 11 overtakes the regulatory shambles connected with Bt brinjal.

Bogus claims and a “monumental bluff”

Various arguments are then put forward to discount many of the other claims made by the government, and Rodrigues takes issue with the fact that HT Mustard DMH 11 remains unproven on scientific grounds as a superior hybrid-making technology. She makes the case that GM mustard is a monumental and dangerous bluff and the nation has been fooled into believing that HT DMH 11 will reduce imports of oilseeds because it will provide high-yielding hybrids.

However, as described here, the government’s own admission s that GM traits in mustard would not be responsible for increased yields. Moreover, the issue of oilseeds imports has nothing to do with the supposed low productivity of Indian oilseed agriculture and everything to do with trade policies which has seen India become a dumping ground for subsidised imports.

Supporters of GM have cynically twisted this situation to call for the introduction of GM mustard to increase productivity. But if HT Mustard DMH 11 will not enhance yields and if the real cause of rising edible oils imports is not the result of poor productivity within India, what is the point of this GM mustard? We need look no further than the geopolitics of food and energy that derive from certain corporate-written trade deals.

Rodrigues also questions the efficacy (and, by implication, the politics) of hybrid seeds, especially as farmers must purchase them every year to obtain the properties of the hybrid. Becoming dependent on the seed industry (which is becoming increasingly consolidated in the hands of a few major transnational corporations) can again lead to loss of native varieties that contain important genetic diversity needed for future yield gains, pest resistance and responses to climate change and could increase farmer costs (Bt cotton is a case in point).

The evidence is far from conclusive with regard to the superiority of hybrids, and Rodrigues cite examples of non-GM mustard hybrids currently on the Indian market. When there are also so many conventional mustard hybrids available, the case for GM mustard looks even more shaky to say the least.

What Rodrigues has set out to show is a lack of logic and hard science in the Reply Affidavit by the government. In fact, she calls out the government for relying on statements based on “pure spin” and concludes that the case in favour of GM mustard in India relies on “unremitting regulatory fraud,” is “ethically deviant” and defies “democratic processes.”

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The case of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India has reached the Supreme Court. The government has said it will bow to the court’s eventual ruling. That ruling could green-light GM mustard as first commercial GM food crop. If this goes ahead, there will be wide-ranging implications for Indian food and agriculture.

Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues has petitioned India’s Supreme Court, seeking a moratorium on the release of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment pending a comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocol in the public domain conducted by agencies of independent expert bodies, the results of which are made public.

As the lead petitioner, Rodrigues’ case is that, to date, serious conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, regulatory delinquency, cover-ups, lies and scientific fraud has tainted the entire appraisal process concerning GM mustard. Moreover, the case is made that there is a general lack of rigour and expertise and overall incompetency where India’s assessment and regulation of GMOs is concerned.

In a response to the petition, the government (Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change) has issued a Reply Affidavit, which Rodrigues now says (in a rejoinder affidavit) is an astonishing filibustering, copious response that clearly reflects a high degree of scientific and technical incompetence in the regulatory oversight of HT Mustard DMH 11 (GM mustard). She says that the ‘Reply’ is brazen, misleading and weak in its interpretation of available data and facts.

In a 7,000-plus word response (read the Rejoinder Affidavit here: rejoinder-affidavit-mustard-final-dmh-8th-nov-2016ia) response to the government’s Reply Affidavit, Rodrigues goes into a fair amount of technical detail. She argues that that HT Mustard DMH 11 and its two HT parental lines that are before the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial approval are funded by the regulators, promoted by them and regulated by them. This is, she argues, simply unacceptable: the evidence shows the outcome of such hand-in-glove, subterranean regulation that seeks to hide the data from scientific and public scrutiny and release HT mustard to the detriment of India.

She states that the regulators acquiescent role in the fudging of field trail data invites “a charge of criminal conduct and intent to deceive, with inestimable ramifications of harm to our nation. A criminal investigation is required into these processes.”

The Rejoinder Affidavit argues that, counter to the arguments set out in the 72-page Reply Affidavit by the government, the following is the actual reality underpinning GM mustard in India.

1)      Field trial data was fudged.

2)      HT DMH 11 and its two parental line GMOs are scientifically and unambiguously herbicide tolerant (HT) crops.

3)      India is indeed a centre of diversity/domestication of mustard with a rich germplasm. Contamination from commercialised HT DHM11 of India’s mustard germplasm is a certainty.

4)      Field trails of the GM mustard discarded scientific norms wholesale and are invalid.

5)      HT Mustard DMH 11 remains unproven on scientific grounds as a superior hybrid-making technology.

6)      The cumulative evidence is that HT DMH11 (and its GMO parental lines) are a monumental and dangerous bluff and the nation has been fooled into believing that it will reduce imports of oilseeds because it will provide high-yielding hybrids.

Fudged data and invalid field tests

Rodrigues presents various field trial data and goes into much technical detail to make the case for how data was fudged to present GM mustard in a favourable light. Readers are urged to consult the Rejoinder Affidavit for the details.

Made for Bayer?

While there appears to be an attempt to confuse the issue in the government’s Reply Affidavit, Rodrigues argues that the gene for glufosinate herbicide resistance will be present in GM mustard hybrids, making the crop resistant to (Bayer’s) herbicide. And while the government argues “there is no proposal to use this herbicide in the farmers’ field,” such arguments, according to Rodrigues “smack of ignorance and carelessness of how a HT GM crop can be possibly used and more dangerously, approved for commercialisation by the GEAC.”

In other words, the government’s argument in the matter of DMH 11 is “a blatant misrepresentation of facts, expedient policy and scientifically untenable.”

Contamination and the crucial importance of centres of genetic/biological diversity

Rodrigues cites examples to highlight that a 20-year history of GMOs in various countries shows that GMO Contamination of non-GMO crops is a biological certainty and is irreversible. Such contamination leads to a loss of native varieties that contain important genetic diversity needed for future traits. These traits are bred into crop varieties through traditional breeding techniques that genetic engineering has failed to match.

GM crops themselves must rely on nature’s genetic diversity to supply what is required in traits of parental lines to meet new problems and diseases. India holds a rich store house of genetically diverse germ plasm and plant traits that is vital for future food security and well-being.

The case of Bt brinjal is referred to. India has the world’s greatest brinjal diversity of 2,500 varieties and this is in large part why the indefinite moratorium was imposed in 2010. An assessment by several leading international scientists revealed the great malaise of Indian GMO regulation at the time and exposed the rot. Rodrigues argues that the regulatory oversight of HT mustard DMH 11 overtakes the regulatory shambles connected with Bt brinjal.

Bogus claims and a “monumental bluff”

Various arguments are then put forward to discount many of the other claims made by the government, and Rodrigues takes issue with the fact that HT Mustard DMH 11 remains unproven on scientific grounds as a superior hybrid-making technology. She makes the case that GM mustard is a monumental and dangerous bluff and the nation has been fooled into believing that HT DMH 11 will reduce imports of oilseeds because it will provide high-yielding hybrids.

However, as described here, the government’s own admission s that GM traits in mustard would not be responsible for increased yields. Moreover, the issue of oilseeds imports has nothing to do with the supposed low productivity of Indian oilseed agriculture and everything to do with trade policies which has seen India become a dumping ground for subsidised imports.

Supporters of GM have cynically twisted this situation to call for the introduction of GM mustard to increase productivity. But if HT Mustard DMH 11 will not enhance yields and if the real cause of rising edible oils imports is not the result of poor productivity within India, what is the point of this GM mustard? We need look no further than the geopolitics of food and energy that derive from certain corporate-written trade deals.

Rodrigues also questions the efficacy (and, by implication, the politics) of hybrid seeds, especially as farmers must purchase them every year to obtain the properties of the hybrid. Becoming dependent on the seed industry (which is becoming increasingly consolidated in the hands of a few major transnational corporations) can again lead to loss of native varieties that contain important genetic diversity needed for future yield gains, pest resistance and responses to climate change and could increase farmer costs (Bt cotton is a case in point).

The evidence is far from conclusive with regard to the superiority of hybrids, and Rodrigues cite examples of non-GM mustard hybrids currently on the Indian market. When there are also so many conventional mustard hybrids available, the case for GM mustard looks even more shaky to say the least.

What Rodrigues has set out to show is a lack of logic and hard science in the Reply Affidavit by the government. In fact, she calls out the government for relying on statements based on “pure spin” and concludes that the case in favour of GM mustard in India relies on “unremitting regulatory fraud,” is “ethically deviant” and defies “democratic processes.”

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The Schiller Institute has received an e-mail from Kiev, reporting on the seizure and occupation, by government security forces, of the offices of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU). The raid occurred on Friday, October 28. The statement below was issued by the PSPU Press Service today.

« Azov » refers to the Azov Battalion (image right), an armed formation rooted in the fascist Right Sector movement, which was instrumental in the violent coup of February 2014, in which Ukraine’s elected President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown. This year, Azov registered itself as a political party, called the National Corps.

Dr. Natalia Vitrenko, the economist who leads the PSPU, has warned since the early 1990s that the brutal economic policies demanded by the International Monetary Fund would set the stage for political chaos and a fascist movement in Ukraine. She was a Presidential candidate in 1999, running at over 30 percent in public opinion polls before her campaign was thrown into disarray by an assassination attempt. Her party this year has been physically attacked by Right Sector toughs and is facing government attempts to deregister it.

Background information and Dr. Vitrenko’s speeches in English are available via the links shown at the end of this release.

PSPU Press Department Statement

The Ukrainian government’s political terror machine is moving to crush any free thinking, any small shoots of independent opinion, and any evaluations of current events, made on their own by political parties, public organizations, journalists or writers.

Hiding behind the cover of slogans about European values, democracy and the rule of law, in reality the institutions of state power in Ukraine are acting through law enforcement agencies and neo-Nazi battalions, to carry out a systematic mop-up of any dissidence.

The struggle of the Euromaidan government against the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) and its leader, Natalia Vitrenko, is a challenge to the world community.

On 28 October 2016 a group of individuals, including fighters from Azov, broke down the entrance door and seized the premises of Siver Ukraina LLC. Since 2005 among the tenants of this building has been the PSPU, as well as the editorial offices of the PSPU newspaper Dosvitni ogni (Light before Dawn), and later the public organizations Dar zhizni (Gift of Life), the Eurasian People’s Union, and the Assembly of Orthodox Women of Ukraine.

Siver Ukraina LLC obtained ownership of these premises in 2003 and has not been legally deprived of these rights in the intervening years. Neither has any party contested or dissolved the leases contracted with the aforementioned tenants.

Nonetheless, carrying out a political order to act against the PSPU, which has a unique status as a party in opposition to current domestic and foreign policy, and against its leader, Natalia Vitrenko, the police essentially allowed these premises to be seized and handed over to the SBU for an illegal search. This marks the beginning of a new phase of political terror against the PSPU.

Background information

« Ukrainian economist Natalia Vitrenko: Finding a noble path out of the crisis », 6 November 2009

« Ukrainian patriots expose EU support for neo-Nazi coup », 7 March 2014

« Let us end this nightmare, and turn to building things », speech by Natalia Vitrenko to Citizens Electoral Council of Australia International Conference, March 2015

« Facing terror under a Kiev regime », 24 April 2015

« A report on the state of Ukraine », 24 February 2016

« Neo-Nazi thugs attack Vitrenko’s Kiev demonstration », 23 March 2016

« Vitrenko’s Progressive Socialists dramatize economic hardships, rights violations in Ukraine », 28 September 2016

Dr. Natalia Vitrenko, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, in a screen grab from her video interview, posted 1 November 2016. It was filmed outside her office, now occupied by security forces. The interview can be watched in Russian at https://youtu.be/luE8frGHjgY.

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Meet Trump’s Cabinet-In-Waiting

novembre 11th, 2016 by Nancy Cook

The original source of this article is Politico. Below are selected excerpts.

President-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the more eclectic and controversial presidential Cabinets in modern history.

Trumpworld has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector whenever possible. ….

He’s also expected to reward the band of surrogates who stood by him during the bruising presidential campaign, including Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, all of whom are being considered for top posts. A handful of Republican politicians may also make the cut, including Sen. Bob Corker for secretary of state or Sen. Jeff Sessions for secretary of defense. …

….

Secretary of state

Former House Speaker Gingrich, a leading Trump supporter, is a candidate for the job, as is Corker, current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Tennessee senator has said he’d “strongly consider” serving as secretary of state.

Trump is also eyeing former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

Treasury secretary

Trump himself has indicated that he wants to give the Treasury secretary job to his finance chairman, Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs who now works as the chairman and chief executive of the private investment firm Dune Capital Management. Mnuchin has also worked for OneWest Bank, which was later sold to CIT Group in 2015.

Secretary of defense

Among the Republican defense officials who could join the Trump administration: Sessions (R-Ala.), a close adviser, has been discussed as a potential defense secretary. Former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

Top Trump confidant retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would need a waiver from Congress to become defense secretary, as the law requires retired military officers to wait seven years before becoming the civilian leader of the Pentagon. But Trump’s chief military adviser is likely to wind up in some senior administration post, potentially national security adviser. And other early endorsers, like Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), could be in line for top posts as well.

Attorney general

People close to Trump say former New York City Mayor Giuliani, one of Trump’s leading public defenders, is the leading candidate for attorney general. New Jersey Gov. Christie, another vocal Trump supporter and the head of the president-elect’s transition team, is also a contender for the job — though any role in the cabinet for Christie could be threatened by the Bridgegate scandal.

Another possibility: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, though the controversy over Trump’s donation to Bondi could undercut her nomination.

TO READ COMPLETE ARTICLE ON POLITICO, CLICK HERE

Bryan Bender, Jeremy Herb, Connor O’Brien, Joanne Kenen, Marianne Levine, Michael Crowley, Doug Palmer, Nahal Toosi, Helena Bottemiller Evich, Zachary Warmbrodt, Ian Kullgren and Benjamin Wermund contributed to this report.

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Τhe Battle Over the CETA Trade Deal is Far From Over

novembre 11th, 2016 by François Leclerc

No more than two days were needed for the CETA text, only just signed in front of the cameras, to be rejected again.  The German Greens announced their intention of blocking its ratification, in its present form, in the Bundesrat, something that is within their capacities given the way that its system functions. Is the participation of the Bundesrat indispensable for ratification of the treaty? German jurists are working on this question, and it is thorny.

The Greens have lined up with the Walloons and demand that there should be provisions, in the event of disagreement between the investors, for an appeal to the established juridical system and to intervention by professional judges applying existing laws.  This question will certainly provide a focus for the ratification of the Treaty at the heart of the European Union, something requiring years, during which the arrangements initially intended in this connection will not be able to be implemented. The issue is not under the jurisdiction of the Commission, which conducted negotiations on the basis of a confidential and inaccessible mandate. Along with the brilliant idea of confronting parliaments with the choice of all or nothing at the moment of ratification. They succeeded in this.

In the meantime voices have been heard regretting that provision was made for such a formality and suggesting that it should be abolished. But what government could now take such a proposal on board ? In its present form the CETA treaty with Canada has no future, and TTIP with the United States even less. It is a blessed first blow against the liberal contract.  Not everything is permitted after all.

This being so, in quite another area – that of the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine – the Netherlands are similarly erecting obstacles to its final ratification, following the victory of NO at the referendum that now necessitates parliamentary confirmation. The government is chasing after an impossible majority in the two houses of parliament. A formula similar to the one that has prevailed in Belgium could be employed in the form of declaration by the Council of Europe – to be adopted during the coming December summit – which could be attached to the accord proper and would give assurances permitting its ratification.  It would not be a prelude to Ukraine joining the European Union, would not imply military or financial aid and would not involve permission for Ukrainians to work in the EU.

