Nov 202015

By SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart


French president François Hollande’s speech to the Congress at Versailles rode a wave of political solidarity, most politicians refraining from trying to make political profit off the terror attacks and “standing united against a common enemy”… with the notable exception of Hollande himself. He shamelessly used the situation to undermine the political threat from the Right and advance the implementation of an all-out police state. The satirical _Canard Enchainé_ called him “the General of [the] Division.”

Hollande announced that France’s borders were being closed and that he would ask for an extension of the emergency powers he has put in place, which can be maintained for a maximum 12 days without a legislative vote to extend them. (Today, as I write, all but a handful of deputies voted to grant an extension of three months.) Hollande further said that he would seek an amendment to the law governing the application of emergency powers allowing the executive to keep them in place longer without consulting the legislature. He said that “administrative” (meaning executive) searches and seizures will be able to be made with no court order. He promised to hire 5,000 new police and gendarmes in the next two years. Long-planned budget cuts designed to lower the costs of France’s armed forces have been frozen through 2019. He promised that he would seek an amendment to the constitution extending the conditions under which he can declare a state of siege – equivalent to full martial law. Constitutionalization would put the measure out of the reach of challenges from European human-rights legislation and France’s own Conseil Constitutionnel, which could challenge a law.

All of these legal and constitutional extensions of powers, Hollande suggested, are needed to cope with a “new context” which “the Republic will evolve” to face – presumably meaning a context in which young French men and women are recruited and trained as assassins and suicide bombers… by jihadist militias whom France itself and its allies have armed and trained for use as proxy armies against Assad.

Hollande clearly relishes the opportunity to play the strongman, to talk tough while undercutting his political adversaries. At one point he even made a brief head-wagging gesture that was astonishingly reminiscent of Mussolini. Or possibly Nicolas Sarkozy. Was it calculated, or spontaneous? Is he being coached by a consultant, the way the old George Bush was after his handlers noticed that a few of his gestures were just a touch too graceful? Is he simply aping his likely future adversary Sarkozy, who parlayed his stint as Interior (police) minister into a presidential term by baiting immigrants and ghetto youth, even stooping so low as to arrest suspected undocumented parents in a pre-dawn raid as they prepared their children for the first day of elementary school? Or, inside the chubby little bookkeeper, is there a swaggering Duce bent on taking the stage? And is a full-scale police state part of a long-standing plan to further tighten the grip of the neoliberal matrix?

In any case, Hollande is now “hunting on Sarkozy’s lands” as the French say. Beyond his militaristic posturing, he deliberately drew a connection between terrorism and the young people in France’s pressure-cooker suburban housing projects: “They move from delinquency to terrorism”. He promised that he would see to it that young offenders, born in France and sometimes third-generation immigrants, have their French nationality stripped from them. Playing on the fears of working-class citizens by singling out ghetto youths as being part of a foreign population the Republic is harboring in its bosom is one of the techniques Sarkozy had used to co-opt the extreme-Right Front National on his way to the presidency. Now Hollande – whose party is a direct inheritor of the Second International – is using the horror of November 13th as cover for doing exactly the same.

And the media are falling in line, while praising Hollande’s stern posturing and hypocritical calls for unity. The term “Islamofascism” is again being bandied about. A female journalist on the France-24 news network, commenting on the reports that a woman terrorist had blown herself up during the police attack in St-Denis Wednesday morning, said that “a page has been turned” and that “no woman wearing the Islamic veil can ever be trusted again”. Are women who wear blouson-style jackets and coats now suspect too? Or only if they are of Middle-Eastern complexion? Are all pregnant women now potential suicide bombers? Or only those who don’t have blond hair and/or smoke cigarettes?

The relatively short-term gains Hollande will take to the bank may or may not keep their value on the volatile market of politics. But the harm he is doing to the liberty that is supposedly one of France’s pillar values won’t easily be undone. And he chooses to do it rather than face the hypocrisy and the contradictions of France’s – and its allies’ – policies in the world in general and the Middle East in particular.

Aug 142015

By Andre Vltchek, 99GetSmart

Fainted refugee in Kos (courtesy photo from Kos).

Fainted refugee in Kos (courtesy photo from Kos).

I don’t really know, I don’t understand how it feels: to live in a rich European country, which is rich mainly because it has been directly plundering many poor nations around the world. Or it has been plundering by association, through its membership in some extremist organization like NATO. To live there, refusing to acknowledge why it is rich, how it became rich.

Palaces, theatres, railroads, hospitals and parks in that rich country are built on broken skeletons and restless specters, on lakes of blood and shameless theft.

Then, when one looted country after another begins to sink, when there is nothing left there, when children begin dying from hunger and when men commence fighting each other over tiny boulders and dirty pieces of turf, pathetic boats, or dinghies, begin crossing the waterways, bringing half starved, half-mad refugees to the European sea-fronts decorated with marble.

