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They are not … August 16, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in Nazi / Fascist, Racism, Trump, Uncategorized.
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They are not neo-Nazis, they are … NAZIS

They are not the Klan, they are … NAZIS

They are not white supremacists, they are … NAZIS

They are not alt-Right, they are … NAZIS

They are not nationalists, they are … NAZIS

They are not conservatives, they are … NAZIS

If this were 1930s Germany, they would be on their way to power.

If this were contemporary Germany, they would all be in jail.

But this is Trump’s Amerika … 

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The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea April 17, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in History, North/South Korea, Nuclear weapons/power, Trump, Uncategorized, War.
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Roger’s note: I am old enough to remember that the Korean War is not officially a war, but rather a “police action.”  And that the police action that was really a war is still not over, there is only a cease-fire that has been in place since 1953, with the United States not interested in a permanent peace treaty with North Korea.

The article below is written by an American but from the North Korean point of view, not an easy task and one that most Americans are unwilling to even consider.  We have been brainwashed (and I mean that literally) to believe that the United States is a world power only for the purpose of maintaining peace (that’s a joke), democracy (joke two) and stability (I’m running out of jokes).

Even many of those who are serious critics of U.S. foreign policy are of the opinion that the U.S. government “makes mistakes” as opposed to committing crimes.  One needs to step back, as a citizen of the world and as a human being, to see that the United States of America is a criminal empire bent on world domination for the sake of its military establishment and its giant corporations.

In the last few days, as Trump has escalated the bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea, which some are beginning to compare to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in light of the launching of 59 missiles into Syria, and not to mention that Trump is a certifiable sociopath; I cannot help but thinking that petitions, and traditional marches, and electing Democrats to Congress may not be enough to save ourselves from actual annihilation.

I picture tens of millions of American taking direct action in Washington and all other American cities, surrounding the White House, the Capital, the Pentagon, government offices, the offices of Congress members, etc.

By whatever means necessary.  SNL aside, Trump is no joke.

By   

Screen-Shot-2017-04-12-at-4.09.21-PM

Photo by Stefan Krasowski

Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation,  prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.

Negotiations aren’t possible because Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior.  Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible.  The hope, of course, is that Pyongyang will cave in to Uncle Sam’s bullying and do what they are told.

But the North has never succumbed to US intimidation and there’s no sign that it will. Instead, they have developed a small arsenal of nuclear weapons to defend themselves in the event that the US tries to assert its dominance by launching another war.
There’s no country in the world that needs nuclear weapons more than North Korea. Brainwashed Americans, who get their news from FOX or CNN, may differ on this point, but if a hostile nation deployed carrier strike-groups off the coast of California while conducting massive war games on the Mexican border (with the express intention of scaring the shit out of people) then they might see things differently. They might see the value of having a few nuclear weapons to deter that hostile nation from doing something really stupid.

And let’s be honest, the only reason Kim Jong Un hasn’t joined Saddam and Gadhafi in the great hereafter, is because (a)– The North does not sit on an ocean of oil, and (b)– The North has the capacity to reduce Seoul, Okinawa and Tokyo into smoldering debris-fields.  Absent Kim’s WMDs,  Pyongyang would have faced a preemptive attack long ago and Kim would have faced a fate similar to Gadhafi’s.  Nuclear weapons are the only known antidote to US adventurism.

The American people –whose grasp of history does not extend beyond the events of 9-11 — have no idea of the way the US fights its wars or the horrific carnage and destruction it unleashed on the North.  Here’s a short  refresher that helps clarify why the North is still wary of the US more than 60 years after the armistice was signed.  The excerpt is from an article titled “Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea”, at Vox World:

“In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry….

According to US journalist Blaine Harden:  “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops……

“On January 3 at 10:30 AM an armada of 82 flying fortresses loosed their death-dealing load on the city of Pyongyang …Hundreds of tons of bombs and incendiary compound were simultaneously dropped throughout the city, causing annihilating fires, the transatlantic barbarians bombed the city with delayed-action high-explosive bombs which exploded at intervals for a whole day making it impossible for the people to come out onto the streets. The entire city has now been burning, enveloped in flames, for two days. By the second day, 7,812 civilians houses had been burnt down. The Americans were well aware that there were no military targets left in Pyongyang…

The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…Some 50,000 inhabitants remain in the city which before the war had a population of 500,000.” (“Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea“,  Vox World)

The United States killed over 2 million people in a country that posed no threat to US national security. Like Vietnam, the Korean War was just another  muscle-flexing exercise the US periodically engages in whenever it gets bored or needs some far-flung location to try out its new weapons systems. The US had nothing to gain in its aggression on the Korean peninsula, it was mix of imperial overreach and pure unalloyed viciousness the likes of which we’ve seen many times in the past. According to the Asia-Pacific Journal:

“By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine.” (“The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950 – 1960”, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Japan Focus)

Repeat: “Reservoirs, irrigation dams, rice crops,  hydroelectric dams, population centers” all napalmed, all carpet bombed,  all razed to the ground. Nothing was spared. If it moved it was shot, if it didn’t move, it was bombed. The US couldn’t win, so they turned the country into an uninhabitable wastelands.   “Let them starve. Let them freeze.. Let them eat weeds and roots and rodents to survive. Let them sleep in the ditches and find shelter in the rubble. What do we care? We’re the greatest country on earth. God bless America.”

This is how Washington does business, and it hasn’t changed since the Seventh Cavalry wiped out 150 men, women and children at Wounded Knee more than century ago. The Lakota Sioux at Pine Ridge got the same basic treatment as the North Koreans, or the Vietnamese, or the Nicaraguans, or the Iraqis and on and on and on and on. Anyone else who gets in Uncle Sam’s way, winds up in a world of hurt. End of story.

The savagery of America’s war against the North left an indelible mark on the psyche of the people.  Whatever the cost, the North cannot allow a similar scenario to take place in the future. Whatever the cost, they must be prepared to defend themselves. If that means nukes, then so be it. Self preservation is the top priority.

