Saturday, April 06, 2019

The Object Is Not the Energy: Resistance Is the Unforgivable Crime in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela

Like Libya and Syria, Venezuela Is Not "Just About Oil"

by Andre Vltchek - NEO

March 27, 2019

Yes, the latest research confirms, Venezuela is so rich in natural resources it could single-handedly satisfy all global demand for oil for over 30 years. And it has much more than oil to offer in its Orinoco basin and in other areas of the country. But "it" is not ‘all about oil’; actually, far from it.

Those who believe what propels the spread of Western terror all over the world is just ‘business interests’ and legendary Western greed are, from my point of view, missing the point.

I noticed that such individuals and analysts actually believe that ‘capitalism is responsible for everything’, and that it creates the culture of violence of which, both victims and victimizers, already became hostages to.

After working in all corners of the world, I am now more and more convinced that capitalism is actually the result of Western culture, which is predominantly based on expansionism, exceptionalism and aggression. It is also constructed on a deeply rooted desire to control and to dictate. Financial/monetary greed is just a by-product of this culture which has elevated its superiority to something that could be defined as religious, or even religiously fundamentalist.

Or in other words: belief in its own superiority is actually now the main religion in both Europe and North America.


What makes the Libyan, Syrian and Venezuelan scenarios so similar? Why was the West so eager to viciously attack, and then destroy these three, at the first glance, very different countries?

The answer is simple, although it is not often uttered in the West; at least not publicly:

‘All three countries stood at the vanguard of promoting and fighting with determination for such concepts as “pan-Africanism”, “pan-Arabism” and Patria Grande – essentially Latin American independence and unity.’

Gaddafi, Al-Assad and Chavez have been, regionally and internationally, recognized as anti-imperialist fighters, inspiring and giving hope to hundreds of millions of people.

Gaddafi was murdered, Chavez was most likely killed as well, and Al-Assad and his nation have been, literally and for several long years, fighting for their survival.

The current Venezuelan President Maduro, who is determinedly loyal to the Bolivarian revolutionary ideals, has already survived at least one assassination attempt, and, is now facing direct mafia-style threats from the West.

At any moment, his country could get attacked, directly or through the Latin American ‘client’ states of the West.

It is because Africa, the Middle East and Latin America have been considered, and for centuries treated, as colonies. It is because whenever people stood up, they were almost immediately smashed into pieces by the iron fist of Western imperialism.

And those who think that they are in control of the world by some divine design, do not want things to change, ever.

Europe and North America are obsessed with controlling others, and in order to control, they feel that they have to make sure to exterminate all opposition in their colonies and neo-colonies.

It is a truly mental state in which the West has found itself; a state which I, in my earlier works, defined as Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD).

To get the complete picture, one also has to recall Indonesia, which was literally liquidated as an independent and progressive nation, in 1965. Its internationalist president Sukarno (father of the Non-Aligned Movement, and close ally of the Communist Party of Indonesia – PKI, pictured left) was overthrown by the handpicked (by the West), treasonous, intellectually and morally deranged, General Suharto, opening the door to turbo-capitalism, and to the unbridled plunder of the natural resources of his nation.

Once a guiding light for the entire Asian independence struggle, after the US/UK/Australia-orchestrated extreme genocide, Indonesia has been reduced to nothing more than a lobotomized and dirt-poor ‘client’ state of the West.

The West has an incredible capacity to identify true regional independence leaders; to smear them, to make them vulnerable by inventing and then upholding so-called ‘local opposition’, and later, by liquidating them and with them, also their countries and even their entire regions.

Sometimes, the West attacks particular countries, as was the case with Iran (1953), Iraq, or Nicaragua. But more often, it goes directly for the ‘big fish’ – leaders of regional opposition – such as Libya, Indonesia, Syria, and now, Venezuela.

Many defiant individuals have literally been murdered already: Gaddafi, Hussein, Lumumba, and Chavez, to name just a few.

And of course, whatever it does, the West is trying to destroy the greatest leaders of the anti-Western and anti-imperialist coalition: Russia and China.


It is all far from only being about oil, or about profits.

The West needs to rule. It is obsessed with controlling the world, with feeling superior and exceptional. It is a game, a deadly game. For centuries, the West has been behaving like a fundamentalist religious fanatic, and its people have never even noticed that their world views have actually became synonymous with exceptionalism, and with cultural superiority. That is why the West is so successful in creating and injecting extremist religious movements of all denominations, into virtually all parts of the world: from Oceania to Asia, from Africa to Latin America, and of course, to China. Western leaders are ‘at home’ with Christian, Muslim or even Buddhist extremists.


But Syria has managed to survive, and up to today it is standing. The only reason why the government forces are not taking the last terrorist bastion, Idlib, yet, is because the civilian population would suffer tremendous losses during the battle.

Venezuela is also refusing to kneel and to surrender. And it is clear that if the West and its allies dared to attack, the resistance, the millions of people, would fight for the villages and countryside, and if needed, would withdraw to the jungle and wage a guerilla liberation war against the occupiers, and against the treasonous elites.

Washington, London, Paris and Madrid are clearly using an extremely outdated strategy: one that worked against Libya, but which failed squarely in Syria.

Recently, in Syria, near the frontline of Idlib, two top commanders told me that they are fighting “not only for Syria, but for the entire oppressed world, including Venezuela.”

They clearly detected that the West is using precisely the same strategy against Caracas, which it tried to use against Damascus.

Now, Venezuela is also suffering and fighting for the entire oppressed world. It has ‘no right to fail’, as Syria had no right to surrender.

The destruction of Libya had already brought a tremendously negative impact on Africa. And it has opened the doors to the renewed and unbridled French plunder of the continent. France was promptly joined by the U.K. and the U.S.A.

Syria is the last bastion in the Middle East. It is all there is now, resisting the total control of the Middle East by the West. Syria and Iran. But Iran is not yet a ‘front’, although often it appears that soon it might become one.

Venezuela cannot fall, for the same reasons. It is at the northern extreme of South America. Below, there is an entire continent; terrorized by Europe and North America, for decades and centuries: brutalized, plundered, tortured. South America, where tens of millions used to be exterminated like animals, forced to convert to Christianity, robbed of everything and ordered to follow bizarre Western political and economic models.

In Brazil, the progressive socialist government of the PT had been already overthrown.

If Venezuela falls, everything could be lost, for decades, maybe even centuries.

And so, it will fight. Together with those few other countries that are still left standing in this ‘Western Hemisphere’; countries which the dictators in Washington D.C. openly describe as ‘their backyard’.

Caracas stands and fights for the vast slums of Peru, for destitute millions in Paraguay, for Brazilian favelas, for privatized aquifers and the murdered rain forest in Brazil.

As Syria has been fighting for the Palestine, for the destitute minorities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, for Yemen, for Iraq and Afghanistan – two countries robbed of almost everything by NATO.

Russia has already showed what it can do for its Arab brothers, and now is demonstrating its willingness to support its another close ally – Venezuela.

China is rapidly joining the coalition of anti-imperialist fighters, and so is South Africa.


