Voices from Russia

Monday, 19 February 2018

19 February 2018. The Biter Bit… Here’s Where the USA Has Interfered in Elections (An Incomplete Accounting)

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If the “Russian hackers” deserve indictment… then, so do the Americans who took part in these election disruptions. One of those people is Hillary Clinton… fancy that. I’d say that her caterwauling and the bleats of the Hillarybots are disingenuous. She’s a criminal by her own definition. Talk about “being hoist on your own petard!” She interfered in foreign elections, therefore, according to her own rants, she deserves to sit in prison for the rest of her days. Be careful what you ask for… you might actually get it.

BMD

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Friday, 5 January 2018

Jill Stein in the Crosshairs: The Russiagate Investigation Shifts to Clinton’s Political Rivals

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Jill Stein had dinner with Putin, so… GET THE GUILLOTINE! That’s how we roll in this country now. Didn’t she know it’s illegal to eat with Russians?

Richard Baris

Twitter

The Russiagate investigation zeroed-in on Green Party candidate Jill Stein. That proves that the probe isn’t an attempt to determine whether Russia meddled in the 2016 elections, but a crude weapon to bully the political rivals of Hillary Clinton and her dissolute allies in the bureaucracy. On Monday, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) (chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee) said that the committee was “just starting to look at Ms Stein’s campaign as it continues its investigation of the Trump campaign”. According to the New York Times:

Democrats seethed for more than a year at Ms Stein, whose tens of thousands of votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania either exceeded or nearly matched Donald Trump’s margins of victory in those states, which delivered him the White House. At least in certain quarters, they greeted news of the queries enthusiastically.

Jesse Ferguson, a former Clinton campaign spokesman, said Americans ought to know if a presidential nominee, no matter how minor, was a Russian asset or that they simply boosted her in an effort to chip away Democratic votes from Clinton. He said:

Russian operatives weren’t promoting Jill Stein because they thought she’d win. They were promoting her because they thought it’d hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.

A “Russian asset?” Jill Stein is a “Russian asset?” How long are American liberals going to put up with this bullshit? How long before they wash the mud from their eyes and acknowledge what should be as plain as the nose on their face… their precious investigation of Donald Trump is nothing more than a witch-hunt to intimidate or destroy political rivals. Jill Stein’s persecution strips away the façade… exposing Russiagate as a complete fraud used to exact revenge on the adversaries of Hillary Clinton and her reprobate friends. Even the New York Times admits as much. Why is there no evidence of wrongdoing after more than a year of relentless non-stop investigations? Why are there just accusations, allegations, and baseless claims?

Take a hard look at the Stein case and you’ll understand why. The meat-puppet senators conducting these wretched show-trials don’t give a damn about the truth. They know the case against Stein is a complete fabrication. They also know they can carry on with complete impunity because the big money powerbrokers that pull their strings and order them about are beyond the reach of any legal accountability. That’s what’s really going on; the fatcat behind-the-scenes honchos are just settling scores for Hillary’s lost election. It’s payback time for the Clinton Mafia. Here’s more baloney from the Times:

Senate investigators are interested in unravelling what was behind the apparent closeness between Ms Stein, a Harvard-educated doctor and perennial Green Party candidate, and Russia.

Give me a break. Does anyone on the Senate Intelligence Committee honestly believe that Jill Stein is a Russian agent? Of course not. They’re just harassing her to send a message to the rest of us:

You’d better watch your step or we’ll trump up charges against you and make your life a living hell.

Isn’t that the message? You’re damn right it is! You call this “America?” Here’s a clip from an article by Danielle Ryan at “blacklisted” RT… you probably shouldn’t read it because it undoubtedly will transform you into a Russian agent or a Kremlin apologist:

This is a witch hunt. It’s neo-McCarthyism, plain and simple. The people who are outright calling Stein a Russian agent are making a complete mockery of themselves and of the American political process. Dragging Stein into this mess shows Clinton Democrats up for what they really are. It proves that the “Resist” crowd’s crusade isn’t just about Trump and “collusion”… it’s also about discrediting all dissenting American voices and establishing their own definition of what political opposition is supposed to look like. For the Clinton cult, it’s not supposed to look like Jill Stein. Anyone who disagrees with the Democrats is a Putin puppet… if you’ve ever been to Moscow, forget it… don’t even bother trying to defend yourself. Off with your head.

