American Exceptionalism and the Election Made in Hell (Or Why I’d Vote for Trump Over Hillary), by William Blum

Source: counterpunch

If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump.

My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted. And not much better can be expected on domestic issues from this woman who was paid $675,000 by Goldman Sachs – one of the most reactionary, anti-social corporations in this sad world – for four speeches and even more than that in political donations in recent years. Add to that Hillary’s willingness to serve for six years on the board of Walmart while her husband was governor of Arkansas. Can we expect to change corporate behavior by taking their money?

The Los Angeles Times ran an editorial the day after the multiple primary elections of March 1 which began: “Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States,” and then declared: “The reality is that Trump has no experience whatsoever in government.”

When I need to have my car fixed I look for a mechanic with experience with my type of auto. When I have a medical problem I prefer a doctor who specializes in the part of my body that’s ill. But when it comes to politicians, experience means nothing. The only thing that counts is the person’s ideology. Who would you sooner vote for, a person with 30 years in Congress who doesn’t share your political and social views at all, is even hostile to them, or someone who has never held public office before but is an ideological comrade on every important issue? Clinton’s 12 years in high government positions carries no weight with me.

The Times continued about Trump: “He has shamefully little knowledge of the issues facing the country and the world.”

Again, knowledge is trumped (no pun intended) by ideology. As Secretary of State (January 2009-February 2013), with great access to knowledge, Clinton played a key role in the 2011 destruction of Libya’s modern and secular welfare state, sending it crashing in utter chaos into a failed state, leading to the widespread dispersal throughout North African and Middle East hotspots of the gigantic arsenal of weaponry that Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi had accumulated. Libya is now a haven for terrorists, from al Qaeda to ISIS, whereas Gaddafi had been a leading foe of terrorists.

Continue reading American Exceptionalism and the Election Made in Hell (Or Why I’d Vote for Trump Over Hillary), by William Blum

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Conversation: The Imagined ‘Reality’ We Live In

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background, by Sergey Lavrov

Source: Voltairenet

For Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign policy, if we study it on the long term, includes several constants. First, the desire to find a national identity and to integrate the European concert; then the desire to establish common rules —international law— to which each state will comply, so that peace may reign.

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International relations have entered a very difficult period, and Russia once again finds itself at the crossroads of key trends that determine the vector of future global development.

Many different opinions have been expressed in this connection including the fear that we have a distorted view of the international situation and Russia’s international standing. I perceive this as an echo of the eternal dispute between pro-Western liberals and the advocates of Russia’s unique path. There are also those, both in Russia and outside of it, who believe that Russia is doomed to drag behind, trying to catch up with the West and forced to bend to other players’ rules, and hence will be unable to claim its rightful place in international affairs. I’d like to use this opportunity to express some of my views and to back them with examples from history and historical parallels.

It is an established fact that a substantiated policy is impossible without reliance on history. This reference to history is absolutely justified, especially considering recent celebrations. In 2015, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory in WWII, and in 2014, we marked a century since the start of WWI. In 2012, we marked 200 years of the Battle of Borodino and 400 years of Moscow’s liberation from the Polish invaders. If we look at these events carefully, we’ll see that they clearly point to Russia’s special role in European and global history.

History doesn’t confirm the widespread belief that Russia has always camped in Europe’s backyard and has been Europe’s political outsider. I’d like to remind you that the adoption of Christianity in Russia in 988 – we marked 1025 years of that event quite recently – boosted the development of state institutions, social relations and culture and eventually made Kievan Rus a full member of the European community. At that time, dynastic marriages were the best gauge of a country’s role in the system of international relations. In the 11th century, three daughters of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the queens of Norway and Denmark, Hungary and France. Yaroslav’s sister married the Polish king and granddaughter the German emperor.

Continue reading Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background, by Sergey Lavrov

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THE REAL COALITION AGAINST DAESH IS THE “4+1”: RUSSIA, SYRIA, IRAN, IRAQ PLUS HEZBOLLAH, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Katehon

pepe

When Palestinians defend themselves by throwing stones, they’re called terrorists, while Israel threatens Palestinians’ life on a daily basis and is considered innocent. Moreover, U.S. politicians have said many times that Israel has the right to defend itself; do you think they want to imply that the people of Palestine do not have the right to defend themselves?

The whole narrative across the West is framed by the multiple ramifications of the Israel lobby – with fuel to the fire constantly added by Zionists and American, French and British Zio-cons. They control key media outlets and always employ the same crude tactics to discredit critics; ANY criticism of Israel – which is usually directed to the framework of an apartheid state, and the state’s internal and foreign policy – is blasted as “anti-Semitic”. Criticism of Zionism has never had and will never have anything to do with anti-Semitism. Arguably the best deconstruction of this myth is available in the book aptly titled “Deconstructing Zionism”, edited by Gianni Vattimo and Michael Marder (Bloomsbury, 2014). A subplot of the myth is the “Israel has the right to defend itself” meme – which turns reality around to justify any repressive or frankly fascist Israeli attack. On top of it, Palestinians are not considered equal citizens to Israelis (the notorious, perennial Golda Meir maxim “there are no Palestinians”) and the Israeli elite overwhelmingly regards Arabs as inferior beings.