Is there a way to end this pointless standoff between Pyongyang and Washington, a way to mend fences and build trust?

Of course there is. The US just needs to start treating the DPRK with respect and follow through on their promises. What promises?

The promise to build the North two light-water reactors to provide heat and light to their people in exchange for an end to its nuclear weapons program. You won’t read about this deal in the media because the media is just the propaganda wing of the Pentagon. They have no interest in promoting peaceful solutions. Their stock-in-trade is war, war and more war.

The North wants the US to honor its obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework. That’s it. Just keep up your end of the goddamn deal. How hard can that be?   Here’s how Jimmy Carter summed it up in a Washington Post op-ed (November 24, 2010):

“…in September 2005, an agreement … reaffirmed the basic premises of the 1994 accord. (The Agreed Framework) Its text included denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a pledge of non-aggression by the United States and steps to evolve a permanent peace agreement to replace the U.S.-North Korean-Chinese cease-fire that has been in effect since July 1953. Unfortunately, no substantive progress has been made since 2005…

“This past July I was invited to return to Pyongyang to secure the release of an American, Aijalon Gomes, with the proviso that my visit would last long enough for substantive talks with top North Korean officials. They spelled out in detail their desire to develop a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and a permanent cease-fire, based on the 1994 agreements and the terms adopted by the six powers in September 2005….

“North Korean officials have given the same message to other recent American visitors and have permitted access by nuclear experts to an advanced facility for purifying uranium. The same officials had made it clear to me that this array of centrifuges would be ‘on the table’ for discussions with the United States, although uranium purification – a very slow process – was not covered in the 1994 agreements.

Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to replace the ‘temporary’ cease-fire of 1953. We should consider responding to this offer. The unfortunate alternative is for North Koreans to take whatever actions they consider necessary to defend themselves from what they claim to fear most: a military attack supported by the United States, along with efforts to change the political regime.”

(“North Korea’s consistent message to the U.S.”, President Jimmy Carter, Washington Post)

Most people think the problem lies with North Korea, but it doesn’t. The problem lies with the United States; it’s unwillingness to negotiate an end to the war, its unwillingness to provide basic security guarantees to the North, its unwillingness to even sit down with the people who –through Washington’s own stubborn ignorance– are now developing long-range ballistic missiles that will be capable of hitting American cities.

How dumb is that?

The Trump team is sticking with a policy that has failed for 63 years and which clearly undermines US national security by putting American citizens directly at risk. AND FOR WHAT?

To preserve the image of “tough guy”,  to convince people that the US doesn’t negotiate with weaker countries,  to prove to the world that “whatever the US says, goes”?   Is that it?  Is image more important than a potential nuclear disaster?

Relations with the North can be normalized,  economic ties can be strengthened, trust can be restored, and the nuclear threat can be defused. The situation with the North does not have to be a crisis, it can be fixed. It just takes a change in policy, a bit of give-and-take, and leaders that genuinely want peace more than war.

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

 

 

High School Students Lead Protest Against Gun Violence In Front Of White House February 19, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in Arms, Gun Control/Violence, Uncategorized, Youth.
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Roger’s note: Youth have always been at the head of social and revolutionary change.  I wonder if they are aware of the antecedent for the cheer: “Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?”  Substitute LBJ for NRA and it takes you back to 1968.

POLITICS Huffpost

02/19/2018 12:39 pm

Several student-led demonstrations also erupted across Florida on Presidents Day.

WASHINGTON ― Dozens of students gathered in front of the White House on Monday to demand changes to gun laws, just days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead.

 

The demonstration was organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington, D.C., area in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

 

Protesters participated in what they said would be a three-minute lie-in, which began around 12:30 p.m. on Presidents Day. They lay down in front of the White House “in representation of the victims of school shootings,” according to a post on the group’s Facebook page.dogu

ZACH GIBSON/GETTY IMAGES
Demonstrators on the ground during a lie-in demonstration supporting gun control reform on Monday.

“By doing this, we will make a statement on the atrocities which have been committed due to the lack of gun control, and send a powerful message to our government that they must take action now,” the group wrote on Facebook.

 

Following the lie-in, protesters continued to hold signs in support of stricter guns laws and shouted phrases including “Shame on you” and “Disarm hate” toward the White House. The group also chanted “No more deaths,” “Am I next?” and “Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids have you killed today?”

ZACH GIBSON/GETTY IMAGES
Protesters hold signs during the demonstration against gun violence.

Last week’s massacre at the South Florida high school, in which a 19-year-old former student opened fire using an assault-style rifle, sparked protests and calls to action from students nationwide.

 

A group of students who survived the Parkland shooting have been outspoken in their criticism of Trump and lawmakers who receive financial contributions from gun lobbying groups such as the National Rifle Association.

 

On Sunday, the students announced plans for a march on Washington to demand congressional action on gun violence. The event, dubbed “March For Our Lives,” is scheduled for March 24.

 

Whitney Bowen and Eleanor Nuechterlein, both 16-year-old high school students from the D.C. area, started Teens For Gun Reform just two days after the Parkland shooting.

We might be 16 now and we might not be able to vote, but we can protest and we can use social media and we will make our voices heard.Whitney Bowen, co-founder of Teens For Gun Reform

“You never wake up thinking it’s going to be your school or it’s going to be your friends or family,” Bowen told HuffPost. “The Parkland kids didn’t either. … They woke up and went to school for the last time because there’s not enough gun control.”

 

Monday’s protest at the White House was planned on Presidents Day for symbolic reasons, Nuechterlein said. It’s not enough for President Donald Trump and other politicians to say “sorry” after school shootings, she said, they also need to start taking real legislative action to prevent them from happening.

 

Both Bowen and Nuechterlein said they plan to attend next month’s march on Washington.

 

“We might be 16 now and we might not be able to vote, but we can protest and we can use social media and we will make our voices heard,” Bowen said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t come down to politics. It comes down to kids dying in classrooms.”

