Hillary Clinton

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So Much for a Return to Normal under Joe Biden

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 4:38pm in

Voters are being told that Joe Biden would bring in a restoration of normalcy that existed before Donald Trump. But what’s normal about a guy who is this old becoming president?

From Superpredators to Black Lives Matter: Hillary Clinton’s Opportunistic Career Arc

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 1:16am in

After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, a spontaneous nationwide movement of millions of people protesting racist policing has gripped the country. Politicians of all stripes have staked out their positions, condemning, endorsing, or trying to co-opt the radical movement. The latest of these is failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former New York senator published her thoughts on her on Medium blog, where she appeared to endorse the Black Lives Matter movement, something she has previously stayed well clear of doing. “George Floyd’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s lives mattered. Black lives matter,” she began by stating.

“I promise to keep fighting alongside all of you to make the United States a place where all men and all women are treated as equals, just as we are and just as we deserve to be,” she added, positioning herself on the same side as the protestors, many of whom are demanding the abolition of the police. Clinton commended the amazing “power of solidarity” she had seen and promised to “speak out against white supremacy in all its forms,” declaring that America is long overdue for “an honest reckoning” with its racism problem.


Inconvenient Truths

However, an honest reckoning with Clinton’s past unearths a myriad of troubling incidents and positions that are difficult to square with her newfound radical antiracist stance. She supported her husband and Joe Biden’s 1994 Crime Bill that led to an explosion in mass incarceration across the country. In 1996, she went further, using well-established racial dog whistles to argue that a new class of people had emerged in America: that of the superpredators, stating:

We need to take these people on, they are often connected to big drug cartels, they are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators. No conscience. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heel.”

In practice, this largely meant young men of color, and was part of the “New Democrats’” swing to the right, turning against working-class people and racial minorities.

US incarceration rate

Source | Wikimedia Commons

Clinton has hardly been an ally to black people outside the United States either. In 1998, she supported her husband’s missile strike on a Sudanese drug factory, a largely forgotten attack that the German Ambassador to Sudan estimated killed “several tens of thousands” of civilians by depriving them of much-need medicines. President Clinton also continued George H. W. Bush’s destruction of a fledgling democracy in Haiti, giving his support to the removal of the newly elected head of state Jean-Bertrand Aristide. After the 2010 earthquake that wrecked the country, Clinton, in her role as Secretary of State, presided over what amounted to a U.S. invasion and occupation of the island, one whose consequences reverberate to this day.

In Libya too, Clinton pushed for a supposedly humanitarian intervention in the country, cajoling other nations into complying. Leaked emails show that she was aware that the extremist groups they were funding were carrying out massacres against black Libyans and that NATO was committing war crimes. However, she was triumphant in her achievement; speaking of the deposed and executed head of state, Muammar Gaddafi, she laughed, stating, “We came, we saw, he died!” Today, the extremist groups who control the country regulate open slave markets where black Africans are bought and sold.


When do black lives matter?

Despite her new proclamations that black lives matter, it is unclear whether activists will accept her apparent change of heart. For one, a leaked 2015 Democratic Party memo on dealing with Black Lives Matter told members to “listen to their concerns” but instructed them clearly: “don’t offer support for concrete policy positions.” Black Lives Matter responded to the leak, stating they were “disappointed at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s placating response,” adding that “black communities deserve to be heard, not handled.”

Clinton herself was accosted by Black Lives Matter activists during her 2016 election campaign, who asked her to apologize for the mass incarceration state she helped build. “I am not a superpredator,” one told her.

From same-sex marriage to trade to Iraq, Clinton has often changed her positions in tune with what is politically expedient. In reality, any “honest reckoning” would involve taking a look at her own hand in upholding and enforcing structural racism across the country and the world.

Feature photo | Hillary Clinton winks as she speaks to Lesley McSpadden, right, the mother of Michael Brown, while working the rope line during a campaign stop at a union hall on Dec. 11, 2015, in St. Louis. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in Aug. 2014 setting off the Black Lives Matter movement. Jeff Roberson | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post From Superpredators to Black Lives Matter: Hillary Clinton’s Opportunistic Career Arc appeared first on MintPress News.

BLM Protests – Brillo Retweets Far Right Conspiracy Theorist

Remember when Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neil had Alex Jones on his programme years ago? This resulted in farce when Neil asked the right-wing, Libertarian Jones about guns and the high rate of shootings in America. I think it came in the wake of yet another crazed gunman going into a school, shopping mall, church, synagogue or mosque or somewhere and shooting innocents. The right to bear arms is sacrosanct to Republicans and Libertarians, and so Jones responded with a long rant about how Americans will never give their firearms up and that there’d be another 1776 if anyone like Britain tried. He then started screaming nonsense, including ‘metal shark!’ at one point. The camera pulled away from Jones to show Brillo making the ‘nutter’ sign behind his head.