Many argue that the Zionist regime has been planted in the region to sow discord and keep regional countries busy with internal conflicts? What is your take on that? What is your understanding of the establishment of the Zionist regime?

Israel is essentially a European – and later American – aircraft carrier parked in the most sensitive area of Southwest Asia – what the West calls “the Middle East – to divide and rule Arabs, sow perpetual chaos, and expand its (never defined) borders to the benefit of a myth, the notion of Eretz Israel (“Greater Israel”). Such an entity obviously can survive only if it faces “threats” and is perpetually surrounded by “enemies” (the narrative of “tiny” and “defenseless” Israel surrounded by brutes.) “Threats” and “enemies” essentially comprise the Palestinians; previously all Arabs, and then, narrowing down to Iraq (destroyed by the US invasion/occupation) and Syria (being destroyed by a NATO/GCC alliance as we speak); and finally Iran, because of the Islamic revolution; the fact that Iran’s foreign policy is independent; and that Iran is the de facto major power in the region. The fact that Israel and the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia have a shady alliance with plenty of convergence in their foreign policy is all we need to know about the Israeli power play in the region.

Continue reading THE REAL COALITION AGAINST DAESH IS THE “4+1”: RUSSIA, SYRIA, IRAN, IRAQ PLUS HEZBOLLAH, by Pepe Escobar

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GREAT BRITAIN & THE NEW THRESHOLD OF POWER, by Marcelo Gullo

Source: Katehon

empiretrade

Great Britain & the Industrial Revolution

In his celebrated book Industry & Empire Eric Hobsbawn (1998:13) affirms: “The Industrial Revolution points out the deepest transformation experienced by human life in the history of the world, registered in written documents. During a short period this revolution coincided with the story of just one country, Great Britain. Upon it, or rather around it, an entire world economy was built, that allowed it to temporarily reach an influence and power previously unknown by any State of its dimensions”. It is in that historical moment when Great Britain emerges as the first great industrial State-nation in the world, a fact that raises the threshold of power to almost unreachable levels for the other States and that turns England into the greatsubordinating State of the international system:

There is a moment in universal history in which Great Britain can be described as the only workshop in the world, its only mass importer and exporter, its only imperialistic power, almost its only foreign investor; and for that same reason its only naval force and the only country with its own world policy. (Hobsbawm, 1998: 37)

Having completed the Industrial Revolution before any other State, Great Britain automatically elevated the threshold of power. As a logical consequence, from that moment on all other States of the international system that might desire to maintain their respective autonomies were obliged to carry out their own industrial revolution. To not become subordinated, all the States in the international system had to quickly industrialize. During the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century France had been the main rival of England, as much in politics as in economy. Until the mid-17th century, “France was richer than Great Britain, though its riches were more poorly distributed, and the peasants in particular found themselves overwhelmed with very steep taxes, in favor of a landowner class that was practically inactive. Until the Industrial Revolution, French industry had been ahead of that of the English in the employment of complicated machinery and in the development of large factories. But the weight of the prolonged wars weighed heavily on the French economic system and hindered post-war France from assimilating or applying new production techniques based on vapor energy, until far after its establishment in Great Britain” (Cole, 1985: 83). France clearly emerged impoverished from the wars of Napoleon. Nevertheless, it preserved its traditional supremacy in the silk industry, its possessed an industrial bourgeoisiewith a marvelous talent for production of small quantities of articles of high quality, good taste and sky high prices.1 What’s more, the country provided for its own needs, in agricultural material, in such a way that it reached a certain degree of prosperity and a great capacity of accumulation of capital, as soon as the effects of war wore off. Nevertheless, “Politically and economically France was poorly equipped to rival with Great Britain in the global market. Its coal stores were small.

[…] In those circumstances the ancient causes of rivalry between France and Great Britain tended to disappear for the most part. French and British industries had been developed following different lines, and it was improbable that the French would be able to effectively threaten English industry with its new production systems in the world market” (Cole, 1986: 84). To this acute observation of Cole’s it must be added that, despite the fact that France had institutions that were ideally apt for capitalistic development, despite the fact that the ingenious and inventiveness of its businessmen were unparalleled in Europe, despite the fact that Paris was and international financial center just as important as London, despite the fact that France possessed great capital reserves that it exported to the entire continent; the French business sector did not invest in national industry: “The prudent French businessman preferred to manufacture luxury products rather than products of mass consumption; the prudent financier preferred to promote industries abroad rather that in his own country” (Hobsbawm, 2006: 183). This explanation of this radical paradox, according to Eric Hobsbowm, in which “private initiative and economic progress only go hand in hand when the one provides benefits to the other that are higher than other forms of business. In France it did not happen as such, though through France the economic growth of other countries was fertilized” (183). Without and effective State impulse that would promote the development of an important industry, without a pro-industrial economic policy, without a financial policy that would channel credit towards the foundational industries, France was barely able to reach the present threshold of power (set by Great Britain) at a level high enough so as to not become a subordinated State, but it was absolutely incapable of challenging the English worldwide hegemony. Incredibly, the cause of this handicap was none other than neglect, on behalf of the French State, of that necessary State impulse to orient its policy and economy towards levels similar to those of Great Britain. From the different paths taken by the bourgeoisie and the French State in the orientation of its activities emerges the incapacity of arguing over world supremacy with Great Britain.2