Many of the essential decisions have been delegated to the European Central Bank and the Commission, who have it in common that they are not elected. Will this stratagem have continuity and be amplified or will parliaments again be given a voice. In these times of political crisis, a time when the requisite majorities are impossible to find, the question is important. To brush aside the last democratic rules necessitating the attainment of parliamentary majorities, all so as give carte blanche to liberal policies… is undeniably tempting. All that remains is to find the mechanisms for imposing it. The campaign against the judicial system did not go well.

Translated from French by Wayne Hall

http://www.pauljorion.com/blog/2016/11/01/la-page-du-ceta-nest-pas-pres-detre-tournee-par-francois-leclerc/

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Newsweek’s licensee Topix Media printed and shipped out 125,000 copies with a Hillary Clinton cover to shops and newsstands across the nation, and is now rushing to print a Donald Trump issue that will go to press on Thursday.

It is expected to hit stores next week.

“Like everybody else, we got it wrong,” Tony Romando, CEO of Topix Media, the Newsweek partner which produces special issues, told the New York Post.

Romando claims that they had “worked up a President Trump issue,” in case Trump won, but rushed to print the Clinton issue as they believed she would win.

A Barnes and Noble in Union Square in New York began selling the issue on Tuesday, and none were left on the shelves by Wednesday. A clerk told the Post that they were unsure if the issues had been pulled off or if they had simply sold out.

“All wholesalers and retailers have been asked to return any issues they have as we need to clear room for [150,000 copies of] the President Trump issue,” Romando said. “We expect it to sell very well as there is obviously a great demand.”

Newsweek, like other major news media outlets in the United States, lobbied hard for Clinton throughout the election season, even printing bizarre conspiracy theories, including one about Sputnik News being tied to the Republican candidate, a notion dreamed up by the magazine’s senior writer Kurt Eichenwald.

Despite being called out on their tenuous claims and debunked by multiple publications — including the Washington Post and the Intercept — Newsweek continuously doubled down by using false information in what appeared to be an effort to boost their chosen candidate.

Newsweek was so sure their efforts would pay off, they seem to have forgotten that it is the people who choose the president.

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Both men clearly dislike each other. Their meeting was strained. During months of campaigning, they attacked each other with insulting rhetoric.

Obama called Trump “unfit to serve as president.” He’s “the classic reality TV character…a great publicity-seeker…He has a long record that needs to be examined.”

“What I think is scary is a president who doesn’t know their stuff and doesn’t seem to have an interest in learning what they don’t know.”

“He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear…I would feel deeply frustrated (about welcoming Trump to the White House) not because of anything he’s said about me, but because I would fear for the future of our country.”

Fact: On November 10, Obama “welcom(ed) Trump” to the oval office for a 90-minute discussion, a photo-op showing both men shaking hands. More on this below.

Earlier, Trump called Obama

“the worst president maybe in the history of our country. I think he has been a disaster. He has been weak. He has been ineffective. You look at this so-called recovery. It’s setting record lows.”

Both men meeting in the oval office on Thursday was surreal, polite remarks substituting for campaign vitriol.

Obama:

“…I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with president-elect Trump…(M)y number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful.”

“Most of all, I want to emphasize to you, Mr. president-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed – because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”

Trump: “…(T)hank you very much, President Obama…We had never met each other. I have great respect…I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.”

“So, Mr. president, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future.”

On Thursday, I gagged listening to their comments – near mortal enemies during months of campaigning now buddies?

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called their meeting “less awkward than some might have expected.”

As president-elect, Trump now gets the same daily briefing as Obama, including classified intelligence information.

Trump campaign rhetoric stressed “crooked Hillary,” “trigger-happy Hillary,” adding she’s “reckless (and) unstable…”

“Sometimes it seemed there wasn’t a country in the Middle East that (she) didn’t want to invade, intervene in, or topple…This is (her) legacy, failure and death.”

“(T)he price of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (alone cost) approximately $6 trillion. We could have rebuilt our country over and over again.”

“Yet after all this money was spent and lives lost, Clinton’s policies as secretary of state have left the Middle East in more disarray than ever before. Not even close.”

“Unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction.”

Addressing supporters after becoming president-elect, he deplorably about-faced, “congratulat(ing) (a war criminal, racketeer, perjurer) and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”

“…(W)e owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”

For the moment at least, likely continuing once inaugurated, based on his above remarks, forgotten are her high crimes enough to land ordinary people in prison longterm.

An FBI investigation into Clinton Foundation racketeering remains ongoing. Will Trump order it stopped – letting Hillary get away with RICO crimes, besides her war crimes and lying to Congress and the FBI?

Will absolution replace long overdue justice? After taking office in January 2009, Obama refused to hold CIA torturers accountable for their high crimes.

Is Trump following the same pattern for “crooked Hillary” and others complicit with her RICO crimes alone?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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HILLARY CLINTON S’EST CONSUMÉE SUR LE BÛCHER DE SES VANITÉS.

Par sa cupidité, son avidité et son ambition démesurée, celle qui se rêvait la «Première Dame» élue à la magistrature suprême américaine, aura été, paradoxalement, la plus haïe des aspirants démocrates à la Maison Blanche, infligeant à son parti le plus retentissant camouflet de l’histoire électorale américaine, le sinistrant en même temps qu’elle défigurait l’image de l’Amérique.

I – L’asservissement du parti démocrate

En tandem avec son époux Bill Clinton, opérant méthodiquement depuis la mandature de l’époux dans la décennie (1980-1990), le tandem BILLARY (Bill et Hillary) a asservi, subverti et instrumentalisé le Parti Démocrate en vue de la mise sur orbite de l’épouse et d’écarter le moment venu quiconque se dresserait sur le chemin des ambitions. En fera les frais, un rival hautement respectable -Bernie Sanders- infiniment plus crédible, infiniment plus représentatif des valeurs américaines.

Sa connivence élitiste avec la presse américaine qui l’avait aidée à anticiper le questions des auditeurs lors des débats de la primaire démocrate, de même que son usage inconsidéré de sa messagerie privée à son passage au Département d’Etat, ont accentué la défiance à son égard.

II- «The Spirit of America» dénaturé par Hillary Clinton

A son corps défendant, la chouchou de Wall Street et des conférences tarifées a dû se résoudre à injecter, à dose infinitésimale il est vrai, une touche sociale à son programme pour tenter de réduire quelque peu l’immense antipathie qu’elle suscitait et atténuer la rigueur d’une profession de foi particulièrement imprégnée du néo conservatisme politique et de l’ultralibéralisme, dans la pure tradition du capitalisme sauvage.

Le vote sanction de tous les laissés pour compte de la société d’abondance, les exclus de la société consumériste, les habitants de Flint (Michigan) et d’ailleurs, popularisés par le cinéaste critique Michael Moore, sont venus lui rappeler la dure réalité de leur quotidien et la triste image qu’elle renvoie désormais de l’Amérique par sa morgue, sa suffisance et son arrogance.

Un tandem constitué de Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren, sénatrice démocrate du Massachusetts et figure montante de la gauche américaine, plus conforme à l’Esprit de l’Amérique (The Spirit of America), aurait eu raison sans la moindre contestation possible de l’hydre Donald Trump.

III – Le Monde arabe et la défaite de Hillary Clinton

Que son directeur de campagne, John Podesta, soit en même temps un conseiller en communication de l’Arabie saoudite, qu’elle ait mis à profit ses responsabilités à la tête du département d’état pour ponctionner au profit de la Fondation Clinton les bienfaiteurs de sa future campagne, à l’instar du Maroc, ou du Qatar donne la mesure de la confusion d’intérêts qui s’est établie dans l’exercice de ses fonctions, en même temps que son sentiment d’impunité.

«We came, We saw, She died».

Hormis l’Arabie saoudite, qui avait tout misé sur Billary pour se sortir du guêpier dans laquelle elle s’est placée, et du Maroc, dont il espérait de ses contributions un infléchissement de la position des États Unis en sa faveur sur la question du Sahara occidental, le Monde arabe ne regretta pas la défaite de Hillary Clinton, elle, l’alliée souterraine de la Confrérie des Frères Musulmans dans la séquence dite du «printemps arabe» de Tawakol Karman (Yémen-Prix Nobel de la Paix 2011), à Huma Abeden, sa conseillère occulte, elle, qui a outrepassé le mandat des Nations-unies sur la Libye, en tandem les philo sionistes Nicolas Sarkozy et Bernard Henry Lévy, elle, qui a puissamment œuvré au lancement de l’opposition mercenaire off shore syrienne, pour la satisfaction d’objectifs stratégiques d’Israël et non la promotion de la démocratie à travers le Monde.

Pour aller plus loin sur le duo Nicolas Sarkozy BHL sur la Libye
http://www.renenaba.com/bhl-l-homme-des-ides-de-mars/

Les démocrates arabes ne pleureront pas la déroute de l’ex First Lady et de son virtuel First Gentleman. Ils ne se réjouissent pas non plus de l’élection d’un xénophobe mysogine populiste à la tête des Etats-Unis.

En pleine campagne de Libye, débarquant à l’improviste à Tripoli pour y sonner l’Hallali en vue de la mise à mort du Colonel Mouammar Al Kadhafi, sans égard pour les destructions qu’elle vient d’imposer à la Libye, elle aura ce terme d’une indécence méprisant à l’égard de sa future victime: «We came, we saw, He died».

Six ans après, la malédiction de Kadhafi a frappé Hillary, qui lui renvoie d’outre tombe, tel un effet boomerang, sa sentence morbide. «We came, We saw, She died».

Triste fin pour Hillary Clinton, en retraite forcée anticipée aux cachetons de ménagère dévalués.

IV- Une prestation de serment désormais caduque

En campagne présidentielle Hillary Clinton, anticipant sa victoire, avait donné des gages au lobby juif américain avec cette ahurissante profession de foi pro-israélienne: «J’inviterai le premier ministre israélien à la Maison Blanche dès le premier mois de mon mandat».

Durant sa campagne, Hillary Clinton avait en effet promis d’adopter un agenda extrême en faveur d’Israël, parallèlement aux démarches de son époux l’ancien président américain Bill Clinton auprès d’une centaine de dirigeants de la communauté juive de la Floride du Sud, pour une collecte de fonds, les assurant que si son épouse était élue, elle se fixerait comme «objectif prioritaire le rapprochement avec Israël», mettant l’accent sur «les liens étroits que sa femme et lui même entretiennent avec Israël», rapporte le journal «Times Of Israel».

La défaite d’Hillary Clinton la dispense désormais de cette promesse, caduque d’ailleurs du fait d’une allégeance préalable.
Hillary Clinton s’est consumée sur le bûcher de ses vanités. Mais sous les cendres mal éteints, les braises, en une combustion lente, vont continuer à calciné sa carrière en même temps que la superstruture sur laquelle s’est édifiée sa mystification.

René Naba

Clinton et le Lobby Juif américain

Pour un panorama complet du financement de Billary (Bill and Hillary), le financement arabe et musulman

  • http://www.europe-israel.org/2016/03/lun-des-plus-gros-donateurs-dhillary-
    clinton-est-un-musulman-fiche-par-moscou-pour-financer-le-terrorisme/
  • http://www.les-crises.fr/premier-coup-doeil-au-documentaire-explosif-sur-largent-des-clinton/
ILLUSTRATION
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In the last week of October, civil society came another step closer to achieving a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. Delegates from many large social movements and networks met alongside state representatives at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, to further proceedings for an open-ended intergovernmental working group set up two years ago. Despite considerable opposition from Western powers to a binding treaty in any form (particularly the United States, United Kingdom and other countries of the European Union), activist groups are now ramping up the struggle as part of a Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples’ Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity.

The fact that this process is now an official part of the UN agenda is itself remarkable. Since the 1970s, there have been a long series of failed attempts to develop binding international systems to regulate corporations for their human rights violations. The abortive efforts to create a code of conduct for TNCs through the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) were completely thwarted by the early 1990s, until fresh proceedings were launched in 1998 under a subordinate body of the then-Human Rights Commission. In 2003, the Sub-Commission approved a ‘non-voluntary’ set of norms that could hold TNCs accountable, although these were rigidly opposed by the business sector, and ultimately declared to have ‘no legal standing’ by the Human Rights Commission.

As an alternative, the (former) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had appointed a Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, who became renowned for pursuing a less ambitious or ‘partnership’ approach to corporate regulation. His UN Guiding Principles, when eventually released in 2011, were accepted by all governments but remain voluntary and non-binding, only calling on corporations to act with due diligence. Civil society organisations wholly decried the inadequacy of the proposed follow-up mechanisms, which they stated even risked undermining efforts to strengthen corporate responsibility and accountability for human rights.

Against this background, it was therefore a huge step forward in 2013 when a grouping of countries, predominantly from the Global South, called for a renewal of efforts towards a legally binding framework to regulate the activities of TNCs and to provide appropriate protection, justice and remedy to the victims of human rights abuses. An historic resolution was adopted by a majority of States (again mostly from the Global South, including Russia and China) at the Human Rights Council in June 2014, establishing an intergovernmental working group with the mandate of drafting a legally binding instrument. It is the first time in almost 25 years that a UN intergovernmental body is dedicating itself to the regulation of corporations, which is set to be an intensive process with considerable hurdles if a genuine legal regime for TNCs is to be eventually agreed and implemented.

‘Damage to life’

The case for holding TNCs to account for their activities could not be tighter, considering the gap that exists in the international legal architecture which means they cannot be prosecuted directly for human rights abuses. Yet the harm that TNCs are wreaking is well-documented, referred to by the Global Campaign as ‘damage to life’; for example, through repressing social struggles and resistance, causing pollution in the extractivist industries, displacing indigenous peoples from their land, exploiting workers through poor labour conditions, and so on. Over several years, a Permanent People’s Tribunal has given representatives from affected communities the opportunity to testify on the socio-environmental impacts of harmful corporate activities, and to highlight the numerable cases that demonstrate how TNCs are able to act with effective impunity. Indeed it is the consistent work of many human rights defenders that has brought the issue of corporate impunity to the agenda of the Human Rights Council, leading to demands for the rights of affected persons to be central to a binding treaty, both in terms of regulation and remedy.

Campaigners talk of an entire ‘architecture of impunity’ that has protected the operations of TNCs for decades, and placed the rights of corporations above the rights of people through the privatisation of legal norms and institutions. Some of the largest TNCs have greater economic power than many nation states, while their tremendous political power is reinforced and protected on a legal level by a multitude of norms, treaties and agreements.

Often described as a new global corporate law, or the lex mercatoria, it is made up of mechanisms such as the Investor to State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions and arbitration tribunals that are enshrined in bilateral trade agreements; or the International Monetary Fund’s imposed structural adjustment programs (now replicated in Europe under the so-called Competitiveness Pact policies); or the World Trade Organisation’s dispute-settlement system. While the rights of TNCs are shielded by this complex global legal framework based on trade and investment rules, there are no adequate counterweights or enforceable mechanisms to control the social, cultural, environmental or labour impacts of their operations. The result is a normative asymmetry between the binding norms that protect investor interests, and the soft law that reduces TNCs obligation to respect human rights to mere voluntary measures.

A binding treaty to regulate the activities of TNCs could therefore provide a vital counterpoint to the controversial free trade and investment agreements that are being continually negotiated in secret, without any democratic legitimacy. As the UN’s Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, has forcefully argued, these ongoing agreements – such as the TTIP, TPP, CETA and TISA – are all prepared without the inclusion of key stakeholders or parliaments, and are thus in direct violation of international human rights law. They also enable international investors to override the national sovereignty of democratic States, and seek to impose their own system of ‘arbitration’ that isn’t required to adhere to any nation’s law and constitution. Inequality and asymmetry are built into the legal foundations of the current trade and investment regime, which is solely intended to serve the immediate profits of investors, speculators and transnational enterprises, at the wider expense of social and economic progress.