Elodie Camus, a 15-year-old student at the British International School of Washington, D.C., participated in the White House protest Monday with her mother

.

U.S. gun laws “have put so many people in danger over the years in this country and there needs to be reform,” Camus told HuffPost, adding that she no longer feels “safe at all” at school.

 

“Something needs to be changed so not as many people are harmed,” she said.

Elodie Camus, protesting with her friend, doesn’t feel as safe in school anymore

Felicia Garber, whose two daughters survived the Parkland shooting, was in D.C. with her family when she heard about Monday’s protest and decided to attend the demonstration.

 

“We felt it was important to be present and thank the people who felt it was worth coming out here on this cold, dreary, rainy holiday to help let whoever is in this beautiful White House know that we will not take this any longer,” Garber told HuffPost.

 

“These legislators need to step up for our children and not just for these lobbyists,” she continued. ”[Parkland] kids are smart, educated, savvy … and they are outraged. These are young adults who are ready and unforgiving, and I can only hope this is the beginning of the change they can create for our country.”

 

Several other student-led protests against gun violence erupted across Florida on Monday. Students staged a walk out at Olympic Heights Community High School in West Boca Raton, while parents joined their kids in front of American Heritage School in Plantation just 30 miles to the south.

Another student-led protest in response to the Stoneman Douglas High massacre. This one is happening now outside American Heritage School. The kids, joined by some parents, are demanding more gun control. @nbc6

Student protest in front of Hollywood, FL City Hall: “What Do We Want? Gun Control!”

See video and more photos of the D.C. protest below:

  • Zach Gibson/Getty Images
    Protesters lie on the ground during a demonstration supporting gun control.
  • Zach Gibson/Getty Images
    Demonstrators chant during Monday’s protest.
  • Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
    Students and supporters hold signs as they protest outside the White House.
  • Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
    Students protest against gun violence.
  • Zach Gibson/Getty Images
    Demonstrators chant outside the White House.
  • Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
    Students and supporters gather on Pennsylvania Avenue.

As Symbols of White Supremacy Continue to Fall, Our Movement Grows Stronger February 19, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in Racism, Uncategorized.
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No matter the outcome in court – we are more determined than ever

 

February 19, 2018 marks the beginning of eight trials in Durham County district court.

Our trials begin six months after the people of Durham toppled their downtown Confederate monument. The removal of the statue on August 14, 2017, took place during a vigil and rally with hundreds present, two days after the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Two days earlier, we had watched in horror as dozens of anti-racist protesters were injured, and one, Heather Heyer, killed when a white supremacist member of the American Vanguard Party drove his car into a crowd.  Many Durham anti-racist fighters had been in the streets of Charlottesville that day, returning with trauma and scars inflicted by the violent white nationalists who occupied and terrorized the town.  We in Durham were determined that such actions could not go unanswered, could not go unchallenged.

Today we face these charges head on. And in turn, we charge the system itself with racism, violence, and complicity in violence against Black and Brown people that has gone on for centuries.

In January, we scored a major victory when our movement beat back the felony riot charges – we did this with statements of supports from unions, churches, and community organizations from around the country, with protest and petitions, and thousands of phone calls to Durham officials demanding – Drop the Charges!  Toppling Racism is not a Crime!  Today we stand trial on three misdemeanor charges: defacing a public building or monument; conspiracy to deface a public building or monument; injury to real property.

We are gratified that two weeks ago, we won a major victory when all charges were dropped against those who were arrested in connection to the righteous community defense uprising on August 18th when the Klan announced it would be marching on Durham, and over 1,000 residents of Durham flooded the streets to say NO to the Klan!

We want to uplift that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg massacre.  On February 8, 1968 over 200 students from South Carolina State University, an HBCU, gathered to protest against racial segregation and police violence.  The state highway patrol opened fire, injuring 27, and killing three Black men.  Samuel Hammond.  Henry Smith.  And Delano Middleton, a high school student.  We honor their sacrifice with our actions, and pledge to continue in this struggle against racism and white supremacy – in our public spaces, and in the police force.

It also marks the 39th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre, when Black and White workers boldly challenged the Klan and white power structure of Greensboro and were met with deadly violence.  That day local law enforcement turned a blind eye as the Klan opened fire, injuring 12 and killing 5 workers rights activists. Even though the entire incident was recorded on video, there were no convictions, every Klan member was aquitted.  We honor their memory today.

As we head to court, we are buoyed by the strength and determination of being part of an unrelenting peoples movement for justice. We are walking in the legacy of many freedom fighters that have come before us.  They give us the strength and determination to continue to fight racist jails, racist courts, the racism of Durham’s eviction crisis, brought on by gentrification.  We will not stop until white supremacy and all forms of oppression and exploitation are defeated.  No matter the outcome of the trial, our movements will push forward with more resolve than ever.

We call upon people of conscious to stand with us to work together to bring down the symbols of sites of white supremacy and terror against Black and Brown people.  Each day that we struggle brings us one step closer to our liberation, to the day that this system will be dismantled root and branch. Flowers of resistance are blooming from coast to coast – particularly to fight back against the Trump administration’s wide-ranging attacks, but more generally against a system that wants to crush us – and that is precisely why the state is continuing to pursue these charges.  Durham set an example on August 14, showing that people have the power and that is a dangerous prospect for the continued existence of the prevailing white power structures.

After our January court appearance, 100 people gathered for a People’s Tribunal to put on trial the real crimes of this society. Attendees mocked a justice system that lets the sheriff’s department off the hook for half a dozen jail deaths, while targeting organizers for fighting a murderous system.  Durham chooses to spend tens of thousand of dollars prosecuting anti-racist fighters rather than ensure the material well-being of its residents through housing, jobs, and quality public education.  Durham routinely sides with corporations and slumlords rather than its own working families. At the end of the Tribunal, attendees came forth with a unanimous verdict: this system is guilty as hell! And we will not stop in our efforts to deliver this verdict through bold actions and mass organizing.