It’s a debatable but fair question whether Jones is mad. He’s promoted some immensely stupid theories, like the Democrat Party operating a paedophile ring out of a Boston pizza parlour, that Obama was the Antichrist, Hillary Clinton a Satanist cyborg, and that the world is being run by ‘the Globalists’ intent on enslaving humanity and turning us all into dehumanised cyborgs to serve demons or malevolent aliens. He is most notorious for ranting about how ‘they’ were putting chemicals in the water ‘to turn the frickin’ frogs gay’. He’s been widely ridiculed for that, but as Blissex, one of the great commenters on this blog reminded me on another post about Jones, he does have a point. Frogs and other amphibians are suffering from industrial pollutants that mimic female hormones and so cause reproductive abnormalities in males. Jones pushes all manner of outlandish theories, but some people have said that off-air he’s calm and rational, and his bizarre antics on camera may just be to garner viewers.

Whatever the real state of Jones’ mind, Brillo is now no longer in a position to sneer at Jones for pushing whacky and dangerous conspiracy theories. Because now he’s done it himself. Yesterday Zelo Street reported that Neil had taken exception to criticism of his comments on a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Colorado, and retweeted the bonkers comments by Spectator USA contributor Andy Ngo. Nadine Batchelor-Hunt had responded to his approving comments about the demonstration in Colorado by telling him that as a White guy, he shouldn’t be telling Black people how to protest. This is essentially the same point some Black Civil rights leaders in America in the 1960s told their White supporters when they said they should ‘be in their own space’. The result was the formation of a radical, White, working-class identity movement, which was crucially anti-racist as some of the White poor turned to their own situation and demanded change. I can’t see Brillo, former editor of the Sunday Times, the Economist and head of the Spectator board, wanting to see that develop. He replied “Looks like most of the folks protesting are white. I’m not telling anybody what they should do; just approving of a particular form of protest. Why make an issue of my colour. I don’t take kindly to what people tell me I should or should not do”.

Zelo Street commented that this was a remark from his privileged perspective. I think however, that Neil has the right to make whatever comment he likes about the protest. It might seem condescending, but people have the right to their own opinions whatever colour they are. But then the great newsman went overboard, and retweeted this from the Speccie’s sister paper.

“‘We are witnessing glimmers of the full insurrection the far-left has been working toward for decades. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was merely a pre-text for radicals to push their ambitious insurgency,’ writes [Andy Ngo]”.

Ngo is a member of the American far right, despite being Asian. He wrote a farcical piece about Islam in Britain, ‘A Visit to Islamic Britain’ for Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and has hosted the infamous Carl Benjamin, the man who broke UKIP, on his podcast. Zelo Street commented that it was shameful for the Speccie to give Ngo a platform, and even more so for Brillo to retweet him. They also wondered if BBC News and Current Affairs would take a dim view of being linked with Ngo through Neil. And this is apart from some of the deeply unpleasant characters who write for the British Spectator, like the anti-Semitic supporter of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, Taki.

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/06/brillo-boosts-far-right.html

The American far right is riddled with bizarre conspiracy theories. When Obama was ensconced in the Oval Office there were any number of loons proclaiming that he was an anti-White racist who would immediately launch a genocide of Whites. Or that he was closet Muslim, who would impose the Shariah. Or a Nazi, Communist or militant atheist. Jones ranted that Obama would become absolute dictator by declaring a state of emergency, suspending the rule of law and forcing Americans into FEMA camps. It didn’t happen. There are also loony conspiracy theories going around the American and British right about ‘cultural Marxists’ trying to create a new Communist dictatorship through destroying traditional, Christian morality and replacing it with multiculturalism and gay and trans rights. It’s a garbled misreading of Gramsci’s theories of hegemony, and ultimately has its roots in the Nazis’ denunciation of ‘cultural Bolshevism’.

But I’ve got a feeling that the Spectator USA always was a haven for demented conspiracy theories. Way back in the 1990s a magazine with a very similar name, The American Spectator, and a group of Sunday Times journos, got it into their heads that Bill Clinton was at the heart of a vast criminal conspiracy. They believed that Slick Willy was importing drugs from Latin America through a secret airbase in Arizona. Anyone who crossed or otherwise displeased him was then executed by his gangsters. This theory was partly based on the real fact that about 19 of his aides had died, but investigations had shown that their demise had absolutely nothing to do with Clinton. The conspiracy theories were even later denounced and ridiculed by a former believer, one of the ‘Clinton Crazies’. Adam Curtis has discussed this bizarre affair in one of his excellent documentaries.

It looks to me that The American Spectator was a previous incarnation of The Spectator USA, and that, despite the Clinton Crazies having come and gone, there still is a paranoid mentality out there. And Brillo, as former editor of the Sunday Times, and head of the Spectator’s board, shares it.

You don’t have to invoke non-existent conspiracies to explain the protests and riots in America. They come from endemic racism, poverty and lack of opportunity, quite apart from the casual killing of Black Americans by the police. This has been simmering away for several years. Now it’s exploded again. What is needed is calm, rationality and justice.

What we don’t need is more stupid, inflammatory rhetoric by Trump, Ngo or Brillo.

“We are so F****d”: Joe Biden Town Hall Sparks Fears of a Clinton Rerun

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 2:50am in

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden held a public online discussion with 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton yesterday, where she officially endorsed him for president. The 55-minute long event was branded a “women’s town hall,” as the two veteran Washington insiders discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women in particular. 

“I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed you to be our president,” Clinton announced from her home. “Just think what a difference it would make right now if we had a president who not only listened to the science — put facts over fiction — but brought us together, showed the kind of compassion and caring that we need from our president and which Joe Biden has been exemplifying throughout his entire career.” 

