Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 29, 2019

Open Thread 2019-06

News & views ...

Posted by b on January 29, 2019 at 18:32 UTC | Permalink

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Sharmine on the logical outcome of my thesis @126:

"When the US undermines the sovereignty & territorial integrity of nation-states, it 'normalizes' the idea that states can disintegrate, unseat leaders, redraw borders. The US is not immune, however. This idea will become the biggest domestic security threat the US has ever faced."

A comment from the resulting thread:

"Like any disease. The host always gets consumed, sooner or later."

Unfortunately, the people most blind to their reality are those residing within the Outlaw US Empire as it's rather difficult to examine the ugliness within yourself for the evidence demands fighting against the national government you've been brainwashed into supporting regardless of its actions. The Rebel is the authentic Patriot, and the faux Patriot is a Fool.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2019 18:38 utc | 1

As shown in this article, there is one key reason why Washington pays any attention to what happens in Venezuela:

The United States seems doomed to repeat the mistakes that it made in Chile in 1973.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jan 29 2019 18:57 utc | 2

I got a good answer to the "why now" question today (from Jürgen Elsässer):

Venezuela not only has the oil as described in #1, they have assumed the rotating (every year) presidency of OPEC at the beginning of this year. And Maduro has stated as a central goal to push for the organisation to use other currencies than the dollar for payments, including cryptocurrencies. Here is an article on Venezuelanalysis about this. So the "petro dollar" is now in more danger than ever, not least because of Maduro and his "petro".

Posted by: CE | Jan 29 2019 19:14 utc | 3

Has to do with EastMed too.
When Erdo will push for shared resources/profits he will be Maduro-ed...

Posted by: Denis Mac-Shame | Jan 29 2019 19:19 utc | 4

Chris Hedges! Stop talking and start running for crisesakes! If Mr. Starbucks Schultz runs then so can you!

Hedges was asked last September: Who should run for President in 2020? He answers by waxing on Nader. Nader's over!


There will never be a good time or a better time than this.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29 2019 19:35 utc | 5

The absurdities of Australia's U S controlled China policies . Woke to the local regional radio news informing me that HUAWEI had withdrawn from building 5G in Australia - no mention they were BANNED from doing so under U S pressure.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 29 2019 19:38 utc | 6

No matter whether you post a comment to the UK "Guardian", the German "Die Welt" or the Spanish "El Pais": chances are your comment will be censored, unless you rewrite your comment using politically correct speech. And in spite of this, I routinely skip reading newspaper article and go straight to the comments, because the comments are often more informative than the article. Is this your experience as well?

Posted by: nick | Jan 29 2019 19:49 utc | 7

Posted by: nick

Comments are often manipulated by AI assisted teams. Write to: Unit 8200 - Cyberwarfare division - Foreign Threats dept. - IDF - PO Box 911 Tel Aviv - Israel, for details..

Posted by: Denis Mac-Shame | Jan 29 2019 19:57 utc | 8

Just like many things that are being censored thought Moonbats, would like to know the following:

Dear Guns and Butter Listeners, Subscribers and Supporters,

2018 has been quite a year. We’ve managed to produce some great shows, have been banned from KPFA Radio (our home station) after seventeen long years of broadcasting there, but remain strong on the Pacifica Network and affiliates.

In 2019 we look forward to strengthening our presence on the Internet. The Unz Review now carries Guns and Butter. Global Research is now regularly carrying the program with transcripts, and will also be posting older shows that remain very relevant.

Tony is updating our Sound Cloud archives to make the RSS Feed easier to find and subscribe to shows. We will also be offering an iTunes podcast subscription so stay tuned for more details. In early 2019 we will be completing the audio archive on Sound Cloud and on The Unz Review.

In mid-November Bonnie attended the annual Dallas JFK Assassination Conference produced by Judyth Vary Baker, and gave a talk after the Saturday night banquet on Controversial Topics and Our Freedom of Speech and participated in a panel on The Fight for Truth in the Media at the close of the conference. Many authors and researchers who have been interviewed on Guns and Butter attended and presented at the conference.

Jazz musician, philosopher, author and activist, Gilad Atzmon, will be giving two presentations in the South Bay on Friday, January 4th, We Are All Palestinians Now. Gilad will speak from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Center in Monterey, CA and that evening he will speak from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 846 Front Street, in Santa Cruz, CA. Gilad will have a lot to say about censorship and free speech.

Here are links to a couple of great shows from 2018 that you may have missed: Skull & Bones Secrecy and Our Republic with Kris Millegan and America’s Traffic in Child Pornography with Lori Handrahan. At the bottom of this newsletter are links to two of our latest programs, The Vocabulary of Economic Deception with Michael Hudson and Foreshadowing, Ritual and Symbology in Film with Jay Dyer.

We are sending this newsletter update on the last day of 2018. If any of you would like to support our work on Guns and Butter we hope that you will do so today. Thank you to everyone who has signed up for monthly sustainable contributions, and to those of you who have made one-time donations. We cannot express enough our gratitude for your help. Bonnie is very late in sending out individual thank-you’s due to the recent upheaval, but will get caught up very soon.

The subject of censorship is one of the most important current developments, and we are concerned that this is only the little beginning. Bonnie will be on Dr. Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad Radio Show to discuss censorship, and we will send you the audio as soon as it is available.

In order for Guns and Butter to continue producing the cutting-edge and challenging programming that you have come to expect, we need your tax-deductible financial support. We sincerely hope that you will continue your support of Guns and Butter in these times of extreme censorship. Your donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Guns and Butter is a project of Inquiring Systems, a registered 501(c)(3) that has been providing non-profit status to socially responsible organizations since 1978. Thank you for helping us to continue serving you!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 29 2019 19:57 utc | 9

El Pais censors of course, like the others, but their censorship is a work in progress, now it prefilters content and not only form. In news about the ME it is almost impossible to post a realistic note or observation.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 29 2019 20:15 utc | 10

@6 nick.. your question - "Is this your experience as well? i skip reading these news outlet as it left a bad taste in my mouth... on the other hand, i read b's articles and the commentary, as it is generally all educational and informative..

@hoarsewhisperer - on the previous thread asking for accountability on what happened in libya before we move on.. fully agree with your comment their and would like to say, there has been no accountability with regard to libya, or a number of other places where the west has imposed it's regime change agenda... it is a steady onslaught of disorder, such that i agree with those who say the chaos is indeed very intentional.. how to stop it is the 64,000 question..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 20:17 utc | 11

US gives opposition leader Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets

you know, the more i think about this, the more outrageous it is... what gives the usa the right to do this? yes, they have the power, but it is totally unethical and acting above any legal basis... it is fucking outrageous.. i mean.. i knew the folks running the usa were kleptomaniacs, but this is solid proof of it..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 20:21 utc | 12

meanwhile most americans navel gaze on shit like the mueller investigation, building a wall and shit like that... what a pathetic nation the usa has become...

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 20:23 utc | 13

I agree with CE at #2.
Remember when Saddam Hussein wanted to start selling Iraqi oil in euros, and later when Gaddafi was floating the idea dumping trade in dollars in favor of a gold dinar? And look what happened to them.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jan 29 2019 20:25 utc | 14

This article at may be of interest to some. Not saying that any of it is new to readers here nor is it exhaustive but imo a decent piece that pulls together a lot and might be interesting to those who mainly follow MSM.

An extract:

"The ruling class of the US imperium will simply not tolerate any government that opposes its financial and geopolitical dominance, attempts socialism, or transfers its nexus to another powerful state entity, like Russia or China for instance. If one chooses to do so it is instantly targeted for assault either by crippling economic sanctions or embargoes, which make governance nearly impossible and primarily harms the general population, or covert subversion, or by direct and indirect military intervention. And the corporate media, when it chooses to cover these issues, generally parrots State Department and Pentagon talking points and obfuscations about the intentions of the US government, the role of corporations and global capitalism, and the character of the governments the US happens to be opposing at the time. And all of this is done with virtually no historical analysis. But of course none of this is new."