No – Venezuela is not only about oil.

It is about the West being able to close access to the Panama Canal, by Chinese ships.

It is about the total control of the world: ideological, political, economic and social. About liquidating all opposition in the Western hemisphere.

If Venezuela falls, the West may dare to attack Nicaragua, and then the bastion of socialism and internationalism – Cuba.

That is why it – Venezuela – should never be allowed to fall.

The battle for Venezuela is now already raging, on all fronts, including the ideological one. There, we are not only fighting for Caracas, Maracaibo or for Ciudad Bolivar: we are fighting for the entire oppressed world, as we did and are doing in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Idlib, as we may soon have to do in many other cities, all over the world. For as long as Western imperialism is alive; for as long as it is not going to give up its dreams of controlling and ruining the entire planet, we cannot rest, we cannot let down our guard, we cannot celebrate final victory in any part of the world.

Therefore, this is all far from being ‘just about oil’. It is about the survival of our planet.

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Fueling Libya's Fire: Who's Buying All That New War Materiel?

External Powers Fuel Bloodshed in Libya


April 5, 2019
As far as we know, the leader of the UN-backed government of national accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj, is still in control of Tripoli thus far, and he met with the UN secretary general this week, as did General Haftar, who was in discussion about coming up with a peaceful resolution, but that seemed to have not happened. If you can listen to the comments by the UN Secretary General Guterres on his departure.


General Khalifa Haftar of Libya has been a very disruptive force for the formation of the UN’s unity government, says Vijay Prashad, the author of the book, Arab Spring Libyan Winter

Haters of Assange Trade Accountability of Powerful for Petty Personal Revenge

Why Your Hatred Of Assange Is Completely Irrelevant

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

April 6, 2019

By the time I publish this we’ll be at or around the 24-hour mark since WikiLeaks announced that two high level Ecuadorian government insiders had told them that Julian Assange faces eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy within days, which seems to have been further confirmed by the Foreign Minister of Ecuador now tweeting that states have the right to revoke political asylum at any time.

Activists are mobilizing everywhere, a round-the-clock presence has been set up outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and a #Unity4J emergency broadcast is currently underway full of many respected dissident voices coming together in defense of the legendary leak publisher.

And, as we should all have come to expect by now, the establishment narrative management patrol has been going out of its way to inform us all that this is a good thing and no cause for alarm. Whenever you voice concerns about the persecution of Julian Assange on any public forum, you will with remarkable predictability encounter empire loyalists calling Assange a stinky Nazi rapist Putin puppet Trump supporter who deserves to be in prison forever.

What’s striking about these responses, which by now are as familiar to me as the keyboard I type these words on, is how extremely emotional they always are. If you talk about economic policy or foreign policy, for example, you might get a few angry troglodytes who take internet arguments far too seriously, but you’ll also typically get people calmly explaining why they believe you’re wrong and laying out ostensibly fact-based arguments for why this is so.

This is literally never the case with people who want to see Assange imprisoned, in my extensive experience. There’s never, ever any calm, fact-based rationale for why the benefits of prosecuting and imprisoning him for his publications outweigh the risks and costs of doing so. It’s always vitriolic, hyperbolic, frequently profanity-riddled arguments from pure emotion, usually something to the effect of “He collaborated with Russia/helped Trump win the election, therefore and I want him punished because I hate him.” Which is just another way of saying, “I want Assange imprisoned because of the way my feelings feel.”

Now, aside from the established fact that the US government’s agenda to prosecute Assange has nothing to do with the 2016 election but with the exposure of US war crimes six years earlier, this is also a completely fallacious argument from top to bottom. Claiming that something ought to happen because of how your feelings feel is very obviously a logical fallacy, but this kind of argument comprises the entirety of support for Assange’s imprisonment that Assange defenders encounter on a regular basis.

This happens because the smear campaign that has been used by the western political/media class to manufacture support for Assange’s silencing and imprisonment has its foundation not in fact, but in emotion. Smear campaigns are by their nature emotional at their core, because they are intended to elicit public disgust, disdain and hatred for their target. That’s why you’ll see so many mainstream news media articles claiming that Assange smells bad, for example, despite that having nothing whatsoever to do with the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Assange’s work. The goal is not to present a factual case for why it would be more helpful than harmful to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder, the goal is to make people feel disgust for him, and, by extension, disgust for his work as well.

So naturally, because they are constantly being inundated with establishment propaganda about Assange consisting of nothing other than appeals to emotion, mainstream liberals are going to believe that spewing vitriol about how their feelings feel is a perfectly legitimate response to his name coming up in political discourse. This is all they have had modeled for them in responding to Assange’s plight. It’s been normalized for them.

Yes, the mainstream liberal political conversation really has gotten that crazy and stupid. Their emotions really are that insanely coddled, and facts really have become that marginalized. That is why you can’t defend Assange in public without getting a bunch of brainwashed MSM-swilling liberals falling all over themselves to show you how emotional they feel about the subject at hand.

Another reason the Assange smears focus on emotion rather than facts is because the facts are very contrary to the interests of the smear merchants. The facts are that prosecuting Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes, as the Trump administration is attempting to do, would strike a devastating blow to press freedoms around the world. This is because there are no legal distinctions in place separating an outlet like WikiLeaks from outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Guardian, meaning that a precedent would be set allowing for the prosecution of those outlets on the same grounds, who also publish anonymous government leaks. Which is why the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian have all warned sternly of this precedent, which has also been recognized by the Obama administration.

These are facts.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Russia and Vladimir Putin.

These are facts regardless of how assertively and authoritatively Rachel Maddow speaks.

These are facts regardless of how much of a stinky, stinky stink man the news media claims Assange is.

These are facts regardless of how much your emotions have been coddled by your favorite pundits, your university professors, your political cliques and your echo chamber.

These are facts. It does not matter how your feelings feel. Your feelings are irrelevant to this conversation. Only facts matter here. And the facts say that everyone, regardless of how they feel about Assange, must defend him against the US government’s attempts to prosecute him for publishing inconvenient truths. Not because it’s the right thing to do, not because anyone expects you to behave in a moral way, but out of sheer, garden variety self-interest.

We all need the ability to hold power to account, and the prosecution of Assange will necessarily cripple our ability to do that. This is a fact. Regardless of how your feelings feel.


I recognize no copyright of any kind on this work. You have my unconditional permission to republish it or use any part of it in any way you like, or any of my other writings. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish.

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Friday, April 05, 2019

Sacrificing Assange: Moreno's Disingenuity Can't Hide the Truth of His Corruption

Ecuador’s Moreno’s Next Attempt At Expelling Assange Is Full Of Lies And Deceit

by Staff - 

via Popular Resistance

April 4, 2019

In an interview yesterday, President Moreno claims Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are responsible for the release of the INA papers, and claims Assange has been hacking private phones and speaking on political matters, which he is banned from doing under the asylum protocols put in place.