Throughout the conversation, where Biden positioned himself as a champion of women and an ally to the #MeToo movement, neither Clinton or Biden addressed the multiple women who have accused the former vice-president of inappropriate touching, nor the newest allegations by his former staffer, Tara Reade, who claims he sexually assaulted her in the Capitol Building in 1993. 

Biden has been adamant that he will select a woman as his running mate and that he will choose someone from the right of the party (even floating the idea of choosing a Republican VP). Yesterday’s event fueled speculation that Clinton is in the running to return to the White House. The former senator from New York famously blew an enormous lead over Donald Trump – enjoying a 15-point advantage over the businessman and TV show host as late as the last week of campaigning. In October, a Morning Consult poll found that continued apathy and ill will towards her meant that a Clinton endorsement would be a net negative for any of the candidates in the running. Thus, some described the latest announcement as a “kiss of death” for the Biden campaign. 

The women’s town hall did not go particularly smoothly, with the participants not realizing they were live for almost 25 seconds. Biden also appeared to momentarily fall asleep as Clinton was talking. The former Delaware senator stormed into the lead on Super Tuesday, winning the majority of the states on offer, but has still found it difficult to engage and extend his message online. His YouTube channel that broadcast the event has only 47,000 subscribers (in comparison, Donald Trump has 381,000 and Bernie Sanders has nearly 400,000). As of Wednesday, the town hall has 60,000 views and more than double the dislikes as likes. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has raged particularly hard through the United States, with official figures showing more than one million Americans have been infected and over 59,000 dead. However, other projections suggest far higher numbers than official reports. Nearly half of all New Yorkers, for instance, know someone who has already died of the virus. For weeks, President Trump insisted the coronavirus was a “hoax” intended to force him out of the White House, claiming in February that, by April and the warmer weather, that the virus would “disappear.” Last week he also promoted the idea of injecting bleach into the human body as a cure, saying at a press conference:

I see disinfectant, where it knocks it [coronavirus] out in a minute—one minute—and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it [coronavirus] gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Pence visited a hospital in Minnesota yesterday, refusing to wear even a mask. 

Americans appear unable to choose between the two options placed before them, in what is increasingly looking like a rerun of the 2016 contest. A survey from Quinnipiac University last week found that Biden enjoyed a small lead over Trump in the key battleground state of Florida. However, only two percent of respondents claimed they would not vote – an impossibly low number. Biden’s supporters are far less enthusiastic than Trump’s, and it remains uncertain that he can convert his small lead into a political victory. Jamie Peck, a journalist, and producer of the Majority Report political program, summed up the mood among progressives watching the events of 2020 play out: “we are so fucked,” she tweeted

Feature photo | Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets Vice President Joe Biden on the tarmac at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pa., Aug. 15, 2016, before traveling together to a campaign event in Scranton, Pa. Carolyn Kaster | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, Common Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post “We are so F****d”: Joe Biden Town Hall Sparks Fears of a Clinton Rerun appeared first on MintPress News.

Paul Joseph Watson Butthurt Berserk ‘Cos Piers Morgan Won’t Debate Him

More hilarity now, though it’s unintentional and comes courtesy of Alex Jones’ British pal, Paul Joseph Watson. Jones is the bonkers American conspiracy theorist responsible for Infowars. This was the internet show that told its audience that the globalists were going to take over the world, stripping us of our freedoms and even our humanity. Obama was going to declare a state of emergency and force Americans in FEMA camps, commencing the mass cleansing of the population. The Democrats were all secretly Satanists and paedophiles. They and big business were in league with aliens/ and or demons to take over the world and create the one-world Satanic superstate of fundamentalist Christian end times theology. Barack Obama was declared to be the Antichrist because he smelt and had flies buzzing round him. Hillary was a lesbian cyborg, who practised witchcraft. NASA was running child slave labour camps on Mars. Feminists and gay rights activists are transhumanists, who want to turn everybody into gender neutral cyborgs. They’re coming to take away Americans’ guns. And the government is putting things in the water that ARE TURNING THE FRICKIN’ FROGS GAY.

It’s a fair question whether Jones actually believes any of this rubbish, or is just exploiting it for the sake of viewers. He was one of the major purveyors of the batshit insane conspiracy theories that are a genuine threat to decent political life. Thanks to Jones’, the bereaved parents of children murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre have been subject to abuse because Jones declared that the massacre didn’t happen and they were just ‘crisis actors’. A Boston pizza parlour has also been subject to abuse and even an intrusion from an armed man after Jones declared that it was at the centre of a Democrat paedophile ring and that the abuse children were kept in a dungeon in the basement. It isn’t, and there is no basement and no children. The gunman had been taken in by Jones’ bilge, and  had come to free the kids he genuinely believed were imprisoned there. After being shown he was wrong, he gave himself up peacefully. It’s a mercy that no-one was killed.

Thanks to antic like the above, Jones has been thrown off a series of internet platforms so that his public profile, and his income, have taken a massive hit. And Paul Joseph Watson, after hanging out with him, has returned to Blighty. He was one of the three, who managed to destroy UKIP under Gerard Batten. When he and another two internet personalities from the far right, Mark ‘Count Dankula’ Meechan and Carl ‘Sargon of Akkad’ Benjamin joined UKIP, prompting those of more moderate views to walk out. The party was already losing members to Farage’s latest vehicle for his colossal political ego, the Brexit Party, and the entry of Watson, Benjamin and Meechan just about finished it off.