Posted by: spudski | Jan 29 2019 20:33 utc | 15

@11 James - oh Thucydides can answer that question too -

"We hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you …. have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 29 2019 20:35 utc | 16

@CE | Jan 29, 2019 2:14:34 PM | 2

It is interesting, the seeming rush to mess with Venezuela.
I guess whether it was in fact rushed, depends on how much we want to believe the data we are fed.
I believe it was and suspect that that was the reason for resumption of operation of the government - to support the intervention in Venezuela. Otherwise, it seemed like too sudden a reversal by Trump.

I think in their analysis of where to intervene next, they look at an array of factors:
- Venezuela is weak
- Venezuela espouses something like socialism
- Venezuela has been associating with unsavory "competitors"
- Venezuela is nearby (and very nearby our asset, Colombia)
- Venezuela can be portrayed as in need of humanitarian intervention
- Maduro has said some unkind things about U.S. government (Bush)
- Venezuela holds a grand prize

In there discusions, I assume the issue of right/wrong is not mentioned.
Imagine someone attempting to raise the issue:
- But what will the media say?
- But what will the U.N. say?
- But what will the Pope say?
- But what will the voters say?
- But what will the other party say?
- But is it really the moral thing to do, what would God say?

Posted by: jared | Jan 29 2019 20:41 utc | 17

@15 kadath.. obviously i need to take up reading thucydides! i have been reading the wrong material, lol... thanks again for that long quote on the previous thread..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 20:44 utc | 18

I also suspect the urgency of intervention in Venzuela may have to do with the MIC is seeing some slack in demand.

Posted by: Jared | Jan 29 2019 20:44 utc | 19

@ james | Jan 29, 2019 3:23:18 PM

Do you really think that citizens from any other 5_EYES countries are any better.
Isn't father Trudeau spinning in his grave watching what his son is doing to Canada's reputation?

Somewhat related article by Gordon Duff:

Governed by Small Men, Why Veterans Must Speak Out

Posted by: ex-SA | Jan 29 2019 20:46 utc | 20

Russia/Israel strengthen their relationsship on Syria/Iran:

Netanyahu in talks with Russia to avoid Syria ‘frictions’

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 29 2019 20:48 utc | 21

@15Kadath @17 james

Thanks Kadath, I second james on this.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 29 2019 20:52 utc | 22

@19 ex-SA... with minor exceptions the 5 eye countries are no different.. i suppose the main difference is not being served up a regular diet of 'we are the greatest' bs, accounts for some of it.. the general curiousity about what the fuck is going on outside of the usa seems sorely lacking in people who live in the usa... maybe the media can be blamed for a chunk of this... generally canucks know a lot more about the usa, then the usa people know about canada.. that is something i have witnessed in my life.. but, the simple answer to your question is there isn't a lot of difference.. and yes - trudeau senior must be really disappointed in tru dope jr... he is nothing compared to his dad... canada is on a downhill trajectory and fast with this buffoon.. i expect worse in the next election too.. we will get our trump as we are one cycle behind..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 20:53 utc | 23

Circe @4

Hedges is too cerebral for politics. I don't think he'd connect with voters.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 29 2019 21:00 utc | 24

Re Thucydides

His History has often been applied as analogous to the post-cold war era, with the US empire usually compared to the arrogant, bullying, tyrannical, over-stretched Athenian empire. The speeches of the Corinthian and Theban ambassadors trying to convince Sparta to join them in war could be transposed almost word for word to anyone who fiercely opposes the empire today.

Also, similar to some who get impatient with the seeming over-conservatism of Russia and China today, so the aggressive, hot-headed Corinthians and Thebans often get frustrated with the more conservative Spartans.

I wonder when/if there'll be an American version of the Athenians' disastrous Sicilian expedition.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 29 2019 21:25 utc | 26

@james | Jan 29, 2019 3:53:58 PM

Yes, I agree that canucks know more about US, then US people, but that is where difference stops. Most people here are used to being a colony, it used to be UK, and now it is US!

Posted by: ex-SA | Jan 29 2019 21:26 utc | 27

Attached to that that CE linked to @ 2 was this odd piece of information:

"EREPLA deal “unusually favourable to foreign company”

... [A] 25-year deal was signed with unknown US based firm EREPLA in November 2018, which has been described by financial firm Argus as “unusually favourable” to the US company.

Little is known of EREPLA or its board of directors, with Reuters claiming that Harry Sargeant III, magnate and ex-Financial Chairman of the US Republican Party, is one of their owners. The small company, which was only legally registered in the US on November 8, 2018, a mere day before signing the PDVSA deal, has managed to extract a contract from PDVSA which revives a number of practices, previously eliminated in the Chavez-era, of oil so-called service contracts. PDVSA is yet to make any official comment on the deal, and analysts have already expressed concern that the deal violates Venezuela's 2001 Hydrocarbons Law.

The deal, which is extendable for a further 15 years, is due to bring US $500 million of investment to the Tia Juana, Rosa Mediano fields in Maracaibo Lake and the Ayacucho 5 field in the Orinoco Belt. It assigns 49.9 percent of the new mixed company to EREPLA, and passes 100 percent of the output to the US firm, which is expected to repatriate 50.1 percent of sale profits back to PDVSA.

Day to day running, purchasing, exporting, and the sale of the oil produced is to be completely controlled by EREPLA, except in the case of fulfilling PDVSA’s hefty oil quota to China, which will be agreed upon by both parts.

Whilst EREPLA is due to supply the rigs and crews for the fields, other costs will be split between the two partners, whilst the US firm find themselves exempt from Venezuelan labour laws under the Service Contract clause, as well as from paying its share of the 30 percent oil royalty which PDVSA is due to cover.

“We believe that the new model created in this agreement is in the national interest of the United States," stated a Harry Sargeant Oil Management Group lawyer who signed the documents on behalf of EREPLA.

An EREPLA statement on the deal describes how it looks to “revitalise” Venezuela’s oil industry. It goes on to explain that new terms and conditions have been applied as previous contracts “fermented corruption and bad management.” EREPLA also argued that the deal will help prevent “US adversaries” such as Chinese and Russian firms from gaining further ground in the oil-rich country.

It is unclear at this point how the new deal will function in light of US financial sanctions against Caracas, as a license from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is still pending, but the statement assures that the company’s work "will be carried out in accordance with the economic sanctions enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department.”

Oil deals in Venezuela were notoriously favourable to foreign firms until 2001, in terms of profit [repatriation], labour laws, running costs, and local accountability, until Hugo Chavez’ Hydrocarbons Law broke the tradition, ensuring Venezuelan control over joint ventures. Another Chavez decree in 2007 capped foreign participation in oil deals at 40 percent. However, in December 2017 the National Constituent Assembly approved a “Foreign Investment Law” meant to improve conditions for foreign capital investments in Venezuela.

