Voices from Russia

Sunday, 10 June 2018

10 June 2018. Brother Ajamu Speaks

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We must bring in the UN to play a role in a sustainable peace process in Syria since it’s clear that the USA, Russia, and Israel are playing a cynical game in Syria that won’t result in peace and national reconciliation.

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The Tamimi family continues to suffer from Israeli brutality. This is why the focus has to be on US imperialism because this criminality couldn’t occur without US support for the Zionist apartheid project. https://goo.gl/ZZHYiK

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Did people read the incredible comments from Obama about being too early because the dumb masses just weren’t ready for his version of enlightened politics? The only difference between Trumps’ megalomania and Obama’s is that Obama is supposed to be the nice one.

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The USA brings a threat of war, suffering, and insecurity to every region of the world, yet activists in the USA continue to give political cover for US aggression. Opposing war and militarism isn’t an add-on… it’s a position fundamental to being a human being.

Ajamu Baraka

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

26 May 2018. Brother Ajamu Speaks On This and On That

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If they get Assange, don’t let this incident get transformed into a Trump initiative. The rightwing Obama Administration used the Espionage Act to clamp down on unauthorised information getting to the public… that initiated the attack on Assange.

Memo to the US ruling class… no one is afraid of you, even with your awesome capacity to destroy and cause the suffering of millions. Those of us from the working class pledge that we won’t turn our sons and daughters over to you to use as cannon fodder. Take a knee for peace.

As I said on a number of occasions, the psychopathology of white supremacy makes it very difficult for most to understand why the North Koreans reacted the way they did to the comments from Bolton and Pence and to the framing by the liberal press that suggested threats and intimidation forced the “natives” to the negotiating table.

The NFL plantation owners passed a policy to make patriotism mandatory for their property. Either pay deference to the symbol of white nationalism, which is what the anthem is, or pay a price. This is the answer to the “win” in Georgia and the message couldn’t be clearer.

Where are the opponents to guns on the issue of war? Is it only lives in the USA that we’re supposed to be concerned with? Is official state violence in the form of war acceptable, is that the implication of their silence on war?

It should be a joke, as information on corruption and abuse of state power during the last presidential election emerges, that the USA would claim that the election in Venezuela was a sham. Message to the USA… build a democracy first before you criticise others.

Folks, don’t let the fact that Trump is raising the possibility of illegal activity on part of the Obama Administration to dismiss what’s appearing to be an incredible abuse of state power for partisan politics. The corruption of both of these parties and their system is incredible.

21-25 May 2018

Ajamu Baraka

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Make Russia Great Again Through Negligence

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After a year and a half of silence (accompanied by much media noise) from the Mueller investigation into Trump the Terrible’s collusion with the Russians (and their lord and master the Dread Pirate Putin) to steal the election from innocent young Hillary “Twinkle-Toes” Clinton, Mueller finally laid an egg. He indicted 13 Russians for identity theft and wire fraud. He alleges that they bought some stolen personal info (Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, etc.) on the internet, used these to set up PayPal and Facebook accounts, and then used these to buy Facebook ads to undermine the American people’s faith in the wholesome goodness of their democracy. There’s no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign or administration knew that this was happening. There’s no evidence that any of the 13 Russians had anything to do with Putin or the Russian government. There’s no evidence that anything they did had any measurable effect on the outcome of the election. However, there’s ample evidence that this indictment will go nowhere.

There’s a difference between an indictment and a conviction… a convicted person is guilty; the presumption of innocence protects an indicted person until convicted. To receive a conviction in a criminal trial, a person has to be physically present in court as one has the right to face one’s accusers. Automatically, a trial held in absentia is a kangaroo court. The 13 Russians are Russian nationals residing in Russia. The Russian constitution stipulates that you can’t extradite Russian citizens to stand trial in a foreign court, and it seems exceedingly unlikely that they’d face criminal charges in Russia based on Mueller’s indictment. Therefore, these 13 Russians are innocent under US law… forever… even if they spend time in a Russian jail, convicted under Russian law. It’s possible that one of these Russians would at some point travel abroad, get abducted, go to the USA to stand trial, and be convicted of money laundering, identity theft, and wire fraud. However, the charge of working to undermine the American people’s faith in the wholesome goodness of their democracy would be rather hard to prove, mostly because there isn’t much of it these days. The accusation is like accusing somebody of despoiling an outhouse by crapping in it, along with everyone else, but the outhouse in question had a sign on its door, “No Russians!”, but the 13 Russians just ignored it and crapped in it anyway.