Inverting the normative pyramid

In this context, the implications of mainstreaming human rights into trade agreements and WTO practice through a legally binding instrument are potentially radical and transformative. The basic intent of civil society proposals is to invert the international normative pyramid to place the rights of social majorities at the top, hence the repeated calls for a final treaty to obligate States to introduce a binding human rights supremacy clause into all trade and investment agreements they sign, in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The repeated calls for States to comply with their extraterritorial obligations in the area of economic, social and cultural rights – as set down in the Maastrict Principles – is also central for ensuring that human rights can assume their rightful role as the legal basis for regulating global trade and finance.

As a result of invoking the pre-eminence of these hierarchically superior norms, it could require renegotiating all existing trade and investment agreements, and could certainly overturn the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime, as well as the secretive corporate arbitration system in its entirety. Indeed if States and TNCs were truly compelled to respect and comply with the conventions, recommendations and declarations that are the established basis of international human rights law, then it could lead to an exhaustive list of necessary reforms to the global economic system: strict regulations on financial transactions and speculation, the closure of tax havens, the cancellation of illegitimate public and sovereign debt, the reversal of privatisations on public goods and services to ensure the right to food and health, and so much more.

This greater vision is upheld by a joint civil society proposal to elaborate an International People’s Treaty, which aims to go much further than articulating the need for control mechanisms to halt human rights violations committed by TNCs. The growing demand for access to justice is also linked to the ideal of creating international law “from below”, and establishing “peoples’ sovereignty over the commons” by opposing the expansion of TNCs into sectors that should be controlled by communities and citizens. As part of a work-in-progress, the current base document for global consultation has a lengthy section on alternatives to the dominant socioeconomic paradigm, emerging from the experiences and proposals of the many social movements, scholars, activists and affected communities who are resisting the growing power of TNCs in their diverse spheres.

A radical alternative proposal

At the centre of these proposals is the need to promote effective mechanisms for the realisation of fundamental human rights as governments formulate a new international political, economic and legal order, based upon an equitable distribution of wealth and respect for nature. The principle of sharing is therefore recognised as the basis of all transitional measures that promote cooperation and solidarity, as emphasised in the section of the People’s Treaty on envisioning new economies:

“To address the basic needs of more than half of the world’s population and end the disruption of the vital cycles of the Earth system, global and national economies have to redistribute wealth to reduce asymmetries under the limits of nature. Some sectors and countries still need to improve their wellbeing while others need to reduce their overconsumption and waste. Well-being for all will only be sustainable when we share what is possible and available. The real challenge is not only to eliminate poverty but, more importantly, to eliminate the concentration of wealth and power and achieve economic and social justice based on rights.”

No doubt many will dismiss this broader vision of global equity and justice as politically unrealistic, in light of the growing number of corporate abuse scandals across the world, and the continuing disregard for basic labour and human rights standards in many developing countries. Campaigning groups are still trying to resist corporate capture of the process for a binding treaty through the Human Rights Council, and are calling on all States to at least participate in good faith, considering the overt antagonism of the European Union during the first session held in 2015. The prospect of achieving a concrete draft proposal next year in line with progressive civil society demands is currently less than optimistic, even with the staunch support of countries like Ecuador, Cuba and Bolivia. Without massive, continual and unending support from ordinary citizens for securing the basic socioeconomic rights of all – as envisioned in STWR’s flagship publicationHeralding Article 25 – the balance of power will remain firmly in the hands of transnational capital and its servile political representatives.

Nevertheless, the treaty process remains an important opportunity for interlinking popular resistance struggles, building counterpower, and slowly cracking the immense wall of corporate impunity. It is a process that should concern not only human rights activists, but everyone who campaigns for a more democratic, sustainable and egalitarian world that places people and nature ahead of transnational corporate interests.

Further resources:

The Treaty Alliance: www.treatymovement.com

The Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power: www.stopcorporateimpunity.org

Storify on the Second Session of the Open Ended Inter-Governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) at the Human Rights Council: #StopCorporateAbuse with a #BindingTreaty

Transnational Institute: Building a UN treaty on Human Rights and TNCs – A way forward to stop corporate impunity

Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz: The struggle for a UN Treaty: Towards Global Regulation on Human Rights and Business, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

UN Human Rights Council: Draft report of the second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

Adam Parsons is the editor at Share The World’s Resources

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Selected Articles: Does Donald Trump Have a Strategy?

novembre 10th, 2016 by Global Research News

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_3_(cropped)

President Trump: Big Liar Going to Washington or Tribune of the People?

By Prof. John McMurtry, November 10 2016

On the face of it, Trump is an ideal leader for US empire. He is like Ronald Reagan on steroids. His long practiced camera image, his nativist  US supremacism, his down-home talk, and  his reality-show confidence all go one better. He is America come to meet itself decades down the road as its pride slips away in third-world conditions. But unlike Reagan and Bush who spoke to the rich becoming richer, Trump speaks to the losing white working class and those who have come to hate the money-corrupted Washington forging the policies of dispossession Reagan started.

election-2016-US

The Trump Presidency and U.S. Foreign Policy, Financial Markets, Trading Blocks and Military Alliances

By Abayomi Azikiwe, November 10 2016

A Trump presidency in order to maintain any semblance of what is perceived as economic stability and growth must continue the same capitalist relations of productions and international relations. The failure of this phase of imperialist domination could provide renewed opportunities for world solidarity of the working class and oppressed.

Trump_president

Does President-Elect Donald Trump Have a Strategy?

By Prof. Tim Anderson, November 10 2016

The populism which pervades US politics makes predictions difficult; including those for President Trump. This nation of ‘freedom’, founded on mass slavery, was always hard to take at face value. As Hillary Clinton said, US politicians need both ‘a public and a private position’. Further, Trump will face great pressures to ‘normalise’ with the military-financial elite, once in office.

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Thankfully, It’s Not Madam President… Hold the Cheers for Donald Trump…

By Stephen Lendman, November 09 2016

Thankfully humanity is freed from the scourge of a third Hillary and Bill Clinton crime family co-presidency – she in the lead role with her finger on the nuclear trigger as US military commander-in-chief, perhaps eager to squeeze it.

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Why Trump Won; Why Clinton Lost

By Robert Parry, November 10 2016

In the end, Hillary Clinton became the face of a corrupt, arrogant and out-of-touch Establishment, while Donald Trump emerged as an almost perfectly imperfect vessel for a populist fury that had bubbled beneath the surface of America.

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The Working Class Won the Election? What Kind of Trump Administration?

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, November 10 2016

The US presidential election is historic, because the American people were able to defeat the oligarchs.  Hillary Clinton, an agent for the Oligarchy, was defeated despite the vicious media campaign against Donald Trump.  This shows that the media and the political establishments of the political parties no longer have credibility with the American people.

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What Does Trump Victory Mean for Asia? An “Isolationist America” or More “Soft Power”?

By The New Atlas, November 10 2016

With the victory of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections, many commentators, analysts and academics have “predicted” a more isolationist America. For Asia specifically, particularly those in need of US intervention to prop up their unpopular, impotent political causes, they fear an ebbing of US support.

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FBI Agents Say James Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation

By Kerry Picket, November 10 2016

FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey deciding not to suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

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Hillary Clinton a-t-elle vraiment dit son dernier mot ?

novembre 10th, 2016 by Oscar Fortin

Comment comprendre qu’après une campagne électorale où les coups bas ont été, de part et d’autre, des plus virulents qu’Hillary Clinton adopte un ton aussi élevé et noble en reconnaissant respectueusement la victoire de Donald Trump tout  en assumant avec dignité sa douloureuse défaite ? Cette affabilité s’est également retrouvée dans les propos de Barack Obama qui a félicité courtoisement Donald Tromp pour sa victoire et qui l’a assuré de la pleine collaboration des services à la Maison-Blanche pour assurer une transition harmonieuse et sans heurt.  C’est comme si c’était trop d’amabilité à l’endroit de celui contre qui tout a été dit pour en faire un être abject.

L’idée du présent article m’est venue de la lecture de cet autre article qui soulève la question que tout n’est peut-être pas fini pour Hillary Clinton. Nous savons que le système électoral  étasunien a ses particularités avec ces grands électeurs dont le pouvoir est d’élire formellement le nouveau président des États-Unis.  Ce n’est donc pas la majorité des votes populaires obtenus qui décident de la victoire de l’un ou l’autre des candidats.

« Conformément à la Constitution américaine, les grands électeurs du collège électoral sont des personnes physiques votant le 19 décembre pour le futur président des États-Unis dans les capitales de leurs États respectifs. »

Bien que Donald Trump dispose déjà de 279 voix sur les 270 nécessaires, certains peuvent décider de s’abstenir, pour des raisons qui leur sont personnelles.  Dans le cas présent,  Il faudrait donc qu’au moins 10 grands électeurs s’abstiennent ou changent leur vote.

D’ici le 19 décembre, il y a cinq semaines où tout peut se produire. Déjà, nous savons qu’Hillary Clinton a reçu la majorité des votes citoyens. Un aspect très démocratique, en cas de crise, qui pourrait être pris en considération par les grands électeurs.

Supposons un seul instant que d’ici le 19 décembre, se produise un incident fatal pour Donald Tromp, le rendant inapte pour assumer la présidence des États-Unis. À ce moment,  les grands électeurs seraient placés devant le choix d’un vice-président, non élu par le vote des citoyens, et Hillary Clinton, la candidate, ayant obtenu le plus de voix lors du scrutin universel. Il suffirait de convaincre par des moyens très gratifiants le nombre d’électeurs nécessaires pour qu’Hillary Clinton reprenne le devant de la scène et soit ovationnée pour son courage et sa persévérance à servir le peuple de ce grand pays.

Il faut se rappeler que dans son intervention devant tous ses partisans  elle a insisté pour dire qu’il ne fallait surtout pas baisser les bras.

Tout serait encore possible si…

Oscar Fortin
Le 10 novembre 2016
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La livre égyptienne a chuté de 50 pour cent à 14 pour un dollar américain suite à l’annonce par la Banque centrale du pays qu’elle allait laisser flotter la monnaie sur les marchés des devises. La livre était arrimée jusque-là au dollar.

Le ministère du pétrole l’a suivi, annonçant une hausse de 50 pour cent du prix de l’essence et une hausse de 30 pour cent du fioul, tous deux subventionnés depuis des décennies. Les prix des denrées alimentaires devraient également monter en flèche. L’Égypte importe plus de la moitié de ses denrées de base et est le premier importateur mondial de blé. Parallèlement à la réduction des subventions et à l’introduction de la TVA (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée), cela augmentera le coût de la vie, suscitant les craintes d’hyperinflation.

L’inflation est déjà de 16,4 pour cent par an, dans des conditions où les salaires n’ont pas suivi l’inflation et 40 pour cent de la population sont officiellement en dessous ou seulement légèrement au-dessus du seuil de pauvreté.

Plus tôt la semaine dernière, le Conseil suprême des investissements de l’Égypte a approuvé une série de mesures favorables aux entreprises dans le but de stimuler les investissements, de prolonger une suspension temporaire de l’impôt sur les plus-values des actions en bourse et d’introduire des exemptions fiscales pour les producteurs dans certains secteurs.

Une autre dévaluation, au lendemain d’une dévaluation de 13 pour cent en mars dernier, était largement attendue dans le cadre des mesures demandées par le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) en août. Les mesures, dont la totalité n’a pas été rendue publique, sont en échange d’un prêt de 12 milliards de dollars, et 9 milliards de dollars supplémentaires à emprunter ailleurs, pour couvrir le déficit budgétaire égyptien de 12 % du PIB en 2015-2016 et une pénurie de devises étrangères. Le mois dernier, le FMI a insisté sur le fait que l’Égypte devait mettre en œuvre des réformes, y compris une monnaie flottante, réduire les subventions et imposer une TVA et privatiser des entreprises publiques et des banques avant d’accéder au prêt qui vaut maintenant beaucoup moins que le montant convenu au départ.

Les réserves monétaires sont tombées de 36 milliards de dollars en 2010 à environ 19,6 milliards de dollars en septembre, malgré des dizaines de milliards de dollars d’aide des alliés de l’Égypte dans les pays du Golfe depuis 2013. Après que les autorités aient mis en place des contrôles au début de 2015 pour freiner la fuite des capitaux, les importateurs se retournèrent vers le marché noir où le taux grimpa à plus du double du taux officiel. En juin, la Banque centrale a relevé le taux d’intérêt à 10 pour cent, un record en 10 ans.

De nombreux petits producteurs se sont plaints d’avoir été contraint à liquider leurs entreprises. Le mois dernier, deux des plus grandes sociétés égyptiennes cotées en bourse ont déclaré qu’elles seraient contraintes d’arrêter la production si les pénuries de dollars continuaient. D’autres se tournent vers la Chine pour se procurer leurs importations, où les prix et la qualité sont plus bas.

Tant le moment choisi de la dévaluation – beaucoup plus tôt que prévu – que l’ampleur ont eu l’effet d’un choc. Ceci reflète l’étendu de la crise économique, sociale et politique à laquelle la dictature brutale du général Abdel Fattah al-Sissi est confrontée.

La hausse des prix et les pénuries périodiques d’aliments subventionnés par l’État ont contraint le gouvernement à augmenter les importations coûteuses. La détérioration des relations avec l’Arabie saoudite, qui parraine la junte, a conduit Riyad à suspendre son accord pour fournir à l’Égypte des produits pétroliers raffinés, ajoutant 500 millions de dollars par mois à la facture d’importation et aux dépenses gouvernementales.

La colère du public à l’égard de la pénurie de sucre, que certains ont accusée les entreprises militaires de vouloir monopoliser comme c’est le cas d’autres biens et services, a été si grande que la Banque centrale a été obligée d’allouer 1,8 milliard de dollars pour construire une réserve alimentaire de six mois. Parallèlement, l’armée a préparé 8 millions de colis de « ration » de produits alimentaires de base à vendre à moitié prix, principalement au Caire.

Le FMI, qui parle au nom des banques occidentales qui bénéficieront de l’accord, a salué la décision. Il a dit que la flottation des devises « rendrait plus disponible les devises étrangères » et « améliorerait la compétitivité extérieure de l’Égypte, soutiendrait les exportations et le tourisme et attirerait les investissements étrangers ». Cela ne fera rien de la sorte. Son seul but est de mettre les actifs de l’Égypte en vente aux prix cassés et d’exposer la classe ouvrière égyptienne à la surexploitation par les sociétés transnationales et les banques internationales.

Les diktats brutaux du FMI, qui appauvriront le peuple égyptien, ne pourront être mis en œuvre que par la force brutale, ce qu’al-Sissi a indiqué être plus que prêt à utiliser au nom de la bourgeoisie égyptienne et des puissances impérialistes.

En août dernier, lors de la signature de l’accord, al-Sissi a déclaré qu’il n’hésiterait pas devant les réformes auxquelles les dirigeants précédents avaient renoncé pour éviter les troubles, déclarant : « La première tentative de réforme réelle a eu lieu en 1977 ». Des émeutes éclatèrent en 1977, après que le président Anwar Sadat annonça qu’il mettait fin aux subventions de base pour le blé en contrepartie d’un prêt de la Banque mondiale.

Al-Sissi a ajouté : « La réaction du peuple a fait reculer l’État, et il a continué de retarder [les réformes] jusqu’à présent. Toutes les décisions difficiles que beaucoup au fil des années ont eu peur de prendre : je n’hésiterai pas une seconde à les prendre ».