A company that is incorporated only a day before it signs a major oil extraction and production deal (parts of which violate Venezuela's own laws governing working conditions and pay for Venezuelan workers and national control over joint ventures) with Venezuela? Does anyone else not smell a rat? What could PDVSA have been thinking? Did it not enter their heads that EREPLA could be a front acting for elements in the US government?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 29 2019 21:38 utc | 28

@ 23 Jackrabbit

Some comments make me laugh because they are so spot on in just one short sentence. He is indeed wonderfully cerebral, that gigantic brain pulsating out over the glasses. And he goes to prisons and reads Howard Zinn to the inmates. And walks through Appalachian towns charting the devastation of neoliberalism. Great to see an appreciation for this fine man. But let's not ask too much of him.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 29 2019 21:41 utc | 29

US threatens ‘serious consequences’ if Venezuela arrests ‘president’ Guaido -
“Let me reiterate – there will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido,” Bolton tweeted on Tuesday......

these buffoons need to stick with twitter.. i suits there small minds...

obviously they realize that maduro is thinking of doing just this... so, it is critical the bully says something about this right away... it is hilarious bolton uses the word democracy.. this jackass doesn't know the meaning of the word..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 21:51 utc | 30

Jackrabbit@23 and Circe@4
Hedges has the misfortune (or knack) of being able to pose very serious questions that no Imperial Citizen wants to answer. I don't think its because they're unaware of the problems he identifies, but they would much rather they didn't have to answer them. Cognitive Dissonance and all that. We, the citizens, have abdicated our responsibility for where our leaders lead us. Huxley wins this round.
While open to criticism, McLuhan's observation that "the medium is the message" is a key. Given the time constraints and general busy-ness of the modern life, the sound bite and the carefully crafted clip give the illusion of being informed at no cost. Something that Edward Bernays understood VERY well. So now the question is, are we, like the Gnostics, doomed to be history's footnotes rather than its actors?
A phrase from David Korowitz' "On the cusp Of Collapse" comes to mind as regards 'Our Leadership Class' regarding modern civilisation as a self organising complex system
"The self-organisation reminds us that governments do not control their own economies. Nor does civil society. The corporate or financial sectors do not control the economies within which they operate. That they can destroy the economy should not be taken as evidence that they can control it. "BUT" the big problem there is that We -The deplorables, peons, progressives- are ALL expendable as non core assets. I think the Gilets Jaunes of France get this, as the need to conceal motives and agendas is dissipating as the "core classes" seem ever more confident in their victory.

Will We Eat Cake?

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jan 29 2019 21:54 utc | 31

Actually, regarding the questions that Chris Hedges raises, the average citizen certainly doesn't want to answer "For" them

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jan 29 2019 22:02 utc | 32

"The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader"

Posted by: jayc | Jan 29 2019 22:06 utc | 33

@ juandondonjuan

As your username seemns to indicate you are too unclear in your thoughts for us to be able to respond.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 29 2019 22:19 utc | 34

@27 jen... that was probably almost new president guaido signing the contract too, lol.... the usa will demand it is honoured... might makes right..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2019 22:22 utc | 35

Chris Hedges is doing far more effective work teaching prisoners and documenting conditions in prison than he would be able to in US federal politics where he would be trapped by layers of lobby organisations and their PR spruikers, bureaucrats with nests of their own to feather, think tanks and consultants.

At this point, I'm tempted to say "end of argument" but as I don't know much about US politics, I leave the discussion open-ended in case I have missed something that renders my observation null and someone else can fill in.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 29 2019 22:25 utc | 36

I don't know if I have already posted this here in this blog in the past, but it's as actual as ever: an interview with Adolf Hitler, by journalist George Sylvester Viereck, in 1923 (the NSDAP was founded in 1920). Viereck was himself a Nazi:

'No room for the alien, no use for the wastrel'

Here's an interesting excerpt of the interview:

"Why," I asked Hitler, "do you call yourself a National Socialist, since your party programme is the very antithesis of that commonly accredited to socialism?"

"Socialism," he retorted, putting down his cup of tea, pugnaciously, "is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists.

"Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.

"We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national. We demand the fulfilment of the just claims of the productive classes by the state on the basis of race solidarity. To us state and race are one."

Posted by: vk | Jan 29 2019 22:44 utc | 37

Can any sane individual imagine many Venezuelans fighting for a traitor who calls upon the US to sanction and steal Venezuelan assets,including its gold [in London], then encourage the enemy to send armed forces including the CIA to murder Venezuelan citizens and lay waste to the infrastructure and destroy its economy. I hope not. that traitor Juan Guaidó should be hanged.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jan 29 2019 22:47 utc | 38

As usual Russia and China are playing at defending an ally while the Hegemon's coils tighten.

Posted by: paul | Jan 29 2019 22:52 utc | 39

in case this all seem like news

I think this Montagu Norman Bank of England governor quote is most fitting for these times.

“Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.
“When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.
“These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance.
“It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, NYC August 26th 1924

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jan 29 2019 22:53 utc | 40


Neither did Nader connect. Who then? Someone has to step up and denounce the U.S. government for what it is, get rid of big money Zionist influence and clean up. Like someone posted earlier, it's two wings of the same war party. Who do you think is capable? Tulsi Gabbard? She's okay but she's very unpopular on the left. They savage her over on Dailykos cause she supported Sanders instead of Hillary, and I still can't get out of my mind that she atteded a gala hosted by the Adelsons. What's your take on 2020? Is there hope somewhere?

Hedges supported Sanders in the primaries and Stein in the general. I believe b did same. Stein doesn't stand a chance this time.

Lochearn, if Hedges can go into prisons and get a (forgive the pun) captive audience, then he connects! He's a natural teacher. He'd get all the Sanders followers. Asking too much of him? These are desperate times. He'd revolutionize the political system.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29 2019 23:08 utc | 41

Reply to Jen 27
“A company that is incorporated only a day before it signs a major oil extraction and production deal (parts of which violate Venezuela's own laws governing working conditions and pay for Venezuelan workers and national control over joint ventures) with Venezuela?”
and to James 34
“that was probably almost new president guaido signing the contract too, lol.... the usa will demand it is honored... might makes right.. “
Jen, this is a great catch and very odd, a senior Republican operative,a regressive contract and now a coup.
As James said, perhaps it was signed by the new fellow and if it was, this coup has been long planned. What will be very interesting is how much of the $500 Million has come in and into whose pockets?
Madero needs to find if any money has come in, who signed this, get it shutdown as quickly as possible and he MUST make a very big and public deal of the fact that a high ranking Republican is behind it. The Dems won't be able to resist attacking Trump on this, it may help.

Posted by: frances | Jan 29 2019 23:15 utc | 42

"We hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you …. have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

This is part of the famous argument of the Athenians before the Melians about to be genocided.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jan 29 2019 23:20 utc | 43

I agree with @ Circe #4,

Chris Hedges should run.... not because I think he has any chance of getting the nomination or winning but only because he's so intelligent and articulate but because his leftist politics would help to move the democratic party toward that goal post.

I often read Hedges at truthdig he's dark for sure I call it pretty realistic but he knows more about the reality of the american and world scene and where we are headed if we don't change course, and soon!, than just about anyone that I can find in the country. it's time to have more intellectual discourse and ideas on the political scene.

I mean how dumb can the democrats get to go on and on for 2 full years+ about a non-existent russian-Trump conspiracy or collusion or whatever the hell they are calling it this month. what a waste of precious time, and Hedges knows it, and he'd take these democratic wankers to task; they don't give a damn about the workers or the real middle class for that matter, and Hedges does. His contribution to any campaign would be for the better. I bet there's a progressive base who would support a run.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 29 2019 23:21 utc | 44

Venezeula has become the tipping point for loss of GRC for the USD.
Venezeulan oil is being shipped to India,refined by the new Rosneft refinery then being
sold in anything but USD.
Added to the now over 100 country's that are rejecting the USD by using bi-lateral trade,
KSA already selling in yuan,the desperation of Uncle Scam is palpable.
Interesting times,or as one source said today,an Arch Duke moment could well be here.

Posted by: Winston | Jan 29 2019 23:29 utc | 45

I'm not opposed to Chris Hedges running.

I just think that he'd be more effective as an advisor to a more politically-oriented candidate than as the candidate himself.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 29 2019 23:42 utc | 46

Re:41, Yes it is and as I recall when the war was finally lost for Athens, the Athenians were terrified that the Spartans would employ their own dearly argument against them. Fortunately for Athens, Sparta chose not to burn Athens to the ground, kill all the men and enslave the women and children. Perhaps the slow and deliberate Russians and Chinese will show a similar restraint when the American empire collapses like the Athenian one, time will tell.