Coarse jokes have been made about the precise nature of the relationship between Jones and Watson. One theory is that Watson split from Jones because of the latter’s views about Britain’s NHS. One commenter to a video about Jones and Watson jokingly suggested that Watson was over here because he was tired of being the object of the sexual attentions of Jones and one of the others at Infowars. But whatever the reason, Watson is over here, he’s looking for attention, and he’s angry. And to everyone else, it’s hilarious.

Zelo Street has posted up a rip-roaring piece about Watson going berserk at Piers Morgan on Twitter. Watson wants to debate him, but Morgan’s got better things to do like torment the government in interviews, and has simply blocked him. This has sent the man dubbed ‘Twatson’ by his detractors into what Molesworth used to describe as ‘a fearful bate’. And so he’s poured forth a stream of abuse directed at Morgan on Twitter, beginning with this delightful message.

“Cowardly little bitch. Afraid of the fact that I’m more popular and definitely more attractive than you. Mercenary twat. Debate me, you yellow belly crusty boomer sellout fraud cuck wanker dickhead”.

And there’s more, much more. He rants that Morgan is afraid to debate him because he’s more intelligent, youthful and handsome. And his spirit animal is some kind of bird of prey. He’s not a misogynist, because when he was at school his mother and grandmother would beat up any kid who picked on him. Nor is he an INCEL. He has no trouble picking up girls, especially Muslims. That still doesn’t alter the fact that he is anti-feminist, and has very islamophobic views.

One of the staples of comedy is a character massively losing their temper, like Donald Duck in some of the Disney cartoons. There’s a similar comedic value in watching Watson explode at Piers Morgan’s refusal to get drawn into debating him. Although perhaps we shouldn’t laugh. As Frankie Howerd used to say, ‘Oh, don’t mock. Doooon’t mock! It’s rude to mock the afflicted.’  But faced with such a massive tantrum, it’s very had to follow Howerd’s command of ‘titter ye not’.

Zelo Street concludes their article about this with ‘Piers Morgan is, for all his faults, successful and well-off. And Paul Watson … isn’t.’ And it’s sending Watson up the wall to the immense amusement of everyone else.

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/04/prison-planet-manhood-meltdown.html



Chief Rabbi Tells AIPAC Why He Told People Not to Vote for Corbyn

Unfortunately, Melanie Phillips wasn’t the only person this week violating the provisions of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in Israel’s favour. So was Ephraim Mirvis, the world’s worst Chief Rabbi. Mirv appeared in the page of the wretched right-wing libel sheet, the Jewish Chronicle, talking about his speech to AIPAC explaining why he told the British Jewish public not to vote for Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn. AIPAC is one of the very largest pro-Israel lobbying organisation in America. The largest is Ted Hagee’s equally vile Christians United for Israel, but AIPAC is extremely influential. Leading American politicos, including presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton, have appeared before it, pledging their undying support for Israel and seeking the organisation’s endorsement. And its leaders include such charmless nerks as Sheldon Adelson. Adelson’s a casino billionaire, who has apparently made it public that his first loyalty is to Israel. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism says it is anti-Semitic to accuse Jews of being more loyal to a foreign country. For the vast majority of Jews, this is undoubtedly the case – they’re loyal citizens and accusing them of such disloyalty would be anti-Semitic. But in Adelson’s case, apparently, it’s true.

Mirv’s Violation of IHRA Anti-Semitism Definition

Mirv declared that Prime Ministers of Israel and key Jewish leaders have been graciously and warmly welcomed at No. 10 under the Conservatives. As Mike points out in his article, they’ve also been welcomed by Labour leaders. One of these was Tony Blair, who received considerable backing from the Israel lobby, which is probably one of the reasons why the Blairites were able to make such an alliance with the Israel lobby in the Labour Party to attack Corbyn. He then went on to ask rhetorically “What would happen if the next incumbent was Jeremy Corbyn? What would the consequences be for Jews and Judaism and the State of Israel?” As Mike also points out, that also violates another stipulation of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism – that Jews should not be identified with Israel.

Unfortunately, Zionists do it all the time. Netanyahu passed a law nearly a decade ago making all Jews everywhere automatically citizens of Israel. Many Jews weren’t impressed. There are very many Israel critical and anti-Zionist Jews. These include ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews, who believe it is their God-given duty to remain in exile and work for the good of the countries in which they live, until the Messiah comes to restore Israel. This cannot be the work of a secular state, which is an abomination. They’re a growing section of the British Israeli population. In a few years they will account for a third of it, and will have overtaken the United Synagogue as the largest section of British Jewry. Other Jews are critical of Israel from a belief in traditional liberal Jewish values, and despise the country for its barbarous ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. And these are also a growing part of the American Jewish population. An increasing number of American Jewish young people have no interest in Israel, or actively oppose it because of its treatment of the Palestinians. Enrollment in the heritage tours, which the Israeli state gives American school leavers so that they can visit Israel, is falling. One Jewish American, commenting on Netanyahu’s wretched citizenship law, said it was ludicrous that he, who had been born in Anchorage in Alaska, was a member of country he’d never been to, while his friend, a Palestinian, had no right to return to the country of his birth. And this opposition to Israel is shared by Jews, who have experienced genuine anti-Semitism.

