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The rest / India v Pakistan
« on: February 27, 2019, 12:24:17 PM »
Who knows where this is going, because I sure do not.

Pakistan-India showdown: What you’re not being told
Darius Shahtahmasebi is a New Zealand-based legal and political analyst, currently specializing in immigration, refugee and humanitarian law. via RT

Most disturbing is the revelation that Saudi Arabia is also being rumoured to have nuclear weapons “on order” from Pakistan. If it isn’t bad enough that India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and are now potentially launching air strikes into each other’s territory, the idea that these apocalyptic weapons could one day end up in the hand of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the country currently launching a genocidal war in Yemen and backing known jihadists right across the wider region, all the whilst constantly threatening war with Tehran, is nothing short of suicidal.

According to Israeli media, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) recent visit to Pakistan has essentially cemented Pakistan’s inclusion in anti-Iran Arab NATO. Will these countries rush to Pakistan’s aid as it is pummelled by Indian fighter jets? Or will diplomacy and cooler heads eventually prevail?

Thankfully, we can trust the media to ask these all-important questions, and not focus its entire energy on yet another regime-change operation in yet another oil rich country, right?

A complex narrative about "terrorists" and who funds them and why came before this quote. I do not know what to believe or who to believe .. so I will not believe any of them for now.

If your Preferred Choice does not win, who would be your Second Choice for Democratic Party Presidential Nominee in 2020?

The list is in the order of current polling popularity indicators - except for Clinton

This is also a Pre-Primary Poll which closes on 31st Dec 2019.

You can change your Vote at any time.

Non-Americans are encouraged to cast your Vote too.

Current RCP Polling

Wiki 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primaries information to date

Who is your Preferred Choice today to be the Democratic Party Presidential Nominee in 2020?

Not who you think will win it, but who you want to win it.

This is a Pre-Primary Poll which closes on 31st Dec 2019.

You can change your Vote at any time.

Non-Americans are encouraged to cast your Vote too.

Current RCP Polling

Wiki 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primaries information to date

The rest / The Empire vs Venezuela - News and History
« on: February 18, 2019, 02:06:53 PM »
This isn't going away. Outright War appears imminent now. So rather than try and fit news about this into existing disparate threads I think a new one is appropriate.

Trump's NSA John Bolton is now referring to Venezuela under the current Maduro Govt as one member of the Troika of Tyranny. With echoes of GW Bush's 'Axis of Evil' and what happened next to Iraq it seems self-evident where this is going. I don't yet know who the other two countries are in this Troika but if I find out I'll you know. :)
Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton made a speech November 1, 2018 announcing the new sanctions against the Venezuelan government. He warned that there was a "troika of tyranny" in the Americas: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. His speech implied that Trump would support a coup against Maduro.
( Is that all? )

I'll copy in a few of the best items already posted here about Venezuela over coming days but to get it started here's a related story about what's happening in Haiti. People concerned about the war rhetoric towards Venezuela have already been asking question like: 'How come the Trump Administration doesn't have a word to say about the uprisings and protests in Haiti?' Seems quite hypocritical but that of course is par for the course for American leadership for decades!

First some background on Petrocaribe and why Haiti is directly related to what's happening in Venezuela too. Nothing happens in a vacuum, everything is related in some way shape or form.

Petrocaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on 29 June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In 2013 Petrocaribe agreed links with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.

ALBA or ALBA–TCP, formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples' Trade Treaty, is an intergovernmental organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The name "Bolivarian" refers to the ideology of Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century South American independence leader born in Caracas who wanted Hispanic America to unite as a single "Great Nation".

Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, it is associated with socialist and social democratic governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. The ten member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.

Suriname was admitted to ALBA as a guest country at a February 2012 summit. ALBA nations may conduct trade using a virtual regional currency known as the SUCRE. Venezuela and Ecuador made the first bilateral trade deal using the Sucre, instead of the US dollar, on July 6, 2010. Ecuador withdrew from the group in August 2018. (after a change in the President of that nation.)

The Lima Group is a multilateral body that was established following the Lima Declaration on 8 August 2017 in the Peruvian capital of Lima, where representatives of 12 countries met in order to establish a peaceful exit to the crisis in Venezuela.

Among other issues, the now 14-country group demands the release of political prisoners, calls for free elections, offers humanitarian aid and criticizes the breakdown of democratic order in Venezuela under the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.

Twelve countries initially signed the declaration: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Guyana and Saint Lucia joined later.

The International Contact Group, comprising the EU as a bloc, eight European and four Latin American countries, was set up early February to push for snap elections in Venezuela. In a joint statement with Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated that the group aims to contribute to "a political and peaceful process" allowing Venezuelans to "determine their future."

Given the urgency of the situation in Venezuela and as announced in the statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the European Union of 26 January, the ministers decided to establish an international contact group on Venezuela that was agreed among EU Member States and with some Latin American countries that will participate in it.

The objective of the International Contact Group is to, within a limited timeframe of 90 days, promote a common understanding and a more concerted approach among key international actors on the situation in Venezuela aiming at a peaceful and democratic solution to the current crisis.