What I've never understood is why the Melian dialogue is consider the go to example of realist foreign policy, by this logic if a man threatens to kill you and your entire family unless you give them your home you should happily give them your home and starve on the street; human history is VERY clear on this people are territorial and clannish and do not like being threatened or kicked out of their homes, especially by outsiders, they are also emotional beings who do NOT operate perfectly rationally or logical in all situations. the real lesson from the dialogue seems to be that the strong are only strong for now, eventually the worm will turn and then they will be haunted by their prior words and actions and the fear being stepped on. moreover, the legacy of the Athenians wasn't in a Mediterranean spanning empire like they hoped, but the writings of their philosophers, primarily from the periods after their crushing defeat in the Peloponnesian war and during their occupation by Macedonia and later Rome.

Legacies are rarely what people (or countries) planned to create.

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 29 2019 23:54 utc | 47

Why Venezuela? Why now?
We've looked at these questions before. The answer to the first is, I think, most interesting:
It represents a return of the Empire to its natural sphere of influence. It is as untenable for Russia to control Venezuela as it is for the US to run Ukraine. Or Syria. Or Afghanistan, for that matter.
It seems to me that the major blocs might be pulling back, and settling for easy gains.
Not that this coup is likely to be easy, it may prove to be impossible. It may even prove to be the spark that sets Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and the rest of Latin America alight.
But the way the clowns in the White House- who haven't had a new idea since 1981-see it all resources will be mobilised to make the region safe for imperialism: Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia: in the proverbial cross hairs.

The second question |Why now?) could be a reflection of the fact that the neo-conservative axis has only recently re-established full spectrum domination over the White House. As the Hitler Youth Freeland has been hinting: the running in this matter has been made by the Lima Group in which Canada has been playing a leading and thoroughly despicable role. It was they who did the pseudo legalistic groundwork for the coup. No doubt Bolton et al found it convenient to have the Lima group demands presented to it on a plate. That meant that even Ponce, who together with Bolton and Pompeo takes the role of the Three Weird Sisters in this tragedy, could trigger the crisis with a phone call to Guido. Whose role is clearly to be martyred, probably by a CIA sniper, so that he can die, if not for his country at least for its corrupt elites.
We've seen this movie before.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 29 2019 23:57 utc | 48

Melians. As we think, at any rate, it is expedient--we speak as we are obliged, since you
enjoin us to let right alone and talk only of interest--that you should not destroy what
is our common protection, the privilege of being allowed in danger to invoke what is fair
and right, and even to profit by arguments not strictly valid. And you are as much interested in this as any, as your fall would be a signal for the heaviest vengeance and an example for the world to meditate upon.

Athenians. The end of our empire, if end it should, does not frighten us: a rival empire
like Lacedaemon, even if Lacedaemon was our real antagonist, is not so terrible to the
vanquished as subjects who by themselves attack and overpower their rulers. This,
however, is a risk that we are content to take. We will now proceed to show you that we
are come here in the interest of our empire, and that we shall say what we are now going
to say, for the preservation of your country; as we would fain exercise that empire over
you without trouble, and see you preserved for the good of us both.

Melians. And how, pray, could it turn out as good for us to serve as for you to rule?

Athenians. Because you would have the advantage of submitting before suffering the
worst, and we should gain by not destroying you.

Melians. So that you would not consent to our being neutral,
friends instead of enemies, but allies of neither side.

Athenians. No; for your hostility cannot so much hurt us as your friendship
will be an argument to our subjects of our weakness, and your enmity of our power.

Melians. Is that your subjects' idea of equity, to put those who have nothing to do with
you in the same category with peoples that are most of them your own colonists, and
some conquered rebels?

Athenians. As far as right goes they think one has as much of it as the other, and that
if any maintain their independence it is because they are strong, and that if we do not
molest them it is because we are afraid; so that besides extending our empire we should
gain in security by your subjection; the fact that you are islanders and weaker than others
rendering it all the more important that you should not succeed in baffling the masters of the sea.

Melians. But do you consider that there is no security in the policy which we indicate?
For here again if you debar us from talking about justice and invite us to obey your
interest, we also must explain ours, and try to persuade you, if the two happen to
coincide. How can you avoid making enemies of all existing neutrals who shall look at
case from it that one day or another you will attack them? And what is this but to make
greater the enemies that you have already, and to force others to become so who would
otherwise have never thought of it?

Athenians. Why, the fact is that continentals generally give us but little alarm; the liberty which they enjoy will long prevent their taking precautions against us; it is rather islanders like yourselves, outside our empire, and subjects smarting under the yoke, who would be the most likely to take a rash step and lead themselves and us into obvious danger.

Melians. Well then, if you risk so much to retain your empire, and your subjects to get rid of it, it were surely great baseness and cowardice in us who are still free not to try everything that can be tried, before submitting to your yoke.

Athenians. Not if you are well advised, the contest not being an equal one, with
honour as the prize and shame as the penalty, but a question of self-preservation
and of not resisting those who are far stronger than you are...

Posted by: Guerrero | Jan 30 2019 0:04 utc | 49

Louis-Ferdinand Céline — An Anarcho-Nationalist?

“In his imaginary self-portrayal, the French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961) would be the first one to reject the assigned label of anarcho-nationalism. For that matter he would reject any outsider’s label whatsoever regarding his prose and his personality.

He was an anticommunist, but also an anti-liberal. He was an anti-Semite but also an anti-Christian. He despised the Left and the Right. He rejected all dogmas and all beliefs, and worse, he submitted all academic standards and value systems to brutal derision.

Briefly, Céline defies any scholarly or civic categorization. As a classy trademark of the French literary life, he is still considered the finest French author of modernity—despite the fact that his literary opus rejects any academic classification.

The trouble with L. F. Céline is that although he is widely acclaimed by literary critics as the most unique French author of the 20th century and despite the fact that a good dozen of his novels are readily available in any book store in France, his two anti-Semitic pamphlets are officially off limits

in the early 30s of the twentieth century, the European leftist cultural establishment made a quick move to recuperate Céline as of one of its own. Céline balked.

More than any other author his abhorrence of the European high bourgeoisie could not eclipse his profound hatred of leftist mimicry.

Neither does he spare leftists scribes, nor does he show mercy for the spirit of “Parisianism.” Unsurpassable in style and graphics are Céline’s savaging caricatures of aged Parisian bourgeois bimbos posturing with false teeth and fake tits in quest of a rich man’s ride.

Had Céline pandered to the leftists, he would have become very rich; he would have been awarded a Nobel Prize long ago.

Posted by: anon | Jan 30 2019 0:30 utc | 50

"In Norway, the surplus from the oil boom has been used to build a $1 trillion collectively-owned capital fund with the return on that capital going to finance general government spending, including the country’s large welfare state. This capital fund is even colorfully described by the Norwegian government as “the people’s money, owned by everyone, divided equally and for generations to come.” "

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 30 2019 0:36 utc | 51

I found this analysis to be thought provoking and worth considering as a guide:

"According to this map, taken from one of Thomas P. M. Barnett’s power point slides, presented at a conference held at the Pentagon in 2003, every state in the pink zone must be destroyed. This project has nothing to with the struggle between classes at the national level nor with exploiting natural resources. Once they are done with the expanded Middle East, the US strategists are preparing to reduce the North West of Latin America to ruins."

Posted by: UnionHorse | Jan 30 2019 0:45 utc | 52

So many comments in the last thread pondering how to stop the US Empire, and so many comments in this thread looking at the next election and hoping that a hero will rise up and save us all. I understand, I fell for it with Obama in 2008. I thought he was that hero, riding in on a white horse who would magically change everything. It didn't take long to realize how wrong I'd been. I felt so betrayed and I promised myself I'd never fall for the rhetoric again.