Depuis le renversement du gouvernement dirigé par les Frères musulmans de Mohammed Morsi lors d’un coup d’État sanglant en juillet 2013, al-Sissi a imposé une dictature brutale au nom de la faction militaire, policière et des services de renseignement de la classe dirigeante qui a dominé la vie politique et économique égyptienne depuis le coup d’État des « Officiers libres » de 1952. Il a ciblé sans pitié les rivaux économiques des militaires, dominés par les Frères musulmans, d’autres opposants politiques bourgeois, des militants libéraux et, surtout, la classe ouvrière.

La junte a interdit les manifestations, emprisonné au moins 60 000 de ses opposants politiques, a condamné à mort des centaines de personnes et a adopté une vaste loi antiterroriste qui élargit considérablement les pouvoirs des autorités. Les procès de masse, la plupart contre des partisans des Frères musulmans, n’ont pas établi la culpabilité individuelle des accusés. Plusieurs milliers ont été jugés par les tribunaux militaires. La torture et les disparitions forcées sont monnaie courante, avec la mort de nombreux détenus en raison de la maltraitance.

En même temps, al-Sissi a mené de vastes opérations militaires contre des militants islamiques dans la péninsule du Sinaï qui ont exploité les troubles bouillonnants parmi les Bédouins miséreux. Le régime a imposé l’état d’urgence, tuant des centaines de civils, démolissant des centaines de maisons et évacuant des milliers de résidents. La brutalité des forces de sécurité, qui comprend les couvre-feux, la détention sans procès ou même les inculpations, l’arrêt des réseaux de téléphonie cellulaire et d’Internet et les abus de routine, a eu comme seul l’effet d’augmenter les tensions sociales dans le Sinaï et dans tout le pays.

Les tensions de classe qui explosèrent dans les événements révolutionnaires de janvier 2011, qui menèrent à la suppression du dictateur de longue date Hosni Moubarak, explosent une fois de plus en réponse à la catastrophe économique et à la répression de la junte.

La semaine dernière, les Égyptiens sont descendus dans la rue pour protester contre l’incapacité du gouvernement à fournir un secours rapide et adéquat dans les régions inondées où 29 personnes sont mortes et au moins 73 ont été blessées à la fin du mois d’octobre. À Ras Gharib, dans le sud du Sinaï, où des centaines de maisons étaient sous l’eau et toutes les routes principales de la ville ont été coupées, le Premier ministre Sharif Ismail a été contraint d’abandonner sa visite face aux manifestants en colère contre les coupures d’électricité et d’eau dans la ville.

Il y a deux semaines, des milliers de personnes sont descendues dans les rues de la ville portuaire de Port-Saïd, au nord-est, pour protester contre le coût en hausse du logement, scandant, « logez-nous ou nous tuer », en demandant la démission d’al-Sissi.

En septembre, les médias sociaux ont lancé un appel, connu sous le nom de Thawra el-Ghalabiya (révolution de la majorité), pour un rassemblement antigouvernemental de masse le 11 novembre contre la hausse du coût de la vie. Les forces de sécurité ont réagi en arrêtant huit personnes en 15 jours sur des accusations liées à l’appel du rassemblement.

Le mois dernier, une vidéo d’un chauffeur de tuk-tuk furieux (pousse-pousse motorisé) filmé dans un quartier ouvrier au Caire a fait beaucoup de bruit. Elle a montré le conducteur, entouré par la foule, vitupérant contre le gouvernement pour ses dépenses somptueuses aux cérémonies officielles pendant que les pauvres souffrent.

Jean Shaoul

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 9 novembre 2016

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Comment éviter l’Apocalypse ? Pour la réussite de la COP 22

novembre 10th, 2016 by Chems Eddine Chitour

«Les espèces qui survivent ne sont pas les espèces les plus fortes, ni les plus intelligentes, mais celles qui s’adaptent le mieux aux changements.» Charles Darwin

La COP 22 qui se déroule sur le continent africain est passée, il faut le regretter, pratiquement inaperçue. Il faut dire que la COP 21 joue les prolongations et influe de tout son poids, jusqu’à 3 jours, avant le début de la COP 22. Les médias français n’ont pas arrêté de présenter cela comme une prouesse de la diplomatie française, voire un miracle. Nous allons voir qu’il n’en n’est rien! L’entrée en vigueur de l’accord sur le climat fut un succès pour tous ceux qui y ont adhéré, Ainsi, les obstacles furent nombreux et la bienveillance a prévalu sur les divisions Nord-Sud, malgré les querelles intestines entre Européens, incapables de s’entendre sur l’effort de chacun. C’est aussi une victoire de la Chine et des Etats-Unis qui ont entraîné par l’exemple les autres, l’Inde, le Brésil. La COP 22 étant l’affaire de tous, il est regrettable que sur la quarantaine de dirigeants nous comptons deux tiers d’africains, pas d’américains, ni de chinois, ni d’indiens encore moins de russes; tout ce beau monde aurait donné plus de poids à la COP 22. Le Maroc ayant développé des efforts importants pour abriter un évènement planétaire.

La consommation d’énergie: Ceux qui polluent et ceux qui en souffrent

Les réserves mondiales prouvées d’énergies (fossiles et uranium) pouvaient être estimées en 2015 à 946 milliards de (tep), au rythme actuel: la durée est de: 51 ans pour le pétrole, 53 ans pour le gaz naturel, 114 ans pour le charbon. Un Etats-Unien consomme plus du double d’un Européen: 8tep/hab/an. Ici encore, les combustibles fossiles représentent plus des trois quarts de la consommation. L’Européen consomme en moyenne 4tep/hab/an en énergie primaire. Pour les trois quarts, cette énergie est d’origine fossile, pétrole, gaz ou charbon. Un Africain consomme huit fois moins d’énergie qu’un Européen, soit 0,5 tonne/tep/hab/an avec près de 60% de biomasse qui n’intervient pas dans le bilan CO2. L’Allemagne consomme autant que l’Afrique en énergie fossile. Un Chinois consommait en 2000 environ quatre fois moins qu’un Européen (1tep/hab/an), répartis en trois quarts fossiles et un quart biomasse.

Un Indien consomme encore moins, notamment par l’utilisation des énergies non commerciales qui ne comptent pas dans le bilan carbone. Les trois quarts de l’énergie consommée en Afrique est de la biomasse qui n’intervient pas dans le bilan. En clair, sur les 38 milliards de tonnes de CO2 prévisibles en 2016, l’Afrique n’intervient que pour 250 millions de tonnes, soit moins de 700 millions de tonnes de CO2 ou encore 2% du bilan CO2 en termes de pollution-responsabilité, par contre en termes d’impact du changement climatique actuelle elle a la part du lion; elle aura les sept plaies d’Egypte.

Vers la sixième extinction?

Nous avons dépassé l’overshoot day (le jour du dépassement) courant août, depuis, nous vivons à crédit, il nous faut 1,6 planète Terre:

«Selon le nouveau rapport «Planète Vivante 2016» produit par WWF et dévoilé ce jeudi 27 octobre, les espèces pourraient avoir perdu 67% de leurs effectifs d’ici à 2020, par rapport à 1970. Ce sera le cas si l’humanité continue à surexploiter la Terre. Car entre 1970 et 2012, l’effectif des populations de vertébrés a déjà reculé de 58%. Dans son précédent rapport, WWF rapportait que ce déclin était de 52% entre 1970 et 2010. 2% d’animaux en moins par an. «En d’autres termes, l’abondance des populations de mammifères, d’oiseaux, de reptiles, d’amphibiens et de poissons a, en moyenne, chuté de plus de moitié en l’espace de 40 ans», écrit l’ONG. Avec une moyenne de 2% d’animaux en moins par an, en 2020, il y aura donc 67% de vie en moins sur Terre. Les principales menaces concernant les espèces terrestres et d’eau douce sont la perte et la dégradation des habitats ainsi que la surexploitation, selon WWF. Pour les espèces marines, il s’agit aussi de la dégradation des habitats et de la surexploitation, mais également du réchauffement climatique. (1)

«Les Nations unies le soulignent dans un rapport publié jeudi 3 novembre: au rythme actuel, le budget carbone à ne pas dépasser pour limiter le réchauffement climatique à 1,5 0C, le seuil défendu par les Etats les plus vulnérables, sera totalement consommé bien avant 2030. Des décisions radicales devront être prises sur la dépendance de la planète aux énergies fossiles: charbon, gaz, pétrole, les trois plaies du climat, qui constituent le carburant de l’activité économique depuis l’ère industrielle. Une transition énergétique s’impose. Elle passe par le développement massif des énergies vertes, une révolution des pratiques agricoles, une révision complète des normes de construction et des moyens de transport, et une adaptation des modes de consommation. La lutte contre le dérèglement du climat est le plus grand défi posé aux nations. Chaque mois, la hausse des températures franchit des records. L’année 2015, marquée par le phénomène El Niño, s’est traduite par une succession de catastrophes: inondations, glissements de terrain, sécheresse, incendies, dégradation des récoltes. «Nous devons retrouver le sentiment d’urgence que nous avions il y a un an. Avec chaque jour qui passe, le défi du climat grandit», s’alarme Jim Yong Kim, le président de la Banque mondiale. «L’accord de Paris, est avant tout un point de départ.»

En 1972, nous étions en dessous de la capacité maximum de la Terre à supporter nos activités, à 85% environ. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes à 150%. La situation est confirmée par la formule du Smithsonian Magazine, «The world is on track for disaster…», autrement dit, «tout se déroule comme prévu pour que survienne le désastre». Le modèle de développement actuel s’avère inefficace et non viable, pas seulement pour l’environnement, mais aussi pour les économies et les sociétés.

Les non-dits de la COP 21

Présenté comme l’accord du siècle, l’accord de Paris n’a pas la même force que celui de Kyoto. Adopté par consensus lors de la dernière séance plénière de la COP21, l’accord de Paris est le premier accord climat non contraignant à portée universelle. Sa finalité est de contenir le réchauffement «bien au-dessous de 2 °C par rapport aux niveaux préindustriels». Cependant, les projections de l’ONU indiquent, rapport après rapport, que la courbe actuelle des émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre devrait se traduire par un réchauffement de l’ordre de 3 °C. «L’accord de Paris est affaibli aussi par l’absence d’objectifs chiffrés à long terme. (…)En vertu des règles onusiennes, l’accord de Paris est entré en vigueur un mois plus tard, le 4 novembre 2016.»

Cette non-contrainte s’apparente à la liberté du renard dans le poulailler. C’est au bon vouloir de chacun. Souvenons-nous: «Dans l’accord sur le climat, le mot le plus crucial est sans doute shall [«doivent»]. Car dans ce cadre, shall est juridiquement contraignant», écrivait dès le 5 décembre The New York Times sur les négociations de la COP21. (…)

«Ces cinq lettres, apparues dans la version finale de l’accord, ont affolé l’administration Obama (…) la phrase en l’état aurait sans doute conduit le texte à passer devant le Sénat, ce que voulait à tout prix éviter l’administration Obama.(…) Pékin a fait pression pour que les autres nations valident l’utilisation du «should». Si les Etats-Unis n’étaient pas partie prenante de l’accord, la Chine ne l’aurait pas non plus signé.»

Tout reste à faire à Marrakech

Lundi 7 novembre s’est  donc ouverte à Marrakech, au Maroc, la 22e conférence des Nations unies (ONU) sur les changements climatiques, ou COP22. Sur la quarantaine de chefs d’État qui ont, pour le moment, confirmé leur présence, on compte 26 présidents africains. Côté européen, seul François Hollande a répondu présent pour le moment. Le secrétaire d’État américain, John Kerry, Michelle Bachelet, présidente du Chili, et le Premier ministre du Québec. En clair les pays occidentaux se désintéressent d’un problème planétaire et s’ils l’ont fait à Paris c’est plus dû au forcing de la France qu’à un engouement pour une planète vivable.

La COP22 offre un cadre global de négociations sur le climat, reconnaît l’existence d’un changement climatique d’origine humaine et rend les pays industrialisés responsables pour lutter contre ce phénomène qu’ils ont provoqué en polluant pendant un siècle, soit l’équivalent de 900 milliards de tonnes de CO2 dans l’atmosphère. Signé en 1997, le protocole de Kyoto et entré en vigueur en 2005, ce traité ne fixe des objectifs contraignants qu’à seulement 55 pays industrialisés, représentant 55% des émissions globales de CO2 en 1990. Si certains ont respecté leurs engagements, les gros pollueurs n’ont pas rempli leurs objectifs: les Etats-Unis ne l’ont jamais ratifié, le Canada et la Russie s’en sont retirés et la Chine n’est pas concernée par le protocole de Kyoto qui doit expirer en 2020 et devrait être remplacé par un nouveau texte. Ce sera la coquille vide de la COP21 que l’on présente comme un miracle.

Que doit faire la COP 22?

Beaucoup de faits sont laissés en héritage par la COP 21: «Le gros sujet de la COP22 sera de préciser les règles de mise en oeuvre de l’accord de Paris et de se mettre d’accord sur la date de finalisation de ces règles communes», (…). L’autre enjeu de la COP22 est de faire le point sur les engagements volontaires pris par les pays pour réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre et contrer les effets du réchauffement. Mises bout à bout, ces 189 «contributions nationales» développées à l’horizon 2025-2030 ne permettent pas de contenir le réchauffement sous le seuil de 2 °C. La COP22 devrait inviter les Etats à engager des actions additionnelles pour rehausser le niveau de leurs ambitions. (…) Au Maroc, les délégations devraient évoquer la lancinante question des financements. Les pays en développement gardent notamment en tête la promesse faite à leur égard, en 2009, par les nations industrialisées: mobiliser au moins 100 milliards de dollars (90 milliards d’euros) par an, d’ici à 2020, de financement climat du Nord vers le Sud. Rendue publique le 17 octobre, à la veille de la pré-COP22, une expertise de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (Ocde) estime que le financement (public et privé) pourrait atteindre entre 77 milliards et 133 milliards de dollars suivant les scénarios (2).

Le financement sera le grand chantier de la COP 22

Nous l’avons dit, les pays industrialisés polluent et ne veulent pas contribuer à réduire les dégâts des changements climatiques qui impactent durement les pays du Sud:

«Les trois années à venir écrit Ludovic Dupin, vont demander énormément de travail pour définir quelles sont les manières de respecter l’accord de Paris. (…) Durant les trois années à venir, l’autre grand sujet sera celui du financement de la transition énergétique et de l’adaptation au changement climatique dans les pays pauvres. La communauté internationale s’est engagée à fournir 100 milliards d’euros par an à partir de 2020. Selon la dernière estimation de l’Ocde, les fonds publics atteindraient à eux seuls 67 milliards de dollars en additionnant financements publics et privés. L’ajout du secteur privé pourrait faire monter l’enveloppe entre 77 et 133 milliards d’euros, avec une somme médiane à 92 milliards d’euros.» (3)

Pour l’instant, nul ne sait vraiment comment chaque pays va réussir à tenir ses engagements. Chaque Etat doit donc présenter son plan pour arriver à réduire ses émissions de CO2 d’ici 2050.

«Le problème, c’est que même si chaque pays trouve un plan lui permettant de respecter ses promesses, le compte n’y est pas. La somme des engagements actuels met la planète sur une trajectoire de +3°C, voire 3,4° selon un rapport de l’ONU paru jeudi 3 novembre, qui s’alarme de la hausse ininterrompue des émissions mondiales. Il y a aussi la question de la transparence. Les pays se sont engagés à faire un inventaire de leurs efforts et à remettre à niveau régulièrement leurs objectifs.»(3)

Que peut faire un Maghreb uni?

