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Our Submissive Void and the Rape of Gaza

On Israel, Ukraine and Truth
by John Pilger - CounterPunch
Picasso - Homme a lepee
 
The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”
 
Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.
 
As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in 1984. “Democracy” is now a rhetorical device. Peace is “perpetual war”. “Global” is imperial. The once hopeful concept of “reform” now means regression, even destruction. “Austerity” is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.
 
 
Pablo Picasso - Homme a l'epee
 
In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. “Picasso’s red period,” says an Observer headline, “and why politics don’t make good art.” Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso’s lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell’s radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.
 

"Jihadists" Vow to Destroy Lebanon

Jihadists in Lebanon
by Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch
Bedawi Palestinian camp, North Lebanon - Perhaps, but for a number of reasons, some suggested below, it’s not a happy picture and won’t be a walk in the park.
 
The long tentacles of the DAASH (IS) recent “victories” in Syria and Iraq have not taken long to start to move around Lebanon. The gauntlets for Lebanon to avoid all-out war and the possibilities for its partial dismemberment or its substantial subjection to elements of extreme Islamism are many.
 
Some evidence.
 
One ISIS leader, Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari recently declared the expansion of the IS to include Lebanon. He declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria and Iraq. Soon, Lebanon will ignite” Meanwhile, Lebanon’s branch of al-Nusra Front posted on its Twitter feed its fourth official statement to date, titled “Urgent appeal to Sunnis in Lebanon.” The statement declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria. Soon, Lebanon will ignite. Iran’s party [i.e. Hezbollah] and all its bases and strongholds are a legitimate target for us wherever they may be found.”

Nazi Love: A Two-Party One Program Election Race in Indonesia

Indonesia, A Proudly Nazi Nation?
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch
Andre djokIndonesians has voted and what votes they have cast! Either they have chosen an outright Nazi, or a populist supported by a bunch of Nazis!

The results are actually too close; it appears that almost half of the active Indonesian voters have endorsed either the Mayor of Jakarta – a former furniture salesman and populist known as ‘Jokowi’ – or a former general of the National Special Forces – Prabowo Subianto.

Great Marxist Indonesian painter Djokopekik and his
crocodile representing elites plundering their country.


Incompetent according to some, populist, if you listen to others, or fierce ‘reformer’ for quite a substantial group of his supporters, not long ago Mr. Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo appeared to be running almost unopposed. But then the state, intelligence and corporate apparatuses went into gear and the gap ‘miraculously’ closed.

The ‘military camp’ deployed nationalist speeches, insults, and flag waving…

And now it is almost even…

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What the Financiers Fear Most: A World of Resistance

World of Resistance Report: Part 4: Financial Institutions Fear Global Revolution
by Andrew Gavin Marshall - Dissident Voice
In Part 1 of the WoR Report, I examined Zbigniew Brzezinski’s warnings to elites around the world of the “global political awakening” of humanity.

In Part 2, I looked at the relationship between inequality and social instability, and in Part 3 I examined the World Economic Forum’s warnings of growing inequality and the “lost generation” of youth who pose the greatest threat to oligarchic interests around the world.

In this fourth installment in the series, we turn to reports from top banks and financial institutions warning about the growing threats to their interests posed by an increasingly disenfranchised and impoverished population – manifested in protests, strikes and social unrest.

Reflections on Ukraine War As Seen From Crimea

From Simferopol, Crimea, reflections on the war in eastern Ukraine
by Roger Annis  - A Socialist in Canada
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon walking through central Simferopol, the administrative capital city of Crimea. You may know Crimea as the former region of Ukraine that recently voted to join the Russian Federation. It was a warm and sunny day with a strong breeze blowing.

I get the impression that I’m the only tourist in town. I kept my ears acutely tuned all day to the sound of a foreign-language conversation. ничего (nothing). 
 
July 10, 2014, Simferopol, Crimea
 
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White Hats and Electric Shocks: Mainstreaming Torture

The 25th Hour: Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World
by Rebecca Gordon  - TomDispatch
mainstreaming tortureOnce upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes.
 
From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living in a post-9/11 world, we’re stuck with Jack Bauer in the 25th hour.

In 2002, Cofer Black, the former Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, tolda Senate committee, “All I want to say is that there was ‘before’ 9/11 and ‘after’ 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off.” 
 
He wanted them to understand that Americans now live in a changed world, where, from the point of view of the national security state, anything goes. It was, as he and various top officials in the Bush administration saw it, a dangerous place in which terrorists might be lurking in any airport security line and who knew where else.
 