In the past weeks and months, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel, NC Governor Roy Cooper, and other officials have all made statements calling for the removal of these racist statues. But words alone are not enough. The people who are most directly affected by the existence of the many symbols to white supremacy that still stand need to be the ones that come together to take action to rid them from our communities once and for all.

Our time has come! Our movement will continue until the symbols of white supremacy and the system that upholds them are where they belong: in the dustbin of history.

#DoItLikeDurham

#SmashWhiteSupremacy

Solidarity with the Government and the People of Bolivarian Venezuela February 16, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in Foreign Policy, Latin America, Uncategorized, Venezuela.
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Roger’s note: here’s a perspective on Venezuela you’re not getting from the whoring American mainstream media.  From Fox News to the New York Times the drum beats for diplomatic if not outright literal war on Venezuela continue to escalate.  Of course, there is corruption in the Venezuelan government, but nowhere near that of its Latino neighbors, not to mention the thoroughly and disgustingly fraudulent United States government.  Of course there are excesses in dealing with the opposition.  Of course there is mismanagement of the economy.  Just as there was for the nascent Soviet government when it was attacked on all sides by the imperialist governments of the United States, England and France.  But the fact remains that there is no opposition to the Maduro government other than that of the ultra right; and a victory therein will mean a return to the degenerate and destructive Neo-liberalism of the recent past.  No one in their right mind can support that.

 

Solidarity with the Government and the People of Bolivarian Venezuela
Photo: Bill Hackwell
February 14, 2018

The U.S. government is not slowing in its attempt to annihilate the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela in order to seize the enormous wealth of that country and to strike an unprecedented blow on all of Latin America. To do so it is sparing no effort.

In 2015, the previous administration decreed that Venezuela constituted “an unusual danger for the National Security of the United States of America”. As absurd as the decree is it remains in force today. This was implemented without Venezuela ever having threatened any country. Since Hugo Chavez assumed power in 1999 there has been a steady drum beat of war plans emanating from Washington.

The interference against Venezuela has intensified after the election of Trump by renewing Obama’s decree in January 2017 and orchestrating threats from the Organization of American States (OAS) through the buffoon of that imperial court Luis Almagro with the application of the Democratic Charter during the months of February and March. In April, extreme violent groups caused more than 100 deaths.

The siege and economic pressure is growing with a fierce media campaign of discrediting the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro on an international scale with no recognition of the country’s democratic institutions.

The media lies do not take into account all of the 19 electoral processes carried out by the Bolivarian government nor the efforts to bring to the table a dialogue with the opposition that is best characterized by its dependence and servitude to imperialism. Venezuela recently gave a democratic civics lesson to all with the sovereign decision of the people by electing the National Constituent Assembly that has now set a general election date for April 22.

It is in this context that the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently toured Latin American countries with the main objective of lining them up to increase pressure for a military coup specifically in Venezuela but to also resurrect the Monroe Doctrine for the entire region with the infamous imperial phrase, “America for the Americans”; a true reflection of their aspirations for intervention and domination.
The pressure and exchange of favors with the subservient governments of Latin America resulted in the pathetic declaration of February 13 of the Lima Group, which supported the decision of the corrupt right-wing government of Peru to exclude Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas.

The empire is relying on the corrupt coup plotters like Temer and Macri, the fraudulent murderers like Hernández in Honduras, right-wingers involved in corruption up to their necks like Cartes of Paraguay and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from Peru. And then there is Santos who is responsible for the continuation of the paramilitary death squads in Colombia. These are the scum who the Empire are relying on with total cynicism to denigrate Venezuela about democracy and human rights, all of whom will sooner or later be judged by their own people.

We call on International Solidarity to keep alert and be in permanent mobilization in the face of the real danger of a provocation on the borders of Venezuela, aimed at creating a conflict that will give a justification for a multinational military intervention. We call for unrestricted support for the Bolivarian government of Venezuela, the candidacy of President Nicolás Maduro and the holding of elections on April 22.

More than ever, the Proclamation of CELAC that “Latin America is a Zone of Peace” must prevail.
International Committee Peace, Justice and Dignity

White Supremacists Are Targeting College Students ‘Like Never Before’ February 1, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in labor, Nazi / Fascist, Racism, Uncategorized, Youth.
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POLITICS 

02/01/2018 12:15 pm ET Updated 8 hours ago

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found a 258 percent increase in white supremacist propaganda on college campuses between 2016 and 2017.

 

The amount of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses in the U.S. increased 258 percent between fall 2016 and fall 2017, according to a report the Anti-Defamation League released Thursday.

There were 147 incidents of white supremacist flyers, banners, posters or stickers found on college campuses during the 2017 fall semester, the report states, compared to 41 such incidents in the fall semester of 2016.

The ADL counted a total of 346 incidents of hate propaganda that had been spread on 216 college campuses in 44 states and Washington, D.C., since September 2016.

“White supremacists are targeting college campuses like never before,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the organization, said in a statement. “They see campuses as a fertile recruiting ground, as evident by the unprecedented volume of propagandist activity designed to recruit young people to support their vile ideology.”

The propaganda delivered “a range of messages,” according to the report.

“It may promote a white supremacist group, or trumpet the urgent need to ‘save’ the white race,” the report says. “Frequently, the propaganda attacks minority groups, including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants, and the LGBT community.”

The groups responsible for the majority of the propaganda belong to the so-called “alt-right,” a newer generation of organized racists and fascists. The report says one such group, Identity Evropa, targeted college campuses with its propaganda 158 times, accounting for 46 percent of the incidents counted by ADL.

Identity Evropa eschews traditional white supremacist imagery and language in favor of more innocuous-sounding slogans like “Our Generation. Our Future. Our Last Chance.”

Other groups, however, like the Atomwaffen Division, posted flyers directly threatening minority groups or featuring Nazi imagery.

TWITTER

The ADL report offers further evidence of an emboldened and increasingly active white supremacist movement in the U.S. This movement gained international attention in August 2017, when white supremacists held a nighttime march through the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesvile before violently confronting counterprotesters.