Nous avons plus que jamais besoin de coopération intermaghrébine. Le Maghreb uni sera un partenaire à part entière vis-à-vis des grands regroupements mondiaux. Le Maghreb c’est 100 millions de jeunes, un immense territoire, des ressources agricoles, minières, énergétiques et des savoir-faire. Divisés, nous n’arriverons à rien. Il est temps de penser aux générations futures en leur laissant un viatique à la fois local et régional. La COP 22 pour le Maghreb aurait dû être une formidable opportunité pour faire avancer des projets communs, comme on le sait, l’avancée du désert touche tous les pays du Maghreb et une initiative visant à mutualiser les moyens pour un barrage vert maghrébin – dans le même ordre que la grande barrière verte qui va de Dakar à Djibouti et pour laquelle la BAD a financé l’essentiel du projet – aurait été une excellente initiative car elle permettrait de créer de la richesse et d’utiliser d’une façon rationnelle l’immense nappe phréatique. Il nous faut penser à former le Maghrébin de demain, favoriser les échanges universitaires maghrébins en valorisant leurs recherches par le partage.

C’est ainsi que l’on préparera le Maghreb de 2030. Plus forts et plus unis nous pouvons coopérer avec le monde, notamment avec l’Europe. Plusieurs opportunités de co-développement sont permises: l’environnement, l’immigration, le transfert des technologies, les techniques de l’information. Saint Exupéry nous y invite: «Amène-les à bâtir ensemble une tour et tu les changeras en frère.» A nous d’oser la fraternité pour un monde meilleur, pour nos enfants. Il nous faut penser autrement le monde de demain. Substituons au partage du monde, un monde du partage.

Plus largement, la COP 22 ne débouchera sur rien s’il n’y a pas une prise de conscience planétaire. De plus, un mauvais scoop, Donald Trump président c’est l’enterrement en première classe de la COP 21 même si elle n’a aucun caractère contraignant. Cela rappelle la transition  Clinton Bush avec les conséquences planétaires que nous savons:  la mort du protocole de Kyoto ,l’ébriété énergétique qui a conduit aux guerres d’Irak  et plus tard la Libye et la Syrie sous la gouvernance  éclairé d’un président  prix Nobel de la paix  . Si cela devait advenir   ce sera le prélude au dérèglement de la Terre .  La fin du monde annoncée par les religions ne sera pas brutale, c’est un long délitement  de la vie dans ses dimensions écologiques , culturelles, cultuelles.. L’«Apocalypse» dernier livre de la Bible   révèle les grandes lignes des prophéties de la fin des temps  Les signes de l’Apocalypse seraient dit on de plus en plus visibles et annoncent la parousie du Christ, ( le retour du Messie)  Ces signes sont les conséquence des changements climatiques. Les inondations (déluge), les famines, les maladies (la peste)… et ce sont ceux qui en sont responsables qui seront les derniers à en souffrir Ainsi va le monde.

Pr Chems Eddine  Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.dz

 

1.Marine Le Breton http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2016/10/26/wwf-animaux-vertebres-disparition/?utm_hp_ref=fr-environnement

2.Simon Roger http://www.lemonde.fr/conferences-climat/article/2016/11/07/tout-comprendre-aux-negociations-de-la-cop22_5026432_5024922.html#eYms8BRgfe1Sjwjw.99

3.Ludovic Dupin http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/a-la-veille-de-la-cop22-l-accord-de-paris-entre-en-vigueur-et-maintenant.N458662

Article de référence 

http://www.lexpressiondz.com/chroniques/analyses_du_professeur_ chitour/253778-comment-eviter-l-apocalypse.html

 

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Comment éviter l’Apocalypse ? Pour la réussite de la COP 22

Crise au Brésil : ce qui se profile

novembre 10th, 2016 by Uriel Irigaray

Michel Temer, l’ancien vice-président décoratif de Dilma, a été confirmé comme président du Brésil après le procès en destitution de Dilma le 31 octobre. Temer a dirigé le pays en tant que président intérimaire pendant trois mois, durant la procédure de destitution précédant le procès. Dès l’instant où il fut confirmé comme président intérimaire (le 12 mai), Temer a agi et procédé de la façon dont un président de jure l’aurait fait, comme si Dilma Roussef avait déjà été révoquée, ce qui n’était pas encore le cas – après tout, elle aurait toujours pu revenir si elle était acquittée. Le jour même où Temer a pris ses fonctions comme président intérimaire, il est allé jusqu’à recruter un cabinet complètement nouveau, en réduisant même le nombre de ministères de 31 à 22.

Temer a également recruté M. José Serra comme ministre des Affaires étrangères, en dépit du fait que M. Serra ne présente aucune expérience diplomatique d’une quelconque sorte. Mais qui est Serra ? Il est le politicien dont la campagne (il fut défait face à Dilma Roussef dans la course présidentielle de 2010) fut soutenue par des compagnies pétrolières américaines telles que Chevron, et c’est le même homme qui a secrètement promis de vendre les droits des découvertes de pétrole du Brésil dans les réservoirs «présalifères» à ces mêmes entreprises, renversant ainsi le modèle créé par l’ancien président Lula 1 En tant que chancelier sous Temer, Serra a détourné la politique étrangère brésilienne vers une orientation pro-américaine, bien plus que ce que Dilma Roussef avait déjà commencé à faire (en comparaison de l’administration de Lula).

Pour le moment, nous n’entrerons pas dans les détails (qui s’avéreraient fastidieux) mais nous nous contenterons de dire que l’administration Temer a accéléré le processus de néo-libéralisation qui a débuté sous la direction d’une Dilma Roussef acculée. Si la désignation par cette dernière d’un Joacquim Levy, formé à Chicago en tant que ministre des Finances, a représenté un tournant néolibéral (avec des résultats désastreux pour l’économie, comme toujours dans le cas des politiques néolibérales en Amérique latine), M. Temer et ses ministres ont ensuite été jusqu’à suggérer publiquement de «revoir» les lois brésiliennes sur le travail et les pensions. Tout cela fait partie de la réforme de Temer, qui implique de couper les dépenses sociales ainsi qu’en matière d’éducation et, de manière prévisible, en prenant des initiatives favorables aux grandes entreprises et aux banques 2. La liste n’en finit plus.

Michel Temer semble avoir conspiré contre son propre président (après tout Dilma Roussef et Michel Temer faisaient partie de la même coalition électorale PT-PMDB) et a pris ses fonctions après l’éviction de Dilma Roussef pour détruire l’intégralité du plan gouvernemental et les programmes qui étaient, bien entendu, ceux qui l’ont fait élire en tant que vice-président de Roussef, c’est-à-dire son propre plan et ses propres programmes ! C’est dans ce sens que de nombreux brésiliens ont décrit toute cette affaire comme un coup d’État, peu importe son degré de «légalité» ou de «constitutionnalité», même cela est sujet à débat.

Pour avoir un aperçu de ce que l’avenir du Brésil pourrait être si une telle tendance venait à se maintenir, on pourrait jeter un œil sur l’Argentine de Macri. C’est le même spectacle : anti-corruption, «anti-populisme», rhétorique néolibérale servent les pouvoirs et les intérêts atlantistes favorables aux grandes entreprises sous le masque de la «modernisation» et de la «mondialisation»/occidentalisation. Dans un sens, ce sont les années 1980 qui recommencent. Reagan et Thatcher sont de retour, mais ils parlent maintenant avec des accents latino-américains. La pièce de théâtre de 1998 du philosophe conservateur Roger Scruton, Where Marx Was Right and Thatcher Wrong pourrait bien être une lecture autant d’actualité aujourd’hui qu’à l’époque.

Nous venons de mentionner Scruton. En parlant de penseurs conservateurs, c’est le grand G.K. Chesterton qui a écrit :

«On ne répétera jamais assez que ce qui a détruit la famille dans le monde moderne est le capitalisme. (…) en ce qui nous concerne, ce qui a brisé les ménages, encouragé les divorces et a traité les vieilles vertus domestiques avec toujours plus de dédain, c’est l’ère et le pouvoir du capitalisme. C’est le capitalisme qui a amené une querelle morale et une compétition commerciale entre les sexes ; cela a détruit l’influence des parents en faveur de celle de l’employeur ; cela a mené les hommes hors de leur foyers pour trouver des emplois ; cela les a forcés à vivre près de leurs usines ou de leurs entreprises plutôt que de leurs familles ; et par dessus tout, cela a encouragé, pour des raisons commerciales, un défilé de publicités et d’innovations tapageuses qui sont dans leur nature même la mort de tout ce qui était appelé dignité et modestie par nos mères et nos pères. Ce n’est pas le bolcheviste mais le patron, le publicitaire, le vendeur et l’annonceur qui ont, tels une ruée et une émeute de barbares, mis à bas et piétiné l’antique statue romaine de la Verecundia. » (Three Foes of the Family. From The Well and the Shallows).

C’est également Chesterton, soit dit en passant, qui a répercuté le slogan distributivisteen faveur de la réforme agraire disant «trois acres et une vache» [pour chaque citoyen], et qui a écrit :

«Il y a peu, certains médecins et d’autres personnes autorisées par le droit moderne à donner des ordres à leurs concitoyens plus loqueteux, ont envoyé un ordre selon lequel toutes les petites filles devraient avoir les cheveux coupés courts. Je veux dire, bien entendu, toutes les petites filles dont les parents sont pauvres. De nombreuses habitudes néfastes sont courantes parmi les petites filles riches, mais ce n’est pas demain la veille que des médecins interféreront énergiquement auprès d’elles. En fait, la situation en ce qui concerne cette interférence particulière était la suivante, les pauvres sont enfoncés par les couches supérieures dans des bas-fonds de misère puants et suffocants tels que les gens pauvres ne doivent pas être autorisés à avoir des cheveux parce que dans leur cas cela doit induire des poux dans la chevelure. Par conséquent, les docteurs proposent d’abolir les cheveux. Il ne semble jamais leur venir à l’idée d’abolir les poux. Pourtant ce pourrait être fait. (…) Mais quelle justification mobiliseraient-ils, à quel argument feraient-ils appel pour couper et raser de la sorte les enfants pauvres et pas les riches ? Leur argument tiendrait en ce que la maladie a plus de chances de se loger dans les cheveux des pauvres que ceux des riches. Et pourquoi ? Parce que les enfants pauvres sont obligés (à l’encontre de tous les instincts domestiques très prononcés de la classe ouvrière) de s’entasser dans des pièces étroites sous l’égide d’un système d’instruction publique furieusement défaillant ; et parce qu’un enfant sur quarante pourrait ne pas être hygiéniquement irréprochable. Et pourquoi ? Parce que l’homme pauvre est tellement écrasé par les imposants loyers des imposants propriétaires-bailleurs que sa femme est souvent contrainte de travailler tout comme lui. Par conséquent elle n’a pas le temps de s’occuper des enfants, de sorte qu’un d’entre eux sur quarante est sale. Parce que le travailleur est surplombé par ces deux personnes, le propriétaire-bailleur assis (littéralement) sur son estomac et le maître d’école assis (littéralement) sur sa tête, le travailleur doit laisser les cheveux de sa fille être dans un premier temps négligés du fait de la pauvreté, puis être empoisonnés par la promiscuité avant, au final, d’être abolis par l’hygiène. Il était peut-être fier des cheveux de sa petite fille. Mais cela ne compte pas. (…) En somme, la parabole et l’objet de ces dernières pages, et de toutes ces pages en fait, est ceci : soutenir que nous devons dès à présent tout recommencer, et prendre le problème dans l’autre sens. Je commence avec les cheveux d’une petite fille. Ce que je considère comme une chose positive en toute circonstance. Qu’importe ce qu’on considère comme néfaste, la fierté d’une bonne mère pour la beauté de sa fille est une bonne chose. C’est une de ces tendresses inflexibles qui constituent les pierres de touche de chaque époque et chaque race. Si d’autres choses y sont hostiles, d’autres choses doivent être démises. Si les propriétaires-bailleurs, les lois et les sciences y sont hostiles, les propriétaires-bailleurs, les lois et les sciences doivent être démis. Avec la crinière d’une oursonne dans le caniveau je mettrai le feu à toute la civilisation moderne. Parce qu’une fille devrait avoir les cheveux longs, elle devrait avoir les cheveux propres ; parce qu’elle devrait avoir les cheveux propres, elle ne devrait pas avoir une maison malpropre ; parce qu’elle ne devrait pas avoir une maison malpropre, elle devrait avoir une mère libre et disponible ; parce qu’elle devrait avoir une mère libre, elle ne devrait pas avoir un propriétaire-bailleur usuraire ; parce qu’il ne devrait pas y avoir de propriétaire-bailleur usuraire, il devrait y avoir une redistribution de la propriété ; parce qu’il devrait y avoir une redistribution de la propriété, il devrait y avoir une révolution. Cette petite oursonne aux cheveux d’un roux doré, que j’ai vue dépasser ma maison en trottinant, elle ne devrait être ni rasée, ni amoindrie, ni altérée ; ses cheveux ne devraient pas être coupés aussi courts que ceux d’un bagnard ; non, tous les royaumes de la terre devraient être tailladés ou mutilés pour lui convenir. Elle est la figure humaine et sacrée ; tout autour d’elle le tissu social devrait se balancer, se fendre et tomber ; les piliers de la société devraient être ébranlés et les toits des âges tomber à la renverse, et pas un seul de ses cheveux ne devrait être abîmé». (What’s Wrong With The World, G.K. Chesterton).

Ainsi écrivait Chesterton, le grand écrivain catholique et conservateur. C’est également ainsi qu’ont écrit et parlé de nombreux Brésiliens patriotes et conservateurs, et plus d’un pape parlant de doctrine sociale. La grande ironie du cirque politique actuel au Brésil est que de nombreux conservateurs, religieux et personnes ou groupes pro-famille (le Brésil détient la plus grande population catholique au monde) ont été détournés par les néolibéraux et par une bien vile droite atlantiste, ce qui inclut également quelques pasteurs et prêcheurs pentecôtistes évangéliques très corrompus (dont certains sont aussi des membres du Congrès, tels que le tristement célèbre Marco Feliciano qui est accusé de viol, de corruption et d’autres méfaits).

De nombreux conservateurs brésiliens ont manifesté contre le PT soi-disant socialiste/communiste. L’ironie (une fois encore) est que le Parti des Travailleurs brésilien (PT) est en fait un parti largement catholique. Il fut lancé par un groupe hétérogène composé de quelques intellectuels marxistes, de syndicalistes et de militants catholiques pour la justice sociale. Il fut officiellement fondé lors d’un meeting qui se déroula (le 10 février 1980) au Colégio Sion de São Paulo, une école privée catholique pour jeunes filles. Le PT a toujours été soutenu par la Conférence nationale des évêques du Brésil. L’historien espagnol Luis Mir ira jusqu’à affirmer dans son livre (qui s’intitule Le Parti de Dieu) que le PT est un enfant direct de l’Église catholique, et un enfant très précieux dans ce domaine.

En réalité l’Église catholique au Brésil a soutenu la réforme agraire pendant plus d’une cinquantaine d’années. Le Pape Jean Paul II l’a verbalement soutenue dans les années 1980 alors qu’il était en visite au Brésil. Mais c’est là que les choses deviennent [plus] compliquées. Dans le cadre des deux administrations PT (particulièrement celle de Lula), il y eut incontestablement des avancées à cet égard mais la présidente Dilma Roussef a bel et bien satisfait les exigences des grands fermiers 3, s’aliénant ainsi sa base catholique et les mouvements sociaux. En vérité, la majeure partie des terres agricoles au Brésil est détenue par une infime minorité d’oligarques-fermiers (des propriétaires latifundistes – ils aiment à appeler cela de l’agrobusiness) dont beaucoup sont au Congrès et font partie de la même clique qui a destitué Dilma Roussef, quand bien même celle-ci a réellement essayé de les rassurer. Ils tirent généralement parti du travail forcé et emploient des truands armés pour expulser ou assassiner des paysans ou des indigènesSœur Dorothy Stang, par exemple, fut assassinée par des éleveurs (en 2005) en raison de son militantisme social. On est loin du «trois acres et une vache» de Chesterton, au Brésil.