What a horrifying sight! As if a woman, her hair waving in disarray, her lips broken, comes begging a man who raped her after killing her husband – begging for shelter and at least some work and piece of bread. She decided to abandon all her pride, because her children are sick and starving, because it is either this, or death.

That is what you reduced the world to, Europe – you, and your huge, insatiable offspring – North America!

Too egocentric, too cruel, you lost the ability to judge, to feel. All moral standards collapsed. There are no higher principles, anymore, only self-interest.

In Calais and Kos, in Paris, London, Stuttgart, and Prague, I heard the same questions posed with absolutely straight faces: “How are we going to absorb all those hordes of immigrants?”

Almost no one in the West is wondering aloud: “How did the people on other continents manage to endure those long centuries of colonialism and neo-colonialism, of shameless plunder, of slavery, of constant locust-like onslaught of corporate and neoliberal cannibalistic hordes? Wouldn’t a set of keys issued to each and every citizen of robbed, formerly or presently colonized country, be the tiniest, the most basic token of justice?”

Is it morally acceptable that a thief, an arsonist, a rapist, a liar, a serial killer, all in one, would be allowed to live in a mansion, surrounded by slums housing his victims?

In the West, in the Christian West, in fundamentalist West, such arrangement is obviously tolerable.


Most of the citizens of Europe are completely unrepentant. Only few of them are capable of detecting connection between their continent’s wealth, those hundreds of millions of ruined lives all over the world, and the latest wave of immigrants.

A few months ago, my comrade and fellow philosopher, Milan Kohout, lost his temper, after listening to staunchly racist, anti-immigrant guests at a studio of the Czech Television in Prague. He began shouting, live, at both the moderator, and the bigoted speakers.

Insulting letters commenced raining almost immediately: “Why don’t you stick a few of those niggers into your own bedroom, you asshole?” Or more threateningly: “You should be hanged for this, you bastard!”

Several weeks after the television appearance, I received his email:

Just letting you know I have been getting so many death threats that I am starting to take them seriously. Even the neighbors from the village we have the summerhouse in are threating us. I do not know whether I should take all this serious or not but I guess I have to be careful…”

On the Greek island of Kos, which is now hosting several thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Asia, but which has neither camps nor other facilities for them, a brave medical volunteer (I decided not to use her name, as she was already threatened), described the recent developments:

The situation in Kos is totally out of control. The [right-wing] extremists of Golden Dawn – some of them fully armed – have unleashed pogroms against the refugees. Someone must speak loudly for the Mayor’s responsibilities… who had sabotaged every solidarity effort and possible solution, from the very beginning.”

At the other side of Europe, the British Prime Minister is considering to employ the army, lamenting inconveniences being experienced by British holidaymakers. Traffic at the Eurotunnel is slow, often interrupted, as thousands of desperate refugees living in an appalling camp nicknamed “The Jungle” at the outskirts of the French city of Calais, are trying to reach England, some dying in the process.

Great Britain, responsible for the loss of hundreds of millions of human lives worldwide (through its colonial genocides and triggered/orchestrated famines), is now pretending that it is facing a serious “refugee crises”, while there are only some 25.000 asylum applicants on its territory.

As the Morning Star commented:

According to the Refugee Council up to 74 per cent of all asylum-seekers are refused residency in Britain. While numbers have grown since 2008, applications for asylum in 2014 were below 25,000, with those fleeing from conflicts in Afghanistan, Syrian and Eritrea among the highest number of applicants.”  

In Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Greece, in fact all over the Europe, right wing, xenophobic groups and movements are busy attacking and intimidating defenseless refugees.

Immigrants are portrayed as some menace, or pest, not as a group of desperate human beings – victims of the Empire.

It is mainly because of the collapse of integrity inside the Western political elites, mass media, as well as in academia and art world.

Now, most of those who are speaking in favor of accepting immigrants are doing so self-righteously, “out of charity”, not because they recognize that accepting victims of their continent’s cruelty is their moral obligation; not because they are convinced that breaking the gates of “fortress Europe” would be at least a tiny payment from the monstrous debt towards the world that had been ravished and plundered for numerous centuries.


It is not only what you see in Europe – that tip of the iceberg, that tiny fraction of misery that managed to land on Italian, Greek and Maltese shores.

The world is on the move. Tens of millions are displaced.

The overwhelming majority of the refugees are forced to leave their homelands because of political and economic imperialism of the West.

Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis and Afghanis were bombed to the stone-ages, just because they tried to feed, house and educate their people. In the eyes of the Empire, this was the greatest crime, as all resources are supposed to be used for alimenting Western corporations, banks and military complexes.

