Neo-Liberals be Damned — Let the Democrats Rot

by ROB URIE, CounterPunch

When considering elections in the U.S. the tendency is for voters to look at the issues placed in front of them rather than at history, political trajectory and who it is that chooses the issues? On their face Republicans, broadly considered, are more direct shills for the worst of the corporate-state— Wall Street, multi-national oil and gas companies, munitions manufacturers and replacement of any and all democratic tendencies with corporate interests. This written, Democrats have been the cleverer proponents of these same interests, the clean-up crew that poses state support as response to ‘natural’ catastrophes that are exactly and precisely the product of self-cannibalizing corporate-state capitalism.

Eleicoes no Brasil

The cartoonist Latuff’s commentary on the elimination of independent and opposition politics, when embracing electoral illiusions and voting. The cartoon was produced in response to the false choices offered the people in Brazil’s elections this year

Political strategy within the mainstream, the choice between slower or faster decay, leaves out of its calculation the possibility of break and rupture that are the most likely ends. Wall Street, which counts ‘both’ political parties in the U.S. as wholly owned subsidiaries, has had three crises of increasing magnitude in as many decades. The oil mafia, the CIA-MI5-BP-Exxon Mobil-military oil and gas establishment, is launching wars at increasing cost with decreasing results except inasmuch as human and environmental catastrophes sustain it. And the ‘political’ establishment that sits metaphorically atop this morass retains public attention only through infinite iterations of manufactured cultural difference.

Continue reading

India Orders Colonized Naga Soldiers to Fight Revolutionary Maoists

[The Indian state’s war on tribal people (adivasis) and their Maoist champions is guided by the historic colonizer’s strategy book. When they order troops from colonized nations within India to fight people rising against Indian State terror, it is useful to remember …. this has been done, many times, before.
When hostages identify with their captors, it is called the "Stockholm Syndrome."  As Malcolm X pointed out, when "House Negroes" see the Master's house is on fire, they run for water to extinguish the flames, while "Field Negroes" get gasoline so the fire will burn more intense.  In this sense, as Steve Biko said, "The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."  These "mental" weapons for the oppressors become material, when the oppressed take up arms for the oppressor.  The rejection of such colonized deployments is a critical part of every liberation and revolution.
When the French colonizers fought the British colonizers in North America, they manipulated indigenous people (“Indians”) to do their fighting for them. When, after the US Civil War, the Northern victors set out to conquer the native “Indians” in lands to the West, they deployed Black soldiers (“Buffalo Soldiers”) to carry through the colonization fight. When Europeans were facing uprisings across colonized Africa, they most commonly sent their native colonial troops to suppress the anti-colonial challengers.
Hundreds of such examples dot the pages of colonial history – and in some cases, like the San Patricio Battalion (Irish migrants who were deployed by the US in the “Mexican War” of the 1840’s), or Black troops deployed against the Filipino independence fighters in early 1900s, or US soldiers in Vietnam who became resisters and fraggers, the deployment of oppressed soldiers against other oppressed peoples was rejected and many refused to fight, and some joined the resistance of the colonized. This struggle to exorcise the influence of the oppressor, to de-colonize the minds of the oppressed, continues today in Nagaland, in Chhattisgargh, and everywhere oppression and resistance is found. -- Frontlines ed.]

MCPM urges Nagas to resist deployment in Maoist areas

Correspondent IMPHAL, Nagaland Post, October 23, 2014

Major General R. K. Sharma, Additional Director General, NCC Directorate North Eastern Region Shillong on his visit to Ist Nagaland Girls Battalion, NCC Kohima on April 9. The ADG highlighted the NCC activities and various opportunities and incentives offered by NCC. He appreciated the state government for its support towards NCC activity in Nagaland. Patkai College has been selected by UGC to take up National Cadet Corps (NCC) as elective subject in the curriculum from the academic year 2013-14.

maoist

Maoists have put up posters at Kalimela Policestation area in Malkangiri districts of Orissa asking people to cooperate with them to make the PLGA week observation a success

The Manipur based underground group Maoist Communist Party Manipur (MCPM) has asked Naga Regiments not to allow themselves to be deployed in the Maoist stronghold areas of India, especially in Dandakaranya Revolutionary zone.
Publicity and propaganda secretary Comrade Nonglen Meitei of the outfit, in a statement dispatched to the local media, appealed to the Naga Regiment to oppose the implementation of this decision regarding their deployment.
It further appealed the regiment not to go to Chhattisgarh as “slaves” while urging to raise their voices against the forceful deployment and showed solidarity towards the revolutionary people of that region who are fighting for their very existence. Continue reading