Le président Temer, dans son revirement (bien que catholique lui-même) a cherché un rapprochement avec les églises Pentecôtistes et Évangéliques pro-israéliennes/pro-USA ainsi qu’avec la Franc-Maçonnerie (de nombreuses loges ont soutenu les manifestations anti-PT). Il s’est également rapproché de l’agrobusiness. Beaucoup au Brésil parlent d’un caucus «Bible, Boeuf et Balles». Eduardo Cunha, l’homme de main et complice de Temer dans cette conspiration, est très aimé parmi les Évangéliques brésiliens. M. Cunha, soit dit en passant, a récemment été expulsé du Congrès dans un retournement de situation intéressant – c’est le même Cunha qui a tenu un rôle central dans la destitution de Dilma Roussef.

Aussi bien Cunha que Temer soutiennent Israël et les intérêts américains avant ceux du Brésil et approuvent tous deux la destruction des droits du travail. Israël semble en réalité prendre possession de certaines parts de l’industrie brésilienne, après qu’elles ont été détruites dans le cadre de l’opération Car Wash 4, qui a perçu environ 11% de ses revenus d’Amérique latine l’an dernier, a obtenu des contrats au Brésil alors que le gouvernement détourne les compétences de la guerre conventionnelle vers la surveillance et la protection d’infrastructures et de ressources naturelles, particulièrement en Amazonie et dans les zones extra-côtières riches en pétrole. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-22/israeli-drone-maker-elbit-said-close-to-buying-odebrecht-assets>].

C’est de la sorte que cet agenda néolibéral anti-travailleur et anti-famille est «vendu» à la population généralement conservatrice du Brésil, particulièrement la classe moyenne urbaine plus américanisée. Les Chrétiens évangéliques et Pentecôtistes semblent être plus vulnérables à un tel piège, de la même façon que les juifs ordinaires, par exemple, sont souvent conditionnés à soutenir la politique israélienne ou que les Étatsuniens moyens sont soumis à un «lavage de cerveau» pour les amener à accepter et soutenir les guerres US à travers le monde.

Le fait est que si la popularité de Dilma Roussef était très faible, celle de Michel Temer l’est encore plus. Les gens semblent avoir réalisé que ce «traitement» est plus néfaste que la maladie. Mais Temer peut continuer à imposer les réformes néolibérales comme des mesures drastiques nécessaires en temps de crise − mesures qui vont en réalité l’aggraver. Il n’est pas étonnant que l’ancien président Lula soit toujours en tête des sondages pour les élections de 2018 ; c’est précisément la raison pour laquelle lui et sa femme sont sous le coup d’un sévère harcèlement judiciaire et se trouvent finalement accusés. Le but est de lui barrer la route pour la course à la présidentielle. Cela rend les choses fortement imprévisibles. À la suite de l’opération Car Wash, la classe politique toute entière a perdu le peu de crédibilité qui lui restait. Mais personne ne peut garantir qu’il y aura une élection en 2018. Les partis PMDB de Temer et PSDB de Serra pourraient tenter de tirer la carte du parlementarisme, comme une proposition l’a déjà laissé entendre. Cela irait fortement à l’encontre de la culture politique brésilienne : les Brésiliens sont des «personnalistes», c’est-à-dire qu’ils votent pour des candidats et ne se soucient habituellement pas beaucoup des partis politiques à proprement parler (en 2013, durant le Printemps brésilien, le sénateur Cristovam Buarque est allé jusqu’à suggérer d’abolir complètement les partis politiques).

Ça se complique encore plus : il est désormais question d’un retour de la monarchie au sein de certains cercles 5. Cela aurait pu paraître insensé il y a quelques mois, mais les monarchistes ont participé à des manifestations de rue. Le prince brésilien Luiz Phillipe de Orleans e Bragança se tenait bel et bien dans la galerie des invités du Sénat pendant le procès de Dilma Roussef parmi d’autres individus de grande notoriété qui étaient favorables à son éviction. Il se tenait près de Nilton Masi Caccaos Junior du Grand Orient maçonnique de Sao Paulo (analogue à la Grande Loge) et près de Kim Kataguiri, le célèbre adolescent blogueur et meneur du MBL néolibéral – mais c’est de la matière pour les articles du Brazilian Circus. Un bulletin d’information de 2015 évoque le même prince comme l’un des meneurs du mouvement Acorda Brasil (Réveille-toi Brésil), un groupe anti-Dilma.

Mais Don Phillipe de Orleans e Bragança n’est pas le seul prince qui se soit insinué dans la politique afin d’appuyer le coup d’État contre Dilma Roussef. Le prince Dom Joao de Orleans e Braganca, le Prince surfeur, est également descendu dans la rue d’une façon légèrement plus loquace que son proche parent. Il en appelle véritablement à un retour de la monarchie.

Dom Bertrand était d’une manifestation de rue en faveur de l’éviction de la présidente Dilma Roussef. Près de lui, des gens agitaient l’ancien drapeau de l’Empire brésilien avec son emblème impérial, dont les couleurs représentent les maisons dynastiques de Pedro I et sa compagne impératrice Maria Leopoldina d’Autriche.

Il a aussi occasionnellement été question de sécession. Pour le Brésilien ordinaire, cela pourrait sembler insensé mais un groupe sudiste a organisé un referendum (illégal). Des actions similaires se tiennent dans l’État de Sao Paulo, dans le Nord-Est et ailleurs.

En d’autres termes, la situation est d’une grande instabilité.

Comme de nombreux observateurs l’ont souligné, le Brésil commençait à s’élever au rang d’acteur mondial. Temer, Cunha, Serra et ses camarades (animateurs de radio pentecôtistes, princes décadents, franc-maçons corrompus, adolescents blogueurs et anciennes vedettes du porno) sont occupés à faire en sorte que le Brésil renonce ou même devienne un satellite entièrement sous contrôle des USA – un paradis néolibéral comme Haïti 6 ou le Paraguay, s’il ne s’effondre pas avant, par la sécession de multiples États ruinés.

Uriel Irigaray

Article original publié sur Katehon

Traduit par Francois, édité par Wayan, relu par Cat pour le Saker Francophone

Notes

1.Voir http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/14/928858. Voir aussi : https://tupiwire.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/wikileaks-the-this-oil-is-ours-factor

2.«Le conseil de la banque centrale doit être remplacé. Afin de regagner la confiance, il est crucial que nous amenions des gens du marché qui ne sont pas susceptibles d’ingérence politique», a déclaré une source faisant partie des conseillers du cercle rapproché de Temer. La banque centrale, sous la direction d’Alexandre Tombini depuis 2011, a commencé mardi un meeting de deux jours afin de fixer le taux d’intérêt de l’étalon du Selic. Le conseil de la banque, qui est constitué principalement de technocrates de carrière ayant peu d’expérience dans le secteur privé, est supposé maintenir le Selic inchangé pour la sixième fois consécutive. Les candidats au nouveau conseil comptent parmi eux l’économiste en chef Ilan Goldfajn, l’ancien directeur du Trésor, Carlos Kawall et les anciens banquiers centraux Mario Mesquita et Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, ainsi que le cadre de la Goldman Sach’s Paulo Leme, ont indiqué les sources. Mesquita, Goldfajn et Kawall n’ont pas daigné commenter tandis que Figuieiro et Leme n’ont pas répondu aux courriels (…). Temer prévoit d’envoyer des projets de lois du Congrès pour limiter les coûteuses pensions de retraite, assouplir le rigide marché du travail et simplifier le système fiscal du pays, ont affirmé les trois sources, refusant d’être nommées du fait qu’elles ne sont pas autorisées à s’exprimer publiquement. En tant que partie prenante de la refonte économique, Temer sabrera également le nombre de ministres pour le réduire à moins de 25 contre les 35 actuellement en poste, et réduira les coûts actuels en supprimant des milliers d’emplois publics, comme l’a indiqué l’une des sources. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-politics-exclusive-idUSKCN0XN2EV

3.D’après les données officielles, 1% des grands entrepreneurs-fermiers possèdent presque la moitié des bonnes terres agricoles au Brésil et de l’autre côté 90 000 paysans en sont toujours à attendre que le gouvernement tienne sa promesse de leur concéder des lopins de terre. http://en.mercopress.com/2015/01/07/land-possession-and-peasants-the-first-strong-clash-in-rousseff-s-cabinet

4.L’unité SA de l’organisation Odebrecht connue sous le nom ODT a vu ses revenus chuter après que le gouvernement ait réduit de moitié les dépenses pour son programme de sous-marin nucléaire tandis que les décisionnaires œuvrent à tasser un déficit budgétaire croissant, au milieu de la pire récession connue par le pays en l’espace d’un siècle. La société mère, le plus vaste conglomérat de construction d’Amérique latine, a annoncé un gel des nouveaux investissements au Brésil l’an dernier, alors qu’une pénurie de crédit a réduit l’accès au financement à la suite de l’arrestation du président directeur général Marcelo Odebrecht, en juin 2015, du fait de son implication dans le plus grand scandale de corruption du Brésil. Le PDG a quitté ses fonctions pour se consacrer à sa défense et demeure en prison. Il a nié toute malversation. Elbit [Entreprise israélienne de sécurité, NdT)

5.Voir http://www.wsj.com/articlesnew-plan-to-fix-brazils-royal-mess-restore-the-monarchy-1466187675 

6.Haïti constitue une économie de marché libre, avec un faible coût du travail et un accès libre de droits de douanes aux États-Unis pour ses exportations, d’après le CIA World Factbook 

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La dette est un danger pour l’économie mondiale

novembre 10th, 2016 by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

Bien que plus de huit années soient passées depuis l’effondrement de Lehman Brothers, l’économie mondiale continue de souffrir de graves problèmes structurels. Non seulement le monde ne parvient pas à surmonter une faible croissance, mais pire encore, la dette a connu une augmentation explosive au cours des dernières années. Les pays industrialisés comme les États-Unis, l’Allemagne et la France ont vu une augmentation exponentielle de leur dette; de même pour les pays émergents tels que le Brésil et la Chine. Sans aucun doute, si le niveau de la dette continue de croître, plus tôt que tard, nous assisterons à l’apparition d’une nouvelle crise financière.

Au cours des dernières années, la dette a augmenté de façon explosive. Selon les estimations effectuées par le Fonds monétaire international (FMI), la dette globale du secteur non financier – incluant les gouvernements, les ménages et les entreprises financières – est de plus de $152 mille milliards de dollars. Un volume qui représente 225% du PIB mondial. De ce total général, environ $100 mille milliards de dollars correspondent à des dettes acquises par les entreprises privées et les ménages. Le reste est la dette publique.

Les économies des pays industrialisés se trouvent, selon moi, dans la situation la plus critique. En plus d’avoir des taux de croissance trop bas, le niveau d’endettement, tant public que privé, augmente à un rythme sans précédent. Le principal problème de tout cela c’est que, face à ce haut niveau d’endettement, les entreprises et les ménages sont obligés d’employer une proportion croissante de leurs revenus à la liquidation de leurs dettes, réduisant ainsi dramatiquement les ressources qui pourraient être canalisées vers les investissements et la consommation.

Une fois arrivé à ce point, on court le risque que l’acquisition de grandes dettes rende difficile le processus de désendettement (deleveraging) et finisse donc par saper l’expansion de l’économie productive et de l’emploi. Il s’agit d’un cercle vicieux qui pourrait bien générer de nouvelles bulles financières et, d’un moment à l’autre, provoquer un résultat violent. D’autre part, si l’on tient compte du fait que les taux d’inflation sont actuellement en dessous de 2 % (en termes annuels) dans presque tous les pays industrialisés, ce n’est pas une idée saugrenue de penser qu’une spirale combinée de la dette et de la déflation (la baisse des prix) est aujourd’hui une menace latente.

L’autre problème majeur, comme je l’ai déjà fait remarquer à plusieurs reprises, est que l’artillerie de la banque centrale pour lutter soit contre une récession, soit contre une crise financière, est presque épuisée. En ce moment, les taux d’intérêts de référence sont très proches de zéro dans la plupart des pays industrialisés. Par conséquent, la marge de manœuvre pour diminuer encore plus le coût du crédit interbancaire au jour le jour est presque nulle. Selon les calculs de la Banque américaine Merrill Lynch, depuis le déclenchement de la crise financière de 2008, les Banques centrales du monde entier ont réduit plus de six cent fois leur taux de référence. En outre, elles ont injecté, conjointement, pour plus de $15 mille milliards de liquidités, selon Bloomberg.

À mon avis, si la débâcle de l’économie mondiale s’approfondit, les banques centrales des pays industrialisés prendront des mesures beaucoup plus risquées. Par exemple à travers l’utilisation d’outils déjà familiers. La Réserve fédérale (Fed) américaine pourrait bien relancer son programme d’achat de bons du Trésor, et même commencer à acquérir d’autres types de titres financiers, et pas seulement ceux qui sont adossés à des hypothèques (mortgage-backed securities), alors que la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) et la Banque du Japon (BOJ) pourraient augmenter à nouveau le volume de leurs achats d’actifs.

Il convient également de noter que plusieurs pays ont déjà lancé d’autres mesures de politique monétaire : la réduction des taux de dépôt en territoire négatif. L’objectif est de dissuader les banques commerciales de déposer leur trésorerie dans les banques centrales et les encourager ainsi à fournir des crédits à des activités productives. Cependant, jusqu’à présent, les résultats de cette mesure sont décevants.

L’imposition de taux de dépôt négatifs n’a pas fonctionné comme prévu. De plus, il semble que cela n’a fait qu’aggraver la crise de rentabilité des banques. Actuellement, plus de $10 milliards de dette sont négociés avec des rendements négatifs, selon les données de la Banque des règlements internationaux (BRI), une situation qui rend difficile le dégagement de bénéfices pour les banques, les caisses d’épargne et les fonds d’assurance et de retraite.

De leur côté, les économies émergentes ne sont pas exemptes de risques. Bien que la dette publique soit à un niveau gérable – à la différence des économies industrialisées – le volume de la dette privée répertoriée est colossal : les sociétés qui exercent leurs activités dans des pays comme le Brésil ont émis d’importantes dettes libellées en dollars.

Dans le cas de la Chine, considérée comme une économie émergente d’importance systémique, de nombreuses entreprises ont été financées par des centres financiers offshore (OFC) au cours des dernières années. Selon l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE), la dette privée en Chine représente plus de 150% du PIB. À cela s’ajoute le problème, qui est loin d’être facile pour le gouvernement chinois, des surcapacités dans plusieurs secteurs de l’économie, en particulier ceux qui restent fortement endettés.

Sans aucun doute, la dette excessive est devenue un frein dangereux pour l’économie mondiale. Cependant, au-delà du fait que l’endettement élevé constitue un obstacle à l’expansion durable d’une économie, la plus grande menace est que, à un moment donné, ce nouveau cycle de surendettement ne finisse par faire exploser une autre crise financière mondiale.

Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

 

Article original en espagnol :

Debt-Bomb

La deuda es un peligroso lastre para la economía mundial

Traduit et édité par jj, relu par cath pour le Saker Francophone

Ariel Noyola Rodríguez est économiste, il a fait ses études supérieures à l’Université nationale autonome du Mexique. Contact : [email protected]. Twitter:@noyola_ariel.

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Sélection d’articles : Infolettre du 6 au 9 novembre 2016

FBI clinton

Hillary Clinton: Wall Street a-t-il misé sur le mauvais cheval? Crise constitutionnelle en vue? Qu’est-ce qui nous attend après?