Eritreans were debilitated by sanctions and embargoes, right after their long war for independence. 10 million of Congolese people died since 1995, butchered by West’s allies – Rwanda and Uganda – so that Washington, London and Paris could enjoy a free flow of uranium and coltan. Many Congolese people are now trying to flee unimaginable horrors at home. Many Somalis are trying to escape, after Washington destabilized their country, after Kenya invaded its southern part on direct orders from the West, after the EU has been dumping toxic waste at its shores.

Even the plight of Rohingya people in Burma could be traced to the monstrous “divide and rule” of the British Empire in Asia.

For decades and centuries, the West kept overthrowing progressive governments, one after another. It has been murdering great political leaders like Patrice Lumumba, liquidating all attempts to build decent, socialist societies.

Then it would say: “Those niggers cannot govern their own countries… All their people want is to come to us, stealing our jobs, straining our social systems.”

It goes without saying that, if left alone, those countries that are now bleeding millions of their own people, “exporting refugees”, would be, most likely, as rich or even richer than the West. It applies to Iran and Iraq, Syria and Libya, perhaps even Congo and Indonesia.

The ongoing “refugee crises” is not a “problem that Europe has to deal with”. Europe is creating the crises. Europe is not “dealing” with anything. It is, as always, cheating, lying and calculating pennies, after stealing billions. Those who don’t see it are either blind or conditioned, alternatively well paid not to see.

If the mother earth gets hit, powerfully, with tremendous destructive force, pieces of it will fly, in all directions. The same applies to countries, to nations. If left in peace, states will find the way to take care of their people.

The present situation is actually just a tiny reflection, an overflow of horrors that the colonized and plundered world has to endure. It is just a tiny bit of that nightmare which is taking place inside Africa, the Middle East and several parts of Asia; a tiny bit thrown back to the face of the Europeans; being brought to and left at their doorsteps.


How come that “they” don’t see it? How come that almost all Western mass media are silent? How come most of present-day philosophers are not addressing, not combining the subjects of neocolonialism and immigration?

What I am saying in this essay is philosophically clear. It would be hard to dispute it. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre came to several similar conclusions in his “Colonialism and Neocolonialism”, few decades ago. But that was “then”. Now, to combine the plunder of the Planet committed by the West, and the plight of the refugees, appears to be taboo.

But I don’t believe in taboos, as I don’t believe in a knowledge that is strictly “theoretical”.

In the past few years I documented human misery in countless battlefields, and in the refugee camps that are housing exiles from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh, Libya and many other broken places.

I often see, first hand, how grotesque, unsustainable, repulsive the situation is: while tiny Lebanon is now a host of over 2 million Syrian refugees, one of the main global bullies, the UK, has lesser than 25.000 registered asylum applicants on its turf!

Even the intellectuals of aggressive NATO country, Turkey, write openly and honestly in the newspapers: “We wanted to act like some smaller regional United States, therefore we should pay for those 1.8 million refugees who were forced to cross the border and settle in our camps.” Turkey is paying. As aggressive as it is, it has at least some dignity left, compared to the West.

There is simply something appalling, hypocritical, twisted, profoundly un-humanistic, in the way Europe addresses the plight of its victims.

Of course “it” is not something new. “It” has deep roots in both Christian dogmas and Christian cultural fundamentalism – the elements that are unyieldingly controlling the minds of the majority of European people. Such fundamentalism has been helping to accept and promote, even glorify, colonialism and neocolonialism, as well as the “exceptionalism”.

Fundamentalism and exceptionalism put their religions (even in the countries that became ‘secular’ on the surface), cultures, races and ways of life on the pedestal. They see “those others” as irrelevant. The suffering of “the others” is trivial, insignificant. Or it simply “does not exist”.

Orwell defined un-Christian, un-white and un-Western people simply as “un-people”, in the eyes of the West.

In Europe, wherever you go, you can read between the lines:

If millions of “them” starve to death, then be it – as long as Germany and France could maintain clean sidewalks and hospitals, and as long as the schools don’t have too many undesirable, foreign elements and influences.

Destruction of the world, killing and starving of millions, is sad but a necessary price to be paid for the high standard of living of the chosen, white, good Christian people in Europe and North America. Let the slaughter be contained to far away places! Let it not appear on the television screens. Let us not see the victims.

And let those dirty and uncivilized beings stay where they are. We don’t want to face them at our resort towns and in our capital cities. We don’t want to see their sores, their wounds, and their puss.

Let everything remain out of focus, as blurry as possible, and at extremely low volume.

As I was told in California, during a conference: “Do not show us graphic images of Africans suffering… Here, people are very sensitive!”

Neocolonialism? Modern slavery? We don’t like these terms. They belong to the Cold War era. They died with the Soviet Union, didn’t they?”