The founder of Wikileaks was essentially gagged in March of last year and his internet privileges removed. It is literally impossible for him to hack anything under Embassy surveillance, and with no internet access. simply tweeted a link to the INA papers.
Photo: n0cturbulous/Flickr 

Moreno also stated that he will make a short term decision on Assange’s fate in the embassy.

His accusations are below: 

Moreno has been accused in a NY Times article of attempting to sell Assange to the United States government in the past. According to some sources for as high as 10 billion dollars. However, Moreno has his hands tied in the fact that the Ecuadorian Constitution clearly states that a citizen of that country cannot be extradited nor can an asylee who has refugee in Ecuador have his status removed. Still he is attempting to please the DoJ by trying every technique he can think of to expel him. As though 8 months of inhumane solitary confinement was not enough, it appears according to some that Assange is now being refused visitors again.

The INA papers expose the offshore corruption that Moreno is involved in. It appears he is seeking some sort of revenge on Wikileaks and Assange for simply tweeting the link. Perhaps, had Moreno kept his hands clean, he would not be facing the trouble he is in.

When will the inhumane treatment of this 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee end? Will the US back down on pursuing charges on a nearly decade old published war crime exposure?

If, in fact, Assange is expelled and extradited, any sort of prosecution will be a kangaroo court intended to hang him under the outdated Espionage Act. He does not stand a chance of a fair trial in the US as the judge who would preside has never been known to rule in favor of a defendant. Not to mention it will set a precedent for journalists who want to publish truth aboyt their governments and the First Amendment may as well be dead. Whistleblowers would then become nonexistent. Life as we know it would be ended shamefully and the future generations would never know true freedom of expression ever again.

Moreno will be remember as a tyrant and an enemy of freedom if he continues his behavior over the greatest journalist of our time. He is destined to fall as hard as any politician ever can through his corruption and violations of human rights.

We as a people across the world must fight the endless torture of Assange by the villians of our time. For truly Assange is a hero. We need to come to his aid and free him from his bondage by criminals who do not care about the average man. We must Fight to save our own freedoms through freeing him and we must end this tragedy now!

Surf Before the Flood

Before the Flood

by David Rovics - Dissident Voice

April 4, 2019

I am, it might reasonably be said, a climate refugee – though a very comfortable one. Escaping the forest fires to run a little cafe in Denmark is hardly a sacrifice. But if the cafe might be a good retirement plan for me, it won’t be for my children – far too soon, the whole country in which Cafe Hellebaek is located will likely be underwater.

There is something so powerful about gazing into the distance over a large body of water. Especially when you know that water is connected to all the other water in the world’s oceans. It’s a most thought-provoking experience.

This little village on Oresund, the inlet separating Denmark from Sweden, is a place I keep coming back to. The reason is because my friends here, people I’ve now known for many years, live here, in a bit of an unconventional situation. Where they live, and where I stay most of the time when I’m in Denmark, used to be a castle. The castle burned down and was replaced by a police training academy.

When that later closed, it was purchased by my friends, who ran a school there for many years.

Now there’s no more school, and the buildings are used for many other purposes, mostly involving the act of caring for others in one form or another — whether it’s looking after troubled youth, leasing space for the local municipality to house refugees, or training volunteers to do development work in Angola and other countries around the world.

One of the aspects of touring in places where I don’t live, but visit often, is I see reality in snapshot form. I meet the baby who is a toddler only a couple visits later. I see a woman who used to come to my gigs anytime I’d play in Copenhagen when she was a teenager. Now she’s in her thirties and is a member of the Danish parliament. A lot happens in between visits.

One thing that happens is the middle-aged people get old, and the old people die. It’s very systematic, I’ve noticed over the years, and there are no exceptions to this rule. The middle-aged people who stay healthy often become very active old people, as active as ever, until they’re not, anymore, and they slow down, and eventually die.

Such was the case with my friend Lars-Peter. I met Lars-Peter and Mette when they came to a concert I was part of, a tribute to Pete Seeger in Copenhagen. Lars-Peter was a founding member of the particular strain of the folk school movement that became known as Tvind in the 1960’s. Mette came in later, as a teenage windmill-builder in the 1970’s.

I’ve mentioned the story of the windmill in a previous weekly missive, as well as in a song I wrote about it. It’s an incredible story.

When Mette was a teenager and Lars-Peter was a young man, they and hundreds of others, with the support in one form or another of thousands more, built the biggest windmill that had ever been built, and then proceeded to give away the patents for it so others could do the same. It’s a story not only of scientific breakthroughs and engineering brilliance, but of collective action of the most profound and impactful sort.

The windmill they built, Tvindkraft, is still running and providing electricity in the town of Ulfborg, in western Denmark. Far more significantly, though, this windmill became the model for industrial-scale windmills, and essentially gave birth to one of the biggest industries in Denmark — windmill-building.

Lars-Peter was one of the best storytellers I ever met. I wish I had recorded any of his stories. He died of leukemia, and in his last couple years had very little energy. But when he could get out of bed, he could still be in great storytelling form until close to the end. In his role as headmaster of a school that educated kids by taking them in buses from Denmark to India and back on a regular basis, Lars-Peter saw the world in ways that very, very few people get to do.

And when he did most of his traveling, it was in countries that were experiencing massive popular movements and, in several cases, revolutions.

Pick a country in Africa or the Middle East, Lars-Peter had lived there and seen or participated in world-historic events in it. (It’s me saying this, not him — he was far too humble a person to make such claims himself.)

Of course there are others of Lars-Peter’s generation still going strong, but the writing is on the wall. As I sit here in this little cafe beside the water that I’ll be helping to run this weekend and for most of this summer, which is part of the property the old school is on, I often think of Lars-Peter’s stories of the 1960’s around the world, and also of Mette’s wonderful tales of her experiences a bit later in the evolution of the Tvind folk school movement, when in the 1970’s she and others decided to build the windmill that changed the world. (There’s a crash course in mechanical engineering, if ever there was one.)

And then, unavoidably, my thoughts drift back to the present — and to the future. A couple Fridays ago I was hearing a news story about Greta Thunberg, about how she and other students have been skipping school every Friday to protest against their government and other governments failing to address the climate crisis with the level of commitment that would be required to actually really do something about it.

I texted my 13-year-old daughter, Leila, asking her what she was up to. I don’t normally text Leila on a Friday morning, since she usually has her phone off while she’s in school, but I had a hunch. What are you up to, I asked. She wrote me back right away with a picture of herself and some of her friends as they were marching across the Burnside Bridge, walking the two miles or so from their middle school to the other side of the river, downtown, where City Hall is located.

Hundreds of kids skipped school that day in Portland, and in many countries in Europe the numbers were much higher. On this visit to Denmark — my first since last autumn — I have discovered that the Extinction Rebellion meme has taken root among many young people here. I gave a couple young folks a ride from Odense to Copenhagen recently. One of them has spent a lot of time in the struggle against the giant coal mine devouring the Hambach Forest in Germany. The other one was often making statements along the lines of, it seems so hard to feel engaged with this topic — whatever the topic may be, as long as it doesn’t relate to the climate crisis — when in our lifetimes this whole country will be underwater.