Chief Rabbinate and Board of Deputies Not Representative of British Jewry

And then there’s the claim of the Zionist Jewish establishment to represent all of Britain’s Jews. Er, no, they really don’t. The Jews have never been a monolithic community. That’s a fantasy of anti-Semites. They’re as disparate and varied in their attitudes, opinions and values as every other ethnic or religious group. As Jewish bloggers like Tony Greenstein and David Rosenberg have pointed out, the Board of Deputies really only represents the United Synagogue. And its questionable how many of them it represents. Some synagogues don’t allow women to vote, others have sitting deputies whom they haven’t changed for years. And the Board’s constitution explicitly defines itself as a Zionist organisation, so non-Zionists need not apply. And needless to say, as they’re based on the synagogues, they don’t represent that third of British Jewry that is secular. But never mind. Once upon a time ’twas said that the Anglican Church was the Tory party at prayer. That was true at one time, as the Tory party stood for the monarchy, the established church and the landed aristocracy. But since Thatcher the Anglican Church has also criticised Tory policy on poverty, leading to disputes between the Tories and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It now seems that the Anglican Church is no longer such a staunch upholder of Conservatism. That role now seems to have been taken over by the United Synagogue, who can always be relied on to produce another anti-Semitism smear against Labour when the Tories are in trouble.

As for the Chief Rabbinate, as Mike has said on his blog, traditional Jewish theology and law stipulates that no rabbi’s opinion is any better than any other rabbi’s. And so when Mirvis speaks, it could be said that he speaks for himself alone, or rather, just himself and those who choose to share his opinions. The old retort Winston Churchill once gave a member of the House Lords therefore seems to apply to him: ‘The honourable member represents only himself, and I don’t like his constituency’.

Mirvis himself is a true-blue Tory, and welcomed the ascension of Tweezer as Prime Minister. He is also very much a Zionist thug. He and his predecessor, the noxious ‘Reform Jews are enemies of the faith’ Jonathan Sacks, both led British contingents to the annual March of the Flags in Jerusalem. That’s the unedifying occasion when ultra-patriotic Israeli boot-boys go marching through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem, waving the Israeli flag around, vandalising Palestinian property and terrorising the locals. Sacks was requested by a liberal Jewish organisation not to go. He ignored them.

Jews Safe and Respected Under Corbyn

Not every Tory was happy about Mirvis’ decision to attack Corbyn. Simon Kelner wrote a piece in the I attacking it, stating that if Corbyn did win the election, nothing would happen to Britain’s Jews. There would be no riots, no pogroms. Now Kelner promoted the anti-Semitism smears as enthusiastically as all the other Fleet Street hacks. And in writing his piece he may well have been afraid that Corbyn would get in, and Mirv’s predictions of rampant Jew-hatred would have been exposed as the fearmongering it was. And as a consequence, the reputation of Chief Rabbinate would have been very badly damaged.

But Kelner would have been right. Nothing would have happened to Britain’s Jews under a Corbyn administration, because neither Corbyn nor his supporters are anti-Semites. Quite the opposite – Corbyn has always worked for the Jewish community. And he would have continued to do so. What would have happened is that Israel would have come under pressure to obey UN resolutions regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. And the ability of the Israel lobby to smear critics of Israel as anti-Semites would be severely damaged.

Jews Historically Indifferent or Opposed to Israel and Zionism

As for the relationship between British Jews and Israel, my guess is that the situation would have gone back to that pre-1969 and the launch of the Neo-Con project. William Kristol announced it in an American Jewish magazine as a method for encouraging Americans, and that included American Jews, to support Israel. Norman Finkelstein, that redoubtable Jewish American critic of Zionism, has pointed out that Kristol launched Neo-Conservatism because American Jews weren’t interested in Israel. They had no interest going to an unknown country, when they could make comfortable lives for themselves in America. David Rosenberg has said that until World War II, Zionism was a tiny minority in European Jewish opinion. Most Jews wished to remain in the nations of their birth, as equal citizens. The slogan of the Jewish socialist party, the Bund, was ‘Wherever we live, that’s our homeland!’. My guess is that British Jews have the same attitude. The Balfour Declaration was opposed by the British Jewish establishment, as they wanted Jews to be, and to be seen as, patriotic fellow Brits. They did not want to be accused of being foreign or having divided loyalties, and felt very strongly that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine would lead to such anti-Semitic accusations. If British Jews migrated, my guess is that most of them would have gone to the same destinations as their gentile counterparts – America, or one of the White majority Commonwealth countries – Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Jews have been dinkum  Ozzies since the 19th century. In the 1870s Rabbi Davis of the Sydney Synagogue took part in a rally against the enslavement of the indigenous Polynesians along with his Christian compatriots in the Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches. According to Patridge’s Dictionary of Historical Slang, the Australian term ‘Cobber’ comes from the Hebrew ‘Cobar’, which means ‘comrade’. If Corbyn had got in, it’s possible that all that would have resulted is that more Jews would have become indifferent to Israel. An attitude that’s probably growing anyway.