The reason the Outhouse of American Democracy has the sign “No Russians!” is that Russia is the enemy. There aren’t any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy, and treating it as such is incredibly foolish and dangerous, but that’s beside the point. Painting Russia as the enemy serves a psychological need and not a rational one… Americans desperately need some entity onto which they can project their own faults. The USA is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, they say that Russia is a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. Traditionally, the USA meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, they say that the Russians meddle in US elections. The USA is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, they accuse the Russians of “aggression”… never-ending. If (for whatever stupid reason) Russia is actually America’s enemy, it makes sense that Americans would want to make it weaker and not stronger. Working to strengthen one’s enemy seems like a poor strategy. Yet, that’s what happened… the last two US administrations (Obama and Trump) both steadfastly aided and abetted Russia’s rise to greatness. Aiding and abetting the enemy is bad enough, but it’d also appear that they did so unwittingly. Thus, if Mueller really had the health and beauty of American democracy in his heart, he’d indict both the Obama and the Trump administrations for aiding and abetting the enemy through gross negligence. Here’s how the indictment would read:

One

The Obama administration falsely accused the Syrian government of carrying out an attack using chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August 2013 to find an excuse to attack and invade Syria. In fact, chemical weapons were part of that incident, but the Syrian government forces didn’t use them. Since the Syrian government had no interest either in using chemical weapons or in maintaining its chemical weapons stockpile, this gave Russia an opening to negotiate an international deal under which Syria surrendered its entire stockpile of chemical weapons, leading to their destruction, and international inspectors then certified Syria as being free of them. This incident showed Russia to be a trustworthy partner, able to resolve crises peacefully through negotiation, raising its stature in the world. It showed the USA to be a rogue state willing to use any means, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians, to justify its illegal use of force. Following Obama’s example, the Trump administration, soon after assuming office, used similar unverified accusations of a Syrian chemical weapons attack to bomb (ineffectually) a Syrian airbase using Tomahawk missiles.

Two

In February 2014, the Obama administration organised and carried out a bloody coup in Kiev, staging a massacre using foreign mercenaries, falsely accusing the Ukraine’s constitutional government of carrying it out, overthrowing it, and installing a puppet régime managed by the CIA and the US State Department. The Obama administration hid the nature of this régime, comprised of oligarchs and criminals allied with neo-Nazi groups, and which elevated to the status of national heroes perpetrators of genocide against Jews, Poles, and others during World War II, from the American public. However, because Russia and the Ukraine aren’t ethnically, linguistically, culturally, or religiously distinct, existing as a single entity through most of their history, most Russians understood what happened. The chaos and mayhem that followed the putsch gave the Russian government an opening to hold a referendum in the Crimea, which was briefly part of the Ukraine, but was part of Russia since 1783, to reclaim the territory. It also led to armed rebellion in the eastern Ukraine and the formation of two de facto independent republics there, making the Ukraine into a semi-defunct state that doesn’t control its own territory. All of these developments led to a tremendous surge of patriotic feeling among Russians, who felt proud of being able to reclaim what they saw as rightfully theirs and felt threatened by seeing the Ukraine once again fall to the fascists. True to form, the Trump administration continued Obama’s policy of Making Russia Great Again by providing the Ukrainian military with lethal weapons and advice.

Three

Although the Russian reintegration of the Crimea, based on an overwhelming victory in a popular referendum and a great showing of public support, was impeccably legal in upholding the Crimea’s right to self-determination (unlike NATO’s previous annexation of Kosovo), the Obama administration saw it fit to impose economic sanctions on Russia in retribution. These sanctions, together with Russia’s countersanctions on food exports from the EU, finally provided the impetus for Russia to break with the past pattern of exporting gas and oil and importing just about everything else, and to embrace a strategy of import replacement. This allowed Russia to become self-sufficient in many areas, such as oil and gas exploration and production technology, agriculture, and many other areas. Although Russia experienced a period of considerable economic difficulty that saw the purchasing power of the population dwindle substantially, Russia’s economy survived. The national leadership’s popularity didn’t suffer because most Russians understand what they’re fighting for and, given the barrage of negative news from the Ukraine, who their enemy is, and what would happen to them if they were to show weakness.

Four

Although the Trump administration mostly followed Obama’s example in Making Russia Great Again, the most recent round of anti-Russian sanctions, which the Trump administration didn’t impose but only announced, as required by an act of Congress, was inadvertently an act of pure genius. What Trump’s flunkies did was take the Kremlin directory and the Forbes list of Russia’s wealthiest individuals, and put them together into a single list of people. If they actually imposed these sanctions and not merely threaten them, those having any dealings with the individuals on this list would suffer legal repercussions. The plan’s brilliance is in two parts. Firstly, there are some differences of orientation among the members of the Kremlin administration… some were more US-oriented than others were. What this list did was make them look foolish in their hopes of ever appeasing the USA. Before, the USA had a few lukewarm champions inside the Kremlin; now, it has zero. Secondly, Russia had a problem with wealthy individuals moving their capital abroad, to Switzerland, to various offshore tax havens, and most notably to the USA (the money-laundering capital of the world). Now, Trump threatened them with wealth confiscation. At the same time, the Russian government extended a tax amnesty for those wishing to repatriate their capital. As a result, a flood of money is re-entering the Russian economy, giving it a major boost.