The longer we continue to participate in the farce that our elections are, the longer we keep legitimizing a thoroughly corrupt system that is wreaking chaos, misery, death and destruction all over the world. The thing that eventually brought down the apartied South African government was a large scale boycott of the elections which eliminated the excuse that Reagan and others made for continuing to recognize the government as legitimate - that it had been elected by the people.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 0:48 utc | 53

You would think the Empire would put its foot down on their state ownership of oil.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 30 2019 0:52 utc | 54

Here's an article written by a self-professed Progressive and published on a self-professed Progressive website espousing "A Progressive Alternative to Trump’s Dangerous Venezuela Policy." Yet the writer fails to even mention two salient facts of the utmost importance: First, that Trump's actions are Illegal, and second that they're Unconstitutional, both of which provide grounds for Impeachment of Trump, Pence, Bolton, and Pompeo at minimum. Thus the writer unwittingly provides an excellent example of what I described on the previous thread as Civic Illiteracy. So far, I know of no public figure who has stood up and said: Trump, you can't do what you're doing as it's illegal and unconstitutional!

Now I know why Dean Acheson called his book Present at the Creation as it was during his tenure at the State Department when Illegal and Unconstitutional acts by the executive become the norm.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2019 0:55 utc | 55

You would think the Empire would put its foot down on state ownership of oil.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 30 2019 0:58 utc | 56

mounring dove @51--

Then I presume you espouse violent revolution as the only alternative method for the people to gain control of the federal government as you've forsaken the civil process.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2019 0:59 utc | 57

Lochearn @34
Apologies for the indirect path. What I was trying to convey, however poorly, was my sense while watching the various regime changes, color revolutions, coups of the last decades that the Empire is getting sloppy, no longer feeling the need for subtlety or even the need to mask the naked aggression of their actions. I gives me some hope that we are nearer to overreach and the restoration of a multipolar balance. It is a small Hope, but the MoA community is crucial to my understanding the issues. Many thanks to all, most especially to our host Bernhard

Posted by: JuanDonJuan | Jan 30 2019 1:10 utc | 58

Dag nab it! Where the hell's the waterlogged and incite-full CraigSummers! No show since Jan 1. :-(

Latin America too far out of his range?

Re-assigned to security coverage for some BBC DUP coverage?

Cat's out 'o the bag on the dead babies and blocked toilets?

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jan 30 2019 1:19 utc | 59

There is an article at the TRNN (sorry about not including a link) about Canada's role in this despicable Venezuelan coup which bevin (post 46) talks about. Some pretty damning stuff about Canada's imperialisism and hypocrisy in all this. As a Canadian, I am appalled at how the Trudeau gov't has actively conspired to overthrow the gov't of Maduro. Explains why Canada was so quick (2 hrs) in recognizing Guaido as president of Venezuela. I am sure many of you may understand better than I the role of this 'Lima' group in setting the stage for this coup. Apparently Canada is hosting another meeting of this group on Feb. 4, 2019. Damn our own msm for not exposing this. Damn my own assumption that surely nice Canadians couldn't be as imperialistic as the US. Seems we are but in our own sneeky, nice way. Respect for the quality of the information and discussion on this site - thank you.

Posted by: Mandrau | Jan 30 2019 1:37 utc | 60


Most likely he (or his firm) was furloughed during the shutdown as non essential. Should be returning soon with the shutdown over. Probably waiting for payments to resume before engaging in more work

Posted by: Pft | Jan 30 2019 1:39 utc | 61

I'm not sure what I said that sounded like an endorsement of violent overthrow. I was speaking about the futility of thinking we are going to vote our way to controlling our government and I raised the issue of apartied South Africa being brought down by mostly peaceful means, through a wide spread boycott of the elections. I don't know how it would be possible to violently overthrow the US government when it has the largest military force the world has ever seen.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 1:45 utc | 62


Fwiw, I think that the only way to engage with our government is through some form of direct action, any of the avenues that the government has provided are ones that it controls.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 1:51 utc | 63

The US, we have been repeatedly told, is the chief repository of democracy in the world, and seeks to promote democracy everywhere.

from the US State Department:

Democracy and respect for human rights have long been central components of U.S. foreign policy. Supporting democracy not only promotes such fundamental American values as religious freedom and worker rights, but also helps create a more secure, stable, and prosperous global arena in which the United States can advance its national interests. . .here

And what is the US definition of democracy? Reading further to see its ultimate meaning:

Identify and denounce regimes that deny their citizens the right to choose their leaders in elections that are free, fair, and transparent.

So democracy mainly consists of choosing leaders, and has nothing to do with affecting governmental policy, war and peace, aid to the poor and disadvantaged, etc. In the US that means an occasional choice between two people, bad and worse, then sit down and shut up.

For foreign countries this mainly works in the negative for the US government, with a determination that selected foreign leaders have not measured up to US standards. Personalizing the enemy in order to gain control of the country is the way it's done. Saddam! Assad! Maduro! These leaders according to Washington were not properly selected (not true in most cases) and that justifies US military and/or economic warfare against that country, mostly including its citizens of course. Kill them! Destroy their "human rights!" The citizens were deprived of a free vote so let's deprive the citizens with sanctions and death! . . . It makes no sense, but that's how it is done.

Your thoughts are welcome.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 30 2019 1:52 utc | 64


Revolution need not be violent, although it most always will be met by violence.

Far too late though. Any revolution , peaceful or otherwise, must be led by a dissenting faction of the elite. They are all content with the current state though, or so it seems. Their differences are more related to the amount of force needed and the pace of change to get to the finish line. Rolling the clock back 50 years and giving the herd more freedom and prosperity at their expense is not on the table.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 30 2019 1:53 utc | 65

bevin @46

Why Venezuela? ... It seems to me that the major blocs might be pulling back, and settling for easy gains.

An unjustified equivalence that attempts to justify what is outrageous.

Why now? ... the neo-conservative axis has only recently re-established full spectrum domination over the White House.

No. it has only recently become clear (to most) that Trump is a faux populist frontman ... the Republican Obama.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30 2019 2:01 utc | 66

daffyDuct @57: asks about troll CS

b banned that paid jerk-off.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30 2019 2:07 utc | 67

mourning dove @51: hoping that a hero will rise up and save us all.

You may want to look at the Pirate Party as an alternative. They implement a form a of direct democracy.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30 2019 2:11 utc | 68

Continuing where anon #48 left off...

Mortal Voyage to Endtimes

In the modern academic establishment Céline is still widely discussed and his first novels Journey to the End of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan are still used as Bildungsromane for the modern culture of youth rebellion.

In the late 50’s the burgeoning hippie movement on the American West Coast also tried to lump him together with its godfather Jack Kerouac, who was himself enthralled with Céline’s work.

However, any modest reference to his Bagatelles or Ecole des Cadavres (the anti-semitic pamphlets) has always carefully been skipped over or never mentioned

Equally hushed up is Céline’s last year of WWII when, unlike hundreds of European nationalist scholars, artists and novelists, he miraculously escaped French communist firing squads or the Allied gallows.

His endless journey to the end of the night envisioned no beams of sunshine on the European horizon. In fact, his endless trip took a nasty turn in the late 1944 and early 1945, when Céline, along with thousands of European nationalist intellectuals,

including the remnants of the French pro-German collaborationist government fled to southern Germany, a country still holding firm in face of the oncoming disaster.

The whole of Europe had been already set ablaze by death-spitting American B17’s from above and raping Soviet soldiers emerging in the East. These judgment day scenes are depicted in his postwar novels D’un château l’autre (Castle to Castle (French Literature)) and Rigadoon
Céline’s sentences are now more elliptic and the action in his novels becomes more dynamic and more revealing of the unfolding European drama. His novels offer us a surreal gallery of characters running and hiding in the ruins of Germany.

One encounters former French high politicians and countless artists facing death—people who, just a year ago, dreamt that they would last forever.

No single piece of European literature is as vivid in the portrayal of human fickleness on the edge of life and death as are these last of Céline’s novels.