The next day, these same marchers were part of a violent pro-Donald Trump rally in Charlottesville — the largest gathering of white supremacists in over a decade — that turned deadly when a member of the group Vanguard America allegedly drove his car through a crowd of counterprotesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

White supremacists killed twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, according to a separate ADL report published last month.

ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES
Neo-Nazis and other members of the “alt-right” march through the University of Virginia campus on Aug. 11, 2017
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White supremacists made other concerted efforts to make their existence known on college campuses last year.

Identity Evropa held a private speaking event at San Diego State University. At Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, white supremacists associated with Vanguard America tweeted photos of themselves giving Nazi salutes on the campus. And at the University of Texas in Austin, 25 people affiliated with the white supremacist group Patriot Front filmed themselves wearing masks and marching with torches through the campus.

YOUTUBE
Patriot Front held a torchlit march through the University of Texas campus in Austin in November 2017. 

Prominent “alt-right” activist Richard Spencer also delivered speeches at Auburn University and the University of Florida.

The night before the speech at the UF, HuffPost asked Spencer and Eli Mosely, formerly of Identity Evropa, why they focused so much of their efforts on universities.

“This is a young person’s movement,” Spencer said.

“Young people matter, and college campuses have been where political battles have been fought since the ’60s and before it,” Mosley said. “This is where political change happens. Fundamentally, it’s where the most anti-white institution is. Academia has become a factory for anti-white individuals, and to teach whites to hate themselves.”

“When we go to these schools, we’re not going to intimidate people of color or anything like that,” he added.

Spencer’s speech the next day was drowned out by rowdy counterprotesters. Afterward, three white supremacists who had traveled to Florida for Spencer’s speech were arrested for firing a gun at counterprotesters.

Spencer is scheduled to speak at Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati in the next few months.

White supremacist groups have already been active in targeting campuses with their propaganda in the first month of 2018.

Members of Idenity Evropa tried to disrupt an ethnic studies class at the University of California, San Diego. Last week, Vanguard America vandalized a Black History Month poster at Middle State Tennessee University with its own propaganda. And Patriot Front claimed to have posted its propaganda at San Diego Mesa College in California on Wednesday night.

White supremacist flyers have been stuck to Black History Month flyers around @MTSU campus. If you see one, please send it to us and try to remove them!

We will be discussing these flyers, white supremacy, and activism on Wednesday Feb 7th at 6:00 in STU 220.

DACA Joins the Mad Rush to War January 31, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in armaments, democrats, Imperialism, Republicans, Uncategorized, War.
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Roger’s note: I had to chuckle when I read about some worthy progressives who, in response to Schumer’s treasonous betrayal of the Dreamers, were threatening to leave the Democratic Party.  As if there was anything that progressive about the Congressional Democrats in recent memory.  I  myself left the Democratic Party in 1965 after “peace candidate” Lyndon Baines Johnson demonstrated his bona fides by proceeding to bomb the hell out of Vietnam, with Democratic Congressmen dragging their tails behind.

In the November 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats took control of Congress, which created high expectations for the rapid end to George W. Bush’s military adventures in the Middle East.  That Congress and eight years of Obama’s escalations in the Middle East (seven countries, that we’re aware of) later, we’re still waiting.

With well over a hundred military bases spread around the globe, over 600 billion dollars in military expenditures (over half of the country’s discretionary spending), and enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world a dozen times over, the United States imperial adventure is mind boggling to say the least.

One war party in this proud nation: Democratic/Republican.

“Measured in military dollars, the Democratic leadership is more warlike than the Trump administration.”

The top Democrats in Congress have transformed DACA, the effort to protect 800,000 childhood immigrants from deportation, into a gargantuan funding measure for the Pentagon. This past weekend, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer offered to fully fund Donald Trump’s border wall and boost defense spending “far above ” what the White House requested, in a deal to end the government shutdown. The military budget signed into law in December was already $30 billion higher than the White House asked for, and $80 billion bigger than the previous year’s war spending — an increase as large as Russia’s entire defense budget.

It is Democratic congressional leadership — not Donald Trump and his mad generals — that has been the driving force in this year’s military spending insanity. Back in July, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi pressured her party to back a defense authorization $57.4 billion bigger than the Pentagon requested. Only a minority of Democratic House members supported the measure, but a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) followed Pelosi’s lead — including all five of the newest members of the Black Caucus, elected in 2016. By inflating the war budget even beyond the Pentagon’s demands, these Pelosi-Schumer-CBC Democrats ensured that what remains of the social safety net will be slashed into oblivion by bipartisan forces of austerity in future Congresses.

“House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi pressured her party to back a defense authorization $57.4 billion bigger than the Pentagon requested.”

The Bernie Sanders faction of the Party is just as guilty, through its shameful silence on war. This group includes Our Revolution, whose purportedly “progressive” agenda suggests only that they would “take a hard look at the Pentagon’s budget and the priorities it has established.”

The imperial fist is inexorably crushing the domestic welfare agencies of government. The Democrats’ task in this infernal process is to coax their constituents to swallow the “Satan’s Sandwiches” that emerge from Congress — as suggested by Black Kansas City Rep. Emanuel Cleaver back in 2011, when Barack Obama was presenting his “Grand Bargain” to the Republicans. Having put “all entitlements” on the table for cutting at the start of his presidency, Obama proceeded to wage expensive wars against seven countries. His Grand Bargain offered even larger social cuts than the Republicans demanded, before finally unraveling in the morass of Capitol Hill. Democratic leadership is still seeking that “bargain” with the GOP, knowing full well that it will be paid for by more austerity for people’s programs.

“DACA becomes the excuse to funnel additional tens of billions to the Pentagon.”

The result is both predictable and intended: the military budget expands to consume ever greater proportions of federal “discretionary” spending — that is, moneys not locked into mandated programs like Social Security. Finally, the public is told there is “no choice” but to tap into Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare — as Obama signaled at very the beginning of his presidency, and attempted to pull off in his first term in office.