Western Complicity in a Massacre of Armenians at Kassab, Syria

The Massacre of Armenians at Kassab, Syria under the support of the Republic of Turkey
by Lilly Martin
Latakia and Kassab, Syria - At 6 am. on the morning of March 21, 2014 armed terrorists came streaming into Kassab, Syria over the Turkish border. The Army of the Republic of Turkey fired heavy cannons to assist in the initial breaching of the international border. They also provided satellite information.

The weapons used by the terrorists were all provided by the United States of America, from their personal warehouses at Benghazi, Libya. This was the “Rat Line” which Seymour M. Hersh wrote about on April 6, 2014. The vehicles used also came from the US warehouses.

All of these weapons and vehicles were the property of the Libyan government under Muamar Ghadafi. Once USA and NATO completed their regime change there, the US had possession of everything, and it was just a matter of time that the stuff was transferred to the Port at Iskenderun, Turkey.
 

A Pipeline Runs Through It: Connecting Afghanistan to Ukraine's Dot

Pushing Ukraine to the Brink

by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

“The unipolar world model has failed. People everywhere have shown their desire to choose their own destiny, preserve their own cultural identity, and oppose the West’s attempts at military, financial, political and ideological domination.”  -  Vladimir Putin

“While the human politics of the crisis in Ukraine garner all the headlines, it is the gas politics that in many ways lies at the heart of the conflict.”  - Eric Draitser, Waging war against Russia, one pipeline at a time, RT

What does a pipeline in Afghanistan have to do with the crisis in Ukraine?

Everything. It reveals the commercial interests that drive US policy. Just as the War in Afghanistan was largely fought to facilitate the transfer of natural gas from Turkmenistan to the Arabian Sea, so too, Washington engineered the bloody coup in Kiev to cut off energy supplies from Russia to Europe to facilitate the US pivot to Asia.

This is why policymakers in Washington are reasonably satisfied with the outcome of the war in Afghanistan despite the fact that none of the stated goals were achieved.
 

Counter Intelligent: Spying Out Democracy

Counter-Intelligence: Spying Deters Democracy
Part 1: Interview with Filmmaker Scott Noble
 
by Kim Petersen - Dissident Voice
 
Counter Intelligence Scott HarrisScott Noble is an extraordinarily productive filmmaker who has built up an impressive treasure trove of documentaries at Metanoia Films. The films deal with topics such as the plutocracy’s determination to entrench and maintain its power and wealth through myriad means — among them psychological ops, black ops, propaganda, disinformation, and more. Last year, after watching Counter-Intelligence which relates how the tentacles of espionage agencies have permeated governments and societies, domestically and abroad, I began an email interview exchange with Noble to flesh out further points raised in the film.

Kim Petersen: What was your goal in making Counter-Intelligence?

Scott Noble: My basic goal was to help people understand intelligence agencies and the techniques they use to advance policy. Most documentaries dealing with e.g. the CIA attempt to prove or disprove a particular theory about a controversial event. There is little in the way of structural analysis.

In making the film I set out to explore how these agencies function in the real world. How do they keep secrets? What are some common m.o.’s? What is their ultimate purpose? In a broader sense I wanted to ask whether democracy is even possible when organizations like the CIA exist.
 

The Leftwing Reflections of a Booking Agent

Reflections of a Leftwing Booking Agent
by David Rovics - CounterPunch
I’m at the annual conference of the northwest branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation as I write. I’ve done a few songs so far, and have been very well-received. It’s an easy audience for leftwing sentiment combined with acoustic music. These are mostly people a bit older than I, who came of age during the times of the movements against the war in Vietnam, and for civil rights. These movements had lasting effects not only on the politics of those in attendance, but on their taste in music. Also, they’re members of an organization that has a culture of its own, to some extent, which has somewhat insulated it from the ebb and flow of social movements (though it has also undoubtedly drawn so much from those movements, too).
 
Groups like FOR in places like western Washington feel slightly insulated from how things are in what you might call Middle America. A nice little bastion of sanity amid what often feels like the alienated drones in the “real world.” But what of the times when those drones come to life, and beyond the walls of the artificially-produced fortresses of progressivism, the regular people get motivated to think outside the box? Movements large and small can happen, and have broad and lasting ripple effects. Like the 60′s — the repercussions of which we’ll still be feeling for many decades I’m sure.
 

Fascist Retrogradients: Some Sunshine on a Dark Planet

Positive Thoughts on Dark Times
by James Petras
suncombo1 prevThere is no question that over the past decade and a half, Europe, the US and Israel have engaged in a series of bloody wars, inequalities have increased throughout the globe, economic crisis has become endemic and, more recently, right-wing military and civilian regimes have swept to power throughout Asia, North Africa, Europe and Canada.

Yet, despite this generally gloomy picture, important positive developments have emerged raising the possibility of fundamental changes to reverse the current reactionary wave.
 
I will proceed by outlining these positive developments, taking account of the retrograde context in which they occur.