As long as the Empire reigns, as long as the West rules over the planet, the refugees will be crossing dangerous waterways on board their fragile dinghies.

Some will die; others will make it.

Those who will make it will be put on trial. What they did is defined as “illegal”. They will have to prove that they are persecuted in their home country, that their lives have been threatened.

A tricky game… A very filthy game… Like in those days of Inquisition, men, women and children facing Western Christian “justice” would have to lie, in order to survive.

They would not be able to say: “I had to escape because your country killed my family”. Or: “Your continent robbed me of my livelihood”.

Fear of persecution… A “genuine” refugee would have to invent his or her imaginary story, his or her torturer: one that is approved by the Empire.

Then, and only then, a refugee would have at least a tiny chance to receive his or her asylum, a shelter and a piece of bread – a tiny bit of what was already stolen from his or her native land.

The Jungle camp in Calais, France.

The Jungle camp in Calais, France.


Calais – anti refugee walls.

Calais – anti refugee walls.


Congolese refugees in Goma.

Congolese refugees in Goma.


Refugees in Kos Greece (photos courtesy from Kos).

Refugees in Kos Greece (photos courtesy from Kos).


Shia IDP on Madura Island, Indonesia.

Shia IDP on Madura Island, Indonesia.


Somali refugee in Dadaab camp.

Somali refugee in Dadaab camp.


Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Nov 182014

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:


There has been a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and attacks in Turkey over the last few years, especially during and after Israeli offensives in Palestinian lands. Most recently some racist and violent groups have taken up the excuse of the Al-Aqsa Mosque provocations and used this is a pretext to attack Turkish Jews and synagogues.

In order to protest against the rising anti-Semitism in Turkey and commemorate the horrific events of the past, the Say Stop collective held a protest meeting with dozens of participants. When activists gathered in Galatasaray Square in Taksim’s Istiklal, right next to the venue there were ten times more policemen than activists, as usual. The moment the banner was opened, interestingly enough some people came to ask questions in English, thinking anyone protesting anti-Semitism would come from abroad and not from within Turkey. It was also interesting to hear questions as to the meaning of the word “anti-Semitism,” as some of the passersby did not know what it means.


In fact, this happened to be a delayed protest. There was supposed to have been a protest meeting to commemorate the Kristallnacht and rising anti-Semitism in Turkey the week before. This commemoration would be taking place in the open air for the first time in Turkey, yet for several reasons it did not happen. As Say Stop, a collective of anti-racist activists, was preparing for the commemoration, attacks on Neve Shalom Synagogue came as an unwelcome surprise. On November 7 and 9, two attacks took place; the timing was also significant because it was just a week before the 11th anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attacks on Istanbul’s Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues on November 15th, 2003, which left 27 dead and 300 injured.

There are unfortunately many groups that take courage from the anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate speech notable people engage in with impunity. Over the summer of 2014, when the Israeli offensive in Gaza killed thousands, the head of the constitutional commission from the governing AKP, Samil Tayyar, had tweeted “may your ancestors perish, may your Hitlers be abundant,” which then led to a wave of anti-Semitic posts on social media. Imitating politicians and musicians who engaged in such rhetoric at the time, over 30,000 people made similar remarks, most of which would be considered hate speech. This hate speech was later followed by one shopkeeper putting up a sign that stated “Jew dogs cannot enter.”

“Jew dogs can not enter”

“Jew dogs can not enter”

One might also remember other instances of anti-Semitism prevailing in Turkey, such as the incident right after the mining tragedy in Soma, when current President Erdoğan had said “Jewish sperm” to a mourning relative of a miner as an accusation towards him. One other incident that was also picked up on the news was when the head of the Physics department of Bilecik University, Ali İhsan Göker, got into a quarrel with a journalist who published a story on anti-Semitism in Turkey in an Israeli newspaper. Dr. Göker referred to Treblinka, where hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and tweeted “Treblinka will be ready soon. Constructing the railway to transport Jews at the moment.”


Say Stop, an all-inclusive collective of activists which had slowed down its activities for some months last year, has been campaigning against racism, nationalism, and discrimination. Just when activities were to be kick-started once again with the Racist of the Month “award,” 30 thousand candidates appeared in one month, which made things a little complicated. For the month of July, Say Stop declared all anti-Semites “Racist of the Month.”

And once again, the activists of Say Stop / DurDe will be with all those that are being targeted out of hatred for their origins, religion, language, choice, preference, status, etc. Just like the other groups that Say Stop campaigns in support of – such as Armenians, Roma, refugees, immigrants, and LGBTI individuals – the Jewish population is not alone.