But Céline’s inveterate pessimism is always couched in self-derision and always stung with black humor. Even when sentenced to death in absentia during his exile in Denmark, he never lapses into self pity or cheap sentimentalism.

His code of honor and his political views have not changed a bit from his first novel.

Upon his return to France in 1951, the remaining years of Céline’s life were marred by legal harassment, literary ostracism, and poverty (due to his antisemitic pamphlets)

Along with hundreds of thousands Frenchmen he was subjected to public rebuke that still continues to shape the intellectual scene in France.

Today, however, this literary ostracism against free spirits is wrapped up in stringent “anti-hate” laws enforced by the thought police— 70 years after WWII!

Stripped of all his belongings, Céline, until his death, continued to use his training as a physician to provide medical help to his equally disfranchised suburban countrymen, always free of charge and always remaining a frugal and modest man.

Posted by: anon | Jan 30 2019 2:14 utc | 69

Here is a worthwhile read.

Is This What The US Really Wants From Russia?

Posted by: librul | Jan 30 2019 2:31 utc | 70


I'm sure that you know as well as I do that an alternative party has absolutely no chance of winning a presidential election in the US. The system is rigged. Voting legitimizes a corrupt government. The last election in apartied South Africa had a turnout that was either in the single digits or the teens, I can't remember specifically. If something like that happened in the US, I wouldn't expect that the Empire would just roll over, but it's veneer of legitimacy would be stripped away.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 2:34 utc | 71

It's not hard to see the parallels of how the US is treating China today compared with Japan in 1939. The US sanctioned Japan and stopped them from importing Iron and Oil and today China is being technologically sanctioned throughout the West with Huawei.
The US is bludgeoning every Govt throughout the world to get its own way both allied and contested. This attitude can only lead to War eventually. Venezuela today, Iran tomorrow which will continue to box in China and Russia.
The US is needing a war to rally its people around the flag and to attempt to keep its hand on the Rudder of the world.

China will be forced to sink an American ship or shoot down an American Jet to save face re Taiwan and their Islands in the China Sea.
The West is begging for war and the parallels now and before WW11 is scary.

Posted by: Pestercorn | Jan 30 2019 3:21 utc | 72

Mourning Dove,

I agree with what you said regarding elections... The usa has something around 55-60% turnout for elections and it continues to slide.

I gave-up voting after the 2008 election, when Cynthia McKinney was my choice for president. I realized that voting only feeds the beast and if we could get less than 50% turn-out people might wake-up to what farce elections in the usa are.

What difference does it really make voting for two slightly different forms of cancer? I'd rather be thought as stupid or moronic for not voting than to choose the lesser of two evils, which is the only really choice we have when we vote.

All those die hard political types don't realize that not voting is a vote too.

And a big thanks to the MoA community for continually posting the most interesting discussions on the Web.

Posted by: David Shinn | Jan 30 2019 3:25 utc | 73

The link below is from Xinhuanet

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30 2019 3:33 utc | 74

So the web site did not include my link nor the text underneath.....interesting how the web site formatting has narrowed now and seems to be affecting how links are shown

I will try the link again below

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30 2019 3:37 utc | 75

And now the unformatted link try

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30 2019 3:38 utc | 76

Mini Rant: I propose to attempt a comparison of the situation in 2019 Venezuela with the Crisis of 1895 – also involving Venezuela. From what I can tell both are/were as fake as a stack of $3 bills. (This is a slightly modified version of a post which disappeared elsewhere in “moderation”.)

The Republican elites of the earlier era seem to have been a bunch of wealthy industrialists who had been coasting along as the Morally Superior “Party of Lincoln”. They had spread a wide and tightening net of tariffs to protect their enterprises, and the Voters were getting tired of the situation. But the election of Democrat Grover Cleveland turned out badly for those Voters (don’t ask me why!) and having nowhere else to go they returned to the Republicans in 1888. Benjamin Harrison was a wishy-washy nobody and the Republicans raised the tariffs to astronomical levels during his “administration”. By the midterms of 1890, the rage of the Voters was such that the Republicans were crushed in the House and Senate.

Here is where it gets interesting. Harrison’s slimy but brilliant Secretary of State James Blaine understood something must be done. His solution was to distract the Voters with Foreign Adventures so they’d have something to talk about besides the tariffs. So he began raising a ruckus in the nations of Hawaii and Chile. But before the new program could get very far along, those same furious Voters returned Cleveland to the White House. First parallel to today comes from Oberholtzer’s brief description of Cleveland in Volume 5 of his History of the United States Since the Civil War. “His horizons were narrow. His mind had not been enlarged by travel.” “It was only necessary to implant in his mind” a notion to “stir him to a moral fury”. Ring any bells?

Cleveland drifted along on the international front until he installed Richard Olney as Secretary of State. Olney did his damnedest to provoke a conflict with Britain about a boundary issue in Venezuela by sending that nation the dumbest and most most arrogant declaration of American Exceptionalism ever seen till then. Likely Olney was an arrogant bonehead, but 2019 Secretary of State Michael “Pompous” Pompeo is all of that and a Rapture Fan as well. Maybe this time Jesus will finally get off the can….

Cleveland was immediately on board with the intervention. Congress was overjoyed in a bipartisan way. Mostly the US people loved it too – We’re Number One! The News Media of the day - even the Republican papers - were delighted with Cleveland’s truculence, just as the likes of the Bezos’ Blog Washington Post is thrilled with Trump’s new 2019 nuttery. Naturally when Cleveland left office and the warmongering Republicans returned to office, the Kingdom of Hawaii was taken over, the USS Maine “somehow” got itself sent to Cuba and sunk there by mysterious villains, a whole lot of Spanish islands were grabbed, and a few hundred thousand Philippine folks ended up dead. Will bullying 2019 Russia/China work out as well as kicking around 1895 Britain? And what are they trying to distract us from this time?

BTW, this is cut/paste stuff from some of my history books, and I may be quite off base. Feel free to tear these remarks to itty bitty pieces if that’s what they deserve. :)

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 30 2019 3:40 utc | 77

The title to the link above should have been

Israeli PM, Russian envoy meet over Syria issue

I read the article as Russia telling Israel the new limits to their aggression in Syria.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30 2019 3:41 utc | 78

The US Empire has released their official strategy and list of “threats” to USA citizens and intelligence ( It’s seriously naive. It only lists climate change at the bottom as an associated threat with global power politics when it should make up 4/5 of the document if America were actually concerned about human survival even within its own borders. The other 1/5 in a rational document would be about disarmament, sadly, this text only talks about the “WMD” (using Freedom Fries-era terminology) of “enemy” countries like Iran and Syria. Of course they include the dubious chemical attacks of Skripal and Douma. Old tropes about Russian meddling also repeated, along with “Chinese meddling,” at least this time there is no teenagers’ school media analysis of RT like there was in the DNI’s last infamous document.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Jan 30 2019 3:55 utc | 79


Sorry, ”anarcho-nationalism” is an oxymoron with inherently confused ideas, and is a far-right extreme site unlike (a fantastic site on degrowth, anti-imperialism, and ecology). This doesn’t stop the Integrity Initiative from sponsoring “market anarchism,” these ideas appear to have been cultivated by government disinfo.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Jan 30 2019 3:59 utc | 80

Somehow I lost my comment, but I was also agreeing with you, mourning dove on your post about the elections in South Africa, how important it was that the boycott became evident. It might be indeed what we need to do in the US, not having any legitimate candidates calling for impeachment when as karlof1 points out, the Constitution requires it.