Every time he said something like that it was obvious he really meant it — this was not an intellectual exercise for him at all. I tend to get really animated whenever I’m talking about anything that I’m remotely interested in, whether it’s related to war and peace, rent control, worker’s cooperatives, collective action, music, food, sex or whatever. But in the face of the coming flood, it’s easy to see how such passion about things other than the climate crisis can seem a bit misplaced. It can seem, even, like a form of denial.

I dropped my riders off in Copenhagen, where I was meeting up with a couple of friends — Elona, who was moving from one apartment to another, and Ask, who was helping her move, along with me and my unexpectedly gigantic rental car. Ask builds boats of the most wild description, the kinds of structures that you’ve never seen before and will always remember, if you see one in the water. He’s an expert welder and designer, but what motivates him the most is the desire to do something about the climate crisis, using his boat projects as educational tools in various ways.

He was telling me about his latest efforts, and I was telling him about my plans to run this cafe. You’re a climate refugee, he informed me. I hadn’t thought of it quite like that before. I pay rent in an apartment in Portland, Oregon, I support my family, I have work, no one is threatening my life as far as I know, the city I live in has a low crime rate, and Trump has not yet started rounding up the Left and sending us to camps. But, as I told Ask, one of the reasons I’m so keen to run this cafe is not only because I love Denmark, which I do, but because in recent years Portland has been home to the world’s worst air, on some days beating Beijing and New Delhi in that grim competition.

The main cause is the forest fires, which are getting bigger every summer, occasionally destroying whole cities, burning hotter than ever, with faster winds than ever — all climate crisis stuff, though there are many other factors involved.

I mentioned Ask’s climate refugee comment to my friend, Kamala. I’m not sure the term refugee is appropriate, I said. Temporarily displaced person, perhaps? she suggested. Thinking more about it I realized the term “climate refugee” is perfectly appropriate. As anyone knows who has followed the refugee crises in the Middle East or Latin America today, the first people to get out of a bad situation are those with the most ability to do so — the ones with friends and relatives in other countries, who are usually also the ones with good jobs, dual citizenship, and very useful things like that. We don’t think of these people as refugees as readily as we think of those who had no options but to board leaky boats in the Mediterranean or walk across the Sonoran Desert. But they’re all refugees, regardless of whether they were able to escape by means of a commercial flight, a valid passport, and a nice apartment in Denmark, or by raft or on foot, with only the shirts on their backs.

Either way, being a climate refugee in Denmark is profoundly ironic. Why? Because according to more and more widely accepted projections of what is likely to happen over the course of the next several decades, after all of the ice melts, there will be no more Denmark. The entire country will be submerged, along with the Netherlands, northern Germany, most of the eastern seaboard of the US, and so many other parts of the world. If I do end up moving with my family to Denmark to escape the world’s most toxic air, we can be fairly certain that we will become refugees again, running next time not from fire, but from flood.

Welcome to Cafe Hellebaek. Come let me make you a drink, before the flood that will likely destroy it sooner or later. The generation that built the world’s biggest windmill might not be around to see the country sink, but Ask’s generation likely will. My hope is that those who will be living through this century’s impending global cataclysms might have some brilliant new ideas for how we might navigate the waters that are rising around us, after the windmill-builders are all gone.

My hope is that people like Ask, my children and others likely to still be around at the other end of this century will still be able to sit in a cafe, sipping a hot drink and looking out at the water — wherever that cafe or that water may be, however much the flood line rises.

David Rovics is a singer-songwriter who tours regularly throughout North America, Europe, and occasionally elsewhere. Read other articles by David, or visit David's website.

Canada's "New" "Democrats" Ally with Lima Group Regime Change Gang

New Democrats Condemn the Lifting of Parliamentary Immunity for Mr. Guaido

by NDP 

April 4, 2019

NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Guy Caron, issued the following statement:

"The NDP strongly deplores the Venezuelan constituent assembly’s decision to remove parliamentary immunity for Juan Guaido.
New Democrats are deeply concerned about politicizing judicial systems, the reversal of democratically-made decisions and the deterioration of human rights.
Only free and fair elections can bring a sustainable resolution to this political crisis, which is seriously impacting everyday life for people in Venezuela.

The Canadian government must work with its counterparts and partners to provide unconditional humanitarian aid, and ensure that available aid can enter the country and bring help to civilian populations.
The NDP reiterates its opposition to the use of force and military interventions in Venezuela; they will never be an appropriate response and will not foster political, social or economic stability.

We call on the Canadian government to show leadership and arrive at a diplomatic and peaceful solution."

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Necessary Lies of the Liberal Bourgeoisie

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie

by Craig Murray

April 1, 2019

This cartoon seems to me very apposite. The capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton’s defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working “free media”. There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts, from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media, which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

I genuinely have never quite understood whether the journalists who wrote this guff believed it, whether they were cynically pumping out propaganda and taking their pay cheque, or whether they just did their “job” and chose to avoid asking themselves whether they were producing truth or lies.

I suspect the answer varies from journalist to journalist. At the Guardian, for example, I get the impression that Carole Cadwalladr is sufficiently divorced from reality to believe all that she writes. Having done a very good job in investigating the nasty right wing British Establishment tool that was Cambridge Analytica, Cadwalladr became deluded by her own fame and self-importance and decided that her discovery was the key to understanding all of world politics. In her head it explained all the disappointments of Clintonites and Blairites everywhere. She is not so high-minded however as to have refused the blandishments of the Integrity Initiative.

Luke Harding is in a different category. Harding has become so malleable a tool of the security services it is impossible to believe he is not willingly being used. It would be embarrassing to have written a bestseller called “Collusion”, the entire premiss for which has now been disproven, had Harding not made so much money out of it.

Harding’s interview with Aaron Mate of The Real News was a truly enlightening moment. The august elite of the mainstream media virtually never meet anybody who subjects their narrative to critical intellectual scrutiny. Harding’s utter inability to deal with unanticipated scepticism descends from hilarious to toe-curlingly embarrassing.

In general, since the Mueller report confirmed that $50 million worth of investigation had been unable to uncover any evidence of Russiagate collusion, the media has been astonishingly unrepentant about the absolute rubbish they have been churning out for years.

Harding and the Guardian’s story about Manafort repeatedly calling on Assange in the Ecuador Embassy is one of the most blatant and malicious fabrications in modern media history. It has been widely ridiculed, no evidence of any kind has ever been produced to substantiate it, and the story has been repeatedly edited on the Guardian website to introduce further qualifications and acknowledgements of dubious attribution, not present as originally published. But still neither Editor Katherine Viner nor author Luke Harding has either retracted or apologised, something which calls the fundamental honesty of both into question.

Manafort is now in prison, because as with many others interviewed, the Mueller investigation found he had been involved in several incidences of wrongdoing. Right up until Mueller finalised his report, media articles and broadcasts repeatedly, again and again and again every single day, presented these convictions as proving that there had been collusion with Russia.