More stories by Gürkan Özturan

More stories about Turkey @

Dec 132013

By J. Iddhis Bing, 99GetSmart

Doublethink in Action: France 2013

Rachida Dati in 2009

Rachida Dati in 2009

Ever since George Orwell described the practice of doublethink and newspeak in his novel 1984, politicians of all stripes have made it their business to perfect the art of saying one thing while meaning something else entirely. They have, to their immense profit, used 1984 as a textbook rather than as a warning, taking to it with real vigor and professional pride. It’s now a kind of hobby in which they try to outdo each other. Those who master it go a long way on coded messages and innuendo. (Maybe we should call it “turning things inside out.”) With our current debate over “freedom” vs. “security” we may even have entered a golden age of doublethink, the ability to hold beliefs in complete contradiction to their stated objective. (“I am in favor of freedom, and in order to remain free the government must read everyone’s private communications.”) Even so, you can still be startled by individual instances of the craft, when its practitioner scores a bullseye.

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them,” Orwell wrote. Here’s a current instance of the phenomenon.

Christiane Taubira in the National Assembly after the vote on the Gay Marriage law.

Christiane Taubira in the National Assembly after the vote on the Gay Marriage law.

Christiane Taubira is the Minister of Justice in the Hollande government in France. She is a visible and even controversial cabinet minister. She is also black. Given her public stances on issues such as gay marriage and prison reform, she is a lightning rod for discontent during a time of financial crisis, when the French, like people all over Europe, are disgruntled and like to point the finger at “foreigners” they think are stealing parts of the pie. (She was born in Guyana and has represented that country in the French Assembly.) She is insulted on a regular basis and was in October compared to a monkey by a member of the Front National, who has since been drummed out of the party.

A new report is out about racism in France. It has caused a bit of a stir since it was released earlier this week, with its color coded charts depicting town and cities where varying degrees of discrimination exist. Populist and rightwing politicians have been quick to seize on the report for their own ends. Which brings us to this week’s Golden Doublethink, courtesy of Rachida Dati, a member of the populist UMP. (The full report, in French, is available here.)

“Les Français ne sont pas racistes,” Dati said on LCI, a French television station. “L’elite, oui. Je pense qu’ils instrumentalisent et utilisent Christiane Taubira pour se donner bonne conscience.”

“The French are not racists. The elites, yes. I believe they put Christiane Taubira in office and make use of her in order to give themselves a clean conscience.”

A classic, rife with contradictions. The French people are instantly freed of responsibility while unnamed elites, whom every populist must run against, are blamed. The virus is somehow magically contained within this small (by definition), shadowy (by insinuation) group, who, since they are never defined, are easy to hate. (And who, it must be said, provide the money for every political party in France.) And not, it is implied, just any elites but left-leaning elites of the sort running the government now, who are putting Christiane Taubira through her calvary.

Voilà! Ms. Dati subtly asserts that it is the appointment of Taubira that is causing the fuss. She is a diversity hire. Cynical elites are using her as a salve and a battering ram. Subtract Taubira, her statement insinuates, and the problem goes away. The same sort of talk is going on in the conservative press about Harlem Desir, also black and the current spokesman for the Socialist party. Unfortunately for the UMP, all of this “Make the World Go Away” talk leads straight to the Front National and not to them.

Alert readers have already grasped that the rigorous practice of doublethink requires leaving as much up in the air as possible. Insinuation is a subtle art. Definition is the enemy, shadowy forces your friends. Facts and clear opinions are verboten. Dati does not offer an opinion on Taubira or criticize her positions but instead suggests she is the object of an ill-defined conspiracy. Not a lot of sisterhood there, folks.

Behind much of this is, of course, the divisive issue of gay marriage, which is now legal in France but nevertheless provoked large demonstrations in opposition all across France both before and after its enactment. A perfect issue to seize on, because, while it affects a small percentage of the population and changes nothing substantial, it rallies people to the cause. Whatever that cause may be.

But as to elites and their shadowy machinations Ms. Dati perhaps knows whereof she speaks. The politician, who runs Paris’s bougie 7th arrondissement and is of North African descent, was, as it happens, Minister of Justice in the Sarkozy government from 2007 to 2009. To her our first Golden Touché.
I’d be interested to hear from readers about doublethink, if they know of current instances. A weekly column on the subject seems possible, or, if they are familiar with French politics, perhaps they strongly disagree with my diagnosis. Either way, let me know and we’ll make more statuettes.