Mike in his piece on Mirv’s wretched speech asks if the Chief Rabbi is more concerned about representing Israeli racism than Britain’s Jews. I don’t think Mirvis is able to distinguish between Judaism and Israel, so taken is he with the Zionist lie that the two are one and the same. And at present, the absolute, uncritical support he and the Board demand for Israel does mean supporting racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

An increasing number of British Jews, including those who consider themselves Zionist, oppose this. But it seems that Mirvis really doesn’t represent them.

Is the UK’s Chief Rabbi more concerned with supporting Israeli racism than Jewish people?




Sanders Ahead of Biden in Race for Democratic Nomination

Great news from across the Pond! According to a brief report in today’s I, Bernie Sanders is ahead of Joe Biden for nomination as the Democratic candidate for the presidency in a poll in New Hampshire. The report reads

Surveys suggest US senator Bernie Sanders and former vice-president Joe Biden are locked in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Mr Sanders led a poll of New Hampshire voters with 25 per cent support. Mr Biden is on 16 per cent, according to a poll by CNN and the University of New Hampshire.

The American left-wing magazine, Counterpunch, had a piece about this last Friday by David Swanson. He stated that CNN had broadcast a very biased debate the week before intended to discredit Bernie’s campaign. The poll was intended to show CNN how successful they’d been. But they hadn’t. Support for Bernie was up 7 per cent, and down 2 per cent each for Biden and Warren. Swanson reports that Bernie won in the following categories, writing

Among men the winner is Bernie.
Among women the winner is Bernie.
Among whites the winner is Bernie.
Among non-whites the winner is Bernie.
Among registered voters the winner is Bernie.
Among those paid less than $50k the winner is Bernie.
Among those paid more than $50k the winner is Bernie.
Among non-college graduates the winner is Bernie.
Among college graduates the winner is Bernie.
Among non-white college graduates the winner is Bernie.
Among 18-49 year olds the winner is Bernie.
Among independents the winner is Bernie.
Among liberals the winner is Bernie.
Among those with their minds made up the winner is Bernie.
Among those without their minds made up the winner is Bernie.

Biden, by contrast, is only the winner among White college students, the over 45s, Democrats and moderates.

CNN asked people which candidate agreed the most on the issue that mattered to them, and who best understood the problems facing them. The answer to both was Bernie. But they reported that most people responded Biden when asked which candidate would best unite the Democrat party. This is highly questionable, as Biden is hugely offensive to large numbers of people. The broadcaster also reports that Biden is the candidate with the best chance of beating Trump. This is probably because the public has been told that Biden will, over and over.

Swanson concludes, however, that CNN’s bias is counterproductive. If people know that CNN wants them to vote against Bernie, then CNN has lost and Bernies wins. And Bernie should win, as he has the most support. But CNN has got to obscure that.

The good news is that what CNN tells people is becoming the opposite of effective. If CNN and its fellow corporate media outlets can convince people to vote against their own interests and to imagine that they came up with that idea themselves, Bernie Sanders is done. But if word leaks out that it’s CNN telling people to vote the way CNN wants, then CNN is done, and Bernie Sanders is headed to the White House.

The most electable candidate is the candidate with the most support. Only if this simple fact can be successfully hidden, can CNN continue its role as overseer of elections.

See: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/24/cnn-poll-sanders-is-the-most-electable/

Although Sanders is running for the Democratic nomination, he’s a member of Democratic Socialists of America. He wants Americans to enjoy strong unions, worker-owned cooperatives, an America that supports working people, and most of all, Medicare For All. The state should pay for their medical treatment similar to the healthcare systems of the other western countries.

And the corporate elite have been desperate to stop him because of this, with the corporativist wing of the Democrats intriguing against him in favour of Hillary Clinton. And it was also pretty clear a few days ago that the extreme right was frightened of him after this poll, as Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad, the man who bust UKIP, put up another hit piece against Bernie on his YouTube channel.

But this is very optimistic news. If Bernie wins, he will transform America. And because America is still the dominant superpower, that influence will spread around the world to empower working women and men everywhere.

Go, Bernie, go! And win!

Why Centrist Democrats Can’t Get to Bernie Sanders

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 27/01/2020 - 6:42pm in

Centrist Democrats find themselves in a quandry: the more they attack Bernie Sanders, the more that voters support him. If only there was a solution.

Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva: Obama, Hillary Ordered Me Not to Negotiate with Iran

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 25/01/2020 - 9:24am in

He was the world’s most popular leader. Now he is “the world’s most prominent political prisoner” according to American political philosopher Noam Chomsky. From extremely humble beginnings as a peanut seller and a shoeshine boy on Brazil’s streets, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rose to become president of his nation in 2002. Yet he is now being kept hostage by the country’s fascist Bolsonaro administration. In a wide-ranging interview with Brasil Wire editors Daniel Hunt, Brian Mier and Michael Brooks, host of The Michael Brooks Show, the man universally known as Lula described how the U.S. government ordered him not to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, new revelations about U.S. involvement in the coup of 1964, and the current state of his country.

