Monday, November 19, 2018

Links — 19 Nov 2018

Rigged Game
Across the West Powerful Firms Are Becoming Even More Powerful
Patrick Foulis and cross-posted from The Economist (Behind Paywall)
The Dangerous Rush to Judgment Against Julian Assange
Bill Blum, author, attorney and former judge

Reminiscence of the Future
Leningrad, 1942--LDNR 2018
Andrei Martyanov

Fort Russ
A billion in US arms aid to Ukraine since 2014 to make war on Donbass
Joaquin Flores

Asia Times
Afghanistan Takes Center Stage in the New Great Game
Daniel Brumberg | director of Democracy and Governance Studies at Georgetown University and a non-resident senior fellow at Arab Center Washington DC

Mark Curtis
Why the West’s World War One carve-up is still unfinished business

Mint Press News
The Tide Is Turning: Israel Is Losing on Two War Fronts
Ramzy Baroud

Moon of Alabama
Syria - Back In The Arab Fold

Moon of Alabama
Syria Sitrep - Army Wins Al-Safa Battle - More Troops Move Towards Idelb

Russia accuses Kremlin critic Browder of ordering lawyer's murder

Magnitsky might have been poisoned with substance created for sabotage, says prosecutor

Russia to put Browder on international wanted list


Konrad said...

How the US Creates ‘Sh*thole’ Countries
By Robert Fantina

I’ve been saying this all along. If you don’t like refugees, then tell your government to stop creating refugees.

Europe had no refugee crisis before NATO destroyed Libya, and before the USA launched its proxy war against Syria. The USA had no refugee crisis until NAFTA and CAFTA agreements became laws.

NAFTA came into force on 1 Jan 1994. Before that, Mexicans walked or drove across the southern US border every day to shop, or to work, and every evening they walked back or drove back to Mexico where living expenses were lower. I know this because I saw it.

Then NAFTA destroyed the economy for average Mexicans, forcing millions of them to enter the drug trade or to migrate north in a bid for survival.

Regarding the “caravan” from Honduras, President Zelaya was improving the situation in Honduras until 2009 when Hillary Clinton sponsored a coup against Zelaya, and installed neoliberals in power. Honduras became a nightmare.

We can explain all this to right-wingers, but it would only make them angrier. Militant right-wingers and militant leftists love their anger. Hostility is fun. It eases boredom, and it eases loneliness, since it is easy to make friends inside the cult-like echo chambers.


UNRELATED: A reader at the Consortium News blog notes that Chris Hedges is defending the Russia-gate hoax. Hedges says that if Trump shuts down the Russia farce, it would be, “The most serious constitutional crisis in the history of the republic.”

Hedges is a mixed bag. Sometimes he has good things to say, but other times he goes full Democrat, and almost teeters on the verge of neoliberalism.

Konrad said...

Putin meets Netanyahu without minders — reverses IL-20 facts, defends Israel attack, again
By John Helmer

“By meeting Netanyahu in Paris, Putin was able to sidestep the Stavka, and give Netanyahu an assurance that Russian air defenses in Syria will not enforce a no-fly zone for the Israel Air Force so long as it sticks to Syrian and Iranian targets and promises not to repeat its ambush of the Il-20.”

One wonders how much power Putin has over the Russian Stavka (i.e. the military high command). The U.S. President has little power over the U.S. military. Is the Russian president the same?

In any case, we don’t know everything about the meeting between Putin and Netanyahu, but it was suspicious.

If the Israelis destroy the Russian base at Tartous, murdering everyone there, will Putin call it a “tragedy”? An “unfortunate chain of events”?

Is Putin a wimp? A Jew lover? A clever statesman? You decide.

Konrad said...

I meant to say Israeli lover. And if anyone should be banned, it is you.


During the last year, France’s neoliberal President Macron has imposed more and more taxes on diesel and gasoline fuel to “wean France off fossil fuels.”

The price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel in French cars, has risen by around 23% over the past 12 months to an average of €1.51 per liter (£1.32; USD $1.71 per liter).

In US dollars, diesel is now $6.47 per gallon, while gasoline is $4.33 per gallon.