Arundhati Roy: The Debate on the Gandhi Myth

[In India, 2014 has brought many issues to the fore, not least of which is the rise of Narendra Modi as national leader, after securing his notoriety as the protector and defender of the anti-Moslem Gujarat Massacre over a decade ago.  Modi's rise, welcomed by Western imperialism and multi-national corporations,  has brought further national centralization of the state's brutal repression against oppressed peoples, tribals, dalits, democratic and revolutionary activists.  And the 2014 Modi-India persona  further disguises the official national culture --  Hindutva excluvist, caste-ist, and xenophobic -- by hypocritically and pretentiously claiming a humanitarian, peaceful, and moral charm or charisma by further invoking a mythologized Gandhi as the Father of Indian National Identity.  In challenging this mythology, Arundhati Roy has provided an important counter-narrative, and has come under vitriolic attack from The Powers That Be.  See the following video interview by Laura Flanders, and the magazine interview by Leena Chandran, for details on the struggle for clarity and truth about Mahatma Gandhi.  --  Frontlines ed.]
Debunking the Gandhi Myth: Arundhati Roy
On The Laura Flanders Show: Author/activist Arundhati Roy on the Annihilation of Caste, B.R. Ambedkar and the Western myth of Mahatma Gandhi

————————–

Hidden in plain sight

Wednesday 17 September 2014

by Leena Chandran, Manorama Online

In July, Arundhati Roy provoked outrage from many quarters by stating that the generally accepted image of Mahatma Gandhi was a lie. Speaking at the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, she also called for institutions bearing his name to be renamed. The Booker prize winning author’s comments rekindled a long-running historical argument over Gandhi’s views on caste and catapulted hot debate in Kerala media. In this exclusive interview Arundhati Roy tells Leena Chandran why she will not be changing her views on Gandhi.
The Gandhi controversy is a belated one, I feel. It should have taken place earlier this year had people closely read ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ soon after its publication. In fact, what you said in the Ayyankali memorial lecture at Department of History, Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram is not as inflammable as the ideas you share in’The Doctor and the Saint’…

I wouldn’t go so far as to call ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ inflammable, though of course it has generated a fair amount of controversy from many quarters, even some unexpected ones. That’s to be expected, because it’s vexed territory. Yes it does question conventional ways of thinking, mostly by quoting from the lesser known writings of Gandhi. It was written as an introduction to Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste. Ambedkar’s views challenge the established order in profound and radical ways. The controversy around Gandhi’s views on race and caste started long before I wrote The Doctor and the Saint. You could say that it started with the Ambedkar-Gandhi debate. It has been debated for years in the world of Dalit politics—but that has been carefully and successfully kept out of the establishment discourse. The mayhem in the Kerala media post my Ayyankali Memorial Lecture is just noisy posturing by some people who couldn’t be bothered to read Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste, or The Doctor and the Saint, or anything much else. Not even the works of Gandhi who they are so keen to defend. There are many vested interests involved in this debate. It may be too much to expect them to change. But the young will change their views. For sure.

Continue reading

The Political Economy of Ebola

[Arrogant claims that "there is no alternative" to capitalism explode when held up to stubborn facts like the spread of Ebola in Africa--a disease whose most damning feature is that the racist profit system requires that an entire continent be kept in a state of permanent vulnerabilty, because the resources which could solve the scourge of this disease are tightly held for profitable pursuits and issues closer to the hearts of the privleged.  The people deserve, and, in time, will create a system based on our common interests and needs, (which will put the profit-oriented inhumanity of today in museums for generations of bewildered people to study.)  --  Frontlines ed.]
Ebola is a problem that will not be solved, because it isn’t profitable to do so.

Joseph Ferdinand Keppler / Library of Congress

The Onion (a satirical newspaper in the US — ed.), as ever, is on point with its “coverage” of the worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and the first in West Africa, infecting some 1,779 people and killing at least 961. “Experts: Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away,” read the cheeky headline of the July 31 news brief.

Our shorthand explanation is that if the people infected with Ebola were white, the problem would be solved. But the market’s role in both drug companies’ refusal to invest in research and the conditions on the ground created by neoliberal policies that exacerbate and even encourage outbreaks goes unmentioned.

Racism is certainly a factor. Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease specialist and the head of the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest medical research charities in the world, told the Toronto Star: “Imagine if you take a region of Canada, America, Europe, and you had 450 people dying of a viral hemorrhagic fever. It would just be unacceptable — and it’s unacceptable in West Africa.”