Schumer and Pelosi have been throwing money at the Pentagon with abandon this year because both wings of the War Party (Democrat and Republican) are anxious to maintain the momentum of Obama’s global military offensive, after the unexpected defeat of the reliable warmonger, Hillary Clinton. That’s why, measured in military dollars, the Democratic leadership is more warlike than the Trump administration. Not trusting Trump to keep the pressure on Moscow, Beijing and any other “threat” to U.S. hegemony, the bipartisan political servants of empire flood the Pentagon with money and poison the political discourse with Russiagate. Although there are clear conflicts within the U.S. ruling class, in general the Lords of Capital appear at this juncture to be more concerned with terrorizing the world than maintaining domestic peace. Schumer and Pelosi were instructed, accordingly.

“Both wings of the War Party are anxious to maintain the momentum of Obama’s global military offensive.”

The Democrats’ cynicism is boundless. DACA, which has great political value to a key constituency but no monetary price tag, becomes the excuse to funnel additional tens of billions to the Pentagon — on top of previous increases — while enhancing Democratic election prospects in 2018 and 2020.

The Democrats can be expected to repeat the formula. If not DACA, any symbolic program will suffice as a political battle flag to rally the various Party constituencies while simultaneously boosting the flow of cash to the war machine.

And they’ll call it “resistance.” But it’s the kind of resistance that is useless when, as Dr. Martin Luther King observed, the “demonic destructive suction tube” of war spending comes to claim its ever-larger share of the budget.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .

A Reminder: US Imperialism Alive and Well January 20, 2018

Posted by rogerhollander in Uncategorized.
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Roger’s note: With the focus rightly on a wickedly insane presidency, the vicious attack on healthcare, youth, immigrants and refugees, labor, women, public education, the environment, etc., a gentle reminder, with an example close to my Latin Americanist heart, the US imperialism, leaving misery, poverty, death and destruction in its way, sadly is alive and well.

 

 

“Once Washington recognized the president elect, the international community bent its knees…The power of the United States made itself felt with all of its force. All it took was for it to speak or the rest to break their silence. The protests against the fraud didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if there was or wasn’t fraud in the elections on November 26th. Nor did it matter the country in which the crisis had occurred. What mattered for the so-called ‘international community’ was their submission to the word dictated by Washington. Once again the power of empire and the non-existence of countries like Honduras was made clear. What occurred in the present and the future of this country is the least important. If their peoples are broken by internal conflicts, if a dictatorship is installed, this does not matter. What matters are geopolitical and financial interests.”  
– Jesuit priest Ismael Moreno, known as Padre Melo

 

This morning marks the start of a week-long National Strike in Honduras in protest of the January 27th swearing in of Juan Orlando Hernandez for a second presidential term despite fraudulent elections. In the weeks leading up to this National Strike, there has been a marked increase in targeted repression of protest leaders, human rights defenders, and journalists. SOA Watch condemns the ongoing brutal counterinsurgency tactics carried out by the US-trained and financed state security forces aimed at creating terror in an attempt to break the legitimate opposition of the Honduran people to the imposition of a US-backed dictator.

 

Take action: Join a protest, organize an event, visit your congressperson, or speak out on social media in solidarity with the people of Honduras and against continued US financing of the murderous Honduran regime. 

Over 30 people have been murdered, many of whom were killed by the Military Police or other state security forces who fired live bullets at protesters, and hundreds of others have been injured or tortured.  According to human rights organization COFADEH (Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras), over one thousand people have been detained and many are facing criminal charges aimed at silencing dissent. Others have been victims of torture or have had to flee for their lives. Security forces have entered neighborhoods, setting off teargas inside homes with children present, and seizing adults for arbitrary arrests. Jesuit priest Father Melo has received death threats and he and other social movement leaders have been the subject of vicious defamation campaigns. Lawyers Victor and Martin Fernandez, leaders of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice, have been targeted after speaking out about the January 1 death squad-style execution of Wilmer Paredes, an anti-fraud protest leader in the Atlántida region who had also been tortured and beaten by state security forces. On Tuesday, 50 state agents surrounded the home of Francisco Godinez, coordinator of the campesino organization CNTC, to try to arrest him. Journalists covering the protests have been attacked and had their equipment destroyed.  The list of horrific repression goes on and on.
It is in this context that hundreds of thousands of Hondurans are taking to the streets all across the country today in direct action to refuse to recognize the imposition of Juan Orlando Hernandez. If not for the US support and recognition of Hernandez, it is doubtful that his regime would be able to survive the massive popular outcry. Last night, well-known activist Edwin Espinal was arrested on his way home and is awaiting a hearing inside a military base. Both through support of the regime and training and financing of the security forces, the US is directly responsible for the bloodbath taking place in Honduras.

Join Hondurans in taking action this week to call for an end to US financing of the illegitimate regime in Honduras!

 

#SolidarityHonduras #HondurasResiste #ParoNacional

 

In solidarity,
SOA Watch

The Torturers Speak July 24, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Torture, War on Terror.
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Roger’s note: I often post articles and write on the theme of the United States as an imperial power which through economic and military might creates death and misery around the globe.  This, of course, is counter to the narrative that we learned in school and still thrives in popular culture that sees the U.S. as the “leader of the free world,” the world’s greatest champion of freedom and democracy.

Torture as the official policy of the United States government of Cheney/Bush was done away with under the presidency of Barack Obama, but it is poised to come back again under Trump.  This would not have been possible if Cheney, Bush and the rest of the Inquisition regime had been held legally criminally accountable.  Obama’s rationalization that it is better to look ahead rather that backwards is one of the most vacuous and disingenuous statements I have ever heard coming out of the mouth of a politician (and that is saying a lot).  And later he added, as if he was shooting the shit over cocktails, “yeah, we tortured some folks.”  

America the Beautiful. 