The media very seldom pointed out that none of the convictions related to collusion. In fact for the most part they related to totally extraneous events, like unrelated tax frauds or Trump’s hush-money to (very All-American) prostitutes. The “Russians” that Manafort was convicted of lobbying for without declaration, were Ukrainian and the offences occurred ten years ago and had no connection to Trump of any kind. Rather similarly the lies of which Roger Stone stands accused relate to his invention, for personal gain, of a non-existent relationship with Wikileaks.

The truth is that, if proper and detailed investigation were done into any group of wealthy politicos in Washington, numerous crimes would be uncovered, especially in the fields of tax and lobbying. Rich political operatives are very sleazy. This is hardly news, and if those around Clinton had been investigated there would be just as many convictions and of similar kinds. it is a pity there is not more of this type of work, all the time. But the Russophobic motive behind the Mueller Inquiry was not forwarded by any of the evidence obtained.

My analysis of the Steele dossier, written before I was aware that Sergei Skripal probably had a hand in it, has stood the test of time very well. It is a confection of fantasy concocted for money by a charlatan.

We should not forget at this stage to mention the unfortunate political prisoner Maria Butina, whose offence is to be Russian and very marginally involved in American politics at the moment when there was a massive witchhunt for Russian spies in progress, that makes The Crucible look like a study in calm rationality. Ms Butina was attempting to make her way in the US political world, no doubt, and she had at least one patron in Moscow who was assisting her with a view to increasing their own political influence. But nothing Butina did was covert or sinister. Her efforts to win favour within the NRA were notable chiefly because of the irony that the NRA has been historically responsible for many more American deaths than Russia.

Any narrative of which the Establishment does not approve is decried as conspiracy theory. Yet the “Russiagate” conspiracy theory – which truly is Fake News – has been promoted massively by the entire weight of western corporate and state media. “Russiagate”, a breathtaking plot in which Russia and a high profile US TV personality collude together to take control of the most militarily powerful country in the world, knocks “The Manchurian Candidate” into a cocked hat. A Google “news search” restricts results to mainstream media outlets. Such a search for the term “Russiagate” brings 230,000 results. That is almost a quarter of a million incidents of the mainstream media not only reporting the fake “Russiagate” story, but specifically using that term to describe it.

Compare that with a story which is not an outlandish fake conspiracy theory, but a very real conspiracy.

If, by contrast, you do a Google “news search” for the term “Integrity Initiative”, the UK government’s covert multi million pound programme to pay senior mainstream media journalists to pump out anti-Russian propaganda worldwide, you only get one eighth of the results you get for “Russiagate”. Because the mainstream media have been enthusiastically promoting the fake conspiracy story, and deliberately suppressing the very real conspiracy in which many of their own luminaries are personally implicated.

Furthermore – and this is a truly tremendous irony, which relates back to the cartoon at the start – only two of the top ten news results for “Integrity Initiative” come from the Western corporate media.

And this next fact comes nearly into the “too good to be true” category for my argument. Those two MSM mentions, from Sky News and the Guardian, do not complain of the covert anti-Russian propaganda campaign that is the Integrity Initiative. They rather complain that it was an alleged “Russian hack” that made the wrongdoing public!! You could not make it up, you really could not.

According to the mainstream media, it is not Hillary Clinton’s fault for conspiring with the DNC to cheat Bernie out of the nomination, it is Russia’s fault for allegedly helping to reveal it. It is not the British government’s, or their media collaborators’, fault for running a covert propaganda scheme to dupe the public of the UK and many other countries, it is the Russians’ fault for allegedly helping to reveal it!

Which brings us full circle to the DNC leak that sparked Muellergate and the claims that it was the Russians who lost Hillary the election. Robert Mueller repeats the assertion from the US security services that it was Russian hackers who obtained the DNC emails and passed them on to Wikileaks. I am telling you from my personal knowledge that this is not true.

Neither Mueller’s team, not the FBI, nor the NSA, nor any US Intelligence agency, has ever carried out any forensic analysis on the DNC’s servers. The DNC consistently refused to make them available. The allegation against Russia is based purely on information from the DNC’s own consultants, Crowdstrike.

William Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA (America’s US$40 billion a year communications intercept organisation), has proven beyond argument that it is a technical impossibility for the DNC emails to have been transmitted by an external hack – they were rather downloaded locally, probably on to a memory stick. Binney’s analysis is fully endorsed by former NSA systems expert Ed Loomis. There simply are no two people on the planet more technically qualified to make this judgement. Yet, astonishingly, Mueller refused to call Binney or Loomis (or me) to testify. Compare this, for example, with his calling to testify my friend Randy Credico, who had no involvement whatsoever in the matter, but Mueller’s team hoped to finger as a Trump/Assange link.

Randy Emerges From His Evidence Session Displaying 
A Great Taste in Reading Material

The DNC servers have never been examined by intelligence agencies, law enforcement or by Mueller’s team. Binney and Loomis have written that it is impossible this was an external hack. Wikileaks have consistently stressed no state actor was involved. No evidence whatsoever has been produced of the transfer of the material from the “Russians” to Wikileaks. Wikileaks Vault 7 release of CIA documents shows that the planting of false Russian hacking “fingerprints” is an established CIA practice. Yet none of this is reflected at all by Mueller nor by the mainstream media.

“Collusion” may be dead, but the “Russiagate” false narrative limps on.

I should add it seems to me very probable Russia did make some efforts to influence the US election. I worked a a British diplomat for 20 years and spent a lot of time trying to influence political outcomes in the country in which I was posted, in Eastern Europe and in Africa. It is part of the geopolitical game. The United States is of course the world leader by a long way in attempting to influence elections abroad, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to that effect in countries including Ukraine, Georgia, Ecuador and Venezuela recently, and pretty well everywhere in Africa. It is a part of normal diplomatic life.

Mueller uncovered some high level influence-broking meetings. This is what states do. He uncovered some sleazy deals. This is what rich people do. He uncovered some US $110,000 of Facebook ad spending from Russia targeted on the USA, some of which promoted sex toys, some of which was post-election, but some of which was apparently trying to assist Trump against Clinton. Compared to the amount the USA pumps into similar arms length assistance to Putin opponents in Russia alone, it was negligible. That this tiny bit of Facebook advertising crucially impacted the US $13,000,000,000 PR campaigns of the candidates is a ludicrous proposition.

That every country stay out of every other country’s politics is arguably desirable. It is not however the status quo, and the United States is in the worst position of all to complain.


Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the articles, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Canadian Law Rules For Chevron: Ecuador's "Amazonian Chernobyl"

Canadian Supreme Court denies justice to Indigenous Ecuadorians

by Common Frontiers

April 4, 2019

Today the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal in the historic case of the Indigenous people of Ecuador versus Chevron, which has become known as the “Amazonian Chernobyl” due to its devastating impact on the region.

The Ecuadorian plaintiffs seek to enforce a judgment by Ecuador’s highest court ordering Chevron to pay more than $9.5 billion dollars for clean-up of the pollution caused by deliberately negligent operation of oil fields.

The ruling represents a step backward for the Union of People Affected by Chevron-Texaco (UDAPT) of Ecuador and victims of corporate crimes around the world.

The Supreme Court of Canada could have adopted an innovative forward-looking approach with respect to corporate responsibility, justice and equity by ensuring Indigenous communities have access to justice and reparations. By denying the appeal, the Supreme court chose to continue with the interpretation of the current laws which favour corporate impunity.

“It’s regrettable that legal technicalities and the lack of money pose obstacles to access to justice for people who are victims of corporate crimes.
In spite of the decision in Canada, our quest for justice will continue, and we will initiate legal proceedings in other countries” said Willian Lucitante, Coordinator of UDAPT.

The Supreme Court of Canada previously recognized this lawsuit as public interest litigation. But the judges of the Ontario lower court declared that “[t]here is a difference between economic reality and legal reality”, so the laws in force should not be modified. If the laws are changed, the Ecuadorian lawsuit could affect Canadian companies and force them to prioritize human rights above their business interests.

Pablo Fajardo, the lawyer for the indigenous people and peasants affected by Chevron said,

“Once again, a country demonstrates that justice is structured to protect and guarantee impunity for transnational corporations. The Supreme Court of Canada did not get a chance to hear the merits of the Ecuadorian case and only resolved not to accept the appeal.
Our lawyers did not get the opportunity to explain the ramifications of Chevron's legal structure, which protects it from lawsuits by those impacted by their negligent operations. This is a disastrous precedent for social struggles, for rights and justice”.

The communities’ lawsuit for justice and reparation has been advancing through the courts for over 25 years. This trial has become an emblematic demonstration of impunity that allows transnational corporations to suffer no consequences when they violate Indigenous and human rights.

The UDAPT is a grassroots organization made up of six Indigenous Nations and more than 80 peasant communities, representing over 30,000 people affected by the oil company Texaco and their irresponsible activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Texaco, acquired by Chevron in 2001, contaminated more than 450.000 hectares of virgin forest.

The oil company dumped crude oil, toxic waters and polluting gases that affected ecosystems, the population’s health and cultural systems, security and food sovereignty, which increased poverty and exclusion. This contamination has had a serious impact on the health of the UDAPT community; causing the highest rates of childhood leukemia in Ecuador. Cancer deaths are one hundred and thirty percent more frequent and the mortality risk is two hundred and sixty percent higher than in other parts of Ecuador.

Cancer accounts for thirty two percent of total deaths, 3 times more than the national average. Chevron uses all means to obstruct the communities’ access to justice while the contamination of the soil and rivers of the Ecuadorian Amazon continues. Every year people die without hope of reparation for future generations.

During the past years, UDAPT along with hundreds of non-profit organizations that stand for human rights has joined with international efforts, whose aim is to lobby for the creation of a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights at the United Nations.

The emblematic battle of the Ecuadorians against Chevron has unveiled the structure of impunity that allows transnational corporations to get away with gross human rights violations and environmental damage.

The Dude Abides: Why Maduro Remains

Venezuela: Why Is Maduro Still In Power?

by Federico Fuentes - Venezuelanalysis

April 3, 2019

Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes analyses why Maduro remains in power after recently visiting Venezuela.

For many, it is impossible to understand how, despite presiding over the country’s worst economic crisis and facing such intense international and domestic opposition, Maduro remains in the presidential palace.

The answer lies in the enduring strength of Chavismo, a political movement of the working classes that, despite predating former president Hugo Chávez, continues to take his name and political project as its own.

The refusal by Maduro’s opponents, inside and outside Venezuela, to acknowledge its existence also goes a long way to explaining why they have remained in opposition for more than two decades.


Walking down the main street of San Fernando, capital of the border state of Apure, it did not take long for someone to come up and start talking politics. Within minutes, a group discussion had formed.

I asked them about Chávez. One responded: “Chávez didn’t come to power just because he wanted a job. He came to power because we were dying of hunger; Venezuelans were dying of hunger in the ’80s and ’90s.

“That’s why, in ’89 the barrios [poor neighbourhoods] came down the hills and looted stores to get food,” he said, referring to the February 27 Caracazo uprising, ultimately put down by brutal repression which, according to reports, left thousands dead.

Another said: “The Chávez era was the most beautiful time in Venezuelan history. Everyone was able to improve their living conditions, not just the poor but even the rich.”

“Thanks to Hugo Chávez, we have the opportunity to study, to do a postgraduate [course],” explains another.

“Universities were basically privatised. Unless you were rich you had no chance of being able to go to university.

“Chávez opened up education and started to give students uniforms, shoes, food, computers; kids are given laptops, tablets…”

A young man interrupts: “University students also get a tablet. I have one. I had never seen one before, but now I have one.”


The depth of support for Chávez among working people, however, cannot be simply explained by his association with better times.

Andreina Pino, a local activist with the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current in the rural state of Barinas, where Chávez was born, says this identification is due to Chávez’s ability to “decipher the code of the people.”

“Chávez was able to do this,” Pino explains “because he came from the people.”

“Generally, politicians in this country came from rich families and didn’t have that contact with working people.

“Chávez was able to connect with the sentiment, culture and spirituality of the Venezuelan people… He came to synthesise all of that culture, that spirituality, that history.

“Chávez not only identified with that history, he taught us history. Chávez talked about [Simón] Bolívar and our struggle for independence.

“He also began to build hope in us that we, the people, could construct our own history.

“Chávez awoke something within the people.”

Political subject

Caracas-based Argentine sociologist Marco Teruggi believes the opposition’s inability to accept or comprehend this phenomenon is why it “has been making the same error in their analysis for twenty years”.

“They don’t incorporate the existence of Chavismo as a political subject into their analysis.”

Teruggi explained that to understand Chavismo, it is important to look beyond the government and view this political movement in all its complexity.

Emerging from within the popular classes, Chavismo incorporates a gamut of political parties, social movements and organisations, and penetrates deep into the barrios and military barracks.

“We cannot begin to understand how, for instance, the economic crisis has not led to a popular explosion, if we don’t understand the deep roots that Chavismo has in the barrios, where it has generated a whole network of organisations that are very strong and that allows it to contain the situation,” said Teruggi.

“Importantly, Chavismo has its own political identity. We could say that Chavismo is an identity of a part of the popular classes”.

“Under Chavismo, the popular classes were not only able to improve their economic situation but to participate in politics, have a public voice, be protagonists.

“Only Chavismo has offered them this.

“They are defending a process that today has been dealt blows but continues to be the only project that has offered the popular classes in Venezuela a different destiny to the one they had always been condemned to — one of poverty, unemployment, exclusion and marginalisation.”

“The people are not defending Maduro; they are defending the possibility of being able to continue improving not just their economic situation but their lives in general.”

Pino agrees: “The people who continue to support Maduro understand that it’s Maduro [in these] circumstances … who is the current leader of the civic-military process.

“The right doesn’t understand this; they don’t understand that what is in dispute here is not Maduro but a project.”

No blank check

Teruggi points out, however, that “Chavismo is not a blank check. It’s not something that can be used and abused for an indefinite amount of time.”

Earlier this year, there were clear signs of this.

Atenea Jiménez, from the National Network of Comuneros, which unites people involved in numerous communes across the country, explained that, in January, between Maduro’s inauguration and Guaidó’s self-proclamation, “there were many protests … but these protests were different as they were in popular sectors, including some that have historically been very Chavista.

“These were not in middle class sectors, at least here in Caracas; they were protests by people from the barrios who do not agree with Maduro; people who are not with the opposition but who are fed up with having had to deal with this economic situation for so many years.”

Jiménez noted that the politics of the protest were, like everything in Venezuela, very complex and contradictory. Some of them “were tied to the actions of armed gangs”, while in other cases, members of the police and Bolivarian National Guard were involved.

“These protests did not have a clear leadership, they were not planned or organised by a political sector, although there were right-wing opposition sectors who tried to promote the protests because they saw them as functional to their aims of removing Maduro by any means.”

Beyond these complexities, “they were protests about the very real situations that people are facing … and in some places, where Chavistas are very angry with the difficulties of everyday life, the protests were huge.”

“Many of the people who protested feel that the government has not been capable of resolving their problems.

“They said: ‘We have given [the government] all of our votes, for the National Constituent Assembly, for governors, for mayors, all of them. So what excuse do they have for not resolving our everyday problems such as food and medicine?’.”

Teruggi notes that the current situation “cannot last forever. There needs to be responses by the government to these demands, otherwise it will lose the support it needs to stay in power.”

However, Teruggi believes Venezuelans are still some time away from reaching breaking point. “I think this is why the US is attempting to accelerate its actions against Maduro.

“Rather than continuing to … wear down support for the government through economic attacks, the US is instead promoting a parallel government…

“Even if the attacks on the economy are generating a lot of damage and Chavismo has been unable to respond … and even contributed to problems through its own errors, the overall balance of forces has maintained itself.” 


Jiménez notes that “in other circumstances, under neoliberal governments, we would have turned this country upside down.”

“But these mass protests dissipated once Guaidó entered the political scene, because that popular force, which is discontent, that has criticism towards the government … retreated as a new variable entered into the fray.

“That new variable is imperialism.”

Guaidó’s US-backed self-proclamation, his appeals for foreign intervention and more sanctions meant that, “those spontaneous protests stopped as people began to say that this is not the way to solve our problems.

“Among the people there is a very strong anti-imperialist sentiment, independently of the position that people may have towards the government.

“Any threat of foreign intervention immediately generates within our people a spirit of struggle … people recognise that we can have our criticisms, but that this has nothing to do with [US President Donald] Trump being able to decide who our president should be.

“The roughshod manner in which the opposition has acted and its open calls for US intervention, together with the almost daily statements coming from Trump’s spokespeople, has generated a patriotic sentiment, a conviction that we will resolve this in the way that we want to resolve it.”

These sentiments were expressed by many, including one of the women who joined the discussion in San Fernando:

“We don’t want the Yankees or anyone else to get involved here. We are determined to be free. We don’t want any more interference in our country.”

“What we want is to be independent, to be sovereign and for us to be able to decide what happens to our wealth. No one else can tell us what to do with our resources.”

Another adds: “We want to resolve our problems ourselves. We are happy to accept suggestions, but good suggestions.

“Any country can come and make suggestions, but no one can impose themselves on us like the US is trying to. That’s not the way it works here. That’s not the way to help.”

“If the US wants to help us then get rid of the sanctions,” says another.

Ecuador's Assange Problem: Moreno's Mealy-Mouthed Asylum Perpetrations

Terms of Asylum and Distraction: Ecuador’s President Moreno’s “Assange Problem”

by Dr. Binoy Kampmark - Global Research

April 03, 2019

Political asylum is an accepted if often ignored right. It is also at the mercy of those interests that grant it. Ecuador’s repeated insistence on conditioning Julian Assange’s stay in its London abode is tantamount to corroding the idea of asylum to vacuity. You are granted asylum as a political dissident, but political dissident you shall not be, especially when it comes to exposing the secrets of your landlord.

Assange has ventured to test the onerous limits on his conduct that have been imposed by embassy protocols, taking the matter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

His argument has been that the strict rules applied to his stay, entailing a monitoring of visits, control of medical bills, communications, expenses and pet care were a violation of “fundamental rights and freedoms”. The Commission, as it transpired, did not bite.

The Ecuadorean response was a crowing one, arguing that the state’s treatment of Assange was in accordance with international law, and that their guest’s situation “cannot be extended indefinitely and (Ecuador) expects it to be resolved as soon as possible.”

Ecuador’s Attorney General Íñigo Salvador, summed it up in smug fashion.

“The decision was based on the fact that the request filed by Assange did not comply with the requirements of gravity, urgency and irreparable harm provided for in Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR.”

The peculiar twist to this, however, was that such impositions could be justified as protecting, not impairing, Assange’s rights.

“With this decision [by the Commission], the Special Protocol of Visits, Communications and Medical Care remains in force, which guarantees the rights of the asylee.”

Assange has been accused of muddying the stables throughout his stay, but the calls have become more strident over the last eighteen months. A year of muzzling and limiting Assange’s conduct has become both cruel and comical. President Lenín Moreno seems to be waiting for the moment where a final stroke of agitation will release him from any sense of restraint.

On Tuesday, that moment might have come. Moreno insisted that Assange had been a serial violator of his terms of asylum.

“We should ensure Mr Assange’s life is not at risk but he’s violated the agreement we have with him so many times.”

The Ecuadorean president, in pained tones, claimed that “photos of my bedroom, what I eat and how my wife and daughters and friends dance” had been doing the buzzing rounds on social media. While Moreno did not explicitly accuse Assange of being behind that spray of material, the accusing voice was unmistakable.

The Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner confirmed it, loudly proclaiming that what WikiLeaks had done was “repugnant”. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Valencia, focused on Assange’s means of communication, arguing that he had been biting the hand that had fed him.

The office of the President has also made a formal, if risible complaint to Joseph Cannataci, the special rapporteur for the right to privacy based at the UN Human Rights Council, accusing WikiLeaks and other “possible authors” of disseminating private photos and personal information obtained from Moreno’s, (right) own computers, tablets and a miscellany of devices.

Cannataci’s good offices are being used, in turn, to deal with claims by WikiLeaks that Ecuador is spying on him. The dark face continues.

The entire show of puffed indignation seemed an enormous distraction. Last week, the Ecuadorean National Assembly passed a resolution calling for a corruption probe into Moreno’s affairs regarding the INA Papers.

The INA Investment Corp of Panama fame specialises in minimising (dare one say evading?) tax, and it took a publication by digital news platform La Fuente on February 19 to suggest a link between Moreno, his family and the company. From that particular haven, it is alleged, ample funds were used from an offshore account to make an assortment of payments covering gifts, furniture purchases, and an apartment in Spain.

In the words of an official statement,

“With 74 votes, the National Assembly approved a resolution that requires the Inspection Commission to carry out an analysis of the publication dated Feb. 19, 2018, in a digital platform called ‘The Offshore Labyrinth Of The Presidential Circle.’”

A close reading of the resolution hardly suggests that Moreno is going to be in much trouble; the focus, as María José Carrión of Moreno’s own party, Alianza Pais, has explained, will involve “an analysis of this journalistic publication. It won’t be an investigation, as it’s not possible for the President to be summoned because the law is clear and for that to happen it must be within the framework of a political trial, which is not the case.”

Fidel Narváez, former consul at the Ecuador embassy in London, has a working and plausible hypothesis: the entire spectacle is being engineered to throw the curious and vigilant off the scent, one that is becoming rather piquant. Not a single document connected with the INA Papers matter has ever been personally leaked or published by Assange or WikiLeaks. The Assembly, he charges, has become a place of ludicrous activity in attempting to investigate Assange in the name of protecting “national interests”.

While the increasingly crotchety approach from the Moreno government suggests an imminent decision on his fate, Assange has not been left without some legal ammunition. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in a ruling issued on May 30 last year, made it clear that Assange should not only be released but granted safe passage to Ecuador as part of the right to asylum. The advisory opinion considered the right to seek and receive asylum in a foreign country pursuant to the American Convention on Human Rights (Article 22(7)) and Article XXVII of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man.

The protection against refoulement, in which a person’s life, integrity, security and/or liberty might be at risk, was held to bind States extraterritorially “whenever authorities exercise their authority or effective control over such persons, as may happen in legations, and that, by their own nature, may be in the territory of another State with that State’s consent and authorization.” But Moreno, and his colleagues are a desperate bunch, and their latest efforts suggest that scapegoating Assange and readying him for the fall might offer some measure of therapeutic relief, however brief.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email:

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

NATO Celebrates 70 Years of Global Domination & Democracy Suppression

The Anti-Democratic Roots of NATO


April 2, 2019

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th anniversary is this week and it was met with anti-NATO protests across the world, including right here in Washington D.C. where the alliance is expected to meet this week with all the foreign ministers. On April 4th 1949, the alliance’s treaty was signed by twelve organizations and today it has grown to 29 members.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) must be understood from its roots, which is anti-democratic says Yves Engler, while discussing his four part print series on The Real News.

Trump's Apparatchiks: How to Steal 2020 for Dummies

Trump May Name Kris Kobach New Immigration Czar: Their Real Agenda - 2020 Vote Suppression

by Greg Palast for Nation of Change

April 3, 2019

Investigative reporter Greg Palast investigated Kris Kobach for Rolling Stone and Al Jazeera. Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a feature documentary, on his investigation of Kobach and vote suppression.

When the young Kris Kobach created a computer system for the Department of Homeland Security that secretly tracked visiting Muslims, President George W. Bush was so offended that Bush personally ordered the racially offensive program shut down.

And now Kobach may have power over that Department and all others dealing with immigrants – including Justice and Defense, and the Census – if the AP report that President Donald Trump is considering making Kobach his “Immigration Czar” becomes reality.

It’s an especially cute move by Trump, as this newly crafted position, unlike an appointment to other cabinet level posts, will not require Senate approval, not even a hearing.

I’ve been investigating Kobach for six years for Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone.

Kobach is the guy who…

  • drafted Arizona’s notorious “SB 1070” law which the ACLU dubbed the, “Driving While Brown law” – found unconstitutional by Federal Courts.
  • lost another federal suit for unconstitutionally requiring proof-of-citizenship to vote. Kobach admitted, the Kansas rule did not stop even one alien from registering, but did block 36,000 citizens from voting in 2016 including two US Air Force officers. Kobach, then Kansas Secretary of State, was found in contempt of court for deliberately defying Court orders to restore voters’ rights.
  • directed the infamous Interstate Crosscheck vote purge system for 30 states. Our investigation for Rolling Stone determined that at least 1.1 million Americans, mostly voters of colors, were wrongly purged from the voter rolls before the 2016 election.
  • wrote local laws, all struck down by courts, which made it a crime to conduct business with an “illegal alien.” Kobach bamboozled towns, such as Farmers Branch, Texas, into hiring him for a failed legal defense of these racially poisonous statutes. But lawyer Kobach made out fine, racking up fees subsidized by $100,000 which the Palast investigations team traced back to the Koch brothers.

The list goes on. It was Kobach who suggested the Census include a question about non-citizens living in your home.

Trying to get straight answers from Kobach about his racially poisoned vote-purging shenanigans has not been easy. After several refusals to speak with me about our findings, in 2016, I finally tracked him down in Wichita, with my crew pretending to be from a local TV station. (We were indeed with Channel 4 … Channel 4 of London.)

Kobach, cornered, spewed out a series of flat-out lies. For example, he denied that he targeted clearly innocent voters in Kansas and Georgia as suspected “double registered” who could vote twice in one election. I showed him the computer files from his own office with the Kansas-Georgia secret hit list – and he decided to run for it – literally – while shoveling vanilla ice-cream into his mouth, yelling “Liar! Liar!” between mouthfuls.

We could dismiss Kobach as just another slap-stick huckster if he weren’t the author of mass purges of legitimate voters and laws that make anyone with brown skin a criminal suspect.

If Trump goes through with the appointment, Kobach will go well beyond ordering cruelties on families at the border. Kobach has made clear his big goal has been to remove alien voters from rolls nationwide—which he claims number over one million! Indeed, he believes that these sneaky aliens from south of the border account for much of Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory in 2016.

Kobach, worried I’d report on his fibbing, did call me. When questioned, he could not name me two aliens who cast ballots (punishable by years of imprisonment and deportation), let alone a million, despite his years of hunting for these fantastical creatures.

But that won’t stop him from pushing for a national requirement to prove citizenship when voting. His Kansas law, which mainly blocked young – i.e. Democratic – voters, was struck down by a district court judge. But the Roberts Supreme Court, with its horrid record on voting rights, may be just what Kobach has been waiting for.

Worse, with access to Homeland Security and Census records, Kobach could give deportation lists and “non-citizen” Census files to GOP state voting officials. They could then require Americans with names like “José Garcia” to prove they are citizens.

In 2012, Florida did a test run of this purge operation, identifying some 181,000 “potential” aliens on their voter rolls. They found and convicted just one (an Austrian registered as a Republican), but scared untold numbers of Hispanics away from voting. Many lost their registration because they could not take a day to go to court to prove they are Americans.

And that’s the real danger in this “Immigration Czar” appointment: Kobach could organize the purge of young voters and voters of color by the hundreds of thousands just before the 2020 election.

For all his antics, don’t underestimate Kobach, a graduate of Harvard, Yale and Oxford. The wily lawyer and political hit-man knows that the lawsuits by voter victims wouldn’t bite until after the steal of the 2020 election.

Rolling Stone reporter Greg Palast confronts Kris Kobach with Kobach’s 
own internal files: a list of clearly innocent "duplicate voters" wrongly targeted 
for purge from voter rolls. To get close to Kobach, Palast posed as a local TV reporter. 
Wichita KS, 2016. From The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of the Stolen Election, now available on Amazon and Amazon Prime.