Bravo, Ryan! You nailed it, girl. It’s too bad America’s liberals don’t see things so clearly. The World Socialist Web Site also issued a statement condemning the attacks on Stein. As always, the WSWS is on the forefront of the issue while the other phoney liberal sites and pundits continue to support these thoroughly-corrupted and reactionary investigations. Here’s an excerpt from their statement:

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate in the 2016 election, by the neo-McCarthyite witch-hunters on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The attack on Stein, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is an unconstitutional attempt to delegitimise and suppress political opposition to the monopoly of the capitalist two-party system. In addition to the dinner hosted by RT, Stein, according to ranking committee Democrat Mark Warner, had “very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange”. For having spoken out publicly in support of a political prisoner and dissident, Stein is threatened with being hauled before a congressional committee as if she were involved in a treasonous activity. This is the Orwellian reality of America in 2017, ruled by two rightwing oligarchic parties that can and will tolerate no political opposition.

Imagine that… Stein actually spoke up for Assange, the highly-principled whistleblower who sacrificed his own freedom to expose the truth about Washington’s homicidal activities around the world? That has to be worth 30 years of hard labour at least! What a farce! Here’s more from the Times:

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the committee’s top Democrat, wouldn’t comment directly on the committee’s interest in Ms Stein, but pointed out that several of the interactions appeared to be consequential, saying, “I’ll point out though that Ms Stein was at the infamous dinner that included General Flynn and Vladimir Putin, and we do know that she has very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange, who certainly was being used by the Russians to take some of the hacked information and release it into our political system”. The disclosure that the committee is looking closely at Stein’s campaign is the latest indication that the Senate committee is still expanding its investigation as it nears the one-year mark.

Do you hear that, liberals? Do you hear what Warner is saying? Do you like the idea that the investigation is expanding and that the hectoring, harassing, and intimidating is going to continue for the foreseeable future and that it’s going to include anyone who admires men like Assange or Snowden or Manning or anyone who opposes the corrupt and murderous oligarchy that rules this stinking country? Do you like that idea? If you’re a liberal and you hate Donald Trump, then, you probably see the Russiagate investigation as your best chance to achieve the Golden Grail of “impeachment”. However, are you willing to compromise your principles, join forces with the sinister and unscrupulous Clinton cabal, and throw allies like Jill Stein under the bus to achieve your goal?

How high a price are you willing to pay to get rid of Trump?

That’s the question that every liberal in America should ask themselves. They’d better answer it fast before it’s too late.

28 December 2017

Mike Whitney

Counterpunch

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/28/jill-stein-in-the-crosshairs-the-russia-investigation-shifts-to-clintons-political-rivals/

Thursday, 4 January 2018

If Hillary Had Won, We’d Be Even Worse

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What if Hillary Clinton had won 114,000 more votes in four key states? Or, what if she’d picked up the two to three percent of the vote she lost because Bernie Sanders supporters sat on their hands on Election Day? She’d be “Clinton 2” or “Clinton 45” or “the second President Clinton”… and the world would look very different. In terms of personnel and therefore policy, a Clinton Administration II would look and feel like a mash-up of Obama’s third term and a throwback to figures that populated her husband’s White House during the 1990s. Having moved to the right since Bill’s first term, progressive figures like then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich would be out in the cold. Rahm Emanuel and Timothy Geithner could expect cabinet offers. Therefore, so could some Bush-era neocons like Robert Kagan. Hillary didn’t promise much change to domestic policy during her campaign. Her biggest proposal was to spend 275 billion USD (15.664 trillion Roubles. 1.783 trillion Renminbi. 17.415 trillion INR. 343.43 billion CAD. 350 billion AUD. 227.74 billion Euros. 202.72 billion UK Pounds) on infrastructure, which would’ve left us 1.3 trillion USD (74.046 trillion Roubles. 8.428 trillion Renminbi. 82.336 trillion INR. 1.624 trillion CAD. 1.655 trillion AUD. 1.077 trillion Euros. 958.35 billion UK Pounds) short of what we need. Not that she could have gotten it through a Republican Congress.

The alternate presidential history of 2017 differs most significantly in two respects… foreign policy and tone. Clinton’s liberal supporters always glossed over her long history of a hawkish, arguably far-right, approach to military matters. Those who mourn her loss to Trump today completely forgot that she convinced Obama to back military coups against the democratically-elected leaders of Honduras and Egypt. She also successfully advised Obama to arm and fund radical Islamist militias in Syria and Libya, plunging two modern Muslim countries into civil wars that reduced one of them to a failed state. Clinton’s famous cackle after a US drone blew up Libyan ruler Moammar Khaddafi’s convoy, leading to his being sodomised by a bayonet on video, is terrifying. Micah Zenko speculated in Foreign Policy in July 2016:

It’s impossible to know which national security crises she’d be forced to confront, of course, but those who vote for her should know that she’ll approach such crises with a long track record of being generally supportive of initiating US military interventions and expanding them.

Two months later, Clinton Ehrlich FP writer penned an astonishing look behind the Kremlin walls at the thinking of top Russian officials worried about the US election:

Moscow perceives the former secretary of state as an existential threat… That fear was heightened when Clinton surrogate Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, recently accused Putin of attempting to rig the US election through cyberattacks. That’s a grave allegation… the very kind of thing President Clinton might repeat to justify war with Russia.

