Aug 302013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Opina para CX36 Radio Centenario, el Sociólogo Norteamericano Prof. James Petras. Martes 27 de agosto del 2013.

image002

“yo no creo que Estados Unidos vaya a mandar tropas porque otra guerra no es popular aquí en Estados Unidos, pero un ataque aéreo, sin pérdidas de corto plazo, sirve a los intereses de Israel tener un vecino destruido y va a beneficiar las negociaciones porque los palestinos ya no tienen aliados en el Medio Oriente, facilitar que Washington podría usar a Siria como trampolín para atacar a Irán y Hezbollah. Eso es parte de una secuencia, primero Siria, después Líbano, después tiene un cerco alrededor de Irán, eso es el esquema”

Lo que sigue es la transcripción de la Columna de James Petras, que puede escuchar todos los  lunes a las 11.30 horas de Uruguay en www.radio36.com.uy  y descargar en el siguiente link http://content.bitsontherun.com/players/IEh8sKMY-y47WGXn0.html

Chury: James Petras, buenos días. ¿Cómo estás? Bienvenido…

Petras: Buenos días Chury, estamos muy bien. Estamos aquí a la espera para hacer algún comentario sobre los acontecimientos del día, muy peligrosos particularmente sobre Siria

Chury: Muy peligrosos, exacto.

Yo tenía aquí pronto el preguntarte si puede haber una intervención en Siria sin anuencia de la ONU y si puede repetirse la misma mentira utilizada en Irak sobre la utilización de armas químicas sin que el mundo reaccione, entre otras cosas. ¿Cómo lo ves?

Petras: En primera instancia coincidimos que la acusación de usar gases tóxicos, un ataque químico, no tiene fundamentos. Porque si uno observa los vídeos que los terroristas filmaron, no hay ningún caso de los supuestos trabajadores de salud afectados.

Y si el gas tóxico supuestamente afectó víctimas, todo el territorio, todo el aire, todas las tierras alrededor de las víctimas, están contaminadas y va a afectar a cualquier persona en la vecindad, cualquier persona que esté tocando las víctimas supuestamente.

Eso no pasa, uno puede ver médicos, enfermeras, personas fotografiando, están muy sanos, están muy activos. La otra hipótesis tiene más fundamentos, cualquier gas tóxico  es producto de las actividades de los terroristas. Incluso los gobernantes oficiales descubrieran un almacén que estaba bajo el control de los terroristas anteriormente y adentro ya encuentran diferentes instrumentos para introducir gases tóxicos.

En otras palabras,  esta acusación es una fabricación, es un pretexto para justificar un ataque contra Siria, algo predeterminado. Y las acusaciones siguen siendo aceleradas últimamente sin probar nada, sin ninguna revelación.

Ahora, el grupo de inspectores podrían ir por la región y encontrar algún tóxico, pero ese tóxico debe ser un producto sembrado por los mismos terroristas. Y deben examinar a las personas alrededor del gas tóxico, más allá de lo que llaman las víctimas, examinar los médicos, los enfermeros. Llevaron las víctimas  allá y después las abandonaron para poder acusar al gobierno.

¿Ahora, qué hay detrás de eso? En primera instancia el hecho que los países occidentales, Turquía y Arabia Saudita están preocupados porque sus fuerzas de choque, los terroristas están en repliegue.

Segundo, los grupos más asociados con ellos, los grupos en exilio y algunos sectores armados, están en minoría y cada vez más no pueden combatir a los de Al Qaeda, son subordinados y fuerzas secundarias. Entonces, primero, están perdiendo la guerra en general y segundo, dentro de la guerra las fuerzas anti occidentales parece que están ganando la dominación.

En esta situación, lo que Washington quiere hacer con los poderes de la OTAN, es destruir Siria y no le importan las consecuencias políticas. Porque un país quebrado, dividido, fragmentado, con guerras constantes, como pudimos ver en Irak ahora, es lo que están buscando. Y tal vez utilizando el bombardeo aéreo para debilitar las fuerzas y facilitar una ocupación, puede ser con algunas fuerzas terrestres ya con poca oposición.

La meta es doble, el bombardeo va a poner en jaque todas las bases militares, destruir los sitios de misiles, atacar los puertos y la infraestructura, también aterrorizar a los civiles y  esa táctica es la que usaron en Libia.

Ahora,  no creo que Estados Unidos vaya a mandar tropas porque otra guerra no es popular aquí en Estados Unidos.Pero un ataque aéreo, sin pérdidas de corto plazo, sirve a los intereses de Israel tener un vecino destruido y va a beneficiar las negociaciones porque los palestinos ya no tienen aliados en el Medio Oriente ..Va facilitar que Washington podría usar a Siria como trampolín para atacar a Irán y Hezbollah. Eso es parte de una secuencia, primero Siria, después Líbano, después tiene un cerco alrededor de Irán, eso es el esquema. Ahora, Rusia condena y va a tomar una posición diplomática fuertemente contra el ataque militar pero no creo vaya a meter aviones propios y otros armas de defensa de Siria. Tal vez podrían tratar de realimentar los aviones y misiles destruidos pero eso habría que ver. En todo caso, Rusia entiende que es un empuje eliminar cualquier aliado, cualquier gobierno independiente en todo el Medio Oriente. Y por eso Rusia está muy preocupada, ya no están engañados por el discurso.

Washington no puede ir a Naciones Unidas porque ya Rusia y China han indicado que no van a votar, tienen veto.Entonces Estados Unidos va a organizar una alianza con la OTAN, Turquía que está en la OTAN y con los países de Medio Oriente alrededor de los regimenes absolutistas del Golfo, particularmente Arabia Saudita.

¿Qué consecuencias puede tener esto?

Chury: Esa es la gran pregunta…

Petras: Va a ser muy explosivo porque Irán no puede permitir que un aliado estratégico esté destruido y ocupado.

¿Cómo van a reaccionar? Tienen varias opciones. Una es tomar medidas económicas como un bloqueo de las vías marítimas. Eso va a provocar otra guerra entre Irán y Estados Unidos.

Segundo, pueden apoyar voluntarios de Irán a ir con Irak a luchar contra la invasión de Siria.

Tercero, podrían atacar a Israel como apoyante de la agresión contra Siria.

Son varias opciones, y después Hezbollah obviamente tiene interés de no caer en un cerco, saben que después de Siria ellos van a ser el blanco de ataque. Pueden mandar voluntarios para apoyar a Siria en período post bombardeo. Y tal vez Israel se está preparando para aprovechar este momento para invadir y atacar Hezbollah, entonces se pueden multiplicar las guerras en la frontera de Líbano e Israel.

En todo caso es un polvorín en el sentido que el bombardeo que está anunciado ya, va a tener múltiples repercusiones. Los señores Obama y el señor Kerry, grandes obscenidades, sinvergüenzas, no está mirando más allá simplemente de aislar y destruir Siria sin repercusiones. Ellos no tienen ninguna preocupación por los múltiples efectos, por ejemplo, que podrían afectar a los países del Golfo. Algunos misiles dirigidos a los pozos de Arabia Saudita podría provocar un alza de petróleo a más de 150 dólares por barril. Un ataque a Jordania, desde adentro o desde afuera, puede hacer temblar el régimen monárquico con poco apoyo de los ciudadanos. Puede multiplicar las agresiones entre Israel y sus vecinos.

Entonces, este contexto no está tomado en cuenta. Como todos los criminales de guerra, el canciller Kerry, cree que puede actuar con impunidad, cree que puede destruir Siria como destruyeron Libia. Libia no es un país funcional, nadie se beneficia de ningún producto petrolero de Libia ahora, es un país bajo controles de fragmentos, de tribus, de islámicos fanáticos, no hay gobierno, no hay economía, no hay ninguna institución funcionando. Y para Israel eso es un gran apoyo porque ya no tienen ningún adversario en África del Norte.

Con Siria es algo similar, no van aprovechar nada económicamente, es simplemente eliminar otro país que podría ser independiente en el Medio Oriente.

Tenemos que poner este ataque de Siria en una perspectiva más regional. El ataque de Siria es un trampolín para atacar Irán, y ese es el blanco estratégico de esta guerra. Primero Siria y después una lanza del ataque contra Irán, y ese es el gran peligro que enfrentamos, que eso va a hacer una guerra extendida porque Irán podría tener acceso a aliados de Estados Unidos en toda la región. Sus misiles pueden alcanzar a todos los países del Golfo más Israel y los demás.

Chury: ¿Puede estallar una guerra mundial, Petras?

Petras: No creo porque Rusia y China están muy cautos, están muy en contra un guerra,van  utilizando todos los instrumentos diplomáticos, políticos, pero no muestran ninguna movilización militar frente a esta agresión. Ni China ni Rusia han movilizado recursos ni han puesto incluso ninguna  luz roja frente a esta situación.

Entonces, no hay otros poderes que podrían enfrentar el nivel global de Estados Unidos, pero sí en cualquier foro, cualquier lugar estos países pueden moverse más cerca. Un ataque va a provocar un acercamiento más fuerte entre China y Rusia, tal vez más apoyo a Irán., pero no una guerra mundial.

Chury: ¿Siria tiene alguna posibilidad de resistir durante este ataque exterior ya plantificado, este ataque aéreo, o no?

Petras: Yo no sé si tienen planes militares, eso habrá que ver. Van a ser debilitados porque van a perder aviones, van a perder puertos, van a perder tropas, centros de mando. y afectar la infraestructura, la capacidad de mover tropas.Van a tener que atender miles de civiles heridos.Van a quedar debilitados, tal vez con territorio más restringido .Y los principales beneficiarios directamente van a ser los terroristas, los jihadi y los Al Qaeda que están en las fronteras de las ciudades y ellos van aprovechar para avanzar.

Ahora, si el ataque militar norteamericano, Turquía y los países van a sufrir algunas bajas de aviones. Pero yo creo que el resultado va a ser el país de Siria como lo entendemos, va a quedar quebrada y con enclaves bajo el gobierno y territorios extendidos ocupados por los terroristas invasores.

Chury: ¿Petras, más allá de la suba del petróleo que tú mencionabas que puede sobrevenir, habrá otros efectos en la economía mundial?

Petras: Depende de la respuesta de Siria. Si Siria tiene misiles de gran alcance, puede responder atacando los pozos de petróleo, pueden atacar Israel, pueden atacar Turquía y eso va a tener otras repercusiones. Particularmente en el hecho de que los países del Golfo y Turquia que mencionamos tienen oposiciones, que son muy fuertes. El anti-intervencionismo, el anti-fundamentalismo es muy fuerte en Turquía y eso podría resultar en una agudización del conflicto.

Ahora, la izquierda en Francia está colaborando con Hollande. Hollande es una de las puntas de lanza para esta guerra como los social-imperialistas del pasado, hablan del socialismo y actúan como fascistas. Hollande y Fabius, el canciller, son muy agresivos, incluso aparece en las declaraciones, “más agresivos que Estados Unidos”.

Entonces, no hay ninguna respuesta en Francia entre los marxistas, los anti capitalistas, los trotskistas, siguen hablando de los rebeldes, los sufrimientos sin tomar en cuenta las miles y miles de personas desplazadas por los terroristas y los muertos y decapitados,. Aquí en Estados Unidos obviamente el público no está a favor de una guerra con las tropas terrestres, no están a favor de otra guerra como Irak, pero sí  quedan pasivos frente a una guerra aérea como en Libia.

Chury: Petras, Rusia vería atacada una de las bases más significativas que está precisamente instalada en Siria en caso del bombardeo…

Petras: Eso hay que ver, yo no sé si Washington se atreve a bombardear la base rusa. Van a enfocar sobre las bases sirias en el caso particular actual.

Ahora, es muy peligroso, si Washington decide atacar una base militar rusa, eso va a provocar una crisis profunda en las relaciones, con consecuencias que son difíciles de anticipar. Pero en todo caso va a introducir una guerra fría en congelación de cualquier relación.Tal vez algunas presiones sobre bases norteamericanas que son vulnerables en las ex Repúblicas Soviéticas como Uzbekistán. Puede resultar que los rusos dejen de cooperar sobre Irán, sobre Palestina y Afganistán, retirar su colaboración.

Las repercusiones de un ataque a una base rusa en Siria, va a tener grandes consecuencias. Si hay un mínimo de razón en la cabeza de los atacantes, van a concentrar sobre lugares principalmente sirios.

Ahora, hay asesores rusos en Siria que están más afuera de la base, ellos pueden ser afectados y eso también podría subir la temperatura. Pero vamos a ver cómo esas cosas se van a desarrollar.No debemos excluir alta tensión porque estamos tratando con un militarismo muy extremista en la Casa Blanca, en los países occidentales y particularmente en Francia.

Francia está actuando como un perro rabioso y creo que es para distraer la atención de la crisis y fracasos económicos de Hollande.

Chury: Petras, quiero decirte que ante la situación planteada siempre estaremos atentos a algún llamado contigo para seguir de cerca estos acontecimientos. Todo parece indicar que el bombardeo es inminente…

Petras: Es inminente, es ahora, como dicen las últimas noticias, a la espera de la palabra de Obama. Todo se está movilizando, la armada marítima, los aviones, equipos en todo lo que podemos decir coordinado con el alto comando de Israel, una coordinación entre los países del Golfo y OTAN, Turquía está movilizada.

Entonces, es sólo cuestión de dias. Y no importa lo que vaya a decir la Comisión de Investigación, eso ya lo han descartado. En Washington han inventado otro pretexto. Primero, ellos insistieron en la Comisión de Investigación. Una vez que la Comisión está en marcha ellos dicen que ya es tarde, no hay datos para encontrar, hay una degradación del tóxico, etc.

Entonces ellos ya están actuando sólo sobre su fabricación, sin complicar la situación con algunos datos empíricos.

Chury: Petras, te agradezco muchísimo toda esta valiosa información, en cualquier momento estamos en contacto. Te mando un abrazo…

Petras: Sí, debemos estar presentes para cualquier eventualidad en las próximas horas, sino días…

Chury: Estaremos en contacto, un abrazo grande…

Petras: Un abrazo, chau.

Aug 262013
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

class-struggle-pyramid

Introduction

Class struggle is central in framing the issues of political rule, the relations of classes, the economic structures and strategies and the distribution of wealth.

Especially in the era of imperialist globalization, the class struggle takes on an international character, as multi-national corporations, international financial organizations and imperial states directly intervene, or act through proxy collaborator states, in ‘the class struggle between labor and capital’.  This is especially evident in Latin America with the ascendancy of extractive capital:  giant agro-mineral corporations play a major role in shaping state economic policies, to the detriment of labor, communities and indigenous peoples.

Classes in struggle vary over time and place, depending on their social-economic and political conditions, organization, past trajectory, the distribution of income and the locus of economic exploitation and dispossession.

The nature of the struggles and the conflicting demands between labor and capital vary in terms of comprehensiveness, intensity, geographic location and class interests.  The range of issues vary from specific sectoral demands over wage and working conditions, to broader struggles ranging from public policies affecting budget allocations, investment decisions, and property ownership to issues of dispossession, contamination and the destructive impacts on local communities.

Class struggles involve two basic antagonists.  Ruling class struggle “from above”, in which various sectors of capital use their social power, economic control and state penetration to maximize present and future profits to monopolize state budgetary allocations to limit the income shares of labor and to dispossess and displace petty commodity producers and local inhabitants from resource rich regions.  Popular class struggle “from below” involves a panoply of classes ranging from employed and unemployed industrial workers, unionized public and private salaried employees, rural landless workers, petty commodity producers and indigenous communities.  Their demands range from greater share of national income and repossession of land and resources usurped by the state on behalf of agro-mineral corporations, to systemic change in property ownership and class relations.

One of the key determinants of the scope and depth of class struggle is the ‘moment of the economic cycle’ – the point at which a particular ‘economic model’ is in an ascendant phase or exhausts its possibilities and enters into decline and crisis.  For example, in recent years we witnessed the rise of ‘neo-liberalism’, roughly between the mid 1970’s to the end of the 1990’s, during which capital was on the offensive, waging class war and reversing workers and peasant advances, privatizing the economy and pillaging the public treasury.  In the late 1990’s to early 21st century, neo-liberalism descended into crisis, precipitating intense class struggle from below ranging from unemployed workers movements in Argentina, to mass Indian movements in Bolivia and Ecuador resulting in the overthrow of incumbent regimes and the emergence of post-neo-liberal regimes.

Likewise the decline of the mega-cycle (decade-long boom of commodity exporting economies) beginning in 2012-13, is accompanied by rising mass urban movements protesting the policies of the post neoliberal regimes in Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

Changes in the economic configurations of Latin America, especially the expansion of the agro-mineral, financial and commercial sectors and the decline of the manufacturing sector has had a profound impact in shaping the class structure, trade union organization and class conflict.  Trade union membership has fallen precipitously.  In Brazil trade union affiliates have declined from 32.1% in the early 1990’s ( prior to the election of neo-liberal Cardoso 1994) to 17% in the middle of the decade under Lula (2005).  In Argentina between 1986 and 2005 trade union membership declined from 48.7% to 25.4%.  In Mexico membership declined from 14% to 10% between 1985 and 2005.  Chile is the exception:  starting from a low level 11.6% in 1986 rising to 16% in 2005.  Moreover, the decline in trade union membership has been accompanied by the decline of industrial workers, especially in labor-intensive light consumer industries, negatively impacted by imports of cheap textiles, shoes, toys and so on, from Asia as part of the trade off between exports of agro-minerals and imports of manufactured goods.

The decline in trade unions has been accompanied by a decline of political influence in state policies and a “turn inward” to narrow ‘corporate’ wage and workplace issues.  As a result strikes have declined and are focused on immediate issues.

The political and social space in the class struggle, vacated by the industrial workers, has been occupied by mass social movements in the countryside led by peasants, Indians and landless workers during the neo-liberal era and by urban struggles led by low-paid service workers and lower middle class employees in the ‘late’ post-neo-liberal period.  This is evident in the million member mass urban struggles in Brazil in May – June 2013.

The change in the economy and social struggles has led to major shifts in the locus of class struggles and socio-economic demands.

Prior to the 1990s the major strikes, protests and other class actions were organized at the workplace by employed, unionized industrial workers.  During the 1990s the axis of struggle shifted to the streets, countryside, and neighborhoods as the class struggle was spearheaded by rural landless workers, unemployed workers and the downwardly mobile middle class.  In the first decade and a half in the 2000s, the locus of class struggle is focused in the Indian and provincial communities adjoining sites of agro-mining corporate exploitation.  The struggles focus on resisting dispossession, uprooting and destruction of habitat.  The urban mass movements in the major Brazilian cities combine the lower middle class, informal workers and students.  They are organized in the streets:  the center of organization and confrontation is located in the neighborhoods and communities.  The target is the post neo-liberal state.  The trade union power of convocation has been dwarfed by a ratio of 20 to 1:  two million working people joined marches protesting massive corruption, misallocation of budgetary resources and declining living standards and the quality of basic services in health, education and transport.

The new class struggle is basically made up of the younger generation of non-unionized workers, many in the informal sector and low-paid service workers who are highly dependent on public services and lack the social protection of the state.

The complex and changing physiognomy of the ‘class struggle from below’ is matched by the continuities and changes in the ‘class struggle from above”.

The ruling classes have shifted from a position embracing brute force, via military dictatorships and ultra-authoritarian rule in launching the neo-liberal counter revolution during the early 1970s and mid-1980s, to support for a negotiated transition to electoral politics as a means to consolidate the model and to rapidly implement the neo-liberal agenda during the 1990s.

In the face of the anti-neo-liberal popular uprisings at the end of the 1990s the agro-mineral elite embraced the post neo-liberal center-left regimes and secured privileged places in the new model, accepting increased taxes and royalty payments in exchange for vast state subsidies and large scale land grants (“land grabs”).

With the decline of the mega-boom (post 2012) different sectors of the ruling class have adopted different strategies:  some (mostly agro-mineral sectors in Brazil) have pressured for a return to neo-liberalism within the center-left regimes; others, especially agro-business association in Argentina, have organized ‘mass actions’ to undermine the post neo-liberal regimes and foreign financial and investment houses have shifted capital to more lucrative sites in other regions.

While the class struggle in its multiple expressions is a ‘constant’ and moving force in determining economic strategies and the direction of social policy, the organizational form which it takes has changed dramatically over the past half century.  Even what appears to be similar organizations, like ‘movements’, ‘trade unions’ and ‘community-based mobilization’ have great variations in their internal make-up and mode of operation.  Adding to the complexity, organizations change over time in their structure and relationship to the state, depending on the politics of the regime in power.

Let us illustrate:

During the 1970s, trade unions in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay were highly political, playing a major role in mobilizing and uniting with parties and neighborhood movements in promoting the socialization of the economy and resisting the military take-overs.  Likewise, during the later phases of the military dictatorships in Brazil and Peru, militant trade unions engaged in massive strikes to hasten the advent of democratic electoral politics.  Subsequently, with the rise of post-neo-liberal regimes, most of the trade unions engaged in tripartite collective bargaining over narrow corporate’ demands, eschewing any community-based struggles over broader social issues and, in many cases, supporting regime policies through co-opted leaders.  In other words ‘trade unions’, have at different times served as ‘social vanguards’ and allies of mass movements, mediators in social compromises and active collaborators and transmission belts of the state.  The same organizational concept a trade union covers contradictory responses to the demands of class struggle.  The same is true of ‘social movements’.  During the onset and onslaught of the neo-liberal regimes, the social movements played a leading role in challenging the ascendant regimes and overthrowing them during the economic crises.  The ‘movements’ varied from locally-based unemployed urban workers in Argentina, to community-based Indian movements in Ecuador and Bolivia, to centralized rural workers movements in Brazil.  With the rise of the post neo-liberal regimes and the upswing of the mega-cycle, the unemployed workers movements virtually disappeared in Argentina, important sectors of the Indian movement, especially the ‘cocaleros’ in Bolivia lost their autonomy and became a political prop for the Evo Morales regime, and the MST (or Landless Rural Workers Movement), diminished their land take-over activity in pursuit of economic subsidies from the Lula-Dilma regimes in Brazil.

What is striking about the notion of ‘social movements’ is that when the class struggle by older, established and/or co-opted movements declines, new vibrant movements burst onto the scene.  In Bolivia the TIPNIS movement led the struggle against the extractive strategies of the Morales regime.  In Brazil, the million-member urban mass movements challenged the policies, priorities and corrupt politicians of the Lula-Dilma regime.  Eco-indigenous movements bypassed the co-opted trade union and social movements in Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru … New dynamic community-based civic and class organizations engage in mass confrontations with extractive-mineral multi-nationals and the state in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and elsewhere.

The dynamic of extractive capital, with its radical policies of uprooting, displacing and dispossessing entire communities, provokes comprehensive, cross-class alliances, which challenge the power and prerogatives of the state to dictate development policy, at least with regard to regional exploitation of resources.  With the decline of the extractive mega-cycle and the drop in demand for commodities and subsequent decline in prices, as growth in China, India and the rest of Asia slows, a new comprehensive ‘national’ (as opposed to regional) class struggle shows signs of returning.  The elite debate class strategies.  The extractive capital sectors demand intensified production to compensate for declining prices; others secure cut-backs in taxes and social costs; still others, in post neo-liberal regimes, call for a ‘new development model’ in the face of mass unrest (Lula DaSilva in Brazil).  The center-left is squeezed by both ends of the class structure, in the post mega-cycle class conflict.  Post neo-liberal regimes, fearful of the flight of capital, are pressured to make greater tax concessions to capital on the one hand, and fearful of the rising mass urban movements demanding positive and effective increases in public services and employment, vacillate between social concessions and police repression.

Given the high degree of ‘dependence’ built into the extractive model, extricating the regime from its links to commodity trade and building a new balanced model will involve a broader and  deeper commitment to the popular classes and a return to class struggle from below.

Case Studies of Class Struggle from Above and Below

Class struggle has clearly been internationalized.  Imperial intervention is a central part of class struggle from above and is endemic, whether in the form of multi-national corporations, investing and disinvesting, or via imperial state-promoted military coups and destabilization policies or by direct or proxy military invasions.    Anti-imperialist class struggle from below is less prominent, yet manifests itself in international aid and solidarity policies from Venezuela via ALBA, international strategy meetings of peasants, indigenous people and solidarity movements.  Yet the bulk of the class struggle against exploitation finds expression in movements by oppressed and dispossessed peoples who rely mainly on their own resource base in contrast to the ruling classes, which depend on strategic imperial allies.

Aug 242013
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

Obama_and_the_Nobel_Prize_by_Chappatte-1

Introduction

Political and economic changes in recent years have opened possibilities for the end of international and national conflicts.  Regime changes, pragmatic leaders and the promise of serious negotiations in the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Southwest Asia, China and elsewhere provided the Obama regime an opportunity to end long standing and costly wars, to access new markets and resources and to reduce domestic deficits and external trade imbalances.

At every opportunity, with precise consistency, the Obama regime rejected fresh overtures from adversaries, choosing instead to rely on a now discredited “double discourse”, of talking peace and engaging in war, of talking trade and increasing sanctions, of talking about greater Asian engagement and fomenting economic pacts which exclude the second biggest economy in the world.

The Obama regime’s incapacity to take advantage of the favorable political and diplomatic conjuncture can be attributed to several structural causes:  (1) His embrace of a “military metaphysic” which identifies violence as the key to empire building, independently of the context, correlation of forces and possibilities of victory. (2) His overweening commitment and submission to Israeli dictated Middle East policies transmitted and implemented by the domestic Zionist power configuration. (3) His overwhelming commitment to FIRE – capital (finance, insurance and real estate) over any long-term large scale commitment to rebuilding the productive sector and the welfare state. (4)  His commitment to short term goals of “regime change” – destroying adversaries – over and against pursuing long-term economic linkages and incremental concessions.

Regime Dogmatism and Rigidity

The Obama regime’s conception of empire building and its defense, is inflexible in its reliance on strategic military intervention  and abysmally ignorant of its short and long-term negative consequences.  Imbued with self-deluding moralizing as a “rational” justification for crude militarism, the regime is deaf, dumb and blind to the diplomatic openings and opportunities offered by adversaries.  It proposes negotiations and promises of “new beginnings” and at the same time announces plans to destabilize the same regime.

From the perspective of long term empire building and given the economic constraints of a stagnant economy, impending military defeats in Southwest Asia and the Middle East and the  political debacles resulting from the global spy expose, the Obama regime’s current diplomatic failures can only lead to further economic decline, greater political isolation and more explosive military conflicts.

Militarism Trumps Diplomacy:  The Case of Seven Lost Opportunities

Over the past year at least seven grand opportunities emerged which offered the Obama regime a chance to crawl out from under long term costly wars and confrontations and to move ahead toward an era of relative economic expansion and peaceful coexistence.

The Case of Iran:  Sacrificing a “Grand Bargain” to Serve the Israeli State

For over a decade the US has headed a Security Council coalition opposed, as it claims, to Iran developing a nuclear bomb.  Rejecting the evaluation of all  of its own intelligence agencies, which clearly specify that Iran is not engaged in weaponizing its nuclear program, the Obama regime and Congress chose or are forced to accept,  Israeli propaganda to the contrary.  Washington imposes harsh sanctions, threatens war and demands unilateral, unconditional surrender, citing the supposedly “extremist Islamist” character of the regime. Washington never engaged in serious negotiations.  In mid-2013, Iran elected a new President (Rohani) by all accounts, a pragmatic, conciliatory and flexible political leader who early on emphasized the desire to end the nuclear stalemate and provide guarantees in exchange for an end to economic sanctions.

President Rohani proposed to negotiate with the Obama regime with an ‘open agenda’ without conditions.  He emphasized his priority was domestic economic recovery and development over and above any present or future nuclear weaponry or even high level uranium enrichment.  He appointed a prominent Western oriented Foreign Minister, Mohammed Jawad Zarif who has a track record favorable to a “Grand Bargain”.

Instead of welcoming these major political and diplomatic breakthroughs, the Obama regime supported a Congressional resolution drawn up and promoted by Zionist zealot David Cohen of Treasury and the Israel lobby (AIPAC), to tighten oil sanctions even further. Obama and Congress chose military confrontation, threats and regime change over and against pursuit of a grand diplomatic opportunity which could include: (1) securing an intrusive supervision of Iran’s nuclear program; (2) reduced enrichment of uranium; (3) Iranian co-operation in securing the peace in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; (4) access to a multi-billion dollar petroleum market.

Washington demands “negotiations” that surrenders Iran’s sovereignty.  The Obama regime disdains a favorable diplomatic solution with the elected Rohani regime in favor of pleasuring the acolytes of the Netanyahu regime, by pursuing an impossible unattainable “regime change” via economic strangulation.

Palestine – Israel Peace Negotiations:  Land Grabbing and Peace Negotiations

There is no political leadership more accommodating and financially dependent on US policymakers then the Mahmoud Abbas regime in occupied Palestine.  Abba’s police force works in tandem with the Israeli occupation army in repressing popular protests.    He has arbitrarily retained dictatorial powers , represses popular democratic movements and denies Palestinian citizens legal electoral rights.  He has refused to organize or condone mass protests against Israeli land seizures.

In other words he is the “perfect client” for Washington and the most pliant negotiator for the Israelis:  one willing to accept an agreement with Israel, which (1) accepts 500,000 Jewish colonial settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; (2) the “no return” of exiled Palestinians; (3) the continued imprisonment of over 6,000 political prisoners (4) and a perpetual Israeli military presence in Galilee.  Abbas is willing to accept and call “Palestine” a series of non-contiguous territorial islands, surrounded by a ten meter Wall and subject to colonial depredations and military intrusions.  In entering negotiations, Abbas did not object, let along reject, Kerry’s appointment of Martin Indyk as the US mediator, despite his notoriety in Washington as a Zionist apologist and purveyor of confidential documents in the 1980’s.

The stage was set for a US “brokered” peace agreement – except that Israel announced a grand land grab:  a massive expansion of 3000 new housing settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama did nothing to restrain Israel; on the contrary Kerry acknowledged that the Obama regime had foreknowledge and clearly gave the green light.  In effect the negotiations served as an Israeli pretext to accelerate the annexation of the last 20% of what was “historic Palestine”.  As it stands, the Abbas regime has lost the last shred of legitimacy as it bows its head and enters negotiations, over a smaller and smaller remnant of Palestinian territory.  It is clear that the Abbas regime is “putting in time” to cover the four hundred million payoff from Washington and to buy personal safety and protection from their Israel colonial overseers.  By accepting peace negotiations as a pretext for colonization, Obama gratifies his wealthy Zionist bankers in the US and deepens the anger and alienation of Palestinians and tens of millions of their Muslim supporters around the world.  Kerry’s support for the Israeli land grab makes the perverse outcome a source for continued armed strife.  Obama trashed a great “peace opportunity” by choosing Israeli annexation over a mini-state ruled by an iron fisted Palestinian stooge, on the US payroll and willing to side with Washington in every Middle Eastern conflict.

US and Venezuela: Peaceful Co-Existence or Destabilization?

Since late 2001 and for the next twelve years, the US has engaged in a multifaceted destabilization campaign designed to overthrow the democratic-nationalist government of President Chavez.  Threats, military coups, large scale funding of electoral opposition parties, violent street demonstrations and referendums are part of the imperial repertory that has been tried and failed to stem the tide of Venezuela’s policy of expanding public ownership, social welfare and regional integration (ALBA).  With the death of Hugo Chavez and the election of President Maduro, Washington refused to accept the electoral outcome, validated by international observers and governments the world over.  Washington launched its defeated client candidate (Capriles) on a destabilization campaign first via violent street actions and then in a regional crusade, both of which made no headway and only further isolated the US in Latin America.

The Obama-Kerry regime, having failed to destabilize the Maduro regime, ‘apparently’ decided to try diplomacy,  following the common sense precept; “if you can’t defeat them by force entice them with peace”.  At a conference in Guatemala, Kerry called the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua for “a new relation, the re-opening of Ambassadorial ties and diplomatic negotiations” … Venezuela’s President Maduro responded favorably, eager to lessen tensions and reach a peaceful accommodation.  Then Samantha Powers, Obama’s nominee to be the US Ambassador to the UN, in testimony before Congress, declared that upon appointment she would prioritize “the fight against state repression in Venezuela”, in other words intervene in Venezuela on behalf of the opposition.  Kerry endorsed her positions, highlighting Washington’s hostility to the Maduro government.  Kerry’s overtures were exposed as a phony ploy of no consequence.  Peaceful reconciliation went out the window.  No negotiations took place.  In order to retain ties with its client opposition, Washington closed the book on ending its isolation in Latin America and eliminated  prospects for any economic openings which might have benefited US business interests.

US and Russia:  Obama’s Snowden Caper Revives the Cold War

At the beginning of his second term, President Obama announced that he would seek to improve relations with Russia.  President Putin responded favorably.  President Putin backed (1) the US-NATO assault (“no fly zone”) on Libya; (2) the US designed economic sanctions against Iran; (3) allowed the US to ship arms and military personnel through Russia to bolster the occupation of Afghanistan; (4) and convinced President Assad of Syria to participate in negotiations in Geneva with the Islamic terrorist led opposition backed by Saudi-Turkey-NATO.  Putin went along with US policy on Israel-Palestine.  Clearly Washington got most of all  it wanted from Putin, via this diplomatic relation.  Ongoing peaceful cooperation was clearly working in Obama’s favor.  In exchange Obama offered to attend an OECD meeting in Russia and have a side meeting with Putin.  In the run-up, Russia granted asylum to US political refugee Edward Snowden seeking refuge from political persecution.  Obama sharply denounced Putin.  Washington ignored its ignominious record of giving refuge to and refusing extradition requests for Chechnyian terrorists, Russian oligarchical swindlers, as well as Cuban airline bombing terrorist Posada Carriles and Bolivian President Sanchez de Losada accused of murdering dozens of protestors,  The White House responded by snubbing Putin and threatening further reprisals and “dire consequences”.  In other words Obama put into questions a favorable asymmetrical diplomatic relation, resorting to cold War rhetoric and threats.  The Russians responded by affirming their right to grant asylum to political refugees and pointed to the onerous restrictions they imposed on Snowden effectively curtailing any further revelations.  Putin restricted Snowden’s freedom to discuss US spy operations.  In a word instead of deepening a favorable diplomatic policy, Obama put it into the deep freeze, ensuring the loss of an important ally in its ongoing wars and conflicts.

The Syrian Triangle:  Secular Collaborator, Al Qaeda Terrorists and Obama’s Double Discourse

For years Bashar Assad worked closed with the US in (1) curbing Al Qaeda terrorists; (2) preventing cross border attacks in Israel; (3) denying sanctuary for Iraqi insurgents fighting against the US occupation of Baghdad;(4) complying with US policy by withdrawing troops from Lebanon.

Syria was a “co-operative adversary”, maintaining regional stability and a tolerant multi-ethno-religious state in a region riven by Islamic and Jewish sectarian violence.  But Washington under Obama magnified their differences and prioritized the policy of establishing a submissive client-state.  Instead of continuing a policy of diplomatic pressure and tactical collaboration, Obama joined with an unholy alliance of Gulf State Islamic autocracies, ex-colonial European powers (especially France and England) ,Israel’s secret services (Mossad ) and Turkey Islamist President Erdogan in arming, financing, training and providing sanctuary to armed Islamic mercenaries led by Al Qaeda brigades.  Syria was riven by conflict, the economy was destroyed, security was non-existent and millions of refugees fled to Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey and beyond.  Thousands of Jihadists from afar journeyed to the neighboring countries, received arms, paychecks and terrorist training in pursuit of a “Taliban style” regime in Syria as a springboard to destabilizing pro-US client states in the region.  Turkey’s and Egypt’s (under Morsi) intervention on behalf of the Islamic uprising provoked internal mass popular protest,  weakening the US collaborator regimes.  Obamas “all or nothing” attempt to establish a Syrian client regime via violence has produced a “no win” situations:  either Assad retains power as a less co-operative adversary or the Islamic terrorists establish a regime that serves as a springboard for one, two, and many caliphates.  In the midst of this negative scenario, through Russian mediation, Bashar Assad agreed to pursue negotiations with the opposition in Geneva.  The Obama regime seized diplomatic failure from the mouth of a face-saving peaceful resolution:  it failed to convince the terrorists and rejected the diplomatic option.

The war continues and refugees destabilize neighboring clients and Obama’s incapacity to recognize failures and seek diplomatic ‘half way solutions’ erodes imperial pretensions.

US-Afghanistan:  Prolonging the Longest War and Sacrificing a Diplomatic Retreat

The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was the prelude to (1) the longest war in US history; (2) a war costing hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers; (3) incited major insurgencies in Pakistan and elsewhere.  In the face of substantial majorities calling for the end of US warfare and in the face of rising fiscal deficits, the Obama regime promised to withdraw most combat troops by the end of 2014, providing the “security situation allows”.  Well, that is a very dubious condition.The 300,000 Afghan army is riven by nationalists, Islamists and other opponents of the corrupt Hamid Karzai puppet regime and US war atrocities , drone killings included .They will likely overthrow the pro-US regime, first chance.  In the face of a military-retreat and with improbable collaborators in the state, who have their baggage packed and tickets in hand, the Obama regime seemingly has no option but to cut losses by opening negotiations with the Taliban.  The opportunity for negotiations exists:  the Taliban opened an office in  Qatar (December 2011) and Washington seemed to be agreeable to talks … ad then Washington chose to accommodate its corrupt puppet ruler Karzai by insisting on his presence in the process.  Obviously, regime continuance excludes any meaningful recognition of the Taliban’s minimum demands for regime change.  To further undermine any settlement, the Obama regime rejected the Taliban’s strategic demand of total US military withdrawal.  Taliban closed their Qatar office in July 2013.  In other words the Obama regime sacrificed the possibility of a peaceful settlement which would moderate Taliban foreign and domestic policies in order to prop up a corrupt puppet regime lacking popular support, based on armed forces of dubious loyalty and dependent on a continued US presence.  Instead of accepting retreat, cutting losses and pursuing accommodation, Obama maximizes losses and ensures that the inevitable military withdrawal will prejudice relations for decades ahead.

US-China Containment in the Face of Impotence is a No Brainer

China has the second largest economy in the world and a growth rate three to four times that of the United States.  China has become one of the most important investment sites for the top US multi-national corporations and potentially a major source of investment capital for the US economy.  Given China’s growing demands for advanced technology, financial and IT services, agricultural, energy and other commodities and the US demand for manufactured goods, there is a high degree of economic “complementarity”. US-China cooperation offers opportunities for greater integration and joint ventures which can exploit market opportunities.

Faced with the historic opportunity to forge an economic partnership with an emerging global power, Obama has opted to isolate China; by (1) actively promoting regional trade agreements (the Transpacific Partnership) which pointedly exclude China: (2) intervening and fomenting territorial and maritime disputes between  China and its neighbors and supporting  separatist ethno-religious groups in China.

The Obama regime raised illusions that he would turn from his losing and costly Middle Eastern military adventures toward the more lucrative and profitable Asian markets, when he announced a “pivot to Asia”.  Instead of a reasoned and balanced shift toward (1) expanding US economic bridgeheads in China; (2) and seeking to deepen financial penetration and technological links, Obama simply transferred his failed militarist ideologically driven policies to Asia.  He sided with Japan in a South China Sea dispute.  He is inciting the Philippines and Vietnam to contest China’s maritime claims.  He is securing new military base agreements with Canberra and Manila.  The Obama regime has (1) fortified its forward bases aimed at China; (2) encouraged and supported separatist Tibetans; (3) and armed Uigar terrorists.

The Obama regime has attempted to undermine China’s economic linkages in Asia without providing any comparable alternative.  The end result is that China still remains as the pre-eminent trading partner for most of the members of what Obama conceived of as a “US centered” Pan-Pacific trade alliance.  Furthermore by bluster and provocative military maneuvers, Obama has pushed China into a closer and deeper strategic economic and political alliance with Russia.  Obama’s “isolationist ploy” was dead in the water.  Commodity exporters like Australia, Indonesia, Peru, Chile and Colombia can ill afford to shun China, for the simple fact that the US offers no alternative market!  Nor can Taiwan, South Korea and Japan find an alternative market for their high tech exports.  Nor can the US replace the massive infrastructure investments that China has made in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Pakistan.

Obama’s policy of mindless military posturing, accompanied by vacuous ideological sniping, has lessened US economic opportunities, and heightened military tensions.  Obama’s belligerent policy toward Beijing in pursuit of a US centered and hegemonized Asia lacks economic substance and client states willing to sacrifice economic gain for the dubious “honor” of housing US military bases pointed at threatening their principal economic partner.

The grand, historic opportunity of a declining empire coming to peaceful and profitable terms with a rising global economic power was missed.

Conclusion

The Obama regime has systematically rejected opportunities to resolve conflicts and move on to a more moderate and balanced foreign policy, one more in accord with the real capacity of the US economy and state.  Current and recent foreign policy discussions and decision makers have been blinded by a ‘military metaphysic’ whose only ‘calculus’ is based on the capacity to project military power independently of the real consequences.  Obama’s diplomatic initiatives lack substance and most often are neutralized by parallel military moves and aggressive interventions.  Even within the constraints of obsessive empire building, a dysfunctional legislature and incompetent executive advisers,recent political changes including the ascendancy of pragmatic adversaries provided the Obama regime with real options which clearly would have opened the door to political compromises and strategic gains.

The Obama regime’s failure to pursue diplomatic solutions can be attributed to the structural links between the Presidency and the military-police state apparatus.  The latter has gained a high degree of autonomy from the productive economy, as evidenced everywhere, from Obama’s China containment policy to the economic losses resulting from economic sanctions on Iran, Syria and (previously) Libya.

Obama’s deep, long-standing and pervasive links to the 1% of Americans affiliated with notorious Israeli ideologues and his pandering to their lobbies and wealthy fund raisers has led to a rigid adherence to colonial-military policies that eschew any diplomatic compromises which might dim the megalomaniacal vision of “Greater Israel”.  Obama’s myopia is ‘structural’.  He follows the dictates of prestigious Ivy League advisers whose judgment is forever defined by “what’s good for Israel” and whose academic expertise is clouded by pea-brained assessments of what ‘others’ want and how they will react to perpetual belligerency.

The world view of the Obama regime is one of mirror looking in an echo chamber:  it cannot visualize and accommodate the interests of rivals, competitors or adversaries, no matter how absolutely central they are to any meaningful compromise.  The give and take of real world politics is totally foreign to the world’s Chosen People.  They only know how to “seize power” and create military facts, even as they then spend a dozen years and billions of dollars and millions of lives in endless wars, bemoaning lost markets amidst serial diplomatic failures.  The epitaph for the Obama regime will read:

They fought the Wars

They lost.

They turned friends

into enemies.

Who became

friends or our enemies.

They stood alone, in splendid isolation,

And said it was their only choice.

Barack Obama: Warmonger-in-Chief

Barack Obama: Warmonger-in-Chief

Aug 222013
 

El análisis de James Petras

image002

“Obama está apoyando completamente toda la política reaccionaria. Hace años que está continuando la política de apoyar las monarquías autocráticas en el Golfo, incluso utilizándolos para financiar a los terroristas en Siria y en cualquier otro lugar. Tiene posturas muy engañosas con Egipto, sigue pensando que no es un golpe para seguir dando mil millones de dólares de apoyo a la dictadura militar. Así apoyó la destrucción de Gadafi y ahora se lava las manos del caos y la destrucción que han sembrado”, dijo el sociólogo norteamericano James Petras, al analizar la política estadounidense en el mundo. Además, Petras resaltó la movilización popular que se realizó este lunes en Colombia y continuó con el desarrollo de la realidad egipcia.

Efrain Chury Iribarne: Oyentes, como cada lunes tenemos el gusto de darle la bienvenida a James Petras allí en Estados Unidos. Buen día Petras, ¿cómo estás?

James Petras: Estoy muy bien. Hemos tenido un fin de semana de pesca, con mucha suerte pesqué 3 corvinas de más de 4 kgs, más otros peces que podríamos poner en el horno.

EChI: Pero esa es una pesca exitosa en cualquier parte del mundo Petras.

JP: Exactamente, por eso digo que estoy muy contento este lunes.

EChI: Naturalmente. Los oyentes saben que estamos conectados con James Petras para analizar los principales temas del mundo. ¿Por dónde empezamos hoy?

JP: Podríamos empezar con las masacres en Egipto, donde el gobierno respaldado por los EEUU que sigue recibiendo 1.300 millones de ayuda militar más 400 millones de armas de la Unión Europea, están masacrando incluso a presos ya en transportes para mantener el control y evitar cualquier protesta.

Este gobierno tiene un esquema de imponer por la violencia y la fuerza un régimen pro Israel, pro norteamericano y contrarrevolucionario, contra la democracia.

Mientras tanto debemos analizar por qué este gobierno surge en este momento. La razón es que el gobierno de centro derecha, el gobierno de Mursi, dentro del marco democrático no podría realizar el proyecto neoliberal, se prestó al servicio del imperialismo en Siria apoyando el golpe y la invasión de Libia. Pero era insuficiente a controlar las huelgas y protestas acumulando.

Y a estas protestas se incluyeron apoyantes lúmpenes, mafiosos del régimen anterior de Mubarak. Y ese era un error fantástico de la izquierda que permitió combinar fuerzas con la ultra derecha y los golpistas para tumbar un gobierno que no necesariamente  era progresista pero que dentro de un marco democrático permitía las huelgas, permitía la protesta. Ahora nada, con los militares en poder hay purgas, hay asesinatos, hay masacres, no hay ningún sindicalista que antes participaba contra Mursi que se atreva a salir a la calle porque tienen miedo de las ametralladoras y francotiradores. Y ese es el drama.

Ahora, en la política internacional, Washington quiere que terminen las masacres para imponer la imagen de un régimen en transición a la democracia, que es imposible mientras hay miles de muertos, heridos, encarcelados y torturados. Entonces, hacen alguna crítica tibia pero nunca ponen en cuestión la ayuda militar ni ninguna medida que pudiera llamarle la atención al carácter dictatorial del gobierno.

Y esta situación es una indicación de que hay una vuelta hacia la derecha por parte de los gobernantes en esta región. En el momento en que surge, los movimientos pro democráticos han pasado. Ahora la polarización va a ser entre los islámicos y la dictadura. Y con pocas posibilidades de que una izquierda desligitimizada por su actuación con los golpistas puedan tener algún protagonismo.

EChI: Petras, la información por un lado se dice que Israel intervendrá en Egipto si es necesario y está acechando la presa. Y por otro lado dice que los Estados árabes están contra el pueblo de Egipto. Allí está Arabia Saudita, Jordania, apoyando aparentemente la actual dictadura que hay en Egipto. ¿Esto es así?

JP: Sí, exactamente, el régimen, uno de los más reaccionarios en el mundo, con la más grande concentración de riquezas, el más autocrático es Arabia Saudita. Es uno de los regímenes más podrido, más represivo hacia mujeres, a los derechos civiles, . Ellos son el principal apoyante de la dictadura militar. Son la fuerza principal apoyando el terrorismo contra el gobierno en Siria. Son las fuerzas que apoyan cualquier intervención imperialista en cualquier parte del mundo. Y ellos sí, son unos de los principales países, más allá de los países del Golfo y Jordania, el rey de Jordania, desde su abuelo, está en el recibimiento de pagos por parte de la CIA para no apoyar a los palestinos y mantener la paz en la frontera con Israel, a pesar de la expansión colonialista.

Entonces, Jordania, los países de Golfo, Arabia Saudita tienen una línea lógica como el gobierno militar represivo pro norteamericano en acuerdo con Israel, es la misma línea que ellos están aplicando. Entonces, en esta lógica obviamente Washington tiene aliados firmes, hay un arco de reacción que pasa por Arabia Saudita, los países del Golfo, Jordania y ahora Egipto e Israel. Aparentemente es una ola nueva de la derechización que debemos entender que va a provocar otro tipo de lucha, más allá de la lucha por los derechos democráticos.Yo creo que vamos a encontrar auge de conflictos más violentos contra este tipo de regímenes cerrados y represivos.

EChI: Uno encuentra en esa región actualmente un centro de fascistisación de la política y de la ideología.

JP: Bueno, el fascismo tiene características en Egipto porque no siempre es una dictadura masacradora que está haciendo una purga de todas las instituciones políticas y representativas. Pero tiene una base de masa y esas son las características del fascismo. No es simplemente una dictadura represiva como una dictadura militar porque en el caso de Egipto tienen un 20% de la población entre capitalistas y banqueros, pero también una masa lúmpen que pueden utilizar como un brazo armado para entrar en los barrios a asesinar y dejar que el ejército salga con las manos limpias.

En este caso, en el asesinato de los presos ayer, ellos estaban metidos, los matones y los maleantes que están vinculados con el gobierno y también funcionaban por Mubarak.

Entonces, el Estado dictatorial con respaldo a un sector de la masa está en operación.

Ahora, en Jordania es una dictadura monárquica, lo mismo con el gobierno en Arabia Saudita, no tienen base de masas para dominar la sociedad civil e imponer la política reaccionaria. Esas son dictaduras más tradicionales y no por eso menos represivas.

Pero caracteres fascistas más cerca de lo que está pasando en Egipto, donde hay fuerzas de choque abajo complementando las actividades el Estado. En algún punto tal vez el Estado dictatorial va a llamar la atención a estos grupos porque están cometiendo tantas atrocidades, incluso de apoyantes occidentales, pueden llamarlos a parar y controlar alguna actividad. Pero mientras haya oposición contra el golpe es posible que anden los cuerdos sueltos para hacer las masacres en los barrios, las tiendas, asaltos en las calles. Cualquier mujer que utiliza el velo o cualquier hombre con barba, no sé si bigote, pero cualquiera de barba lo atacan acusándolo de ser un islámico terrorista.

EChI: ¿Barak Obama cómo se expresa ante esta situación?

JP: Obama está apoyando completamente toda la política reaccionaria. Hace años que está continuando la política de apoyar las monarquías autocráticas en el Golfo, incluso utilizándolos para financiar a los terroristas en Siria y en cualquier otro lugar.

Tiene posturas muy engañosas con Egipto. Primero él sigue pensando que no es un golpe para seguir dando mil millones de dólares de apoyo a la dictadura militar. Así apoyó la destrucción de Gadafi y ahora se lava las manos del caos y la destrucción que han sembrado. Apoya la invasión de Siria, para desplazar un régimen que era adversario, pero estable y colaborador en muchas cosas con Obama.

Es un extremista, han dejado a un lado cualquier oportunidad de entrar en negociaciones realistas. Con el nuevo gobierno de Rouhaní en Irán, que ofrece una nueva perspectiva de negociación, Obama da la espalda.

Ataca a Rusia a pesar de que Putin muestra una actitud de acomodación con Washington, incluso limitando la expresión del Sr. Snowden.

Por otra parte podemos ver que Obama rechaza una reconciliación con Venezuela en un lado y es típico de Obama. Habla de abrir nueva página con Maduro el Sr. Kerry y al mismo tiempo respalda las declaraciones de su nueva embajadora en Naciones Unidas, la Sra. Samantha Power que declaró que va a intervenir en la política interna en Venezuela contra lo que ella llama mentirosamente “la represión”.

Entonces, cualquier oportunidad que se abre para arreglar las cosas diplomáticamente y conseguir la paz, Obama toma la iniciativa opuesta. O sea, en Siria provoca el caos y guerra, en Egipto está alimentando con armas la dictadura, en Venezuela sigue apoyando a la oposición terrorista de Capriles.

Entonces, hay una lógica militarista que no deja a Obama terminar con gestiones políticas y militares fracasados.Es un presidente de las derrotas y militarismo sin aceptar que el mundo ha cambiado, que hay que negociar recíprocamente algunos acomodos. No entiende nada de diplomacia y tiene como asesores a individuos que ni siquiera tienen lealtades al Estado norteamericano, que son más fieles a la política de Israel.

EChI: Era más fácil hacer un cálculo de lo que iba a hacer Bush que en lo que va a hacer Obama.

JP: Bueno, era menos engañoso. Obama utiliza siempre el doble discurso.

Habla de paz pero está profundizando las guerras, habla de negociaciones mientras lanza misiles militares. Es más engañoso.

Lo único que podemos decir es que ya hay poca gente que está ilusionada por Obama. Ya hay un desencanto generalizado, realmente tiene poca efectividad en sus discursos demagógicos.

EChI: Qué pena que el desencanto generalmente llega en la segunda Presidencia.

JP: Sí. Pero tenemos una buena noticia hoy Chury…

EChI: ¿A ver?

JP: Hay un paro nacional, incluyendo el paro agrario en Colombia hoy,  19 de agosto. Incluye a enormes sectores populares urbanos, sectores agricultores importantes, campesinos, agricultores de café, trabajadores municipales, grandes marchas poniendo en cuestión toda la política económica del gobierno de Santos y formando el eje de una nueva política.

Entendemos que hay negociaciones de paz en La Habana, sobre un arreglo político social y económico justo. Pero el eje de cambio ahora pasa por otro lado, pasa por los millones de colombianos en marcha y eso es importante. Porque la idea de que el problema de paz en Colombia es simplemente FARC – Santos, ya no pasa por ese lado. No digo que las FARC no tienen gran importancia y prestigio, pero el hecho es que las masas van a determinar la historia y están planteando una serie de reivindicaciones sociales, económicas pero también políticas, porque a partir de este gran paro se está reivindicando otra democracia, más allá del sistema electoral bipartidista y oligárquico.

Esta paro, según las últimas noticias que hemos recibido de Colombia, es un gran éxito. Tanto en el campo -que es algo más raro ver el campo parado- donde no está circulando mercancía y contra los acuerdos de libre comercio que el gobierno de Santos ha firmado con los EEUU, donde las exportaciones agrícolas norteamericanas fuertemente subvencionadas por 20.000 millones de dólares entran libremente a debilitar lo que hay de agricultura en Colombia.

Y del otro lado los sindicatos urbanos, los trabajadores, los indígenas están tomando partido en esta gran movilización. Es una gran señal de que las masas hacen la historia más allá de cualquier acuerdo de los grupos más politizados.

EChI: Muy bien Petras, te agradezco los análisis que has estado haciendo para nosotros. Quedamos comprometidos para el próximo lunes como siempre.

JP: Muy bien, un abrazo a la audiencia.

Aug 202013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Via irmaly @dailykos:

Monday at 9AM was the first time the new and not-so-improved Watauga County Board of Elections met, a Board now controlled by Republican Tea Partiers (2-1) with a clear mission to suppress any and all suspected progressive votes in time for the upcoming municipal elections, especially for the Town of Boone, the county seat. And to do it undercover as fast as possible.

While the meeting had originally been scheduled for a large room in the County’s Administration building, the Republicans quickly changed the location to a small Board room in the elections office in an effort to discourage public attendance. Didn’t work. Before the two Republicans were forced to move meeting, as required by law in light of all the people there to witness the travesty, just wet your whistle with what went down at the start. Seriously. Take a look at this. It will blow your mind.

Watauga County Board of Elections Meeting: Part 1: 

Two Republican Board board members came to the meeting with a prepared – but-clearly-not-by-them – anti-democratic agenda to:

1. Eliminate the Appalachian State University (ASU) early one-stop voting site.

2. Force all early voting into one location hard to access by students, faculty, and staff at ASU.

3. Outlaw any verbal public comment at Board meetings and require that written comments be screened to ensure they were “pertinent” and communicated without cussing or libel.

4. Require that the 27-year Elections Board Director, a woman totally on the straight up and beloved by the entire county, not be allowed to meet with anyone in her office without supervision.

5. Mandate that anyone calling into the local BOE office have their names recorded.

6. Move the “New River” precinct (a heavily populated precinct in and around the town of Boone) out into the very corner of the precinct into a virtually unknown location and as far away from municipal voters as possible.

7. Combine three Boone precincts into one Super Precinct consisting of 9,300 voters and 35 parking spaces and away as far as possible from ASU.

Part 2 of the Watauga County election board meeting is one hour long but well worth the watch if you have any interest or doubt that a deadly serious anti-democracy movement is sweeping the nation. Aspiring fascists are destroying representational government of, by and for the people by infiltrating local election boards, school boards, as well as all three branches of local, state and federal government. The Watauga County election board meeting is but one small, yet poignant example of the ham-fisted tactics being used to pass anti-democratic legislation.

The bottom line is this: If more people don’t begin to step-up and stop them, they will win. 

Aug 192013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* GLENN GREENWALD’S PARNTER DETAINED AT HEATHROW AIRPORT FOR NINE HOURS 

David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act

By Guardian Staff, The Guardian

Glenn Greenwald (right) and his partner David Miranda, who was held by UK authorities at Heathrow airport. Photograph: Janine Gibson

Glenn Greenwald (right) and his partner David Miranda, who was held by UK authorities at Heathrow airport. Photograph: Janine Gibson

The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London‘s Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

The 28-year-old was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 – over 97% – last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours. […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/18/glenn-greenwald-guardian-partner-detained-heathrow

—————————————————————–

* GLENN GREENWALD: DETAINING MY PARTNER WAS A FAILED ATTEMPT AT INTIMIDATION

The detention of my partner, David Miranda, by UK authorities will have the opposite effect of the one intended

By Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

GG

At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the “security official” called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him. […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-miranda-detained-uk-nsa

—————————————————————–

* HOW LARUA POITRAS HELPED SNOWDEN SPILL HIS SECRETS

By Peter Mass, NYTimes

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in Berlin. Olaf Blecker for The New York Times

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in Berlin. Olaf Blecker for The New York Times

This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it.

The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges. Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras to select long pass phrases that could withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers. “Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote.

Before long, Poitras received an encrypted message that outlined a number of secret surveillance programs run by the government. She had heard of one of them but not the others. After describing each program, the stranger wrote some version of the phrase, “This I can prove.” […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html?_r=0

—————————————————————–

* NSA REVELATIONS OF PRIVACY BREACHES ‘THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG’ – SENATE DUO

By Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

Senator Ron Wyden (above) and Mark Udall said: 'We believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.' Photograph: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Senator Ron Wyden (above) and Mark Udall said: ‘We believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.’ Photograph: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Two US senators on the intelligence committee said on Friday that thousands of annual violations by the National Security Agency on its own restrictions were “the tip of the iceberg.”

“The executive branch has now confirmed that the rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans’ have been violated thousands of times each year,” said senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, two leading critics of bulk surveillance, who responded Friday to a Washington Post story based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.” […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/16/nsa-revelations-privacy-breaches-udall-wyden

—————————————————————–

* THE SURVEILLANCE SPEECH: A LOW POINT IN BARACK OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY

His tone on Friday was inappropriately dismissive, while the substance was misleading at best and mendacious at worst.

By Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

images-1

Jon Stewart once reacted to a Barack Obama speech by marveling that “at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race as though they were adults.”

On Friday, President Obama spoke to us about surveillance as though we were precocious children. He proceeded as if widespread objections to his policies can be dispatched like a parent answers an eight-year-old who has formally protested her bedtime. He is so proud that we’ve matured enough to take an interest in our civil liberties! Why, he used to think just like us when he was younger, and promises to consider our arguments. But some decisions just have to be made by the grownups. Do we know how much he loves us? Can we even imagine how awful he would feel if anything bad ever happened while it was still his job to ensure our safety? *

By observing Obama’s condescension, I don’t mean to suggest tone was the most objectionable part of the speech. The disinformation should bother the American people most. The weasel words. The impossible-to-believe protestations. The factually inaccurate assertions.

They’re all there.

* * *

The passage:

… I called for a review of our surveillance programs. Unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate but not always fully informed way.

But Obama has always had it within his power to initiate a fully informed debate. The state secrets that he guards, rightly or wrongly, are the biggest obstacle to a fully informed debate. Love the leaks or hate them, they’ve indisputably made Americans, including some members of Congress, much better informed than they were before about NSA surveillance, not less informed. And as any student of the civil-rights era ought to know, debate need not be “orderly” to be salutary. […]

READ @ http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/the-surveillance-speech-a-low-point-in-barack-obamas-presidency/278565/

—————————————————————–

* WHY SENATOR FEINSTEIN IS WRONG ABOUT WHO’S A “REAL REPORTER”

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

images-2

During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s August 1 mark-up of the shield law bill aimed at protecting journalists’ sources, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reportedly objected to the definition of journalist provided in the bill as introduced, seeking to restrict the definition’s scope to apply only to “real reporters.” To achieve her misguided goal, Sen. Feinstein has put forward an amendment to S. 987 that would greatly exacerbate the problems with the definition of who’s a journalist that existed in the bill as introduced. […]

[…] Three Roads to “Journalist” that All Go Nowhere

Feinstein’s amendment effectively advances a traditional vision of journalism through the three definitions of journalist that it provides, each of which requires that a person be affiliated with a journalistic “entity” or institution (including news websites and other digital news services, and other periodicals distributed digitally).

Specifically, the amendment requires that a journalist meet one of the following definitions:

  1. working as a “salaried employee, independent contractor, or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information;”
  2. either (a) meeting the prior definition “for any continuous three-month period within the two years prior to the relevant date” or (b) having “substantially contributed, as an author, editor, photographer, or producer, to a significant number of articles, stories, programs, or publications by an entity . . . within two years prior to the relevant date;” or
  3. working as a student journalist “participating in a journalistic publication at an institution of higher education.” (emphases added)1 […]

READ @ https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/why-sen-feinstein-wrong-about-whos-real-reporter

—————————————————————–

* REPEACE VIDEO

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuVz1OPHm0E

—————————————————————–

* THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP IS NOT ABOUT FREED TRADE. IT’S A CORPORATE COUP D’ETAT – AGAINST US

Both Bush & Obama have kept negotiations secret about this nuclearized NAFTA

By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

2013-08_cartoon

In 2002, it was reported that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had told a friend an amusing tale about our man George W. Bush. It seems that the two of them and French President Jacques Chirac had gotten into an economics discussion, after which George supposedly confided to Tony that he was decidedly unimpressed with Jacques’ views: “The problem with the French,” Bush scoffed, “is that they don’t have a word for ‘entrepreneur.'”

W’s head has always been a no-fly-zone for factual reality. However, what would boggle his mind even more than the fact that we Americans filched that word from the French, is the reality that government is not quite the entrepreneur-devouring ogre (Mon dieu! George, another French word!) that Bush’s cartoonish dogma paints it to be. Actually, government-at-its-best can be an entrepreneur’s buddy. One surprising place to see this buddyship at work is in one of the most mundane of government offices: Procurement (i.e., the Department of Buying Stuff).

Where does your mayor, school board, governor, or any other “public shopper” go to purchase fixtures, food, furniture, ferns, and whatnot? Where I live, various agencies have Buy Austin, Buy Texas, Buy American, Buy Green, Buy Sweatshop-Free, and other targeted policies that apply our tax dollars to our values. This sensible idea has swept across the country, most likely including where you live, and these agency purchases add up to a big financial boost for start-ups, independents, women-owned, and other homegrown enterprises. Rather than buying everything from Walmart or China (excuse the redundancy there)–thus shipping truckloads and boatloads of cash out of our communities–plow that public money back into the home turf for grassroots economic growth and the flowering of local jobs. […]

READ @ http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/3402#

—————————————————————–

* THE COMING GLOBAL REVOLUTION

By Rainn Wilson, youtube

An amazing speech by Rainn Wilson on the coming global revolution that must happen in order for us to move forward as a human race.

“I think that there is another revolution coming. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but I think it’s going to be very interesting and it’s going to unfold over the next 10 years.”

Footage used is a combination of purchased footage and various Youtube videos of protests from around the world.

Music Used: Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5_xFH…

VIDEO @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aKsfuHt1EXg

Aug 172013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Thank you, Anonymous. <3

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZUHOELgif0&feature=youtu.be

Aug 162013
 

El análisis de James Petras

image001

“La necesidad de una reformulación de un proyecto de izquierda es necesaria”, dijo el sociólogo norteamericano James Petras al analizar las repercusiones de la reciente edición del Foro de San Pablo. “Lula habla de un nuevo modelo. Y en el mismo momento surge que Brasil busca un tratado de libre comercio con la Unión Europea. Por eso digo que hay doble señal: por un lado, una tibia autocrítica pero reconoce que el proyecto burgués popular –que era la fórmula de todos los gobiernos supuestamente progresistas- ya está agotado, pues la burguesía busca ahora su propia representación; el centro enfrentado con esta situación no sabe si volver a profundizar el neoliberalismo o buscar alguna forma de reagrupar alguna posición de izquierda”, subrayó. “Temo que la fórmula de los foristas de San Pablo, va más hacia el acomodo con la burguesía que en la profundización del proceso que empezó a fines del siglo pasado”, indicó. A continuación transcribimos la columna de James Petras que Usted puede escuchar/descargar en el siguiente link: https://soundcloud.com/nachov3/efrain-chury-iribarne-2

Efrain Chury Iribarne: Como cada lunes a esta hora establecemos contacto telefónico con James Petras que está en Estados Unidos. Buenos días Petras, ¿como estás?

James Petras: Estamos muy bien, con unos días preciosos, y prontos para comenzar este espacio.

EChI: Para comenzar, tenemos una información que señala que “Un servidor de XKeyscore, el sistema de espionaje global a internautas de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad de EE.UU. (NSA), está ubicado en la embajada estadounidense en Moscú, según filtra el diario ruso ‘Védomosti’. ¿Esto se divulgó allí?

JP: No lo recuerdo, pero hay tantas noticias sobre el espionaje, las denuncias, los nuevos descubrimientos, la profundidad y extensión del espionaje y últimamente los esfuerzos del régimen de Obama para justificar y profundizar el espionaje, en vez de modificar y cambiar las cosas.

Hemos visto hoy por ejemplo, que Obama busca legitimizar el espionaje, en vez de tratar de evitar más denuncias, él carga adelante con los programas, utilizando la fabricación de este blog terrorista, hablando de ‘alerta roja’, lo que terminó en nada, no hubo conspiración ni acto terrorista. Obviamente están a la defensiva por un lado, tratando de distraer la atención; y por otro lado, lanzando propuestas para extender el programa. Lo que pasa es que la resistencia no ha tomado todavía medidas contundentes, simplemente ha hecho alguna denuncia, alguna afirmación sobre la soberanía cibernética, pero no hemos tenido una defensa más firme y contundente contra esa agresión. Y entonces Obama sigue con la política reaccionaria, y no sólo en el espionaje donde justifica todo, no han retirado nada, siguen espiando sobre todo incluso esta conversación, es seguro que va a parara a algún archivo, esté seguro que queda registrada.

Todo eso ha provocado alguna oposición aquí en el Congreso, pero todavía sin apoyo amplio, mayoritario;en el público también hay muchas críticas. Pero como no tenemos democracia en este país, el Ejecutivo hace lo que da la gana, hace que todo quede en una crisis apocalíptica, eso es lo que no hemos visto todavía.

Por ejemplo, frente al espionaje norteamericano, denuncia a Rusia y cancela una reunión entre Putin y Obama por no entregar a la persona reveladora de este enorme aparato de espionaje, el señor Edward Snowden. Y lo mismo está pasando con Israel, donde el canciller Kerry arregló que palestinos estén presentes, mientras que Israel anuncia mil departamentos más dentro del territorio de Jerusalén, en tierras palestinas, y el desplazamiento de 40.000 beduinos en los próximos s seis meses. Esto significa que Washington es cómplice en la expansión, conquista y colonización israelí.

Finalmente debemos decir que el espionaje como factor en las Embajadas en los países latinoamericanos es un hecho y lo ha sido por varios años. Por ejemplo, en Paraguay la Embajada tiene cuatro manzanas, en un pequeño país, obviamente es un centro de importancia para el espionaje  y control de todas las comunicaciones. Ahora tenemos los satélites, bases militares, etc.

Estamos frente a un nuevo tipo de imperialismo que utiliza la cibernética como un instrumento de penetración y desestabilización.

EChI: Finalizó el Foro de San Pablo en Brasil, que algo mencionaste el lunes pasado. ¿Hay alguna otra repercusión que haya merecido tu atención?

JP: Hay varias repercusiones que debemos anotar. En primera instancia, que es una organización que incluye tanto a neoliberales como lo que podríamos llamar progresistas, entre los que figuran diferentes partidos desde dominicanos a chilenos, etc.

En segundo lugar, hay por lo menos retóricamente un reconocimiento por parte de (el ex presidente brasileño, Luiz Inacio Da Silva) Lula de que ya están agotando una etapa, en la que el progresismo que tenía alguna vida activa, reformas tibias, que empezaron a mejorar la condición de vida, están agotados. Podemos ver en todas partes un debilitamiento en los afiliados del Foro de San Pablo.

Por ejemplo el kirchenrismo sufrió ayer varias derrotas y bajas en las votaciones, principalmente en las provincias de Buenos Aires, Córdoba y Santa Fe. También podríamos ver la baja de popularidad de Dilma en Brasil o la pérdida de apoyo en Venezuela.

La necesidad de una reformulación de un proyecto de izquierda es necesaria. Lula habla de un nuevo modelo. Y en el mismo momento surge que Brasil busca un tratado de libre comercio con la Unión Europea, por eso digo que hay doble señal: por un lado, una tibia autocritica pero reconoce que el proyecto burgués popular –que era la formula de todos los gobiernos supuestamente progresistas- ya está agotado, pues la burguesía busca ahora su propia representación; el centro enfrentado con esta situación no sabe si volver a profundizar el neoliberalismo o buscar alguna forma de reagrupar alguna posición de izquierda. Temo que la fórmula de los foristas de San Pablo, va más hacia el acomodo con la burguesía que en la profundización del proceso que empezó a fines del siglo pasado.

EChI: ¿Qué otros temas ocupan en estas horas tu trabajo?

JP: Son varios. Primero hemos hablado sobre el Medio Oriente y sigue siendo uno de los ejes de la política. Con los fracasos –que podemos anotar- de los gobernantes occidentales, los países imperiales; pero sin avances populares.

Permíteme explicarlo.

El proyecto de invasión de Libia, destruyó el gobierno y la política social, económica y progresista de Gadaffi. Destruyó el país, pero no es un gran éxito porque al mismo tiempo los resultados produjeron una fragmentación, agrupaciones de terroristas de Al Qaeda, Tribalistas, todo tan caótico que la producción petrolera es casi cero y con ello, casi nulos los beneficios occidentales. Es decir, fue una derrota de la izquierda pero no fue una victoria, pro la política destructiva.

Algo similar podemos decir de Siria. Los países occidentales con los terroristas que financian y arman los occidentales, están destrozando y destruyendo gran parte del país, pero no alcanza ningún progreso desde el punto de vista de los intereses occidentales. Incluso podríamos decir que las políticas occidentales están fortaleciendo los grupos más extr3emistas islámicos, mientras Bashar Al Assad sigue defendiendo el patrimonio en un país destruido. Otra vez el imperialismo destruye pero sin capitalizar sobre el asunto. Lo mismo sucede en Irak, siguen los bombardeos, hubo más de mil muertos en julio, la política occidental es simplemente destruir el país, pero los pozos de petróleo bajaron la producción, los oleoductos están en peligro.

Entonces, la política imperialista tiene como “éxito” destruir a los adversarios nacionalistas independientes, pero sin capitalizar, beneficiar, estabilizar la situación y poner gobiernos que les sirva. En Egipto también pasa, donde apoyaron a Mursi, luego apoyaron el golpe y han provocado una polarización entre militares y musulmanes; mientras que la izquierda no gana pero  tampoco tiene control estable el imperio., Esta es una realidad que hay que reconocer, no hay avances imperialistas peor no podemos poner el énfasis sobre algún resultado positivo desde el ángulo de las fuerzas progresistas.

EChI: ¿Cuál es la situación de Arabia Saudita en este escenario?

JP: En Arabia Saudí lo principal es fortalecer la familia absolutista, monárquica, multi mil millonaria, su riqueza protegerlos, y ganar fuerzas a partir de contratar mercenarios desde los Estados Unidos hasta Al Qaeda. Como es un gobierno sumamente corrupto, sumamente rico, sin ninguna apertura ni posibilidad de conseguir algún consenso.

Depende mucho de cómo puede exteriorizar los enemigos musulmanes. Entonces, lo que hace Arabia Saudi es financiar Al Qaeda para conflictos externos, desplazándolos para cualquier otro país, Afganistán, Siria, Irak, etc. Esos son los apoyantes de los grupos más extremistas. Al mismo tiempo apoyan a los Estados Unidos con bases militares, los financia comprando armas para neutralizar a Irán, y  la atracción de Irán es que tiene un gobierno electo, independiente, con todos los defectos, pero que es muy atractivo para todos los islámicos chiíes.

Por otro lado, busca de alguna forma llegar a acuerdos clandestinos con Israel, forma parte con Turquía e Israel, un triángulo de apoyo para las fuerzas imperialistas.Pero son simplemente un poder financiero sin ninguna atracción política .Pueden comprar apoyo militar de Estados Unidos, pero mantenerse en una situación políticamente muy frágil. No tienen ningún apoyo interno, aparte de algunas tribus, las fuerzas militares y el apoyo que reciben de los norteamericanos.

Es uno de las más reaccionarias fuerzas en el mundo por la estructura interna, por la discriminación contra mujeres y grupos diferentes, es un poder que huele mal, como un pez podrido.

EChI: Por último, ha circulado una información respecto a que la debacle de Detroit se repite en zonas de Nueva York. ¿Es así?

JP: Si. Por ejemplo aquí en donde vivo, en Binghamton Nueva York, como en Siracusa, como en Buffalo, hemos perdido un 80% de la industria manufacturera, se han ido a otros países, han dejado de invertir acá. Hemos bajado la población de 80.000 a 47.000, lo mismo en todas las ciudades al norte de Manhattan.

Ahora, el Estado, la Provincia de Nueva York está muy polarizada, incluso la ciudad de Nueva York está muy polarizada entre sectores financieros que no consideran importante gastar tres millones por un departamento, hasta los sectores más empobrecidos en la misma ciudad que son menos de dos kilómetros de distancia.

Es una polarización en Nueva York, donde antes teníamos más de 700.000 trabajadores de fábricas y hoy tenemos menos de 100.000, y ha dejado de ser un centro de producción para pasar a ser simplemente una capital financiera con las grandes polarizaciones que pueden ser de las peores del mundo. Pero no es simplemente una polarización de clases, sino que es una polarización de regiones. Todo lo que perdimos hacia fuera, en el interior, lo ha capitalizado el centro. Wall Street, por ejemplo, captura cientos de miles de millones en subvenciones mientras nosotros no tenemos siquiera préstamos para financiar los caminos, autopistas.

Puedes caminar por ejemplo en mi ciudad y ves cuadras y cuadras de edificios de ladrillos rojos abandonados, con las ventanas rotas:

No es tan grave la situación todavía como en Detroit pero el deterioro es visible. Lo mismo pasa con otras ciudades industriales.

Creo que hay tres culpables, tres razones de este fenómeno: Uno es que los capitalistas manufactureros se van y eso es una enorme pérdida, nosotros hemos perdido IBM que antes tenía 19.000 trabajadores  y han abandonado la fábrica. En segundo lugar, tenemos la responsabilidad del sector financiero que ha tenido gran éxito atrayendo capitales y bajando las tasas que tienen que pagar al gobierno por los préstamos. Y tercero, tenemos una política gubernamental que favorece al sector financiero y otros sectores no productivos.

Es esta triple alianza de salida de industrias manufactureras, financialización de la economía y el Estado rentista, que han generado una enorme crisis y una enorme polarización en el Estado de Nueva York.

EChI: Muy bien Petras, gracias como siempre por este completo análisis que nos motiva para reencontrarnos el próximo lunes. Un abrazo.

JP: Un abrazo, hasta el lunes.

Aug 152013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

One of the most popular celebrations in Barcelona is the Festa Major de Gracia from August 15 until August 21 when the Gracia district is transformed into a wonderland of decorated streets, fireworks, music and parties.

During the day, events are held in Gracia’s brightly decorated streets and squares. Two more great features of the festival are the correfocs (performers dressed up as devils depicting Catalan folklore) and the Catalan castells (amazing human towers).

At night, the Festa Major de Gracia is filled with live music, dancing, fireworks and partying outdoors all night long.

Carrer de Progres:

Jurassic Progres Entrance

Jurassic Progres Entrance

P1040818

P1040817

Dinosaur hatchlings

Dinosaur hatchlings

Phoebe's new friend :)

Phoebe’s new friend 🙂

P1040810

P1040800

P1040805

P1040806

UPDATE:

 

Aug 142013
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

middle-east11-1

Introduction

Representative democracies and autocratic dictatorships respond to profound internal crises in very distinctive ways: the former attempts to reason with citizens, explaining the causes, consequences and alternatives; dictatorships attempt to terrorize, intimidate and distract the public by evoking bogus external threats, to perpetuate and justify rule by police state methods and avoid facing up to the self-inflicted crises.

Such a bogus fabrication is evident in the Obama regime’s current announcements of an imminent global “terrorist threat”[1] in the face of multiple crises, policy failures and defeats throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia.

Internet ‘Chatter’ Evokes a Global Conspiracy and Revives the Global War on Terror

The entire terror conspiracy propaganda blitz, launched by the Obama regime and propagated by the mass media, is based on the flimsiest sources imaginable, the most laughable pretext. According to White House sources, the National Security Agency, the CIA and other spy agencies claimed to have monitored and intercepted unspecified Al-Qaeda threats, conversations by two Al Qaeda figures including Ayman al Zawahiri[2].

Most damaging, the Obama regime’s claim of a global threat by al-Qaeda, necessitating the shutdown of 19 embassies and consuls and a world-wide travelers alert, flies in the face of repeated public assertions over the past five years that Washington has dealt ‘mortal blows’ to the terrorist organization crippling its operative capacity[3] and citing the US “military successes” in Afghanistan and Iraq, its assassination of Bin Laden, the drone attacks in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and the US-backed invasion of Libya.  Either the Obama regime was lying in the past or its current terror alert is a fabrication. If, as Obama and the NSA currently claim, Al Qaeda has re-emerged as a global terrorist threat, then twelve years of warfare in Afghanistan and eleven years of war in Iraq, the spending of $1.46 trillion dollars, the loss of over seven thousand US soldiers[4] and the physical and psychological maiming of over a hundred thousand US combatants has been a total and unmitigated disaster and the so-called war on terror is a failure.

The claim of a global terror threat, based on NSA surveillance of two Yemen-based Al Qaeda leaders, is as shallow as it is implausible. Every day throughout cyberspace one or another Islamist terrorist group or individual discuss terror plots, fantasies and plans of no great consequence.

The Obama regime fails to explain why, out of thousands of daily internet ‘conversations’, this particular one, at this particular moment, represents an ongoing viable terrorist operation. One does not need a million spies to pick up jihadist chatter about “attacking Satan”.

For over a decade, Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen have been engaging in a proxy war with Washington-backed regimes and over the same time the Obama regime has been engaged in drone and Special Forces assassination mission against Yemeni militants and opposition figures[5]. In other words, the Obama regime has magnified commonplace events, related to an ongoing conflict known to the public, into a new global terrorist threat as revealed by his spymasters because of their high powered espionage prowess!

It is more than obvious that the Obama regime is engaged in a global fabrication designed to distract world public opinion and, in particular, the majority of US citizens, from police state spying and violations of basic constitutional freedoms.

By evoking a phony “terrorist threat” and its detection by the NSA, Obama hopes to re-legitimate his discredited police state apparatus.

More important, by raising the specter of a global terrorist threat, the Obama regime seeks to cover-up the most disreputable policies, despicable “show trials” and harsh imprisonment of government whistle blowers and political, diplomatic and military defeats and failures which have befallen the empire in the present period.

The Timing of the Fabrication of the Global Terror Threat

In recent years the US public has grown weary of the cost and inconclusive nature of the ‘global war on terror’, or GWOT.  Public opinion polls support the withdrawal of troops from overseas wars and back domestic social programs over military spending and new invasions. Yet the Obama regime, aided and abetted by the pro-Israel power configuration, in and out of the government, engages in constant pursuit of war policies aimed at Iran, Syria, Lebanon and any other Moslem country opposed to Israel’s erasure of Arab Palestine. The “brilliant” pro-war strategists and advisers in the Obama regime have pursued military and diplomatic policies which have led to political disasters, monstrous human rights violations and the gutting of US constitutional protections guaranteed to its citizens. To continue the pursuit of repeated failed policies, a gargantuan police state has been erected to spy, control and represses US citizens and overseas countries, allies and adversaries.

The “terror threat” fabrication occurs at a time and in response to the deepening international crisis and the political impasse facing the Obama regime – a time of deepening disenchantment among domestic and overseas public opinion and increasing pressure from the Israel Firsters to continue to press forward with the military agenda.

The single most devastating blow to the police state buildup are the documents made public by the NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, which revealed the vast worldwide network of NSA spying in violation of US constitutional freedoms and the sovereignty of countries. The revelations have discredited the Obama regime, provoked conflicts within and between allies, and strengthened the position of adversaries and critics of the US Empire.

Leading regional organizations, like MERCOSUR in Latin America, have attacked ‘cyber-imperialism’; the EU countries have questioned the notion of ‘intelligence cooperation’. Even dozens of US Congress people have called for reform and cutbacks in NSA funding.

The “terror threats” are timed by Obama to neutralize the Snowden revelations and justify the spy agency and its vast operations.

The Bradley Manning “show trial”, in which a soldier is tortured, often with forced nudity, in solitary confinement for almost a year, imprisoned for three years before his trial and publically prejudged by President Obama, numerous legislators and mass media (precluding any semblance of ‘fairness’), for revealing US war crimes against Iraqi and Afghan civilians, evoked mass protests the world over. Obama’s “terror threat” is trotted out to coincide with the pre-determined conviction of Manning in this discredited judicial farce and to buttress the argument that his exposure of gross US war crimes “served the enemy” (rather than the American public who Manning repeatedly has said deserve to know about the atrocities committed in its name). By re-launching the “war on terror” and intimidating the US public, the Obama regime is trying to discredit Bradley Manning’s heroic revelations of documented US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan by focusing on nebulous Al Qaeda terror threats over the internet!

In the international political arena, Obama has suffered a series of repeated political and diplomatic defeats with far-reaching implications for his fanatical empire building project.  The Obama-backed and Al Qaeda-led Islamist mercenary invasion of the sovereign nation of Syria has suffered a series of military defeats and his proxy jihadist ‘freedom-fighters’ have been denounced by most prestigious human rights groups for their massacres and ethnic cleansing of civilian populations in Syria (especially Christians, Kurds, Alevis and secular Syrians). Obama’s Syrian ‘adventure’ has backfired, and is clearly unleashing a new generation of Islamist terrorists, armed by the Gulf States – especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, trained by Turkish and NATO Special Forces and now available for global terrorist “assignments” against US client states, Europe and the US itself. In turn the Syrian debacle has had a major impact on Obama’s NATO ally, Turkey, where mass protests are challenging Prime Minister Erdogan’s military support for Islamist mercenaries, based along the Turkish border with Syria. Erdogan’s savage repression of hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors, the arbitrary arrest of thousands of pro-democracy activists and his own “show trials” of hundreds of journalists, military officials, students, intellectuals and trade unionists, has certainly discredited Obama’s main “democratic Islamist” ally and undermined Washington’s attempt to anchor its dominance via a triangular alliance of Israel, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies.

Further discredit of Obama’s foreign policy of co-opting Islamist “electoral regimes” has occurred in Egypt and is pending in Tunisia. Obama’s post-Mubarak policy in Egypt looked to a “power sharing” arrangement between the democratically elected President Morsi of the Moslem Brotherhood, the Mubarak-era military and neo-liberal politicians, like Mohamed El Baradei. Instead, General Sistani grabbed power via the army, overthrowing and jailing the civilian President Morsi. The Egyptian army under Sistani has massacred peaceful pro-democracy Muslim protestors and purged the parliament, press and   independent voices. Forced to choose between the military dictatorship composed of the henchman of the former Mubarak dictatorship and the mass-based Muslim Brotherhood, US Secretary of State John Kerry backed the military take-over as a “transition to democracy” (steadfastly refusing to use the term ‘coup d’état’). This has opened wide the door to a period of mass repression and resistance in Egypt and severely weakened a key link in the “axis of reaction” in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt).

Obama’s incapacity to deal with the new peace overtures by the recently elected President Rouhani in Iran was evident in the Administrations capitulation to a Congressional vote (420 – 20) in favor of further and more severe sanctions designed, according to the bill’s AIPAC authors, to “strangle the Iranian oil economy”. Secretary of State Kerry’s offer to “negotiate” with Iran, under a US-imposed blockade and economic sanctions, was seen in Teheran, and by most independent observers, as an empty theatrical gesture, of little consequence. Obama’s failure to check the Israeli-Zionist stranglehold on US foreign policy toward Iran and to strike a deal ensuring a nuclear-weapon-free Iran, ensures that the region will continue to be a political and military powder keg. Obama’s appointments of prominent Zionist zealots to strategic Middle East policy positions ensures that the US and the Obama regime have no options for Iran, Palestine, Syria or Lebanon– except to follow the options dictated by Tel Aviv directly to its US agents, the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, who along with their insider Zionist collaborators, co-author the Middle East policy script for the US Congress and the White House.

The Obama regime’s Israeli-Palestine peace negotiations are seen by most observers as the most distorted and bizarre efforts to date in that cruel farce.  Washington has purchased the leaders of the Palestinian ‘Authority’ with multi-million dollar handouts and gave way to Israel’s accelerated land grabbing in the occupied West Bank and ‘Jews only’ settlement construction, as well as the mass eviction of 40,000 Bedouins within Israel itself.

To ensure the desired result – a total fiasco, Obama appointed one of the most fanatical of pro-Israeli zealots in Washington as its “mediator”, the tri-national Martin Indyk, known in diplomatic circles as “Israel’s lawyer” (and the first US Ambassador to be stripped of security clearance for mishandling documents.)

The breakdown of the negotiations is foretold.  Obama, caught in the web of his own long-term reactionary alliances and loyalties and obsessed with military solutions, has developed a knack for engaging in prolonged losing wars, multiplying enemies and alienating allies.

Conclusion

The result of prolonged unpopular wars of aggression has been the massive built-up of a monstrous domestic police state, pervasive spying around the world and the commission of egregious violations of the US Constitution. This, in turn, has led to crudely concocted “terror plots” to cover-up the repeated foreign policy failures and to slander and persecute courageous whistle blowers and threaten other decent American patriots. The recent declaration of another vast ‘terror plot’, which served to justify the illegal activities of US spy agencies and ‘unify Congress’, produced hysteria lasting less than a week. Subsequently, reports began to trickle in, even in the obedient US mass media, discrediting the basis of the alleged global terror conspiracy. According to one report, the much-ballyhooed ‘Al Qaeda plot’ turned out to be a failed effort to blow-up an oil terminal and oil pipeline in Yemen. According to regional observers: “Pipelines are attacked nearly weekly in Yemen”[6] And so an unsuccessful jihadist attack against a pipeline in a marginal part of the poorest Arab state morphed into President Obama’s breathless announcement of a global terrorist threat! An outrageous joke has been played on the President, his Administration and his Congressional followers. But during this great orchestrated ‘joke’, Obama unleashed a dozen drone assassination attacks against human targets of his own choosing, killing dozens of Yemeni citizens, including many innocent bystanders.

What is even less jocular is that Obama, the Master of Deceit, just moves on. His proposed “reforms” are aimed to retrench NSA activities; he insists on continuing the “bulk collection” (hundreds of millions) of US citizens’ telephone communications (FT 8/12/13 p2). He retains intact the massive police state spy apparatus, keeps his pro-Israel policymakers in strategic positions, reaffirms his policy of confrontation with Iran and escalates tensions with Russia, China and Venezuela. Obama embraces a new wave of military dictatorships, starting, but not ending, with Egypt.

In the face of diminishing support at home and abroad and the declining credibility of  his crude “terror” threats, one wonders if the ever-active clandestine apparatus would actually stage its own real-life bloody act of terror, a secret state supported ‘false-flag’ bombing, to convince an increasingly disenchanted and skeptical public? Such would be a desperate act for the State, but these are desperate times facing a failed Administration, pursuing losing wars in which the Masters of Defeat can now only rely on the Masters of Deceit.

The Obama regime is infested with the “toxic politics of terrorism” and this addiction has driven him to persecute, torture and imprison truth seekers, whistle blowers and true patriots who strive (and will continue to strive) to awaken the sleeping giant, in hopes that the people of America will arise again.

Reposted with permission from the author, James Petras.

NOTES:

[1] BBC News 8/16/13; Al Jazeera 9/16/13

[2] La Jornada (Mexico City) 8/16/13, p. 22;FINANCIAL TIMES 8/10-11/13”T he exact threat to US missions has yet to be made public..”

[3] Financial Times 8/8/13, p. 2  and Financial Times 8/10-11 2013 p 2; McClatchy Washington Bureau 8/5/13

[4] Information Clearing House Web Page

[5] Financial Times 8/8/13, p. 2.

[6] Financial Times, 8/8/13, p. 2.