Notes from the Editors
The essays in this issue are of two sorts. The one we present first focuses on grassroots actions of the you-are-the-leaders-you’ve-been-looking-for persuasion. Mostly. Their focus tends to be on doings in the US: the black community, bingo workers, teachers and unions, meritocracy (an analytic counterpoise dealing with the wealthy), a grassroots organization for and working class communities, and a newbie in office who bucked the system (unlike a president who didn’t).The essays in the second set are analytical, providing frameworks for examining US foreign relations and international matters: one on US-Russia relations, two on Venezuela — looking at Venezuela and US foreign policy through two different lenses — followed by an essay on what is at stake in the confrontation between the US and Iran, and then one on global capitalism.
We’ll post all the essays online at left-turn.sustainlv.org where you’ll be able to post your comments about them.
You know a media is subservient to power when they unceasingly ask dissidents, on the rare occasion they are invited on, about whether Assange has indeed committed crimes the state is mendaciously charging him with (such as computer crime or hacking), BUT unerringly go along with all the massive state crimes that Assange has exposed without ever asking any serious questions of the perpetrators and their countless apologists.
Assange’s fatal mistake may have been seeking asylum in Ecuador rather than Cuba, unless we are not aware of circumstances making that option not possible. Cuba has a long pedigree of standing up to the bully from the north.
We are disgusted at the UK & Ecuador in arresting Assange to extradite him to the US. A bloody former empire serving the wishes of the current one, ugh. And Ecuador! It was not so long ago that it stood up to the rogue behavior of the US. Now it has been reduced to a vassal state. Shameful. And what of “we the people” in the belly of the beast? Will we act to stop the injustice?
We Don’t Like that the Grand Jury has called Chelsea Manning in the first place. We Don’t Like that she was held in solitary confinement. We Don’t Like that Trump’s DOJ is attempting to criminalize Wikileaks publication of leaks. We Don’t Like that Snowden is exiled in Russia. We Don’t Like that Ecuador & the UK conspired to arrest Julian Assange and extradite him to the US. We Want To See a large protest to protect Assange from being arrested and extradited. Will AOC and her progressive colleagues in Congress take an unequivocal public stand against the plans to snatch Assange?
Almost every state condemned Trump’s recognition of Israel’s theft of the land, water, and grapes of Syrian Golan Heights. But there have been no actions to impose any real cost for this blatant violation of international law by the US and Israel. We are witnessing an enfeebled international community reduced to ineffective responses, which reminds me of the offerings of ‘thoughts and prayers’ by politicians in the US in response to repeated mass shootings.
On March 27, the Russian “agent”/”asset” in the Oval Office threatened Russia!! “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela, said Trump as he met with the wife of the CIA-puppet (Guaido) who the US is trying to install as president of Venezuela by sadistically strangulating the Venezuelan economy, urging a military coup, and soliciting the support of Brazil’s fascist President, Bolsonaro. Furthermore, the corporate Dems who have been fuming with rage nonstop for 3 years about the undetectable Russian meddling in the US elections continue to remain silent as the Russian “agent” in the Oval Office openly colludes with the fascist Brazilian president to violently overthrow the government in Venezuela, an ally of Russia. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
The liberal viewers of MSNBC & CNN who’ve been lied to shamelessly for nearly 3 years about Russia-gate and who believed it all must now be referred to as the ‘new basket of deplorables.’ They are Russophobic, disillusioned, unhinged, confused, exhibit significant aversion to reality, gullible, ready to suspend their critical faculty, intolerant of dissent, unable to explain it all rationally- you name it.
Will the real resistance to Trump show up now that Russia-gate joke imploded? Can we at last mount a serious challenge to the US oligarchs who have in fact rigged the political and economic system in their favor?