 

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The Editorial Board, New York Times, June 23, 2917

It’s hard to watch the videotaped depositions of the two former military psychologists who, working as independent contractors, designed, oversaw and helped carry out the “enhanced interrogation” of detainees held at C.I.A. black sites in the months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The men, Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, strike a professional pose. Dressed in suits and ties, speaking matter-of-factly, they describe the barbaric acts they and others inflicted on the captives, who were swept up indiscriminately and then waterboarded, slammed into walls, locked in coffins and more — all in the hunt for intelligence that few, if any, of them possessed. One died of apparent hypothermia. Many others were ultimately released without charge.

When pushed to confront the horror and uselessness of what they had done, the psychologists fell back on one of the oldest justifications of wartime. “We were soldiers doing what we were instructed to do,” Dr. Jessen said. Perhaps, but they were also soldiers whose contracting business was paid more than $81 million.

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Still image taken from a video deposition of Dr. James Mitchell.

The Times on Tuesday published the depositions, taken earlier this year in the course of a federal lawsuit brought against Dr. Jessen and Dr. Mitchell by two former detainees and the family of a third who died in C.I.A. custody in Afghanistan. The psychologists may be the only two people to face any meaningful legal consequences for their role in one of the darkest periods of recent American history. A federal civil trial is set to start Sept. 5 in Spokane, Wash.

The details of the treatment of dozens of detainees at the hands of American intelligence contractors are by now widely known, yet it is still chilling to watch Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen rationalize their use of techniques that the C.I.A.’s top lawyer at the time called “sadistic and terrifying.”

“I thought he would be uncomfortable,” Dr. Mitchell said of waterboarding, in which torturers simulate the sensation of drowning by pouring water over a cloth covering a person’s face. “It sucks. I don’t know that it’s painful, but it’s distressing.” Dr. Mitchell once said detainees would rather have their legs broken. A 2002 cable described the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah, who officials wrongly believed was a leader of Al Qaeda, and who was subjected to the procedure 83 times over a matter of days. “At the onset of involuntary stomach and leg spasms, subject was again elevated to clear his airway, which was followed by hysterical pleas. Subject was distressed to the level that he was unable to effectively communicate or adequately engage the team.”

Mr. Zubaydah did give interrogators key information about the Sept. 11 plot — not as a result of the waterboarding, but in response to traditional interrogation methods. Yet, thinking he might have more, torturers forged ahead with Mr. Zubaydah and with others, confident that physical abuse would lead to actionable intelligence. Some detainees were handcuffed to a bar on the wall so they could not rest or lie down for days at a time. During his own deposition, Jose Rodriguez, a top C.I.A. official who destroyed videotapes of the interrogations because of what he called their “ugly visuals,” compared the abuse to a gym workout. When Suleiman Salim, one of the plaintiffs suing the psychologists, was asked to describe his experience, he broke down in tears.

Even now, the psychologists claim that their techniques, which have been banned, caused no lasting damage. But Mr. Salim, like many other former detainees, still suffers psychological harm — including nightmares, flashbacks, headaches and sleeplessness.

Dr. Jessen admitted to some discomfort with the program he helped devise. “Jim and I didn’t want to continue doing what we were doing,” he said in his deposition. But the pressure from intelligence officials was intense. “They kept telling me every day a nuclear bomb was going to be exploded in the United States and that because I had told them to stop, I had lost my nerve and it was going to be my fault if I didn’t continue.”

The full story of what happened under the torture program may never be made public. Earlier this month, the Trump administration began returningcopies of a 2014 Senate classified report on torture to Congress, where it may be locked away for good. Meanwhile, President Trump, with no expertise on torture and its sad history, has at times promised to bring back waterboarding and other techniques banned by President Obama.

Many people bear responsibility for the depravity of the torture program, but most will never suffer any legal consequences. The suit against Dr. Jessen and Dr. Mitchell may be the last opportunity for some accountability.

Happy Independence Day! July 3, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in First Nations, Genocide, History, Iraq and Afghanistan, Race, Racism, Uncategorized, Vietnam.
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Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig June 20, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in bernie sanders, Imperialism, War.
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Roger’s note: OMG, an imperialist pig?  St. Bernie.  I post this strong-worded article, not to trash the Senator from Vermont (via the Bronx), rather to underline a central truth that our brainwashing as Americans makes it difficult to comprehend.  The United States is not the defender of freedom and democracy around the world; rather it is and imperial juggernaut whose reach extends to nearly every corner of the globe.  In his campaign rhetoric, Sanders proposed huge investments in health, social services, the environment, education and infrastructure.  With this he captured the minds and hearts of millions, many of them young.  But he avoided telling us how this was going to be financed.  None of these worthy proposals are possible without substantial reduction of the war budget, which is so huge that he human mind has difficulty in its apprehension.  In short, as a continued advocate for military spending, Sanders’ social welfare proposals fall flat on their face.  So is Bernie an “imperialist pig?”  I wouldn’t call him a pig, but the “imperialist” stands.

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The United States does not have a national health care system worthy of the name, because it is in the war business, not the health business or the social equality business.”

The United States is a predator nation, conceived and settled as a thief, exterminator and enslaver of other peoples. The slave-based republic’s phenomenal geographic expansion and economic growth were predicated on the super-exploitation of stolen African labor and the ruthless expropriation of native lands through genocidal wars, an uninterrupted history of plunder glorified in earlier times as “Manifest Destiny” and now exalted as “American exceptionalism,” an inherently racist justification for international and domestic lawlessness.

Assembled, acre by bloody acre, as a metastasizing empire, the U.S. state demands fealty to its imperial project as a substitute for any genuine social contract among its inhabitants – a political culture custom-made for the rule of rich white people.

The American project has been one long war of aggression that has shaped its borders, its internal social relations, and its global outlook and ambitions. It was founded as a consciously capitalist state that competed with other European powers through direct absorption of captured lands, brutal suppression of native peoples and the fantastic accumulation of capital through a diabolically efficient system of Black chattel slavery – a 24/7 war against the slave. This system then morphed through two stages of “Jim Crow” to become a Mass Black Incarceration State – a perpetual war of political and physical containment against Black America.