Continue reading GREAT BRITAIN & THE NEW THRESHOLD OF POWER, by Marcelo Gullo

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Conversation: George Galloway & Daniel Patrick Welch On Empire,Wars and Racism

This week Eric welcomes two great guests to the program. First, Eric sits down with the inimitable George Galloway to talk war, betrayal, and the Empire’s ceaseless adventures in regime change. They discuss the culpability of the US, UK, and Europe in the death and destruction in the Middle East, the use of terrorism as a potent weapon of war, as well as the refugee crisis and the rise of racist and fascist sentiment in Europe. George also briefly touches on his campaign for mayor of London against both the Conservative and Labour candidates.

In the second part of the show Eric welcomes writer and political analyst Daniel Patrick Welch to the show. Eric and Dan go back and forth on racism, white supremacy and the necolonial attitudes bubbling to the surface in light of the refugee crisis. With references ranging from “Blazing Saddles” to “Seinfeld,” they manage to have a little fun while exploring an issue that is of the utmost importance to contemporary politics and activism.

Click the picture below to play the podcast

george-galloway

Intro & Outtro: David Vest – “Freight Train Rollin'”
Interlude: Billy Bragg & Wilco – “All You Fascists”

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Mass Media’s On Over Drive Trying To Confront The One Candidate That Can Stop The War Machine

Source: Last Week Tonight

The Military Industrial Complex is in panic mode. Their candidate Hillary is sure to secure the Democratic vote but it is looking increasingly unlikely that Americans can be fooled again.

For the few that really need the nudge, please use Google and see what Bernie’s war record is both past & present. He is at the end of it a Military Industrial Complex candidate. Period.

unstumpable Trump

Donald Trump is the red pill that America needs.

Here is one of the (Democratic) Military Industrial Complex’s many mouthpieces. He really went all out this time, stage fireworks and a rap song to boot. Looks like the conservatives in America are back with a vengeance. There maybe a chance of peace.

Will thinking Millenials & Baby boomers – be they African American, Latino or Asian – wake up in time to vote Trump?

Augmented Ether

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Western Media Ignoring Reality On The Ground In Syria, by Eva Bartlett

source: RT

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to President Bashar al-Assad - Photo by Eva Bartlett
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to President Bashar al-Assad – Photo by Eva Bartlett

This month, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syria’s President. The methods used to undermine Shaaban’s message should come as no surprise.

The interview was typical of the infrequent times corporate media has bothered to interview Dr. Shaaban: loaded lexicon, pre-priming the audience with false allegations about the Syrian government, repeatedly cutting-off the high-ranking guest, and a notably rude and condescending demeanor not afforded to guests who tow the NATO narrative on Syria.

As with other top Syrian representatives, Shaaban is made out to be“non-credible” by corporate media pundits when they deign to interview her. They actively work to discredit Syrian officials while at the same time putting forth claims that Wahhabi terrorists are“rebels” and “Syrian representatives” and those warring on Syria are“concerned” about widespread suffering in the country.

Sanctions: It is the Syrian People Who Are Suffering

Dr. Shaaban emphasized the Syrian realities at a meeting in her office in December.

A crucially-important issue that media pundits ignore is that of the crippling sanctions on Syria. In terms of how to provide actual relief to the Syrian people, Dr. Shaaban stated:

“The first thing the West should do in this battle against terrorism is to lift the sanctions from the Syrian people. The sanctions are helping terrorists against the Syrian people, who are suffering doubly from the terrorists and from Western measures against the Syrian people.”

Stephen Gowans recently wrote about the US government’s long-time plans to topple the Syrian government, sanctions being one part of the plot.

“Documents prepared by US Congress researchers as early as 2005 revealed that the US government was actively weighing regime change in Syria. …As an alternative to direct military intervention to topple the Syrian government, the United States chose to pressure Damascus through sanctions and support for the internal Syrian opposition.”

© Mohammed Badra / Reuters
© Mohammed Badra / Reuters

The advocacy website, End The Sanctions on Syria, notes: “Similar sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s were shown to have caused the deaths of more than half a million Iraqi children.”

The site went on to report that (as of May 2014), “701 of 1,921 Syrian health centres have been ‘completely gutted’ by the terrorist attacks. Yet rehabilitation of these centres is retarded by the US-EU sanctions, which have already left ‘a deep mark on the healthcare system’… including by blocking access to medicines, medical equipment, transport and communications.”

Continue reading Western Media Ignoring Reality On The Ground In Syria, by Eva Bartlett

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