Will the MSM reexamine their Russia-gate hysteria? Of course not. They didn’t when they lied about WMD in the path to the criminal destruction of Iraq. In that case, all the lying pundits and deceiving officials continued to appear endlessly on the maddeningly vacuous cable news programing ever since. Hell, some officials were even hired as “experts” instead of being put on trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Those who told the truth, well, predictably, they remained uninvited. Our guess is that the same will happen now. The MSM will not reexamine its maddening 2-year-long hysteria; the same dishonest talking heads will continue to appear on the shows; and the dissidents will remain marginalized. What’s more, the same can be said about the dismal corporate Dems: they will not set out to examine their critical role in this hysteria-making as well as in helping elect Trump in 2016. And surely, Trump will now bask in the gift that the corporate Dems and their minions in the press have just bestowed upon him and will use it to re-elect himself for the 2nd term — an outcome that, we think, good many corporate Dems prefer over the return of even a mildly social democratic politics in the form of a Sanders victory.
HBO’s Bill Maher loses his mind when it comes to 3 issues: Islamophobia, Russiagate, and Israel-Palestine. On his show Real Time with Bill Maher, aired on March 8, he made the absurd comment that “Palestinians are victims, but not of Israel; they’re victims of other Palestinians, unfortunately.” And his audience clapped in approval!! Clearly, Israel is not just occupying Palestinian territories; (pro-) Israel (propaganda) also occupies the minds of many US-Americans.
On Thursday, February 28, Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu faced indictment on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. On the same day the UN Human Rights Council reported its finding that Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza by intentionally targeting unarmed children, journalists, health workers, and the disabled. They have killed 183 (including 35 children) and injured 23,000 since last year in a bloody response to the weekly Great March of Return protests. The UN Report calls on states to arrest those responsible for these international crimes. If there are any serious concerns about justice and Palestinian lives in Israel, Netanyahu would be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Clearly Israel does not care about the lives of Palestinians. Of course, we’ve seen this before: Nixon was indicted not for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Chile, etc. but for Watergate-a minor state crime against those with power who can defend themselves. The defenseless Palestinians (like the then Laotians…) cannot and have no effective recourse to pursue justice unless ordinary citizens demand it.
The propaganda machine is hard at work with Venezuela. On April 1st, Joanna Hausmann, prominent social media figure and comedian and daughter of Ricardo Hausmann, who was responsible for the crisis that led to Chávez becoming president, Venezuela’s IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) representative appointed by Guaidó, posted a video for the New York Times called “What My Fellow Liberals Don’t Get About Venezuela” in which she calls Maduro a “tyrannical dictator.” The backlash was so strong from both sides she didn’t tweet again for a month. She failed to disclose her relationship with her father and how Guaidó succeeding in a coup would benefit her monetarily directly, and even centrists came at her and the New York times for lack of journalistic integrity. Among many falsehoods and hypocrisies, she calls Maduro a tyrannical dictator, but, what tyrannical dictator would allow Guaidó to get as far as he did? The message is convoluted and delusional.
From the Green Party US, May 16, 2019:
The Green Party strongly protests the arrests today of individuals inside the Venezuelan Embassy. Members of the organization Embassy Protection Collective had been staying inside the embassy since April 10, 2019, with permission of the embassy. Their objective was to help prevent a U.S. administration-aided effort by the Venezuelan opposition to take over the embassy. Several members of the Green Party were part of the organization.
The United Nations recognizes Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. It is illegal under international law for the U.S. to facilitate control of the embassy to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has asserted a claim to the office.
The Embassy Protection Collective released a statement recently saying that eviction and arrests of the individuals, inside the embassy with the approval of the Venezuelan government, would violate international law.
“Today’s action creates a horrific precedent. International law protects foreign embassies,” said Margaret Flowers, Green Party of the United States Co-chair, and one of the activists arrested today as part of the nonviolent effort to prevent the takeover. “The Trump Administration is violating the Vienna Convention by not only allowing the illegal seizure of diplomatic premises but by facilitating it. Such action raises concerns for the safety and security of diplomatic staff and embassies, including our own, throughout the world.”
The Green Party platform states that “the U.S. must recognize the sovereignty of nation-states and their right of self-determination.” The Green Party has called for a policy of non-intervention and for sanctions against Venezuela to be lifted.