“The U.S. state demands fealty to its imperial project as a substitute for any genuine social contract among its inhabitants.”

Since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has assumed the role of protector of the spoils of half a millennium of European wars and occupations of the rest of the world: the organized rape of nations that we call colonialism. The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history — defending the accumulated advantages that colonialism provided to western European nations, settler states (like the U.S.) and citizens — having launched an ongoing military offensive aimed at strangling the Chinese giant and preventing an effective Eurasian partnership with Russia. The first phase of the offensive, the crushing of Libya in 2011, allowed the United States to complete the effective military occupation of Africa, through AFRICOM.

The U.S. and its NATO allies already account for about 70 percent of global military spending, but Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, demand that Europeans increase the proportion of their economic output that goes to war. More than half of U.S. discretionary spending — the tax money that is not dedicated to mandated social and development programs — goes to what Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years ago called the “demonic, destructive suction tube” of the U.S. war machine.

The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history.”

The United States does not have a national health care system worthy of the name, because it is in the war business, not the health business or the social equality business. The U.S. has the weakest left, by far, of any industrialized country, because it has never escaped the racist, predatory dynamic on which it was founded, which stunted and deformed any real social contract among its peoples. In the U.S., progress is defined by global dominance of the U.S. State — chiefly in military terms — rather than domestic social development. Americans only imagine that they are materially better off than the people of other developed nations — a fallacy they assume to be the case because of U.S. global military dominance. More importantly, most white Americans feel racially entitled to the spoils of U.S. dominance as part of their patrimony, even if they don’t actually enjoy the fruits. (“WE made this country great.”) This is by no means limited to Trump voters.

Race relations in the U.S. cannot be understood outside the historical context of war, including the constant state of race war that is a central function of the U.S. State: protecting “American values,” fighting “crime” and “urban disorder,” and all the other euphemisms for preserving white supremacy.

War is not a side issue in the United States; it is the central political issue, on which all the others turn. War mania is the enemy of all social progress — especially so, when it unites disparate social forces, in opposition to their own interests, in the service of an imperialist state that is the tool of a rapacious white capitalist elite. Therefore, the orchestrated propaganda blitzkrieg against Russia by the Democratic Party, in collaboration with the corporate media and other functionaries and properties of the U.S. ruling class, marks the party as, collectively, the Warmonger-in-Chief political institution in the United States at this historical juncture. The Democrats are anathema to any politics that can be described as progressive.

“Race relations in the U.S. cannot be understood outside the historical context of war, including the constant state of race war that is a central function of the U.S. State.”

Bernie Sanders is a highly valued Democrat, the party’s Outreach Director and therefore, as Paul Street writes, “the imperialist and sheep-dogging fake-socialist Democratic Party company man that some of us on the ‘hard radical’ Left said he was.” Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions. He favors more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Rather than surrender to U.S. bullying, Russia came to the military aid of the sovereign and internationally recognized government of Syria in 2015, upsetting the U.S. game plan for an Islamic jihadist victory.

Back in April of this year, on NBC’s Meet The Press, Sanders purposely mimicked The Godfather when asked what he would do to force the Russians “to the table” in Syria:

“I think you may want to make them an offer they can’t refuse. And that means tightening the screws on them, dealing with sanctions, telling them that we need their help, they have got to come to the table and not maintain this horrific dictator.”

Of course, it is the United States that has sabotaged every international agreement to rein in its jihadist mercenaries in Syria.

“We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world,” Sanders told voters in Iowa.”

Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., “exceptional.”

“We’ve got to work with countries around the world for a political solution to get rid of this guy [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and to finally bring peace and stability to this country, which has been so decimated.”

During the 2016 campaign, Sanders urged the U.S. to stop acting unilaterally in the region, but instead to collaborate with Syria’s Arab neighbors — as if the funding and training of jihadist fighters had not been a joint effort with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, all along.

According to Politico, “As late as 2002,” Sanders’ campaign website declared that “the defense budget should be cut by 50 percent over the next five years.” But all the defense-cutting air went out of his chest after Bush invaded Iraq. Nowadays, Sanders limits himself to the usual noises about Pentagon “waste,” but has no principled position against the imperial mission of the United States. “We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world,” Sanders told voters in Iowa, during the campaign.

Like Paul Street said, he’s an “imperialist…Democratic Party company man.”

“A Sanders-led Party would still be an imperialist, pro-war party.”

At last weekend’s People’s Summit, in Chicago, National Nurses United executive director RoseAnn DeMoro endorsed Sanders for a mission he finds impossible to accept: a run for president in 2020 on the Peoples Party ticket. Sanders already had his chance to run as a Green, and refused. He is now the second most important Democrat in the country, behind the ultra-corrupt Bill-Hillary Clinton machine — and by far the most popular. On top of that, Sanders loves being the hero of the phony left, the guy who gimmick-seeking left-liberals hope will create an instant national party for them, making it unnecessary to build a real anti-war, pro-people party from scratch to go heads up with the two corporate machines.

Sanders doesn’t even have to exert himself to string the Peoples Party folks along; they eagerly delude themselves. However, a Sanders-led Party would still be an imperialist, pro-war party.

The U.S. does need a social democratic party, but it must be anti-war, otherwise it commits a fraud on social democracy. The United States is the imperial superpower, the main military aggressor on the planet. Its rulers must be deprived of the political ability to spend trillions on war, and to kill millions, or they will always use the “necessity” of war to enforce austerity. The “left” domestic project will fail.

For those of us from the Black Radical Tradition, anti-imperialism is central. Solidarity with the victims of U.S. imperialism is non-negotiable, and we can make no common cause with U.S. political actors that treat war as a political side show, an “elective” issue that is separate from domestic social justice. This is not just a matter of principle, but also of practical politics. “Left” imperialism isn’t just evil, it is self-defeating and stupid.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.