Would Hillary’s tough talk have triggered World War III with Russia by now? Probably not. However, it isn’t impossible… which shows us how far right she stands politically on the use of the force. More likely and thus more worrisome, Hillary might have leveraged the current U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan into attacks against neighbouring Iran. Clinton said in 2008:

I want the Iranians to know, if I’m the president, we’ll attack Iran [if Iran were to attack Israel… even if there were no Congressional authorisation or a clear and present danger to the USA] And I want them to understand that… we’d be able to totally obliterate them [to retaliate for an attack on Israel].

Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran has a real military and thus a real ability to defend itself… that’d mean a long, costly, and possibly unwinnable war. Like Trump, Hillary would almost certainly authorise the construction, deployment, and use of more assassination drone planes.

The one arena where most people agree that President Clinton would be better than President Trump is presidential tone. Yes, “she does yell into microphones and speak in an overly enunciated voice… two factors that may make her seem abrasive”. However, this woman’s campaign assigned 12 staffers to compose a tweet; they went through ten drafts over ten hours. There wouldn’t be any Trump-style 0300 Twitter diarrhoea coming out of a Clinton White House.

When George W Bush was president, there wasn’t one morning I didn’t regret that Al Gore wasn’t there instead. Gore wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. He might not have gone into Afghanistan either. Unlike pretty much every other president, he cared about the environment. There isn’t a single moment I miss President Hillary Clinton, though. Trump is a disaster, a real piece of crap. However, everyone knows it. Because Trump is so loud, stupid, cruel, greedy, and corrupt, all liberals and not a few conservatives clearly discern the true nature of his administration, and of the system itself. If Hillary Clinton were president, the left would still be just as asleep as it was between 2008 and 2016. First woman president! Aren’t we just the best?

Meanwhile, drones fire their missiles, US troops and spooks prop up tyrants, and the filthy rich rake in their loot. Trump gives us clarity. That’s no small thing.

27 December 2017

Ted Rall

Counterpunch

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/27/if-hillary-clinton-had-won-wed-be-even-worse/

Sunday, 2 July 2017

SHAME on Conservatives Who Ridicule Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

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Socialism attracts young people because they reject the immorality of corporatism. Conservatives should find solace in this… not ridicule it. For at least 20 years, the mainstream Western political and academic narrative was that socialism is a failure. Many cite production deadlock, strikes, riots, and a punitive taxation system to justify these claims. However, the system that ended up supplanting socialism both as a governing economic force and as a viable mainstream opposition platform in the West has also failed and failed more miserably than any prior socioeconomic system. Corporatism, a logical result of neoliberal economics, rejects the cottage-industry style capitalism of people like Ron Paul and the classical Austrian economists. Therefore, in a true sense, it’s unfair to call it “capitalism”.

Unlike with Austrian economics, corporatism places no value on individual liberty, nor does it decry endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy either. Corporatism is to capitalism what the Manson Family is to a Norman Rockwell family painting… it’s a sick perversion. Likewise, corporatism doesn’t value the growth of a national economy, the steadying of national wealth, or the protection of national wealth from foreign hands. It’s unlike traditional market-protectionist economics or neo-mercantile thinking or what many now call sovereigntist economics. In this sense, it’s different from what I call conservative socioeconomics.

Corporatism is a series of interlocking oligarchic global corporations where production often occurs on different continents from where the profits are stored; furthermore, products themselves are often sold in multiple third locations. Corporatism has plenty of regulations and bureaucratic red tape, but all of it works in the favour of giant multinationals that often end up paying less tax than struggling middle-income individuals and families oppressed with socialist high taxation, whilst receiving none of the benefits of a real welfare state. There isn’t a moral, a national, or an individualist component in corporatism. In this sense, it rejects the morality of socialism, protectionism, and classical capitalism simultaneously.

While occasionally corporatist economics can result in a trickle-down effect for some ordinary people, if this ever happens, it’s generally short-lived. Corporatism’s Great Recession in 2007-08 was a testament to this phenomenon. The result has been that many middle-income middle-aged people turned to sovereigntist/protectionist conservative politicians who reject the multinationalism of corporatism and the collectivism of socialism equally. In addition, people in all age groups have begun to revisit classic capitalism as defined by the Austrian school of economics. Generally, the connection this school makes between individual liberty and economic liberality attracts these people.

Socialism has had a revival too, and one of the biggest constituent parts of this new socialist coalition has been the young, although it’s a very different kind of youth than those who previously voted for classical leftist parties. Throughout much of the 20th century, leftist voters came from the heart of suburban industry and, of course, the urban proletariat also. In the USA, this was the so-called “Rust Belt” states and in Europe, this was generally in the big industrial cities outside of the more urbane capitals (Marseilles, Calais, Birmingham, Glasgow, etc). It was only logical that working-class voters would vote for parties with an emphasis on the morality of treating working-class people with economic and social dignity and fairness.