If it is the only way forward, it will be the path which succeeds. Not because you or I think it best, but because everyone does.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 30 2019 4:13 utc | 81

@27 jen and @40 frances...
Venezuela congress slams oil deals with U.S., French companies
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s opposition-run congress on Tuesday issued a resolution calling deals between state-run oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] and U.S. and French companies announced this week illegal, since they had not been sent to lawmakers for approval.
The body said the oilfield deals with France’s Maurel & Prom (MAUP.PA) and little-known U.S. company Erepla violated article 150 of Venezuela’s constitution, which requires that contracts signed between the state and foreign companies be approved by the National Assembly, as Venezuela’s congress is known.

“They are giving concessions that violate the law,” said lawmaker Jorge Millan, mentioning the two contracts.

Congress, largely stripped of its power since the opposition took it over in 2016, is unlikely to be able block the deals from going forward. But the rejection could create legal complications under a future government. " more at link... i don't fully understand it, or necessarily believe the way it is being presented in the reuters article, but it is worth reading and might reflect some of the reality on the ground..

@46 bevin and @58 mandrau... it seems that crystia freeland is working directly for soros, or something like that... perhaps soros is still young enough to profit from another try at disaster capitalism on venezuala? Canada to host Lima group in effort to find solution to Venezuela crisis .. what a friggin witch she is! and this will be on the lima groups meeting agenda too.. ah yeah.. give it a human rights, humanitarian type twist..

Posted by: james | Jan 30 2019 4:38 utc | 82

mourning dove @69

Yes. Any vote for a third party is a protest vote.

I think that only a Party that promotes direct democracy has any chance of drawing sufficient votes to embarrass the establishment. And voting for direct democracy sends the message that the people are angry at the system, not just the players that run it. Similarly to the Yellow Vests (part of their demands is an increase in direct democracy via referendums).

Not voting is also a valid protest. But using one's vote to send a message, instead of just withholding legitimacy, seems more powerful as other disaffected people are more likely to join in a Movement for direct democracy.

Well, that's the way I see it now. There's still a lot of time before the election.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 30 2019 4:50 utc | 83

on the previous thread the poster brian left a very good article on the background of this sleazeball guaido..

The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

and in the cbc tonight - Opposition leader barred from leaving Venezuela

Posted by: james | Jan 30 2019 5:11 utc | 84

Canada is not just merely following with Trump's recognition of Guaido as the self declared new president of Venezuela as part of the Five Eyes back up choir for regime change. On the contrary, they are on the forefront of seeding and dressing up the outright lies and propaganda to justify and lay the foundation for the overthrow of President Maduro via the Lima group. They will provide the proverbial lipstick for the pig so to speak.

This inter governmental group first met in Lima in August 2017 with the foreign ministers and representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. A warning that gravol may be required when you read their declarations. And of course, why am I not surprised that our beloved Putin-hating, Porechenko-loving Chrissy Freeland is front and centre in this group. Canada is hosting another Lima meeting on Feb.4, 2019. I expect a tsunami of msm bs following this. Anyway, if the gravol has kicked in here are their declarations gleaned from Wikipedia:

They declare:
1 Their condemnation of the breakdown of democratic order in Venezuela.
2 Their decision not to recognize the National Constituent Assembly, nor the acts emanating from it, due to its illegitimate nature.
3 Their full support and solidarity with the National Assembly, democratically elected.
4 Legal acts that according to the Constitution require authorization from the National Assembly, will only be recognized when said Assembly has approved them.
5 Their energetic rejection of violence and any option that involves the use of force.
6 Their support and solidarity with the Attorney General and the members of the Public Ministry of Venezuela and demand the application of the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
7 Their condemnation of the systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, of violence, repression and political persecution, the existence of political prisoners and the lack of free elections under independent international observation.
8 That Venezuela does not comply with the requirements or obligations of the members of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
9 Their serious concern about the humanitarian crisis facing the country and his condemnation of the government for not allowing the entry of food and medicine in support of the Venezuelan people.
10 Their decision to continue the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Venezuela.
11 Their support for the decision of MERCOSUR to suspend Venezuela in application of the Ushuaia Protocol on Democratic Commitment.
12 Their decision not to support any Venezuelan candidacy in regional and international mechanisms and organizations.
13 Their call to stop the transfer of arms to Venezuela in light of articles 6 and 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty.
14 That, taking into account the current conditions, they will request the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC and the European Union, the postponement of the CELAC-EU Summit scheduled for October 2017.
15 Their commitment to keep track of the situation in Venezuela, at the level of Foreign Ministers, until the full restoration of democracy in that country, and to meet no later than the next session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, an opportunity in which may be added other countries.
16 Their willingness to urgently support, within the framework of respect for Venezuelan sovereignty, any effort of credible negotiation and good faith, which has the consensus of the parties and is aimed at peacefully achieving the restoration of democracy in the country

Be interesting to know how Mexico is going to fit in as their new Government is not playing ball. Kudos to Mexico.

I feel the need to shower before I hit the sack tonight.

Posted by: Mandrau | Jan 30 2019 5:34 utc | 85

daffyDuct 57

Remain calm daffy, Craig Summers is preoccupied slapping gaffer tape over the leaks at Institute for Statecraft. They have a major problem and so do all of those bought journalists and embassy staff on those revealing documents.

I am sure many here are eternally grateful for their penchant for keeping accurate accountability in their written reporting to the UK government. The Nazis did that too and with unexpected consequences when the lights turned on.

Expect Craig to be reincarnated soon.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2019 5:34 utc | 86

After the tragedy that was 1968, I took my McGovern button, spray painted it white and wore it thru the elections. I swore I would never vote until "none of the above" was on the ballot. I still think that a functioning democracy needs this on its ballots. If "none of the above" wins, there must be a new election with a new slate of candidates.

I'm pretty much in agreement with mourning dove. As an old protester from the sixties, (Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Women's Rights), I'm disheartened that no protests are being formed. Social media has provided a venue where we can be informed and have good discussions. But I fear it keeps us off the streets. I think our masters are just allowing the slaves to vent here so we don't do anything that might really bring about change.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 30 2019 5:42 utc | 87

David Shinn

Cynthia McKinney is awesome! Mad respect to her for spilling the beans on AIPAC.

I like what you said- that not voting is a vote too.


I hope that we can find a way to come together to find a way forward. Identity politics has us so fractured, but you are right that it takes everyone.


I believe in direct democracy and I really want some. I understand where you're coming from, 2012 I cast a protest vote for the Green Party. I was planning to again in 2016 but when it came time, I just couldn't bring myself to participate in something that just seemed like a complete fraud. I don't think it's possible to embarrass the ptb, they have no shame or conscience. I guess that makes it that much more important that we follow our consciences, wherever that leads.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 5:45 utc | 88

Cynthia McKinney would be an awesome candidate.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 30 2019 5:49 utc | 89

@83 mandrau... i think you are right about canada taking a lead role here.. that witch freeland is cooking up something for her masters.. i am not sure who they are, but they seem like the front for neo-liberalism and neo-con central.. see my post to you @80..

great link for an astrologer! lol..

Meet Fabiana Rosales: the Eloquent, Telegenic Activist who Married Guaidó

Posted by: james | Jan 30 2019 5:49 utc | 90

China will be forced to sink an American ship or shoot down an American Jet to save face re Taiwan and their Islands in the China Sea. The West is begging for war and the parallels now and before WW11 is scary.
Posted by: Pestercorn | Jan 29, 2019 10:21:08 PM | 70

I suspect that China has adopted the Taiwan issue as a theatrical Red Rag to waggle under the noses of US Foreign Policy bulls. CGTN has been bragging about the billions of Chinese who will transit to their home towns for the Lunar New Year(?) celebrations. There is significant two-way traffic between Taiwan and the 'mainland' in connection with this holiday, illustrating that the Chinese govt regards Taiwanese folk to be as Chinese as 'mainlanders'.