U.S. tensions with Iran are nearing an all-time high. But ten years ago, the Brazilian government brokered a deal between Iran and the West – something, Lula reveals, was met with near incandescent anger by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The former president was at the G20 summit in Princeton, N.J., and talk of negotiating a peace deal with Iran was in the air. But, as he soon found out, none of the leaders in the room were interested in speaking with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “How do these people want to make a deal without a conversation?” Lula asked, proposing to travel alone in good faith to Iran as a neutral arbiter from the global South. The U.S. tried to scupper his plan at every step. As Lula recounted,

 I remember that Hilary Clinton worked hard against my idea to go to Iran. She even called the Emir of Qatar and asked him to convince me not to go. When I arrived in Moscow and met with [Dmitry] Medvedev, I found out Obama had called and asked him to help convince me not to go.”

The reason Obama did not want him negotiating, it transpired, was that he had already written and signed a formal letter to Lula promising that if Iran agreed to certain terms, the U.S. would sign a treaty. Lula went to Tehran regardless of the objections and had little trouble signing Ahmadinejad up to terms dictated by Obama. He naively thought the U.S. and the E.U. would celebrate his diplomacy. In fact, Lula said, he was treated as a “personna non grata on the international political stage.” “Everyone was acting like Brazil had gotten into something that nobody had invited it to do,” he added. 

In response to Brazil’s efforts at diplomacy, Obama increased sanctions on Iran, shattering the pretense that the U.S. was acting as an honest partner and just wanted to secure peace in the region. Nevertheless, his actions, calling the West’s bluff, eventually led to an Iran deal that made the region a safer place. “The rich countries… did not accept a new protagonist in the area. In their minds, Brazil was not big enough to get involved in an issue of that scale. It was easy for me to speak with Ahmadinejad because I told him that the only thing I wanted from them is what we have in Brazil,” Lula told his interviewers.


Lula’s legacy of independence

Brazil had been a loyal client state of the U.S. since the 1964 coup that overthrew João Goulart and replaced him with a fascist military dictatorship. In 2018, Lula notes, evidence was released revealing the extent of U.S. involvement in the coup. Audiotapes showed that President Kennedy personally gave the orders to overthrow Goulart and that U.S. warships entered Brazilian waters to assist the military takeover. “It took us 54 years to learn that,” opined the former president.

As leader of South America’s largest country, Lula reasserted Brazil’s independence internationally. “I am convinced that the Americans never accepted the fact that we made a deal with France to build nuclear powered ships,” he said. “Comrade Obama was not happy when we decided to make a deal to buy [French] Rafale jets, and that [my successor] Dilma decided to buy Swedish fighter jets. He wasn’t happy with that. He also wasn’t happy with a certain level of independence that Brazil had.”

According to Lula, the U.S. was aghast at the wave of countries electing left-wing heads of state across the region. By 2011, a large majority of Latin Americans lived under governments formally committed to ending the reign of American imperialism, from the more radical leftist governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador to the “soft left” of Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil. All the governments differed in outlook but all saw the necessity in working together to achieve genuine independence. 

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Obama

Barack Obama walks past Lula da Silva after speaking at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009. Andres Leighton | AP

They also began inviting other powers like Russia and China in. “I think the Americans woke up one morning and said, “hold on a second, Latin America is ours and we will not allow the Chinese to continue acquiring Latin America,” Lula said. However, the situation is very different in 2020. 

Lula’s successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached and Lula imprisoned and barred from standing for office. Others, such as Bolivia’s Evo Morales have been overthrown in U.S. sponsored coups. The U.S. has also recognized right-wing opposition politician Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela. Lula took aim at the “rude” and “mediocre” “foolishness” of the Trump administration: “The idea that you would officially recognize a con-artist, a congressman who declared himself President of the Republic – imagine if this fad catches on around the World!”

Today, Brazil is again controlled by a fascist military officer in Jair Bolsonaro. Lula was convicted of corruption in a highly dubious court decision, sent to prison, and barred from standing in the 2018 elections, where polls show he was the overwhelming favorite for victory. After jailing him, the judge, Sergio Moro, accepted a place as the Minister of Justice in Bolsonaro’s cabinet. Even more shockingly, Brazil-based American journalist Glenn Greenwald exposed that Moro was far from a neutral arbiter and was in fact collaborating with the prosecution team to ensure Lula’s conviction. As MintPress News reported this week, Greenwald has now been charged with “cybercrimes” in retaliation. 

“I think that Brazil is living its worst moment in history,” Lula told his interviewers. “We have a subservient government.” Subservient, that is, to the United States and to capitalism. He was kept in solitary confinement, and without access to reading materials, but has been temporarily freed while his appeal is heard, hence his increased ability to speak out.

Lula grew up dirt poor in Brazil’s extremely impoverished northeast, dropping out of school by grade five to shine shoes for a living. He was a child laborer and lost a finger at age 14 in a lathing accident in an auto parts factory. But he had already begun to organize his much older colleagues, rising to become one of the country’s top union bosses, a dangerous position to hold in a fascist dictatorship. After many years of trying, he was elected president of Brazil in 2002. As the U.S. was declaring war on Iraq, Lula was declaring a war on hunger in his own country. His signature Bolsa Familia program, which featured both unconditional and conditional direct cash transfers to the poorest Brazilians, lifted tens of millions out of poverty. Under Lula and Dilma, the education budget rose fivefold while health spending quadrupled as the country constructed an enormous socialized health system with the help of around 12,000 Cuban doctors. 