Continue reading

October 22: Nationwide Protests Against The Police State

Every single day carries a new story (or stories) about egregious assaults by police against the citizens who have entrusted (and paid) them to serve and protect. Even the Bureau of Justice Statistics had to conclude recently that police brutality is grossly unchecked across the nation by the political system. Such unchecked power is even more frightening when we see police becoming as militarized as any Third World dictatorship . And of course, to back up this lawlessness is a ready-and-waiting prison-industrial complex that leads the world in caging its own citizens.

Shooting pets, tasering kids, no-knock SWAT raids, raping, pillaging … you name it – and it will only get worse until people have the courage to take action in huge numbers and put a stop to this madness that has been tolerated for way too long.

The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing every year since 1996 for a National Day of Protest on October 22, bringing together those under the gun and those not under the gun as a powerful voice to expose the epidemic of police brutality. Please view their videos below and find a location to participate.

The Coalition also works on the Stolen Lives Project , which documents cases of killings by law enforcement nationwide – the second edition of their book documents only the tip of the iceberg with 2,000 confirmed cases. According to the Coalition, 2014 has been particularly bad with 800 documented cases.

Click HERE to enlarge


The full statement from the Coalition is as follows:

The Call for the 19th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

On the eve of the 19th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, a defiant new spirit is in the air. In Ferguson, Missouri, people continue to rise up in outrage against the killing of Mike Brown , an unarmed 18-year-old Black youth who was just days away from starting college. Despite the rapid and ruthless militarization of the town by racist police and the National Guard, people defied curfews, tear gas, rubber bullets, and calls for a return to business-as-usual—and oppression-as-usual—by protesting and rebelling for ten consecutive , sweltering nights in August. Thousands from around the country gathered in Ferguson this past weekend to stand in solidarity with the brave people of Ferguson. These are the moments where the decades of racist abuse, criminalization, and police terror at the hands of this system came crashing against fearless resistance from the very people it seeks to control, inspiring justice-seeking people not just nationwide, but around the world. The National Day of Protest was founded to oppose exactly these kinds of abuses. This year, in big cities and small towns, in the face of police brutality, repression, mass incarceration and the criminalization of youth we say, Let the spirit of Ferguson ignite hearts nationwide with an uncompromising passion for justice!

Continue reading

Dysturbing: “Putting Photojournalism Where It Will Be Stumbled Upon”

Photographers mounted a picture of protesters in Hong Kong in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while it was still dark Friday morning. Credit Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

 Walking along West 43rd Street in Manhattan on Friday morning, Serena Torres, 45, did a double-take at a jarring, life-size image of a raging man in white robes wielding a machete as he chased a fleeing mob.

“What is this?” said Ms. Torres, an accountant from Ridgewood, Queens, as she stared at the billboard-sized poster and its caption, which described the man as a Muslim shop owner in the Central African Republic chasing looters. Continue reading

The Gary Webb Story: Still Killing the Messenger

 

[The greater the exposure of government crimes against the people, the greater the suppression of those who bring the stories to light.  The people will never forget the courageous work of journalists like Gary Webb. -- Frontlines ed.]
by Joseph A. Palermo, huffingtonpost.com, 10/20/2014
Few things are better at getting the word out about a past injustice than a Hollywood movie and Kill the Messenger starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Michael Cuesta does so with depth and drama. For the first time the true story about the courageous investigative journalist, Gary Webb, is being told in movie theaters across the country where people can draw their own conclusions unhindered by the noise and static of establishment naysayers in the corporate media.

 

This powerful film uses an “entertainment” format to assess the compelling evidence that people tied to the Nicaraguan Contras, who President Ronald Reagan called “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers,” were involved in bringing cocaine back to the United States at the dawn of the crack epidemic.

Writing for the San Jose Mercury-News, Gary Webb had traveled repeatedly to Central America and uncovered what appeared to be the story of the decade: people associated with a U.S.-backed mercenary army had become international drug traffickers. If “agents” or “assets” of the Central Intelligence Agency’s war against Nicaragua were implicated, even indirectly, in importing one gram of cocaine to America’s cities that should have set off alarm bells in the journalistic community and possibly won a Pulitzer Prize for Webb.

Instead, the mainstream press went after Webb in a coordinated smear campaign that ignored the potential abuses he had uncovered and effectively allied itself with the Contras. “Journalists” and editors from the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times, essentially toed the line of right-wing rags like the Washington Times by citing unnamed sources from the CIA and national security establishment to burnish the image of the Contras and their taskmasters.
Despite a mountain of evidence from witness accounts, law enforcement and court records, a Senate subcommittee inquiry, Oliver North’s notebooks, congressional testimony, and even the CIA’s own internal review that backs up Webb’s original reporting, these mainstream hacks found that the best way to defend the CIA was to sully their colleague Webb.

Continue reading