Once you put it all together, the charge against the last two US administrations for Making Russia Great Again by aiding and abetting it, unwittingly and through gross negligence, becomes compelling. Of course, there’s no chance at all that anybody will stand trial for it, but that may not be necessary. As shown by the #MeToo movement, it’s no longer necessary in contemporary America to prove a crime; a mere allegation is now sufficient to end careers and to ruin reputations. You can play this game too… of each US policy or initiative announced against Russia, ask yourself, “How is it going to help Make Russia Great Again?” It probably will.

20 February 2018

Dmitry Orlov

Cluborlov

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2018/02/make-russia-great-again-through.html

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Trump’s Vulgarity Points to a Painful Truth

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As if to open up the New Year in a blaze of controversy, the man who now sits in the US presidential office is said to have made some of his most flammable comments yet. No stranger to controversy, the Commander-in-Chief allegedly described Haiti and certain African countries as “shithole countries” in a meeting held to address immigration reform. Spontaneously, and almost as one, the world’s media erupted in a firestorm of outrage and rebuke, not, of course, without good reason. The UN condemned US President Donald Trump’s alleged comments in the strongest terms, as Patrick Gaspard, the US ambassador to South Africa under Barack Obama, reflected mournfully:

In the legion of absolutely outrageous things that this man has said and done, what occurred this past week has just tipped us over into a place of near-insanity.

One can empathise with Gaspard’s shock, in particular, as it is hard to imagine his former paymaster, Obama… a poised and polished speechmaker and an ardent and vocal advocate of global equality and integration… ever giving life to such vulgar and atavistic utterances. yet … whilst it’s safe to assume Obama would never describe other countries as “shitholes”, the briefest perusal of his international record suggests he didn’t have much of a problem in treating them like it. For every hour in his last year in office, he dropped on average of nearly three bombs on other countries. He expanded by 130 percent the number of military operators who were active internationally during the Bush administration. He launched attacks or military raids in country after country… Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. Under his watch, the use of drone technology became endemic.

Indeed, there’s something rather fitting about the use of the drone in the time of Obama.. a smooth, efficient, and utterly clinical form of murder and destruction which was, at the same time, eerily abstracted from the source, the people who had set it into motion. No longer soldiers on the ground, but professional analysts working in pristine sanitised offices, gazing into the hypnotic glow of gently flickering screens, thousands of miles removed from the stench and spatter of exploded bodies and shredded bones. The outrage towards the obscenity of the real visceral acts of mass slaughter in the Obama era seems strangely muted when compared with the recent response to the words of obscenity said to have been sputtered by bellicose, blundering, and tantrum-prone President Trump.

Perhaps, this is key… under Obama, all the routine murderousness of the Establishment… whether it be overseas in impoverished countries or the judicially sanctioned murder of so many disproportionately black youth back home… all of this was to some degree ameliorated by Obama’s progressive image. His smoothness, his intellect, his thoughtful charisma, that practised and polished bourgeois sense of respectability… not to forget, of course, the obligatory and subtle nod he gave to the great civil rights movement so some of its lustre might transfer itself to him.

Trump, on the other hand, brings all the ugliness to light in one vomitous belch after the next. To put it in Freudian terms, it’s as if he has come to represent the “id” of ruling class power, and it seems to me that liberals of the Obama-Clinton stripe despise him for this. They hate him not simply because he’s such an awful specimen, but because with heavy-handed arrogance and crass vulgarity Trump reveals naked truths about the political Establishment, about the deployment of its power, and the everyday racist, misogynistic, and murderous implications of that power. He represents the darkest, most atavistic “id” of the political ruling wing, bubbling up from the underbelly, breaching the progressive veneer; he embodies the ugly narcissistic rabid self-interest of a deformed minority… the very same thing liberalism expends all its powers on rendering invisible.

However, the liberal tradition has always been adept at keeping two sets of books. The man whom many consider its founding father, John Locke, would argue, with his breathless idealism, that the individual was “free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another”. At the same time, this paragon of liberty was himself an investor in one of the most grotesque and horrific projects of inhumanity and anti-freedom, that of the African slave trade. Less than a century later, the Founding Fathers drafted the 1787 constitution as a way by which they could consecrate “the blessings of liberty”. When the document is scrutinised in detail, various questionable sub-clauses, secreted away within the broader text, emerge. One sentence reads, for example:

No Person held to Service or Labour in One state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another … shall be delivered up on the claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Surely, this is the language of liberalism par excellence… there’s no mention of race, nothing overtly racist in it, and the dull precise legalese seems unobjectionable, almost snooze-worthy, when taken at a glance. However, when placed in the context of the time, the same words seem to curl and writhe like snakes once you realise the blackness which lies behind them; that person “held to Service or Labour” is, of course, the slave, and the “party” who claims such “service”… the slave owner. Such language is more than cynical; it’s horrific, in terms of its banality and bloodless emotion. Of course, it never uses the word “slave” itself, for that’d be too sharp, too vulgar, and too uncouth. Indeed, it’d point to the truth.

30 January 2018

Tony McKenna

al-Jazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/trump-vulgarity-points-painful-truth-180129113833746.html

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