Par Prof Michel Chossudovsky, 6 novembre 2016

L’élément déclencheur qui a amené le directeur du FBI à envoyer une deuxième lettre au Congrès est un reportage du Wall Street Journal publié quatre jours avant sa décision du 28 octobre… Le WSJ a révélé qu’un « ami de Clinton a fait un don d’argent à l’épouse d’un enquêteur du FBI qui cherchait à se faire élire comme sénatrice.

dinar dévaluation

Algérie : la peur d’une Révolution pacifique est la voie pour la guerre

Par Cherif Aissat, 6 novembre 2016

L’Algérie est dans le tourbillon de la dette internationale. En ce début novembre (2016), la Banque africaine de développement (BAD) a officialisé un prêt de 900 millions d’euros à l’Algérie pour le « programme d’Appui à la Compétitivité Industrielle et Energétique en Algérie (PACIE) » qui s’inscrit dans « dans le cadre du Nouveau Modèle de Croissance Economique (NMCE) ».

Hillary-Clinton-and-Julian-Assange-AP-Photos

Ce visage peu connu d’Hillary Clinton : Le terrorisme, l’industrie militaire, la fondation Clinton

Par Oscar Fortin, 6 novembre 2016

Dans son ensemble, la presse officielle de l’Occident, se range davantage en faveur d’Hilary Clinton, faisant valoir entre autres, ses états de service, comme Secrétaire d’État aux Affaires extérieures et le fait qu’elle soit la première femme à se présenter à la Présidence des États-Unis d’Amérique. Aucun de ces médias ne s’aventure à lever le voile sur ce qu’est véritablement cette femme aux discours convaincants.

Jean-Pierre-Bel

« La France est un interlocuteur privilégié de Cuba »

Par Jean-Pierre Bel et Salim Lamrani, 7 novembre 2016

Président du Sénat de 2011 à 2014, Jean-Pierre Bel a été le premier socialiste à occuper ce poste à la Chambre haute du Parlement sous la Ve République.  Son engagement politique remonte à son plus jeune âge puisque, issu d’une famille de résistants communistes du sud de la France, Jean-Pierre Bel s’est engagé dans les réseaux de solidarité avec l’opposition espagnole en lutte contre la dictature de Francisco Franco. Il en a payé le prix fort.

clinton e-mai

H. Clinton – Le vrai crime dans l’«Huma-gate», ce sont les liens avec les Frères musulmans!

Par F. William Engdahl, 7 novembre 2016

Le vrai crime qui a été révélé par les courriels d’Hillary Clinton envoyés depuis son serveur privé a été consciencieusement camouflé, au moins jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Il s’agit là d’une conspiration criminelle – oui, une réelle conspiration –, visant à cacher quelque chose au peuple américain et au monde.

wall-street

Wall Street et le Pentagone : éjaculations politiques et militaires précoces

Par Prof. James Petras, 7 novembre 2016

Wall Street et le Pentagone ont salué l’année 2016 comme une « année étendard », un tournant glorieux dans la quête de régimes malléables prêts à vendre leurs ressources économiques les plus lucratives, à signer de nouvelles dettes onéreuses avec Wall Street et à accorder l’usage de leurs bases militaires stratégiques au Pentagone.

Assange

Comment la «guerre de Clinton» a déstabilisé l’Europe : l’interview exclusive d’Assange au complet

Par Julian Assange et John Pilger, 9 novembre 2016

Alors que de nombreux emails d’Hillary Clinton révélés par WikiLeaks concernent la guerre en Libye, Julian Assange ne mâche pas ses mots face à la candidate démocrate : «La Libye était avant tout la guerre d’Hillary Clinton. Initialement, Barack Obama s’y était opposé. Qui s’opposait à lui quand il promouvait son point de vue ? Hillary Clinton. On en trouve la preuve dans ses emails.»

trump 2

L’Amérique profonde vient d’élire Donald Trump président des États-Unis

Par Oscar Fortin, 9 novembre 2016

Dans une entrevue toute récente de Julian Assange à qui on demandait qui allait gagner dans cette élection, il répondit que c’était le peuple des Etats-Unis. Il le disait en ce sens que le mur de la désinformation avait été défoncé par ces milliers de courriels qui apportèrent un éclairage nouveau sur cette classe politique corrompue aux commandes de l’État.

obamatrump

La victoire de Trump a été préparée par Obama

Par Claude Jacqueline Herdhuin, 9 novembre 2016

Stupeur, colère, soulagement, révolte : le résultat des élections américaines est une déclaration de guerre ouverte. Une guerre entre les blancs normaux et les autres. Ceux qui ne ressemblent pas à la majorité, les handicapés de tout genre. Le terme handicapé regroupe dans ce contexte tous ceux et toutes celles qui n’entrent pas dans le moule du rêve américain.

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Terremoto político: A revolução de Trump nos Estados Unidos

novembre 10th, 2016 by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

“Quando você dá [dinheiro aos políticos], eles fazem tudo o que você quiser que eles façam. Como homem de negócios convém-me que seja assim.” Donald J. Trump (1946-), em entrevista ao Wall Street Journal, 29 de julho de 2015.

« Nós [os Estados Unidos] gastámos 2 biliões de dólares; milhares de vidas. … Obviamente, foi um erro…George W. Bush cometeu um erro. Podemos cometer erros. Mas aquilo era uma evidência. Nós nunca deveríamos ter estado no Iraque. Nós desestabilizámos o Médio Oriente… – Eles [o presidente George W. Bush e o vice-presidente Dick Cheney] mentiram… Disseram que havia armas de destruição maciça. Não havia nada. E eles sabiam que não havia nada. Não havia armas de destruição em maciça.  » Donald J. Trump (1946-), durante um debate para a nomeação do candidato às eleições presidenciais pelo Partido Republicano (GOP), na CBS News, sábado, 13 de fevereiro de 2016.

« Na minha opinião, gastámos 4 biliões de dólares tentando derrubar várias pessoas que, francamente, se se tivessem mantido, e se tivéssemos gastado os 4 biliões nos Estados Unidos para consertar as nossas estradas, as nossas pontes e todos os outros problemas; os nossos aeroportos e todos os outros problemas que tivemos, teríamos feito muito melhor. Eu posso dizer isso agora.

– Nós causámos um tremendo dano, não só ao Médio Oriente; causámos um enorme dano à humanidade.

– As pessoas que foram mortas, as pessoas que foram eliminadas, e para quê? Não parece que tenhamos tido qualquer vitória.

É uma bagunça. O Médio Oriente está totalmente desestabilizado. – Uma bagunça total e completa.

– Gostaria que tivéssemos os 4 biliões ou os 5 biliões de dólares. Gostaria que tivessem sido gastos aqui nos Estados Unidos, nas nossas escolas, hospitais, estradas,aeroportos e tudo o mais que se está a desfazer ». Donald J. Trump (1946-) num debate presidencial do Partido Republicano, terça-feira. 15 de dezembro de 2015, Las Vegas, NV.

« Ao longo da história, qualquer profunda mudança política e social foi precedida por uma revolução filosófica, pelo menos entre uma parte significativa da população. » M. N. Roy (1887-1954), em « O Futuro da Democracia », 1950.

Ocorreu um terramoto político geracional nos Estados Unidos e os choques que se irão seguir são potencialmente enormes. Na verdade, em 8 de novembro de 2016, contra todas as probabilidades, o candidato republicano Donald Trump (1946-) foi eleito como o 45º presidente americano, repetindo ad nauseam o seu slogan principal « Make America Great Again ». Será o primeiro presidente americano desde Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) a ocupar a Casa Branca sem ter qualquer experiência política.

A retórica e as propostas de Trump foram inequivocamente anti-establishment e anti status quo, tanto a nível nacional como internacional. Como tal, a vitória de Trump é uma revolução política na sua génese porque anuncia uma rutura com as políticas americanas seguidas por ambas as administrações republicanas e democratas dos E.U.A. desde os anos 90.

Por isso, a eleição de Trump inspira tanto medo quanto esperança. Medo entre as elites estabelecidas, especialmente entre os meios de comunicação e interesses financeiros estabelecidos e dominantes em Washington, já que a vitória de Trump será, sem dúvida, vista como um repúdio dos valores e das políticas desses interesses. E porque, depois do Brexit, em junho passado, pode ser também uma antecipação de derrocada das elites europeias, que também impulsionaram ativamente um mundo globalizado, com fronteiras abertas, imigração ilegal, mudanças tecnológicas e desindustrialização das economias mais avançadas.

Dados da noite de eleição, 8 de novembro, 22h

No entanto, há esperança entre aqueles que foram deixados para trás económica, politica e socialmente, especialmente entre os membros da classe média americana cujos rendimentos reais estão estagnados ou em declínio e que sofreram muito com a agenda e as políticas perseguidas durante as últimas três décadas. Nos últimos 30 anos, de fato, os 10% mais ricos e os 1% super-ricos da população dos Estados Unidos beneficiaram altamente com a mudança de uma economia de manufatura para uma economia de serviços, enquanto os 90% mais pobres foram deixados para trás.

Muitos dos trabalhadores americanos mais desprotegidos, especialmente aqueles com formação abaixo do ensino secundário, viram no candidato republicano Donald Trump e no candidato democrata derrotado Bernie Sanders a esperança de ver as coisas mudarem para melhor. É sintomático que os americanos nas grandes áreas urbanas tenham votado massivamente na candidata democrata, enquanto as áreas industriais e rurais o tenham feito massivamente no candidato republicano. Contrariamente às sondagens, os modelos de previsão que incluíam o contexto histórico e o desejo de mudança na sua previsão tinham razão. É o caso do modelo do professor universitário americano Allan J. Lichtman.

Os trabalhos de Hércules que esperam o novo Presidente

O presidente eleito Donald Trump e sua equipa têm pela frente uma tarefa hercúlea, se quiserem cumprir as promessas que fizeram.

1- Comecemos com as principais mudanças que se esperam na política externa.

Os maiores perdedores das eleições de 8 de novembro serão os falcões da política externa e os neoconservadores dos governos anteriores dos Estados Unidos, desde o governo Bill Clinton até aos últimos governos de Obama. Foram eles que levaram avante o reacender da Guerra Fria com a Rússia e que desenharam as políticas intervencionistas, que estão a destruir o Médio Oriente.

Espera-se que uma administração Trump reverta a política da NATO liderada pelos EUA para provocar a Rússia, multiplicando movimentos militares hostis nas suas fronteiras. Além disso, pode-se esperar que uma administração Trump chegue a um acordo com o governo russo de Vladimir Putin para pôr fim ao desastroso conflito sírio. Esta é uma má notícia para a organização medieval e assassina do ISIS.

Naturalmente, espera-se que um governo Trump possa transformar as diretrizes da política comercial dos EUA. A política comercial deverá ser provavelmente acompanhada por uma política industrial. Na prática, isso pode implicar que o curso dos dois grandes tratados multilaterais de comércio livre e de investimento livre, o Acordo de Livre Comércio Transatlântico (TAFTA) e o Acordo de Parceria Transpacífico (TPP) será interrompido.

Nesse sentido, a revolução Trump pode significar que a globalização económica e financeira está morta.

2- As principais alterações que se podem esperar de uma administração Trump na política interna.

Uma administração Trump tentará estimular a economia dos EUA através de uma série de políticas económicas. Afinal, o candidato Trump prometeu impulsionar a taxa de crescimento dos EUA para um valor médio anual de 3,5% e criar 25 milhões de postos de trabalho na próxima década. E também prometeu « rever as nossas políticas fiscais, regulatórias, energéticas e comerciais ».

Como pode uma administração Trump estimular o crescimento? Primeiro, propondo um enorme corte de impostos de 4,4 biliões de dólares para estimular o crescimento, não muito diferente do programa de corte de impostos de 1,3 biliões de dólares da administração Bush-Cheney em 2001-2003, que teve resultados duvidosos, além de ter aumentado o deficit fiscal do governo dos EUA.

Em segundo lugar, um governo Trump tentará impulsionar a criação de empregos na indústria dos EUA. Para isso, terá que fazer melhor do que o recorde alcançado durante os dois mandatos de Bush-Cheney, quando os Estados Unidos perderam mais de seis milhões de empregos na indústria. Para reverter essa tendência, Trump pode tentar forçar o repatriamento dos lucros de 2,1 biliões de dólares que as empresas americanas possuem no exterior e induzir essas empresas a investir mais nos Estados Unidos. Pode também aumentar alguns impostos sobre as importações para persuadir as empresas americanas a criar empregos nos EUA. Até que ponto um Congresso controlado pelos republicanos aceitará essa política comercial protecionista ainda está para se ver.

Finalmente, o candidato Trump prometeu lançar um enorme programa de investimento em infraestruturas, afirmando que queria « construir a próxima geração de estradas, pontes, ferrovias, túneis, portos e aeroportos ».

3- Os desafios do governo Trump nas políticas sociais

De longe, o maior desafio que um governo Trump enfrentará será lidar com a promessa do candidato Trump de abolir o programa nacional de saúde conhecido como Obamacare. Ele propôs a substituição da lei americana de saúde com uma transferência do Medicaid para os estados, acompanhada por um programa estadual de subsídios, e isenção de impostos para as empresas que facultem planos de seguro de saúde aos trabalhadores, sendo alargada a indivíduos que comprem os seus próprios planos de saúde. O candidato Trump chegou mesmo a namorar a ideia de os EUA adotarem um sistema de saúde de contribuição única. A ver vamos como uma questão tão complexa irá ser resolvida.

Conclusão

Vai levar semanas e meses até que a agenda real do governo Trump fique clara. Sob uma presidência de Donald Trump, os Estados Unidos podem esperar mudar de direção em muitas políticas. À medida que esta revolução se desenrolar, os olhos do mundo estarão focados no governo Trump e nas novas políticas que ele tentará implementar. Esperemos que tal seja feito com cuidado e pensamento inteligente, e não de modo precipitado e caótico.

Rodrigue Tremblay 

Artigo em inglês :

Trump-Pence

Political Earthquake: The Trump Revolution in The United States, 9 de Novembre de 2016

Tradução : Júlio Manuel Dias Gomes (Economics teacher at Faculty of Economics at University of Coimbra, Portugal, now retired.)

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In a major push to widen the scope of commodity derivatives market in India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently allowed options trading on commodity exchanges. On September 28, 2016, SEBI issued an official notification allowing exchanges to launch options contracts in commodity derivatives market. Currently, trading in commodity futures contracts is only allowed in exchanges such as Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) and National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).

It is expected that trading in options contracts will be introduced in the current fiscal year as the Finance Minister in his Union Budget Speech (2016-17) had announced that “new derivative products will be developed by SEBI in the commodity derivatives market.” In addition, Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee, constituted by SEBI in January 2016 to advice on policy and regulatory issues, had also recommended the introduction of new products in the commodity derivatives market.

Like futures, commodity options contracts are traded on major commodity exchanges across the world. The majority of commodity exchanges (including CME and ICE) offer commodity options on underlying commodity futures. Eurex Exchange offers options contracts on underlying commodity spot (physical gold and crude oil). While Taiwan Futures Exchange allows market participants with open positions to seek delivery of physical gold in the case of gold options contracts.

Although options trading in equity segment was introduced in 2001, India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) occupies the top position in global index options trading. According to World Federation of Exchanges, 1765 million Nifty options contracts were traded at NSE in 2015.

As the SEBI has granted permission for options trading in commodities, market analysts predict that commodity derivatives trading may grow 10-fold over the next five years.

The government may soon allow foreign banks, mutual funds, institutional investors and other financial players to trade in Indian commodity derivatives market which will further boost trading volumes in both options and futures contracts.

At the time of writing, it is unclear how many commodities would be permitted for options trade in the Indian market. It is also not yet known whether the SEBI will allow European options (exercisable on expiration date only) or American options (exercisable any time on or before expiration date).

Currently, the modalities are being worked out and the options trading is expected to begin in early 2017.

Meanwhile commodity market experts have asked SEBI to develop eligibility criteria for option writers (based on financial soundness) given the high degree of risk involved in selling options contracts.

What are commodity options? 

An option is a financial contract between two parties (the buyer and seller) granting the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a futures contract at a predetermined price on or before a certain date.

Futures and options are both derivatives products but the key difference between them is that the options give the holder the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at expiration while the holder of a futures contract is obligated to buy or sell the underlying asset on a future date.

In the case of commodity derivatives market, options provide an opportunity or the right (not the obligation) to investors to buy or sell a commodity futures contract at a specified price. It needs to be emphasized here that the “underlying commodity” for the commodity options is a futures contract, not the physical commodity itself. Whereas futures contracts are derivatives of the physical commodity.

There are two kinds of options: call options and put options.

call option gives the holder the right, not the obligation, to buy futures contract at a specific price on or before a certain date. Call options are most commonly used to protect against rising prices.

put option is an option contract giving the holder the right, not the obligation, to sell futures contract at a specific price on or before a certain date. Put options are most commonly used to protect against falling prices.

The date on which the actual trade takes place in called Expiration Date.

The predetermined (fixed) price of the contract is called Strike Price.

Premium is the amount one pays to enter into an options contract. In other words, the cost of the option.  The buyer loses the premium irrespective of the fact whether s/he has exercised the options contract or not.

In many ways, options act like insurance policies. For instance, put option buyers insure themselves against falling price of a commodity while the seller of a put option acts like an insurer by offering a price guarantee to buyers. Just like an insurance company, the seller of put option charges a premium whether the contract is exercised or not.

To understand the workings of commodity derivatives markets, read A Beginner’s Guide to Indian Commodity Futures Markets.

Risky options 

Since options are more complex instruments than stocks and bonds, they are not suitable for every trader, leave aside an average Indian farmer. Due to volatility factor, options require a higher degree of sophistication on the part of the trader.

Sophisticated traders can use options to benefit from any up and down market movements. Options enable traders to make money even in those situation when is no market movement either way. Most options traders do not simply buy call and put options. They use complex trading strategies by combining many options and futures contracts or use dual directional strategies to make speculative profits from price movements in either direction.

Therefore, commodity options are more suitable for sophisticated traders and investors who have in-depth understanding of commodity derivatives markets and strong financial base. Options contracts can be very risky if used purely for speculative purposes because of the high degree of leverage involved. Leverage magnifies both potential profits and potential losses.

There are plenty of instances where improper use of options by traders have led to huge financial losses and bankruptcy. For instance, Aracruz Celulose, a Brazilian firm and world’s biggest producer of bleached eucalyptus-pulp, lost $2.5 billion after its forex option bets to hedge against the US dollar went the wrong way in 2008.

It is important to note that the buyers of option contracts have a different risk than sellers. Unlike futures contract which can potentially expose a trader to unlimited losses, the risk in options to buyers is limited to the premium paid upfront plus commissions to brokers and exchange fees. Besides, there are no margin calls for options buyers so they know the amount of payment and the maximum risk involved in buying options at the outset.

But in the case of call options, the potential losses are theoretically limitless for sellers as the prices of underlying futures contracts can rise indefinitely and, therefore, the value of an options contract can also rise indefinitely. In the case of put options, the potential downside for sellers is limited to the value of the underlying futures contract. An option seller has to meet margin requirements (cash or securities deposited with brokerage firm as collateral) until the contract is exercised or expires.

What about positive spillovers? The arguments supportive of positive spillovers of options trading are highly overstated and backed by very little hard evidence, particularly in the context of commodity markets. The benefits in terms of greater information transmission, higher market liquidity and improved market stability are yet to be demonstrated empirically in commodity markets across the world.

A game changer for farmers?

The commodity exchanges and brokerage houses have welcomed the decision to introduce options trading on the expectation that higher trading volumes would boost their fees and commissions. This is understandable considering the nature of their business model. What is really perplexing is that the hard selling of options trading on the grounds that this move is essentially meant to help the Indian farming community.

In a press statement, Samir Shah, Managing Director of NCDEX said, “This is a historic step which will go a long way in significantly deepening the commodities market. We are extremely excited and welcome this decision which will help expand the product basket and make it attractive for new participants. For the farmers, it will be a game changer. It would help them sell their produce in the derivatives market and thereby get the benefit of price protection in case the prices fall below their cost of production and also derive the benefit of any rise in the price. Options are also a much better hedging instrument as compared to futures for hedgers.”

Not surprisingly, similar arguments were made in the 1990s to introduce commodity futures trading. At that time, tall claims were made that commodity futures trading would facilitate efficient price risk management and price discovery in a fair, transparent and orderly manner. It was claimed that futures market will help Indian farmers to hedge against potential risks arising out of price movements in spot markets so that they can get guaranteed price for their produce in the future. Besides, trading in futures would provide reliable price signals to farmers about the likely prices of their crops in the months ahead.

However, both these economic objectives have not yet been realized across agricultural commodities (and for some metals and minerals), even though commodity futures markets have been in operation in India since 2003. It is unfortunate that futures markets continue to be dominated by speculators and non-commercial players who frequently indulge in price rigging and other market abusive practices with impunity. The frequent trading scandals (from guar to pepper) have further eroded the trust and confidence of Indian farming community in the commodity futures markets which are popularly perceived as “Satta Bazaar” (gambling market).

Against the backdrop of a massive trading scandal at NSEL, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) – the then regulatory body for commodity futures – was merged with SEBI last year.

In India, the participation of farmers in commodity futures markets is negligible. According to market estimates, not even 2000 farmers in India are directly trading on commodity futures exchanges. Even the participation of farmers marketing cooperative bodies (such as NAFED and HAFED) is very limited due to lack of adequate knowledge of the functioning of futures market. Such bodies can act as aggregators and hedge positions in futures exchanges on the behalf of their farmers.

While futures have failed to achieve their avowed objectives of price discovery and price risk management, it remains to be seen how options alone, or in combination with futures contracts would serve the interests of Indian farmers, especially small and marginal ones (owning less than 2 hectares of land) which constitute 78 percent of the country’s farming community.

The introduction of options trading in sensitive food security commodities calls for a cautious approach as price instability has been a major concern for producers and consumers in India.

An average Indian farmer lacks a basic understanding of what is involved in futures trading. The options trading is even more difficult to comprehend as it adds yet another layer of complexity on what is already a very complex trading instrument. Therefore, options contracts are not ideal for Indian farming community. In the same vein, small enterprises lack the resources and capacities to trade actively in derivatives contracts for hedging purposes. Even experienced traders struggle to understand the risks involved in trading both futures and options contracts.

Nowadays commodity exchanges are conducting short duration training workshops for small stakeholders but such workshops are inadequate to impart information and insights on the nuances of derivatives trading.

Instead of launching highly sophisticated derivatives instruments such as commodity options to help farmers, the Indian authorities should first focus on removing the bottlenecks such as fragmented nature of spot markets; over-politicization of state agricultural produces marketing committees (APMCs) and state agricultural produces marketing boards (APMBs); inadequate warehouses, storage and grading facilities; and poor condition of roads and other infrastructure in the rural India.

A speculator’s playground

The proponents argue that options contracts would complement the existing futures contracts and thereby would make Indian commodity derivatives more attractive to farmers and SMEs for hedging purposes.

Hedgers are market players (consisting of producers, processors and consumers) with an exposure to the underlying commodity and they use derivatives markets primarily for hedging purposes. The hedgers simultaneously operate in the spot market and the futures market. They try to reduce or eliminate their risk by taking an opposite position in the futures market on what they are trying to hedge in the spot market so that both positions cancel one another.

In the absence of strictly enforced guidelines classifying different categories of market participants, it is difficult to differentiate between speculators and hedgers in commodity derivatives markets. As a result, no one knows the true proportion of derivatives contracts used for purely hedging purposes in the Indian market. It is also difficult to determine whether a trader is buying or selling commodity derivatives contracts for purely speculative or hedging purposes.

Not long ago, the FMC had acknowledged that the bulk of trading in the Indian commodity futures market is carried out by speculators and non-commercial traders who attempt to profit from buying and selling futures contracts by anticipating future price movements but have no intention of actually owning the physical commodity, while the participation of hedgers is almost negligible. Most market analysts feel that the participation of hedgers in the futures market is relatively small. The frequent price manipulation scandals have further eroded their confidence and trust in the commodity derivatives market.

It should be noted that in the Indian equity markets where options contracts are traded, these contracts are mostly used as a speculative tool to profit from market movement, rather than to hedge existing portfolios.

In all likelihood, the introduction of commodity options trading will attract more speculative investments from big traders and speculators. These market players will now have a new instrument to add to their trading arsenal.

With the expected entry of foreign banks, institutional investors and other financial players, the Indian commodity derivatives markets would move further away from fulfilling the twin objectives of hedging and price discovery. The policy makers should take steps to avoid turning the entire commodity derivatives markets into an arena for pure speculative activities.

What is good for financial investors and commodity speculators is not necessarily good for Indian farmers and small entrepreneurs. This policy move will have significant implications for inclusive growth and development and therefore requires a major rethink.

Kavaljit Singh works with Madhyam, a policy research institute, based in New Delhi. 

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« A US-Afghan raid against the Taliban, involving NATO airstrikes, left 26 civilians, three Afghan troops and two US service members dead, officials say.  

-26 civilians, three Afghan troops and two US troops dead
-Afghan authorities investigating the attack 
-The Taliban’s 2015 takeover of Kunduz marked the most serious blow to the country since international troops withdrew in 2014

Afghan officials said they were still investigating the attack and its civilian casualties, some of which may have been caused by the airstrikes called in to support Afghan and US troops under fire. »  (ABC.au news report)

*      *      *

There is a storm of indignation all around the world because of US’ airstrike on Kunduz hospital in the northern part of Afghanistan within the latest three days. From the very beginning it was clear that it was the US who had stricken a blow. It was also confirmed by various international humanitarian organizations.

The UN reacted immediately and declared to hold an investigation on mass casualties among civilians. According to the United Nations, at least 32 were killed and 19 were wounded in the tragedy. Addressing the audience, the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in AfghanistanTadamichi Yamamoto said such civilian casualties are unacceptable and undermine efforts on strengthening peace and stability in the region.

The Clarification of the incident’s circumstances is still going on. But the American command has already admittedtheir air strikes resulted in civilian casualties. It is really requires investigation. In this way the US President Barack Obama expressed condolences over civilians’ deaths speaking with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as if that’ll help!

It should be mentioned that the US senior officials recently did not hesitate but admitted their mistakes and shortcomings. Such autocriticism becomes clear considering some facts.

First the US is acting on the basis of the aims and the experience of their own errors. State Department’s analytics have analyzed numerous instances of civilian infrastructure’s destruction and the losses of civilian lives, exposing a deep assessment of the international community’s reaction to these incidents. They came to the simple conclusion that in a few days such events are practically forgotten in the background of many others and the United States realize their bloody ambitions in the end. Only this year Western coalition’s Air Force stroke dozens of blows on civilian facilities, which were happily forgotten.

Let us remember some of the mistakes like the blows at the Doctors without borders’ hospital near the town of Maarrat al-Nu’man in Syria killing at least 7 and wounding 10 people on February 15. Similarly coalition’s planes attacked the city of Manbij on July 18 and 30, causing the losses of lives of more than 110 civilians, including 30 children. In addition, on July 28 it has destroyed the market in the village of Al-Ghandur in Aleppo province. There were 28 civilians killed there including seven children. The US Air Force’s blow on September 17 at the city of Deir ez-Zor was also a mistake. However there were not any terrorists killed, but the Syrian army. It should be recalled that about 60 military were killed and over 100 wounded in the attack. No one had been brought to justice as a result of the investigation so far.

Second the Americans usually investigate incidents having a finger in the pie. Controlled by the US media provide active support defining a favorable background information. There is an interesting article on the problems with the information in the western media written by Glenn Greenwald from Intercept. He claims CNN and The New York Times support the interests of their owners and are often used to manipulate the public opinion and promote propaganda or questionable political projects. In addition, the major Western media are too corrupted.

This is the very scheme used in the case of the last air strike of the hospital in Kunduz. According to White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest, Barack Obama has already contacted with the Doctors without Borders’ current international president Dr. Joanne Liu, and assured her the investigation of the incident would be ‘comprehensive and objective’.

This confirms once again that the United States use all the administrative, military, political, financial and information resources available to promote their own interests. The Americans have developed an algorithm of actions, which they try to impose on the UN leadership for misrepresentation. Let us hope that the United Nations won’t be led by the nose by the United States this time and not allow suppressing the facts. The investigation must be followed to its logical end and those responsible must be held accountable to the fullest extent of international law.

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova affirmed that Western countries including the United States are currently funding the so called “local councils” which are affiliated to terrorist organizations in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city.

In a statement on Tuesday, Zakharova said that according to the available information, these councils were funded at the beginning by Qatar, but now the US, Britain, France, the UAE, and Scandinavian countries are the major funders of these councils.

She pointed out that these councils were working to foil the UN operation for delivering aid to the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo via al-Castello road, and they were responsible for preventing the evacuation of sick and injured people from those neighborhoods recently.

Zakharova noted that it is obvious that these self-appointed councils do not represent people of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, who have become hostages in the hands of the militants, and that the representatives of those councils are fulfilling the orders of their sponsors and hypocritically speaking on behalf of civilians while in fact they support terrorists and the most extreme militants in the ranks of illegal armed groups, all of which leads to the continuation of bloodshed and furthers the suffering of civilians in the city.

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With the victory of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections, many commentators, analysts and academics have « predicted » a more isolationist America. For Asia specifically, particularly those in need of US intervention to prop up their unpopular, impotent political causes, they fear an ebbing of US support.

However, as history has shown, the whims of US voters rarely has an impact on US foreign policy, particularly amidst the more subtle use of US « soft power. »

US policy toward Asia has been a historical, socioeconomic and military continuum marked by a consistent desire for geopolitical and socioeconomic primacy in the region stretching back for over a century. Since World War 2, the US has attempted to contain a rising China, temper and exploit emerging developing nations across Southeast Asia and prevent nations subjugated to US domination (Japan, South Korea and the Philippines) from achieving anything resembling an independent foreign and domestic policy.

This is a continuum that has transcended presidential administrations and congressional shifts of power for decades.

To believe that the recent victory by Donald Trump amid America’s 2016 presidential election will suddenly change this decades-long continuum is naive and folly.

The networks that primarily seek to establish, protect and expand US primacy in Asia are driven by corporate and financial special interests including banks, the energy industry, defence contractors, agricultural and pharmaceutical giants, the US entertainment industry and media as well as tech giants.

They achieve primacy through a variety of activities ranging from market domination through incremental advances in « free trade, » the funding of academic and activist groups through organisations like the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Open Society, Freedom House and USAID as well as direct pressure on the governments of respective Asian states through both overt and covert political, economic and military means.

This is a process that takes place independent of both the White House and the US Congress.

Regardless of how elections turn out, this process will continue so long as the source of these collective special interests’ power remains intact and unopposed.

For Asian states, in the wake of Trump’s victory, keeping track of and dealing with the actual networks used to project American primacy into Asia Pacific is more important than weighing the isolationist rhetoric of president-elect Donald Trump.

Until networks like NED and USAID are either entirely reformed or dismantled, and Asian alternatives are able to permanently displace US economic and institutional domination in the region, the threat of American primacy asserting itself over the interests of Asia itself will persist.

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