J Iddhis Bing

Jul 192013

El análisis de James Petras

Los presidentes José Mujica y  Mariano Rajoy en La Moncloa (mayo/2013)

Los presidentes José Mujica y Mariano Rajoy en La Moncloa (mayo/2013)

“España está gobernada hoy por un delincuente declarado, confirmado por sus propios colegas”, señaló James Petras en su columna semanal, este lunes 15 de julio, al referirse a las revelaciones de corrupción en el gobierno español y que tienen a Mariano Rajoy como uno de los más comprometidos. Al respecto subrayó que esto no se resuelve “simplemente haciendo denuncias como hace Izquierda Unida o el Partido Socialista” pues “hablamos de grandes crímenes del Estado, corrupción profunda extendida, con implicados dentro del Partido confirmando todas las acusaciones, con documentación, etc.” y por eso Petras entiende que la oposición española debería “intervenir y paralizar el gobierno” de lo contrario “Rajoy seguirá en el gobierno”. Además, analizó la situación política egipcia, condenó la absolución del asesino de Trayvon Martin en Estados Unidos y comentó las nuevas repercusiones del ‘caso Snowden’. Lo que sigue es la transcripción de la Columna de james Petras, que puede escuchar/descargar en el siguiente link:

EChI: Si te parece empezamos con España. ¿Qué pasa con (el presidente del gobierno español, Mariano) Rajoy?

JP: Obviamente que en las cuentas del Partido Popular (PP), que es el partido de la ultraderecha que está gobernando España, hay un sistema disfuncional.

El señor Rajoy, es acusado –y se ha confirmado- de estar recibiendo coimas desde hace muchos años. Lo que llaman cobrar ‘sobre-sueldos’ que son coimas, pagos más allá de su salario, por varios arreglos que han hecho con contratistas de proyectos oficiales.

El ex tesorero Luis Bárcenas ha confirmado que han pasado dinero, cientos de miles, a Rajoy y a toda la dirección del partido. Obviamente es un caso de corrupción profunda, que en cualquier contexto debe descalificar al gobernante y llevarlo a la cárcel; o al menos merece su renuncia y llevarlo a Juicio.

Pero en el caso concreto que estamos tratando, Rajoy rechaza cualquier acusación y se mantiene en silencio. No quiere comparecer en el Congreso, no responde preguntas, no quiere confesar sus crímenes, simplemente han abandonado a Bárcenas. En otras palabras queda impune.

La oposición en el Congreso pide su renuncia y nuevas elecciones, pero más allá de esas exigencias no tienen fuerza para imponer la renuncia.

En otras palabras, España está gobernada hoy por un delincuente declarado, confirmado por sus propios colegas, y no hay nada que hacer. Obviamente que el sistema electoral, el sistema parlamentario en España, no cumple las normas de una democracia donde todos los oficiales están sometidos a las mismas leyes que cualquier ciudadano. Ellos con sus propios instrumentos e instituciones consiguen la impunidad.

Eso descalifica profundamente el sistema político llamado democracia.

Ahora, también  si uno busca alguna medida para paralizar, está la posibilidad de que el Congreso y los afiliados al Partido organicen una protesta constante en el Congreso para no dejar al gobierno corrupto funcionar.Si reclaman que los funcionarios no vayan al trabajo, no cumplan los trámites, no pasen cuentas, no firmen permisos para nada.Que los oficiales fiscales dejen de recaudar Impuestos. O sea,  hay que ir a la acción directa dentro de la institucionalidad, dentro del Parlamento, dentro de la democracia, porque la táctica del PP es quedarse mudo. No contestar, no responder, no aceptar responsabilidades y sigue igual en el gobierno. Frente a eso está sancionando la impunidad.

No creo que simplemente haciendo denuncias como hace Izquierda Unida o el Partido Socialista esto se resuelva, estos son formalidades cotidianas.Pero ahora hablamos de grandes crímenes del Estado, corrupción profunda extendida, con implicados dentro del Partido confirmando todas las acusaciones, con documentación.

Entonces hay que decir basta de formalidades. Si la oposición en España no está en condiciones de dejar las protestas rituales, de intervenir y paralizar el gobierno, creo que Rajoy puede seguir un tiempo más en el gobierno.

EChI: ¿Cómo está la situación en Egipto?

JP: Nosotros hemos visto desde el comienzo en estos contactos semanales, que el golpe de Estado era un golpe militar, antidemocrático, antielectoral, aprobado por Washington y los poderes de OTAN. Ese era nuestro análisis y se sigue cumpliendo esta visión.

Por ejemplo, Mohamed El Baradei que es el vicepresidente  ahora, es un liberal y está funcionando con el nuevo Ministro de Finanzas, Ahmed Galal, que fue embajador en Estados Unidos y es hombre de confianza del Fondo Monetario y de la Casa Blanca. Más allá de eso, el señor Hazem el Beblawi (nuevo primer ministro) está confirmando a todos los seguidores de los militares en todos los puestos y ha hecho una purga de los apoyantes de Mursi. Han dejado a los grupos más derechistas a seguir cumpliendo sus misiones, fortaleciendo el bloqueo a palestinos, rellenando los túneles que alimentan Gaza desde Egipto y declarándose incondicional con Washington en los asuntos más importantes. Y Washington continúa pasándoles ayuda militar., aviones de guerra.