However, today’s socialist core voters are very different. Although what remains of a western industrial base still often vote for politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, an increasing amount of young people from struggling middle-income families are turning to ideas that previously had appeal among the working-classes and those of other classes who for moral, intellectual, or spiritual reasons turned to socialism. These young people aren’t classical socialists, but they’re victims of corporatism. They’ve found that the first proper job in life hardly pays enough to make it worth considering and that the comfortable middle-income jobs of their parents’ generation have either gone overseas or become reserved exclusively for a highly connected upper-middle-class set, beyond simply having a decent income and ability to work hard for an honest first-world pay-cheque.

They’ve found that the neoliberal myth that having a university education guarantees good employment was simply a lie to force young people to take out insanely high loans to pay a university, which was, in fact, a business disguised as a place of learning. They’ve also come to the realisation that many of the comforts of middle-income life were because working-class people created wealth. Now, that wealth comes from foreign factories. All of these factors have led young people to turn to socialism for moral and personal reasons rather than more broad economic beliefs.

It is difficult for socialism to work in a non-industrial society. Socialism relies on working-class labour to create wealth in the same way that conservative economics relies on investment into national (rather than global) industry to initially create wealth. However, a healthy working-class is indispensable to proper moral conservative socioeconomics also. One must remember that conservative policies didn’t create the Irish famine of the 1840s and 1850s, but rather the adoption of liberal free trade by the British state, which ruled Ireland at the time.

With few Western countries having any national wealth and with millionaires conveniently and legally offshoring their money, it’s difficult to see how socialism can achieve anything in the 21st century West unless it takes the crucial step to use the resources of the state to build new factories and pass protectionist laws to keep the wealth they generate flowing on the home front. However, these longer-term economic issues are of little consequences to many young enthusiastic supporters of people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, who unlike Sanders, will almost certainly attain the highest political office in his country. These voters are drawn to the moral message of socialism and this should not be condemned callously, even by conservative protectionists like myself. Instead, we should praise it.

The only way society can ever retain its traditional values is by embracing anyone who rejects the immoral ideologies of globalism, liberalism, and corporatism. While I personally prefer a mixed system, what Deng Xiaoping called “market socialism”, I’m nevertheless sympathetic to those who turn to classical socialism, even though I fully reject the dogma of radical wealth distribution and the rejection of traditional conservative values that many socialists preach. However, in this case, socialism is a healthy first step towards rejecting neoliberalism and allowing a path back to conservatism to form. In many ways, it’s the opposite of the Marxist historical world view, where we have to go back from corporatism to socialism to then step back to conservatism, in each case along the way one must realise our return to past values while combining such thought with contemporary realities. In this sense, one can be both a reactionary and a pragmatic modernist simultaneously. This is the essence of any mixed socioeconomic system rejecting the dogmas of progressive thinking for the sake of modernity alone.

This obviously assumes that it isn’t full communism but full corporatism that is the final “end” of economics. Here, Marx got it wrong; Oswald Spengler (a conservative) got it right. History has proved this; it isn’t a theory. After Russia attempted communism between 1917 and 1991, Russia then turned to corporatism for the remainder of the 1990s. Today, Russia is taking certain socialist elements of the past such as higher pensions and better funding for public services vis-à-vis the 1990s, while ultimately returning to a modern version of patriotic conservative socioeconomics.

If the West is to attempt to save itself, it must follow the same path. Whilst my view is that the October Revolution was a crime against humanity, I nevertheless wept in the 1990s at photos of old women, too thin for their age, carrying photos of Stalin as they protested the piratical liberal economics of Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. Indeed, if Russia were ever to return to a fraction of its pre-1917 conservatism, both conservatives and those holding placards of Stalin while protesting the Yeltsin régime would have to oppose the liberal corporatists of the 1990s.

This is why conservatives who ridicule supporters of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn ought to really step back from their position of arrogance. The young people voting for Sanders and Corbyn may often be odd in their appearance and the idea that they’d want to radically redistribute wealth might be horrifying. Their lack of God is also deeply sad for conservative believers. However, in finding Corbyn, these young people are rejecting the same immoral Godlessness inherent in neoliberalism that true conservatives reject. They’re looking for morality, they’re looking for ethics, they’re looking for community, and they’re looking for family. The authentic conservative solution is the best way to find each, but if they support socialism, which for all of its faults is still endlessly more moral than liberalism/corporatism, then we should wish them well whilst respectfully offering them a respectable conservative alternative.

1 July 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/shame-on-conservatives-who-ridicule-supporters-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-bernie-sanders/

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