It was independent, constructive thinking like this that generated such respect for Lula worldwide and the reason he is still seen as a dangerous subversive by elites both in Brazil and in the United States. The threat of a good example, after all, is a powerful one.

Feature photo | U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, center, speaks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, right, during Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff’s inauguration ceremony at the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 1, 2011. Eraldo Peres | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva: Obama, Hillary Ordered Me Not to Negotiate with Iran appeared first on MintPress News.

Corporate Crap That Doesn’t Kill Bernie Just Makes Him Stronger

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/01/2020 - 12:08pm in

Sanders supporters before a campaign event in Des Moines on Monday.

            On January 19th the New York Times oddly co-endorsed Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two days later, the key New Hampshire primary showed Warren down four points. Bernie Sanders’ surge continued. What happened?

            To the extent that they ever did, the editorial boards at corporate-owned media outlets no longer seem to be helping the candidates they support. But I think it goes further than that. In a Democratic Party increasingly dominated by insurgent progressives, authenticity (or the perception thereof) is a politician’s most valuable asset. The approval of “mainstream” establishment entities has become a curse. The imprimatur of an officialdom widely seen as hopelessly corrupt dilutes a candidate’s reputation for authenticity, independence and the voters’ belief that he or she will stand up for we the people over the powers that be.

            Much to the frustration of ruling elites, Bernie Sanders keeps gaining support despite repeated attempts to sandbag him. It began, of course, with a well-documented campaign by the Democratic National Committee to cheat Sanders out of a fair shot at the nomination in 2016. Though less brazen, the sympathies of the DNC, still dominated by Hillary Clinton allies, remain evident in the current cycle. As in 2016, Democratic-aligned media outlets rarely mention Sanders other than to frame him as an elderly fringe wacko. The “Bernie Blackout,” featuring graphics of TV polls where Sanders’ name had been excised, became so ridiculously obvious that it got its own Reddit.

            The last few weeks have been especially instructive. There was the infamous sandbagging of Bernie Sanders at the hands of a CNN moderator. “Have you stopped beating your wife?” became, seconds after Sanders issued a categorical denial, “why did you tell Elizabeth Warren that you did not believe that a woman could win the election?,” a statement that wouldn’t be sexist if he said it and that runs counter to everything he has said and done over the last 40 years.

            Next came the bizarre New York Times two-fer endorsement of Warren and Klobuchar, which included the demonstrably false claims that Bernie Sanders is hard to work with in the Senate and refuses to compromise. This was quickly followed by the news that Hillary Clinton, the nation’s least popular political figure, told a Hulu documentarian that “nobody likes” Sanders, the most popular, and that he’s a “career politician.” As opposed to herself and her husband?

            In the bubble-wrapped imaginations of ruling elites like Clinton and the editors of the New York Times, the hoi polloi care deeply about what they say and think. They think we take their lead.

            Reality is quite opposite.

            It’s not that we don’t listen. We do. We pay attention to what Those In Charge say and what they want us to do—so that we can do the exact opposite.

            Contempt for our “leaders” is one of the key reasons Donald Trump won the presidency. “To the extent that people are using Trump as a way of venting about their general unhappiness, trust is irrelevant,” Stanford University political scientist Morris Fiorina observed during the summer of 2016. “They’re just trying to send a message that they’re tired of being taken for granted and screwed by both sides.”

          People wanted to send another message, albeit a childish one, to the elites: we hate you. 14% of Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in the news media. Congress’ approval rating is 27%. Last time Gallup bothered to check, Hillary was at 38%.

            Americans’ disdain for their masters was placed in sharp relief by polls that showed that many Trump voters would have voted for Bernie Sanders had he been the Democratic nominee and that one out of ten Bernie Sanders’ primary supporters ended up voting for Donald Trump in the general election. Trump and Sanders were the change candidates in a change year. And 2020 is even changier.

            We are witnessing political jiu-jitsu. The more viciously that neoliberals attack Bernie Sanders, the higher progressive estimations of Sanders’ authenticity rises.

            Many on the left, me included, have held doubts about Bernie Sanders. We worry that he isn’t far left enough, especially on foreign policy. After all, he’s OK with drone assassinations, was pretty much silent about the Israeli invasion of Gaza, praised the illegal assassination of Osama bin Laden that denied justice to 9/11 victims, and has not proposed specific numbers by which he would cut the Pentagon budget.

            Even on domestic issues, Sanders’ forte, he is weaker than we would like. The $15-an-hour minimum wage he is pushing for now would have been OK when he started working on it years ago, but due to inflation $20 or $25 an hour would make more sense now. By global standards, Sanders is no radical. He’s a garden-variety liberal—the Democratic Party under FDR.

            Fortunately for him, reactionary goons like the New York Times remind us that whatever his shortcomings Sanders is still the best game in this very right-wing town, the farthest left Democrat to have presented himself for our consideration in the last 40 years.

            If Hillary Clinton and CNN and MSNBC hate Bernie so much, maybe he’s all right.

            It is increasingly likely that Bernie Sanders will become the Democratic nominee and perhaps President of the United States. If and when that happens, when this “democratic socialist” takes the oath of office, he ought to give a shout-out to the clueless enemies who made his victory possible.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of “Francis: The People’s Pope.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)