Recently Macron announced yet another tax increase (effective 1 Jan 2019) of 6.5 cents per liter on diesel (25 US cents a gallon) and 2.9 cents per liter of gasoline (11 US cents per gallon). This will make diesel USD $6.72 per gallon, and gasoline prices USD $4.44 per gallon.

Macron’s latter announcement triggered mass protests throughout France, beginning on 17 Nov 2018, and continuing today. Demonstrators have blocked roads, refineries, and fuel depots across the nation.

Macron and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe say they will not bow to the peasants they are screwing. Fuel will continue to be taxed more and more.


[1] The protests are massive, but they will be 1,000 times worse if food becomes scarce, or becomes too expensive to buy. In all countries, the masses will submit to endless abuse and poverty, but they revolt when food becomes unobtainable. When this happens, the police and military cannot stop the revolution.

[2] We don’t yet know the real reason for Macron’s attack on the French people. The “wean France off fossil fuels” excuse is dubious. If a government wants to “wean the masses off fossil fuels,” the solution is not to punish the masses, but to provide electric alternatives. Cars, subways, trains, trucks, etc.

Konrad said...

The dangerous rush to judgment against Julian Assange

Many people in the blogosphere note that when CNN’s Jim Acosta’s press pass was temporarily revoked, the media outlets screamed, “First amendment rights!”

However those same media outlets do not defend Assange.

Regarding the article, Truthdig is tight with the neoliberal leaders of the Democrat Party. Hence we see this at the bottom of the article…

“I am not a fan of Assange. Like many, I fear that he has gone over to the dark side in the global battle against regressive nationalism.”

For establishment Democrats and their liberal toadies (like Truthdig) you are a “fascist” if you do not support globalists. You are a “Trump supporter” if you favor country over corporations. You are a “Nazi” if you favor your community over the “global village.”

It is the same in Europe. If you do not want unelected and unaccountable Troika bureaucrats to rule your nation, you are a “Nazi.”

Konrad said...

The Dangerous Rush to Judgment Against Julian Assange (Part 2)

Caitlin Johnstone:

"The so-called 'Resistance' is struggling to explain why it so enthusiastically supports Trump's agenda against Assange. They claim that Assange is ‘getting what he deserves’ after WikiLeaks exposed Democrat corruption in 2016.

The ‘Resistance’ (aka the Assistance) is incapable of defending their support for Trump with any intellectual honesty.”

Glenn Greenwald:

“Many Democrats despise Assange because they believe he helped defeat Hillary Clinton, which is the gravest crime. Their hatred far outweighs any concerns about the threats posed to press freedoms. While Democrats claim to condemn the Trump administration’s attacks on the media, they parrot the authoritarian mentality of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo that anyone who published documents harmful to Hillary ought to go to prison.”

Caitlin Johnstone:

“Democrat hatred for Assange outweighs their hatred for Trump. When you find yourself supporting conflicting principles, it means you were never guided by principle to begin with. Liberals who promote Russia conspiracy theories, support the prosecution of government transparency advocates, and only attack Trump as an idea rather than actually resisting his actual policies, were never about any principle of any kind.

Trump’s prosecution of Assange, and corporate liberalism’s support for it, has fully discredited all of mainstream US politics on both sides of the aisle. If you’re still looking to Trump or the Democrats to protect you, forget it.”

Matt Franko said...

“Trump, who professed his “love” for WikiLeaks during the campaign, is now on board with targeting Assange.“

That was a sarcastic phrase from Trump due to the apparent DOJ FBI bias in the Clinton email investigation...

Konrad said...

In other words, Trump flip-flopped regarding Wikileaks. He did an about-face, just as Trump did with Russia, Korea, and with the endless wars.

His fans don't care. The peasant herd goes wherever it is told to. In the 1930s the USSR was a "grave enemy." During WW II the USSR was our "brave ally." At the end of WW II the USSR was our "grave enemy again. The peasants hardly noticed the change. They thing what their owners tell them to think..

In Oct 2016 Michael Moore said Hillary was an evil warmonger who served Wall Street. Two months later, Moore endorsed Hillary after the DNC screwed Sanders. Total about-face. And nobody noticed.