The issue will sort itself out over time and China doesn't seem to be in a hurry to violently impose its will on Taiwan. But the temptation to stir things up now and then, just to keep the bulls awake at night, must be irresistible. As long as the Yanks continue to take themselves too seriously, China will continue to dream up excuses to encourage them to act like loud-mouthed wankers. Imo, it's working quite well.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 30 2019 5:52 utc | 91

I feel you, but I think venting helps, a little. It's no substitute for people protesting in the streets, but maybe if gas prices go up then we'll have our own version of the yellow vest protests. I've been thinking a lot lately about what it would take to get people to protest, and if Americans were paying anywhere close to what Europeans pay for gas I think we'd have widespread rioting. Too many of us have become too desensitized to war for that to be a spark, sadly, but something is brewing just under the surface. It's going to come out, one way or another.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 30 2019 6:06 utc | 92

Agree that Hedges could be an effective advisor to a viable candidate. Like Joe Biden (joke). I think Tulsi might actually be a possibility, the only one I see at the moment. Possible proof of her viability might be the terror she obviously struck in the heart of the DNC/MSM immediately; the propaganda assasination was so rapid and rabid. If the comprador "left" doesn't do its nasty work quick enough she might catch on with actual people. I think it would behoove anyone who's a Chris Hedges style patriot to stick up for her through the current barrage.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jan 30 2019 8:32 utc | 93

Another engineered revolutionary, placed out of the blue as leader

seems the pay to be a revolutionary is enormous.

I think that were trained in the same place?

Posted by: snake | Jan 30 2019 8:47 utc | 94

It should be abundantly clear to anyone that voting never mattered. But, not showing up at the polls also have the same effect. You want change, it requires people to get off their duff and water that Tree of Liberty. When will that happen? When the financial system collapses and the flow of drugs and booze end. People will have to endure the same kind of suffering that the Venezuelans are experiencing.

I feel protesting / public shaming has become ineffective because of social media. People are lazy and it's easier to vent online than to hit the streets. And with the practice of Shadow Banning, online venting can be easily controlled. Social media has become an effective, yet unintentional, tool to quell any action from the unwashed masses. The ruling elites must be relieved.

Pestercorn @70:

I doubt China will ever be cornered to sink an American ship. The Chinese have locked down the SCS so naval blockades are no longer an option. Developments in new weapons by both China and Russia have kept the US at bay. Yes the US can continue weapons development, but their economic situation will force them to take a defensive posture for once. Color revolutions is the only thing left in their Toolbox of Chaos.

The situation may feel similar to Imperial Japan, but I feel it's different. The US is now a debtor nation while China the opposite. I don't recall a situation where a debtor nation was able to defeat a creditor nation. History buffs, feel free to chime in. Also, the US have lost a significant portion of their manufacturing capability so rearmament is going to be difficult.

There's also the important fact that Americans are so war-fatigued, the Pentagon is having trouble with recruitment. The US will need one hell of a casus belli to get the masses up in arms again. If TPTB can't rally the masses for war, but needs one now, they'd have to go for the nuclear option, a draft.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 30 2019 9:10 utc | 95

@bevin #46...interesting point you mentioned regarding Guaido's martyrdom.

When I was watching Guaido's rally and his self-proclamation as the new Empire's stadtholder something made me suspicious about his appearance. First I wasn't exactly sure what it was so I watched it again and again and eventually came to the conclusion that this new kid on the block isn't celebrating his phoenix-like uprising backed by the US, but that he is masquerading his phony determination behind a veil of angst that he will finally be sacrifized on the altar of the Empire's geopolitical agenda.
Being jumped by the suprising night call of Pence and now Bolton's explicit warning to not put a hand on Guaido, his role in this game is destined to be that of a martyr.

Oh, poor Guaido, what hast thou done?

Posted by: vato | Jan 30 2019 9:14 utc | 96

Posted by: David Shinn | Jan 29, 2019 10:25:09 PM | 71

"All those die hard political types don't realize that not voting is a vote too."

I've long called the fake elections plebiscites on the neoliberal system itself. To participate is to vote Yes to the system, to abstain is to vote No. I consider the voters to be a kind of scab.

"I'd rather be thought as stupid or moronic for not voting than to choose the lesser of two evils, which is the only really choice we have when we vote."

On the contrary, it's voting in the expectation that voting means anything, that the elections aren't pure farce, which is moronic. Bizarrely, the electoral fundamentalists openly advertise their own moral depravity by calling themselves evil, when they say "I vote for the lesser of of two evils." Not being evil myself, I'm not capable of voting for it.

Of course, "lesser of two evils", as if those who vote for it really feel like it's an evil, is also a lie. It sure seems that those who vote Democrat do so because they actively support the pro-corporate, pro-war, pro-imperial, pro-police state, eco-destructive policy of this hard-right party. It's only a sign of moral embarrassment and cowardice when they fall back on "it's the lesser of two evils." They really think it's all good.

As for the broader question being discussed here of what are the alternatives to electoralism, the historically tried and proven way is to build a new social, cultural, economic, political movement and way of life from outside and opposed to the system, building on people who are not and haven't been part of the system and who are willing to commit to making this movement the core of their lives.

Once such a movement is a going concern, it can be in a strong position to either endure till the system collapses of its own self-destructiveness, or to put together a political party as an extension of the movement, entering elections on its own terms, and running candidates who, if they attain office, won't be trying to get "good" policy within the system, but who will act as grid-lockers and monkey-wrenchers from within, in order to help the extralegal action of the movement which always remains the core action.

(If people with the potential for such commitment no longer exist, as they seem not to in the private-individualist-indoctrinated workaholic-grinder-scab US, then building such a movement isn't possible. So far it looks that way - the moment anyone espouses even a superficially "radical" idea, they immediately think in terms of "who's going to run for president", which is very much putting the party cart in front of the necessary movement horse.)

Posted by: Russ | Jan 30 2019 9:26 utc | 97

Re 45

"Sparta chose not to burn Athens to the ground, kill all the men and enslave the women and children. Perhaps the slow and deliberate Russians and Chinese will show a similar restraint when the American empire collapses like the Athenian one, time will tell."

The Spartans didn't refrain out of the kindness of their hearts. It was already clear that Thebes was going to be the big winner of the war and that Theban power was going to fill any vacuum left by the destruction of the Athenian empire. Sparta wasn't going to benefit at all from the destruction of Athens itself. Sparta was already looking ahead to the day they'd have to fight Thebes, which eventually did happen, and from that point of view it was better to leave a rump Athens in existence instead of destroying it completely.

Maybe Russia still views China as ultimately more of a threat than the US, and that's why they're so lukewarm about any general challenge to US power (as opposed to specific, strictly limited interventions like in Syria).

Posted by: Russ | Jan 30 2019 11:03 utc | 98

South Korea's export-dependent economy continues to deteriorate:

Falling exports, sentiment weighing on economy

As you already know, an export-dependent economy needs two factors to keep itself afloat: 1) high productivity of labor (i.e. a high organic composition of capital) and 2) low wages. Moon was elected on a welfare-state like platform, with a center-left party. He's now being pressured to crush the South Korean working class even more by the right-wing.

But that's a moot point: since 2008, world trade has stopped growing; there's no more room for capitalism to expand in the actual geopolitical scenario. Some weeks ago, Moon made a desperate speech urging for a peace treaty with the North in order to expand the markets for the South's chaebols (I posted the link here in December). Capitalism is now trying to desperately open new Lebensraum by breaking up China, Russia and snatching Venezuelan oil: the good times of Bill Clinton, where the ex-USSR territory opened all of a sudden and there was plenty of booty, are over.

As for South Korea, it will continue to deteriorate, whatever the party in power.

Posted by: vk | Jan 30 2019 11:19 utc | 99

Why Venezuela? Because when a President feels he is backed into a corner, dipping in the polls, unable to build his Wall, under investigation by the FBI and other bodies, losing support from otherwise friendly and fawning media networks, a Glorious Little War in Central America will be just the tonic he needs to get public opinion to rally behind him.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 30 2019 12:45 utc | 100

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