The group will help to build trust and create the necessary conditions for a credible process to emerge, in line with the relevant provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution, enabling Venezuelans to determine their own future, through the holding of new elections with all guarantees for a free and fair electoral process, supervised by international independent observers.

"Part of the group will be on the European Union side — obviously, the European Union, but also some of our Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK — and on the Latin American side we already have confirmation from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Bolivia", said Federica Mogherini at the press conference.

By the Real News Network in Baltimore Maryland USA.

How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (1/2)

How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (2/2)

The rest / Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« on: January 28, 2019, 12:52:57 PM »
Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent revisited | The Listening Post

I was surprised to see this. What's Al Jazeera doing digging into Noam Chomsky classic work?

Then I realized it was the 30th Anniversary of the publication of his ground breaking work in 1988
"Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media"

Al Jazeera English Published on 22 Dec 2018

There is an exquisite and oft-quoted moment in an interview between BBC journalist Andrew Marr and Noam Chomsky in which Marr asks: "How can you know that I'm self-censoring?".

"I'm not saying you're self censoring. I'm sure you believe everything you're saying. But what I'm saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting."

Wry as ever, Chomsky exposed the slightly delusional pretensions of the journalistic establishment - and not far behind, the complicities of the media industry with political power.

Harsh? Perhaps. True? All too often.

For many of us who work at The Listening Post, Chomsky's ideas on the media in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media have provided us with a guide, full of cautionary tales and ideas that are still controversial to this day.

The book was published in 1988 - a year before the end of the Cold War when it was announced that western liberal democracy had triumphed, heralding the end of ideology, authoritarianism, and propaganda.

In the past 30 years, we have seen the mass communications industry multiply, providing an illusion of choice, echoing the rhetorics of freedom - of press, of expression - but not necessarily yielding the pluralism liberal democracies had promised.

In that way, the book continues to resonate.

But like all revered texts, Manufacturing Consent also calls upon us as active readers, journalists, citizens to interrogate its premises. Does the book's denunciatory tone risk overstate the power of the media establishment? Does it underestimate the critical faculties of the public? Is the media so homogenous an entity that power can be wielded top-down? Where are the lapses, the blind spots? Where do journalists find pockets of power that serve to disrupt?

We spoke to three journalists who have their careers being disruptive and asked them about the ideas that had influenced them in Chomsky and Herman's book: Matt Taibbi, whose reporting for Rolling Stone has provided one of the most critical accounts of US political history in recent years; Indian editor-in-chief Aman Sethi who questions the premises of Chomsky's book and Amira Hass, the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories.

The first thing we asked Hass was what she thought about Chomsky's statement: "the general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know".

"This is a very humanist and optimistic statement," she responded. "The belief that when people are informed they may act, things may change. In Hebrew, the words knowledge and awareness are all made of the same root. Yedda and Mudaoot. And so awareness is connected to Mudaoot in Hebrew. And this is how I started working in Gaza, aware that the Israeli public knows nothing about the occupation and what it means. But the people do not pick up this information. They have access to it but they choose not to access it."

Hass has been covering Palestine for the best part of 30 years - in that time, sources of information have multiplied, but public outrage?

"Today we have so much access to information in other ways that we are on a collision with the fact that people are not interested in what does not serve immediately their interest," she said, with resignation, "and this is a very sad realisation."

Aman Sethi put it like this:

"It's easy to say that people believe what they believe because their consent has been manufactured. But what if people know exactly what's going on and still believe what they believe, right? Then that's terrifying."

The rest / Les 'gilets jaunes' de France et le Roi Macron
« on: December 11, 2018, 11:47:40 AM »
Jimmy Dore, le comédien radical, does an extra long 35 mins video to look into what's going on in France the last few weeks.

He reviews an RT news video and then picks through an article by Diana Johnstone from Consortium News (below). Helps to explain the protesters are rioting about much more than a simple tax increase of gasoline/petrol by President Macron and his Government. Very little of the usual JD humour.

Dore empathises the deeper issues that never make it into the MSM press and news reports in other nations. What's the main target? Neoliberalism writ large. Marcon is now being called "President of the Rich!"

Macron's polling has collapsed since his stunning election win from 67% to 20%. While 'les gilets jaunes' protestors have ~70% approval from French citizens despite the violence, disruptions and the arrests! (according to reports)

Also see:
Yellow Vests Rise Against Neo-Liberal ‘King’ Macron
Briefly, the message was this: we can’t make ends meet. The cost of living keeps going up, and our incomes keep going down. We just can’t take it any more. The government must stop, think and change course.

Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Why are the 'yellow vests' protesting in France? The wave of protests sweeping through France is not a rejection of green policies. It's a revolt against the 1 percent.

La République En Marche! (frequently abbreviated REM, LRM or LREM, officially LaREM; possible translation: "The Republic on the move!"), sometimes called En Marche !!

The yellow vests movement (French: Mouvement des gilets jaunes)

France24 REPLAY: Macron addresses the nation on Yellow Vest protests (14 mins)

France24 English - What do France's 'Yellow Vest' protesters want? (11 mins)

Total Media Blackout! Paris Is Far Worse Than They Will Tell You! - (11 mins)

France's "Yellow Vest" revolution exposes globalist puppet Macron - The Duran (20 mins)

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