Entonces, es muy claro que con los nombramientos a dedo de la Junta Militar del títere El Beblawi, ahora con Galal y los demás, el señor El Baradei supuestamente líder del Frente de Salvación Nacional, en realidad es del frente de salvación del imperialismo.

No hay dudas que la izquierda que apoyaba a El Baradei está ahora a la cola de la alianza con Washington e Israel. Es una desgracia, es algo terrible, porque ya los movimientos que protestaban contra Mursi han quedado en el abismo, no tienen ninguna posibilidad de rectificar la situación.Los militares se han quedado con el control, los apoyantes de Mubarak  vuelven a tener los puestos claves y Washington tiene su gobierno.Busca ahora con esta represión, tirar un salvavidas a Mursi diciendo que tratarán que lo saquen de la cárcel pero asegurándose que quede impotente en la oposición. Buscan estabilizar la nueva dictadura con al cola de El Baradei y los liberales, y la izquierda totalmente lejos del poder.

EChI: Clarísimo. ¿Qué otros temas ocupan tu atención?

JP: Lo más importante es la decisión judicial de absolver y liberar a un asesino. Se trata de George Zimmerman que mató hace un año a Trayvon Martin, un joven negro, desarmado, que iba caminando a su casa después de ir a una tienda a comprar dulces. Zimmerman, un blanco, caminaba con pistola Asumiendo el papel de ‘vigilante’ lo paró y  le dio un disparo, matando a Trayvon Martin.

Lo llevaron a juicio, el Procurador lamentable, la acusación mal presentada, las pruebas mal también, y el Jurado que no tenía ningún negro, los seis decidieron la absolución de Zimmerman, pese a que tiene fuertes características racistas.

Pero el problema no es simplemente un racista que mató a un joven negro. Aquí el gatillo fácil es común. Cualquier policía que mata negros, cosa que ocurre a diario en este país, nunca pasan a Juicio, siempre lo encausan como autodefensa. Pero ahora un ciudadano cualquiera puede andar por las calles armado, y si alguien lo insulta saca su arma, mata y después dice que fue en autodefensa porque se sentía amenazado.

Las leyes aquí permiten que cualquier persona esté armada en público, por cualquier razón, es la base de eso. Además de la glorificación de la Policía y de los que actúan como policías, porque este Zimmerman no era policía pero era un asumido vigilante, protegiendo la vecindad.

Esto ha provocado protestas en decenas de ciudades, particularmente entre la población negra, en California, San Francisco, Los Ángeles, Nueva York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington… Mientras, el señor Obama, supuesto negro, ha dicho que esta es un tragedia. Pero no es su tragedia, porque este Presidente no ha tomado posición en ese sentido, no ha expresado indignación, no ha llamado a realizar una investigación Federal ni ha pedido realizar el juicio en otro lugar, en otra instancia del sistema judicial para tratar por lo menos de llevar adelante otro proceso con otras condiciones.

Simplemente se limita a decir que es una tragedia, que todo el mundo debe quedarse en calma y dice que hay que debemos pensar, reflexionar… Es exactamente  el bombero utilizado por los racistas para neutralizar la indignación de millones de personas.

Todo el mundo entiende que Zimmerman era culpable, porque el muchacho que mató no tenía ningún arma, ni palo ni nada.

Este asesino a sangre fría, declarado ahora inocente, me parece otra expresión del profundo racismo no solamente entre los asesinos sino de los ciudadanos cómplices, que ven en cualquier joven negro a un posible asesino. Esa es  la profundización del racismo que hay en este país. Y no hay Justicia. Cuando hay un enfrentamiento o situación conflictiva entre blanco y negro en las calles, siempre el negro es el culpable y debe probar que el otro es el agresor. Incluso si el negro muere, el otro camina libre por la ciudad.

EChI: ¿Hay algo nuevo sobre el caso Snowden?

JP: El caso Snowden sigue siendo aquí un gran tema porque ha revelado todas las implicaciones del imperio norteamericano, mostrando como utiliza el Internet para controlar y manipular los gobiernos,  y acumular información para los chantajes.

No se si se entiende, pero se supo que escuchan mensajes de Presidentes que puede tener alguna relación íntima en algún que después la usan para chantajearlo, presionarlo..

Snowden ha revelado eso. Hoy Alemania, Francia, todos los países entienden que hay un ‘gran hermano’ que está arriba de sus sistema político.

Hay más revelaciones que tienen nombres, lugares, actividades, y que todavía no se ha revelado. El periodista Glenn Greenwald (de The Guardian) que es el que ha publicado mucho sobre las cosas de Snowden, advirtió que si Washington trata de raptar o asesinar a Edward Snowden, los demás documentos van a salir a la luz y Washington está desesperado, haciendo llamadas a Putin a diario para que le entregue a Snowden. Y este con mucha suspicacia, ha decidido permanecer en Rusia un tiempo hasta que pueda conseguir  salir rumbo a América Latina.

Mientras tanto, aquí los políticos han tratado de enfatizar sobre el daño que han hecho a Estado Unidos.Pero no han hecho ningún daño, al contrario han mejorado al país un cien por ciento porque en realidad lo que están atacando es el Estado policial, y están  defendiendo la democracia y los derechos de los ciudadanos.  Snowden ha hecho mucho daño al Estado policial de Estados Unidos, pero por otro lado es un hecho que se han mejorado las condiciones o por lo menos se ha hecho una gran obra de revelaciones contra las prácticas policíacas y en defensa de la democracia.

Esa es la imagen que tiene ahora la mayoría de la gente.Las encuestas dicen que para el 60% de la gente Snowden no es un traidor, que es una persona que debemos respetar. En cambio los políticos, casi sin ninguna excepción, siguen reclamando persecución y cárcel. Y cárcel aquí para un acusado de este nivel significa treinta años encarcelado, en solitario, y con interrogatorios bajo condiciones que pueden provocar disturbios mentales. Por eso Snowden no quiere volver, para no ser víctima de este brutal tratamiento.

EChI: Excelente análisis Petras que te agradecemos mucho, nos reencontramos el próximo lunes.

JP: Muchas gracias, un abrazo a todo el equipo de Radio Centenario y el saludo a la audiencia.

Jul 032013

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart


Submitted by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan, from Istanbul

20 years ago today, 37 people were burned alive in Sivas, in Turkey. They were mere intellectuals who gathered in a Madimak hotel for a conference. Among them were bards, poets, novelists, artists, scientists, philosophers… Islamist extremists had protested their presence in the city of Sivas, saying there were people who had cited Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and spread atheist ideals among the crowd. While hundreds of intellectuals had decided to gather in the name of “Anatolian Peace and Welcoming” there, thousands surrounded them with absolute hatred. When police and gendarmerie forces did not intervene, over ten thousand extremists who had already come to the hotel area with flammable chemicals and other supplies for arson, set the hotel on fire when many were inside with very low chances of escape.


Dozens of people died, many others were saved, a nation was left traumatized, and the perpetrators were never punished. Over two decades, civil society called for recognition of this crime by the state, an official apology from those who were responsible for the police/gendarmerie/firefighter inaction, a guarantee that those who organized, carried out, and covered up this crime would be punished. None of those things happened. A massive literature piled up on the event from all artistic and academic fields.

Today, across the country, Gezi protesters continue their struggle and include the massacre of Sivas in 1993. Last year when the court decided not to investigate the massacre any longer, PM Erdogan commented about the perpetrators being freed without any punishment, saying “this is all the best for the country.” The lawyers who defended the case against the victims do not seem to resent the fact that they defended a massacre. Many others who were involved in this crime have been promoted to high positions over the years, including many of the lawyers from Islamist parties getting elected into parliament, including eight current AKP deputies.


As Erdogan keeps referring to his apology as head of government for the 1938 Dersim massacre, he still resists apologizing for the Sivas massacre or the Uludere air raid that left 35 people dead two years ago. The expectations are optimistic that someday there will be recognition of all the crimes committed against civilians while state officials organized/ordered/protected the perpetrators. Yet the chances that justice will prevail seem low. While this has been settled on as a demand of many millionsto see justice, many others, unofficially mobilized by AKP youth, continue glorifying the massacres and continue to threaten in the name of religion.

On the day when people were being burned alive, someone in the hotel Madimak asked “What happens if they hurt some of us?” and was answered by Metin Altiok – a poet who died as a result of the Sivas Massacre – “Survivors will write poems of the fallen…”

Rifat Ilgaz wrote:

“Pharaohs broke the clay tablets in Egypt. Hitler’s armies burned down libraries in Europe. Look here, intellectuals! For the first time in history they filled a building with intellectuals and set them on fire!”


NYTimes, July 03, 1993, 40 Killed in a Turkish Hotel Set Afire by Muslim Militants:

MORE STORIES by Gürkan Özturan @


Turkey: Kurds’ Turn to Protest Government Violence @

Turkey: Justice Remains a Long-Lost Dream @

Turkey: Erdogan Government Subjugates Police and the Courts @

Turkey: Another Night of Heavy Crackdowns @



OccupyGezi @


Occupy World News Network (OWNN) @

Feb 092013

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart


The Network of Information and Solidarity for Antifascist and Anti-repressive Action in Greece presents:

A documentary film on Golden Dawn, its promotion by the media, its co-operation with greek police and the struggle against fascism in Greece.


For more information on Greece: