Interstate competition swallows Bolsonaro´s Government

February 18, 2020

Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 2 the taxation of Brazilian and Argentine steel, restoring the immediate effect of the “tariffs on all steel and aluminum sent to the United States by these countries,” the amateur members of Bolsonaro´s government were unable to hide their disbelief in their faces of disappointment.

Even with reality falling on their heads, the blindness of the upper echelons of the government regarding the current geopolitical moment is so great that the only character who has perhaps given any hint of understanding was Vice President General Hamilton Mourão, by drawing a parallel between what happened and what, according to his words, he would say about a “characteristic of this geopolitical tension that we are experiencing, which generates protectionism (and) is an anti-cyclical movement in relation to globalization.

Even if his words make sense, what seems to escape the understanding of the vice-president of the Republic and the members of the current government as a whole is the deepest reality of the multipolar world that has been gradually unveiling itself since the beginning of the new century and that, according to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro(UFRJ) professor José Luís Fiori, intensified between the years 2012 and 2013 with the election of Vladimir Putin and the arrival to power of Xi Jinping.

It should be noted, however, that this multipolar world misunderstood by the strategists of the current Brazilian government (if they exist…), is in no way accepted by the current hegemonic power.

The comfortable hegemony in a unipolar world, conquered by the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is now challenged by new actors that, as a consequence, tension and intensify interstate competition.

Demonstrating the total mismatch of the current Brazilian government with the reality of the international system at the beginning of the 21st century, the reaction of members of the team of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, to Trump’s words is symptomatic.

In the words of one of Guedes’ assistants, “Trump has always been clear in saying that Brazil is very closed. You need something like: ‘Brazil has come up with a better plan for American companies, so I’m going to go back on the decision to raise the rates’”.

In the logic, at the very least, naive of Mr. Guedes’ team, it would therefore suffice to present the US authorities with a well-developed plan for trade opening, and then Trump would retreat.

The concrete fact is that the Brazilian government seems lost and without understanding the new configuration of the multipolar world order, not being aware of the depth of the fierce interstate competition between what, in the words of Professor Fiori, would be “the three great powers fighting for global power at the beginning of the 21st century.

The last meeting of Brics, held in Brasilia in November, was symptomatic of the unpreparedness of the Brazilian authorities in dealing with the current scenario of global dispute.

Symptomatic and worrying, because the events that permeated that summit and the reaction (or non-reaction) of guest presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to those events demonstrated the subtlety and care with which Russia and China sought to place themselves in this “minefield” that is South America today. A territory so complex and essential to their expansionist interests.

Just three days before the Brics meeting began on Nov. 10, a coup d’état took place in Bolivia, one of the few countries in the region that still had a strategic relationship with the Eurasian axis, and especially Russia, which had planned with former ousted president Evo Morales the construction of a sophisticated nuclear plant in the Bolivian altiplano, as well as plans for lithium exploration and the development of local agriculture. The documents relating to the ambitious projects had been signed in July when Morales made a diplomatic visit to Moscow.

This could be mere coincidence, if the release of former President Lula had not occurred just two days earlier, on November 8.

In addition to being the biggest opponent of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government, Lula is directly responsible for the creation and success of Brics and the strengthening of relations among South American nations.

In short, former President Lula, besides remaining very popular among the less favored classes in Brazil, which automatically turns him into a threat, was directly responsible for raising the country to the status of a global player beyond its region and at the same time for articulating, from Brics, a more consistent entry of the Eurasian powers in the South American scenario.

On 13 November, the official opening of the Brics summit took place in the presence of Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi and Cyril Ramaphosa, who were received at the Itamaraty Palace by President Bolsonaro.

On the morning of that same day, November 13, the Venezuelan embassy in Brasilia would be invaded by a group linked to self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó. This would somehow overshadow the beginning of the Brics summit.

In Brazil, some more hasty analysts even suggested that that invasion would have the tentacles of fundamentalist sectors of Bolsonaro´s government installed in the Brazilian chancellery, headed by the unbelievable Minister Ernesto Araújo.

However, when connecting the dots, we could suppose that there would be some connection between the events that occurred during that hectic month of November, even if this connection does not necessarily follow a linear logic or if the absence of one of the events annulled the occurrence of another.

From the perspective of the dispute for global power between competing states – which often takes off from economic logic itself – the events of November would make sense if looked at in a systemic way.

The new national security strategy of the United States – announced on December 18, 2017 – would make official what had been happening in practice since the emerging Russia, China, India and even Lula’s Brazil began the expansionist onslaughts in Africa and Latin America, and intensified when Russia, in an unprecedented show of force, decided in 2015 to intervene in Syria, defining the course of the war. For the United States it was necessary to put a brake on that. Whatever the cost.

Therefore, both the “classic” and undisguised military coup in Bolivia, the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy and even Trump’s announcement of steel taxation would be a message and would have the same subliminal message: either you move away from our opponents and align yourselves with our strategy or you will suffer the consequences.

Brazil is now at a serious historical crossroads. One of the most delicate issues in the current scenario is the technological warfare (disguised as a trade war) involving the Chinese giant Huawei.

The most visible representation of the advancement of competition in what could be called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the dispute over 5G technology has become one of the spearheads of the expansive forces that clash as power and influence disputes in the world system intensify.

After having already missed the opportunity to participate in important markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan, which closed their doors due to restrictions imposed by the Americans, the auction for the introduction of 5G technology in Brazil, originally scheduled for the year 2020, would be a golden opportunity for the Chinese to put into practice, and in a large and important market, all their know-how for the construction of a vast network of fifth generation mobile Internet.

As the Chinese Ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, rightly said last November: “I am confident in the sense of cooperation between China and Brazil in 5G technology. Brazil will take into account the interest in the country’s development”.

The Chinese rationality expressed in Ambassador Wanming’s words would fit perfectly if we were living in a period of normality in international relations; but we are not, and the technological war that has the 5G prominence race as its backdrop hides the challenging moment of transition between long cycles of international politics. This is a moment in which the world power, no longer fully capable of exercising leadership in the world political system, finds itself challenged by one or more emerging powers.

This has been the case since when, around 1560, the hegemonic power of the time, Portugal, was challenged by Spain, who then took the lead in the newborn world system, to be challenged by the Netherlands and so on until the present day.

In the midst of the tug-of-war between the Chinese and Americans, Brazil will have no choice but to invent a good technical excuse and postpone the 5G auction until, probably, 2021. The National Agency of Telecommunications (Anatel) has already been rehearsing the postponement by claiming that the 5G network would interfere with the signal of open TV in rural areas, because the transmission is made by satellite dish.

In the end, the pressure that the brazilian government is probably suffering behind the scenes from the Trump administration makes us feel that the announcement of the taxing of brazilian steel via Twitter would have a retaliatory bias with regard specifically to the 5G issue. This possibility is even admitted by the unsuspected brazilian economist linked to the financial market André Perfeito.

The fact is that the Brics meeting revealed a much more docile and receptive Bolsonaro to the presence of Eurasian powers than one could have imagined. Facing a serious recession, the brazilian government had no choice but to take advantage of that moment to seek investments from Brics’ partners.

As old and experienced players on the global board, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping were able to position their pawns strategically from their arrival in Brasilia until the last minute on Brazilian soil.

Even with the not friendly invasion of the Venezuelan embassy (a strategic ally of Russia and China) on the day they would be received by Bolsonaro at the Itamaraty Palace, the not at all naive Eurasian heads of state skillfully did not comment on what had happened and tried to reconcile, throughout the summit, the convergent positions among all the partners.

The clear attempt to sabotage the meeting, in the end, only served to highlight the extreme care with which Xi and Putin sewed the treaties, trying to avoid displeasing Bolsonaro on delicate issues such as the Venezuelan issue – which he did until they accepted that the traditional parallel meeting with countries in the region would not occur.

This posture is in line with what Professor Alexander Zhebit of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) said about a fundamental characteristic of Brics since its creation. According to Zhebit, the elements of agreement would be essential for the maintenance of the internal harmony of the group. In this way, the differences would be smoothed out by the constant negotiation of common points.

Not by chance, in the final declaration of the meeting, besides the fact that the Venezuelan question was not touched, any mention of support for Iran (also a strategic Sino-Russian ally in the Eurasian context) was even avoided.

China and Russia are fully aware of the role of subservience to the United States that the Bolsonaro´s Government plays and, as good old players, have the wisdom to understand the relationship with Brazil as a long-term one.

Old countries know that diplomacy and patience live together, and in a way – as researcher Oliver Stuenkel rightly said – Xi and Putin, strategically, know that the more isolated Brazil is on the international scene, the more important they will be.

Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws ( LL.B), writer and geopolitical analyst. He is currently a columnist in international politics for the printed version of the centennial brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil

Sitrep – Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua

February 19, 2020

Chris Faure for The Saker Blog

While the Mena is exploding in tensions, the Empire is hungry and is not leaving these countries in Latin America any breathing room. Although it can be argued that the circumstances are different in each, there are certain commonalities that can be pointed out.

Venezuela

The Trump administration warned early in February of “impactful” measures on the government of Venezuela

First was a blanket set of sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned airline CONVIASA. Why, you may ask? Well according to the administration, this airline is used to “shuttle corrupt officials.” We see the ‘rules based international order’ at work, as there is no evidence of corruption, but these days it seems as if one fights US sanctions, you must be corrupt. The rule of evidence for corruption now is resisting imperial sanctions. CONVIASA operates flight services to domestic destinations and throughout South America and the Caribbean.

The other notable event was that Guiadó went home to Venezuela on TAP, a Portugese airline, only to be ‘warmly welcomed’ by screaming Venezuelans beating him up. The Venezuelan Government suspended for 90 days the Portuguese airline, over what is formally declared as “some irregularities detected in Juan Guaido´s returning flight. The self-proclaimed ‘president’ returned to Venezuela after a tour of Europe and the United States on a TAP flight under a different identification, as Antonio Márquez, and his uncle was on the same flight, smuggling explosives.  Name change or no name change, he was still beaten up by Venezuelans.

Some good news is that the US Government’s case against the Venezuelan embassy protectors ended up in a hung jury, and the four protectors were not jailed. This was another failure in the open coup attempt on Venezuela.

The latest is that the US is placing more sanctions on Russia’s Rosneft Trading in relation to their quest for what they call “the opportunity for a transition of power” which the rest of us understand as color revolution and extraction of assets from a country working hard at their own sovereignty.

“Russia categorically repudiates unilateral restrictions, through which the US, which seeks global hegemony, is trying to make the whole world bend to its will. This has never influenced and will not influence Russia’s international policy, including its cooperation with the legitimate authorities of Venezuela, Syria, Iran and any other country,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Nicaragua

In Nica, as the locals call it, the startup to regime change has commenced. The Grayzone reports that the US embassy and European Union are meeting with right-wing Nicaraguan opposition leaders and pressuring them to unite against elected leftist President Daniel Ortega in the lead-up to the 2021 election. https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/07/nicaragua-opposition-support-us-eu-coalition/

Sanctions are rolling in and this one is similar to what we saw in Brazil, and now in Bolivia, where the rightist evangelicals (usually Christian Zionist) are being used as the pressure point aiming to unseat the Sandinistas.

Nicaragua, according to the Empire under the guise of the Donald Trump administration has declared the small nation of Nicaragua to be a supposed “national security threat,” and has imposed several rounds of aggressive sanctions on the country, with the aim of destabilizing its economy.

Bolivia

After the contested election and a coup d’état that saw Evo Morales being expelled as President as well as having to flee from his beloved country, snap general elections will be held in Bolivia on May 3rd, 2020.

The situation on the ground is still that of a coup d’état. The indigenous Bolivian population which Evo Morales brought into the light and gave opportunity to flourish economically, is under stress, pressure and still being murdered as we speak.

Few people know that as in Venezuela, we are dealing with another Western backed self-elected interim president in Bolivia – Jeanine Añez. On declaring herself interim president, she also undertook not to run for the position in forthcoming elections. That undertaking did not last long though and she is a candidate now.

As in Nicaragua, we are also dealing with rightist evangelicals being used for political power. “Evangelical preacher Chi Hyun Chung exposed this corruption after he placed third in the last election but didn’t make it onto the ballot. Chung reported that these groups were asking for payments of between one million and 1.5 million U.S. Dollars for the right to use their names. He called on electoral authorities to intervene to end the practice.”

But was this a Western backed coup and how do we know that it was? The easiest to see, is who the golpistas immediately made friends with.

Ollie Vargas states : “The Anez administration’s ties to the U.S. are openly admitted. Evident in the dramatic speed with which Morales’ progressive foreign policy was torn up. Full relations were re-established with the U.S. and Israel and USAID was brought in to ‘cooperate’ in the elections and other government functions. However, less known are Anez’s hiring choices. One of the first advisors to be brought in to her inner circle was Erick Foronda, who was chief advisor to the U.S. embassy in Bolivia for 25 years prior to taking on the role with Añez.

The cooperation continues as the electoral campaign gets underway. Following the footsteps of many Bolivian rightists, Añez is now contracting the services of CLS Strategies, a U.S. political consulting firm, to provide “strategic communications counsel” during the coming elections. CLS Strategies is the same firm used by the government in Honduras after that country’s coup against Manuel Zelaya.”

The golpistas are doing their best to ban any candidate from MAS. The MAS radio channels are being banned and the people are being scattered violently wherever they gather. Evo Morales is still a candidate and has declared his candidacy from Argentina, where he has safe harbor. But he is not running for President. The presidential front runner for MAS (Evo’s party, the biggest voting block in Bolivia and generally known as The Movement toward Socialism) is Luis Arce. He has just had a conference with Evo Morales in Argentina, to plan the election. It is generally accepted that even since Morales left, MAS still has the majority and will win a fair election. This is clearly not the era of fair elections and the lastest news in, is that MAS is declaring an emergency as both Evo Morales as well as Luis Arce will be banned from running, under some invented pretext by the electoral commission.  The real issue is, despite the coup or golpe in Bolivia, despite the exit of Evo Morales, MAS is still winning.

The golpistas have serious western support, and MAS is not standing down from their Movement toward Socialism. The police forces are brutal toward the indigenous, one has no idea what the defense forces are really doing and the expectation is that we will have another coup type event arise as tempers are hot.

In the cities, it feels as if the right is winning, yet in the indigenous rural areas, MAS has a clear lead. This is where it stands now and one has to keep in mind that the rural areas are not being polled thoroughly.  The rural areas are all MAS supporters as it is these people that received an economic opportunity under Evo Morales:

C:\Users\NIETZS~1\AppData\Local\Temp\lu5700hdiuj.tmp\lu5700hdix9_tmp_7613a400b6ddbfce.jpg

Summary : Now that we have seen the similarities between a coup starting in Nicaragua, the longer lasting meddling in Venezuela, and the similarities in the playbook for Bolivia, we can only go back to Harold Pinter’s Nobel Acceptance Speech for Literature, 2005.

“It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’ It’s a scintillating stratagem.”

“Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. “

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2005/pinter/25621-harold-pinter-nobel-lecture-2005/


PLEASE Tip The Saker Ammunition Chest To HELP Keep The Good Fight Alive!

Help us to hit back against the bombardment of MSM lies costing our communities, economies and livelihoods far, far too much.

Thanks to all those who have donated and continue on a monthly cycle! Your support and faith in fighting and resisting the Empire’s war with information and analysis is highly motivating and greatly appreciated!

We do not rely on any organizations, but rather private donations. Please give generously! TQ! The Saker

And so die heroes

ST

In the bewilderment of what happened (the assassination of general Suleimani) it is easy to forget that this is not the first time neither will it be the last time that America gets rid of its enemies through assassination.

A quick glance at back, to the 1960’s will give a clear example of this, when the whole world shook with the assassination of Che Guevara. There were attempts to pass his assassination off as death due to fire exchange during battle.

Soon the information of how he died leaked out. Afraid of the spread of revolution that had started in Latin America- a revolution instigated by Guevara and Castro the USA decided that this revolution should be suffocated before it reached their backdoor.

It was the covert work of the CIA and their agents in Bolivia that led to the assassination of Che Guevara. De classified records show the high level of US interest in hunting down Che Guevara and his comrades. A Memorandum of understanding was signed between the American side and the Bolivian side in which it was agreed that Guevara and his group of fighters be kept under surveillance. When Guevara died the Americans viewed it as a victory. They had  managed to assassinate Guevara by proxy and had stifled his “hated revolution”.

In the official wake (1967) held for him in Cuba by President Castro he said that through they have killed Che but they can never kill his ideas “The artist may die – but what will surely never die is the art to which he dedicated his life, the art to which he dedicated his intelligence,”.

In an irony to top all ironies the man who volunteered to kill Guevara sergeant “Mario Teran” and who had to live in the dark the rest of his life in Bolivia penned a letter of gratitude to Castro which was later published by El Deber thanking Castro because Cuban doctors had operated on his eyes free of charge and thus proving that though he shot Guevara and ended his life the ideas of the revolution of equality and supporting the poor never died and in the end “Mario Teran” their killer and Guevara’s benefitted from the moral and ethical beliefs of Guevara and the revolution he believed in.

British politician George Gallaway says “one of the greatest mistakes the US state ever made was to create those pictures of Che’s corpse. Its Christ like poise in death ensured that has appeal would spread way beyond the turbulent university campus and into the hearts of the faithful, flocking to the worldly, fiery sermons of the liberation thoelogists.” The Economist magazine pointed out how Che’s post death photos resemble Andrea Mantegna’s “The Lamentation over the Dead Christ”.

 There is no country in the world today including the USA itself that doesn’t have Geuevara memorabilia-his starred hat, his face leaping out of tshirts or from schoolbags. By executing him without even a trial the US immortalized him and turned him into an icon. All his faults and failures forgotten he even found his way to myths and many people today pray to saint Ernesto.

In another Latin American country Chile – a man rose to power. Salvador Allende – another doctor, another icon representing democratic socialism. For Allende was voted for by the people of Chile despite extraneous American efforts to sabotage the vote. Allende was of the same school as Guevara. He believed in revolutionary ideas in nationalization policy and in putting the workers in charge of the economy. Thus he made a lot of enemies but none as deadly as American President Nixon in a meeting said that he aimed to make the “Chilean economy scream”.

In an interview with the Italian communist daily President Allende refers to the United States as a “real threat”. For Allende nationalized mines owned by the American companies, Araconda and Kennecot. The US even negatively affected the relations of Chile with other countries as other countries were afraid of American ire and stayed away from forming economic ties with Chile.

In the end Allende was disposed of in a US backed coup, led by Pinochet who would later be considered as one of the darkest and most brutal dictators in history. In an exhibition called “secrets of state: The Declassified History of the Chilean Dictatorship “one can hear a reenactment of the phone conversation that happened between American President Nixon and his legal advisor Kissinger confirmed their hand in the coup that removed and killed Allende”. On view are documents revealing secret exchange about how to prevent Chile’s congress from ratifying the Allende Victory in 1970, plans for convert operations to destabilize his government and reports about a Chilean military officer informing the United States government of the coming coup and requesting assistance”.

Allende was deposed off and America won the day leaving Chile under the throes of a dictator who should have had his figure in Mme. Tussaud’s Chamber of horrors.

Part II

Suleimani

A different era, a different time, but no change in tactics for the Americans .

In reality their arrogance has increased and what they think of as their God given right to eradicate all whom they deem “dangerous” has reached a point of lunacy.

In the case of Guevara and Allende though America was responsible for their demise, however they used a proxy.

However with General Suleimani, Trump proudly announced that he had given the orders to kill him as he was deemed a threat to America. Trump claimed that he had information that Suleimani was targeting four America embassies. An outright lie as even his senators didn’t believe him and “refused to give him the benefit of the doubt”.

On January 3rd 2020 a US drone attack near Baghdad International Airport targeted and killed General Qasem Suleimani. It killed nine other people beside him.   

General Suleimani was commander of the Quds Force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

 His death affected the region adversely. Anti American demonstrations broke out in Iran and Iraq. In Iraq parliament look a vote and agreed on the need for American troops to leave Iraqi soil once and for all. Unintentionally Trump managed to unite Iranians and Iraqis in their anger and distrust of America.

Suleimani was a well known face on battle fields forming military strategies and implementing them. He relentlessly fought Isis, groups affiliated to Isis and other terrorists. His hardwork and perseverance were major elements in defeating terrorist and in bringing security to areas that had suffered fear and atrocities.

His assassination dealt the axis of resistance a hard blow, undoubtedly, so unleashing a torrent of violent events that up to this moment has not stopped.

The question that should be asked is of what benefit is the assassination of Suleimani to the Americans? Was he a real threat to their national security?

The answer lies in the ideas that Suleimani embodied. He was a man who couldnot and would not stomach interference in his country from the USA and he did not mince his ideas about that. He was willing to fight to the very end to liberate the region from terrorism – which he did – he almost liberated the area from Isis and until the day he died he was fighting. It might be useful to recall the words of Castro upon the death of Guevara for they are applicable here too – words to the effect that you can kill the man but you can never kill what he stands for. On the contrary killing the man strengthens his ideals for it shows that he was willing to die for a worthwhile cause. Assassinating Suleimani is undoubtedly unlawful and a violation of international law and indeed who better than the Americans to do that.                    

 Editor in Chief

Reem Haddad

Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing Coup

By Prof. Vijay Prashad

Global Research, February 14, 2020

The Bullet

On May 3, 2020, the Bolivian people will go to the polls once more. They return there because President Evo Morales had been overthrown in a coup in November 2019. Morales had just won a presidential election in October for a term that would have begun in January 2020. Based on a preliminary investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) that claimed that there was fraud in the election, Morales was prematurely removed from office; the term for his 2014 presidential election victory did not end until January. Yet, he was told by the military to leave office. An interim president – Jeanine Áñez – appointed herself. She said she was taking this office only on an interim basis and would not run for election when Bolivia held another election. She is a candidate for the May 3 election. (For more information on what is happening in Bolivia, see this overview from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.)

Meanwhile, Morales has been in exile in Argentina. His party – the Movement for Socialism (MAS) – has candidates for the presidency and the vice presidency, but their party cadres and followers are facing a difficult time making their case to the people. Their radio stations have been blocked, their leaders arrested or exiled (or sitting in foreign embassies waiting for asylum), their cadre beaten up and intimidated.

The United Nations secretary-general’s personal envoy Jean Arnault released a statement on February 3 that expressed caution about the elections. The situation in Bolivia, Arnault said, is “characterized by an exacerbated polarization and mixed feelings of hope, but also of uncertainty, restlessness and resentment after the serious political and social crisis of last year.” This careful language of the UN needs to be looked at closely. When Arnault says there is “exacerbated polarization,” he means that the situation is extremely tense. When he asks that the interim government “outlaw hate speech and direct or indirect incitement to violence or discrimination,” he means that the government and its far-right followers need to be very careful about what they say and how much violence they use in this election.

On February 6, Morales spoke in Buenos Aires, where he urged an end to the violence so that the election could bring the fractured country together. He called for a national agreement between all sides to end the dangerous situation. In a pointed way, Morales called upon the government to respect diversity, noting that people wearing distinct clothes and wearing the signs of a certain political party were facing intimidation and violence. He meant the indigenous population of Bolivia, and the supporters of MAS; it is widely accepted that the violence has been coming from the far right’s paramilitary shock troops, and the intimidation has been coming from the government.

For instance, the Bolivian authorities have been routinely charging MAS leaders with sedition, terrorism, and incitement to violence. Morales faced these charges, along with dozens of important MAS leaders, most recently Gustavo Torrico who has been arrested. Matters are so bad that the UN’s special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, took to Twitter to express his concern at the “use of judicial and fiscal institutions for the purpose of political persecution. The number of illegal detentions grows.” This has not stopped Áñez, who says she will move her government to investigate at least 592 people who held high office in Morales’ 14 years in government. This means that the entirety of the MAS leadership will likely face harassment between now and the May 3 election.

US Interference

In 2013, Morales expelled the US government agency USAID; he accused USAID of working to undermine his elected government. Before that, Morales, as is his constitutional right, informed Salvador Romero – the head of the election agency (TSE) – that when his term ended in 2008, he would not be retained. This is a normal practice.

Romero went to the US Embassy to complain. He met with US Ambassador Philip Goldberg to complain about this and urged the US to do something. It was clear that Romero and Goldberg knew each other well. When Romero left his post at the TSE, the US establishment took care of him. He went to work at the National Democratic Institute in Honduras. The National Democratic Institute, based in Washington, is loosely affiliated with the US Democratic Party, and is part of the universe that includes the National Endowment for Democracy. These are all US government-funded agencies that operate overseas to “oversee” what is known as “democracy promotion,” including elections.

Romero essentially worked for the US government in Honduras during the first election after the US-instigated coup of 2009. During this election in 2013, violence against the supporters of Xiomara Castro, the candidate of the left-wing Libre Party, was routine. The day before the election, for instance, two leaders of the National Center of Farmworkers (CNTC) – María Amparo Pineda Duarte and Julio Ramón Maradiaga – were killed as they returned home from a training for Libre election workers. This was the atmosphere of this very tight election, which returned to power the US-backed conservative candidate Juan Orlando Hernández of the National Party. Romero, at that time, was quite pleased with the results. He told the New York Times then that “despite ‘the general perception of fraud,’” the election was just fine.

Right after the coup in November, Áñez brought Romero back to La Paz as the head of the election court, the TSE. He has his old job back. This would have made Bruce Williamson, the US charge d’affaires to Bolivia, very happy. The US has its man at the helm of the May 3 election in Bolivia.

And then Trump said he is sending USAID to Bolivia to help prepare the ground for the election. On January 9, the USAID team arrived to “give technical aid to the electoral process in Bolivia.” Technical aid. The phrase should give a reasonable person pause.

Ten days later, Trump’s legal adviser Mauricio Claver-Carone arrived in La Paz and gave a series of interviews in which he accused Morales of terrorism and creating instability. This was a direct attack at MAS and interference with Bolivia’s electoral process.

If the US intervenes in Bolivia, that is just “democracy promotion.”

But even with the violence from the government and its fascistic paramilitaries, even with Romero at the helm of the TSE, even with USAID on the ground, and even with the shenanigans of Claver-Carone, MAS is fighting to win. The candidates for MAS are Luis Arce Catacora (president) and David Choquehuanca Céspedes (vice president). Catacora was the minister of economy and public finance under Morales and the architect of the administration’s economic success. Céspedes was the foreign minister in that government. He managed Bolivia’s policy of international sovereignty and is an important person to Bolivia’s indigenous and peasant movements. Early polls show that the MAS ticket is in first place.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is author of Red Star Over the Third World(LeftWord, 2017) and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books.

Featured image is from The BulletBolivia: The OAS and US Help Overthrow Another Latin American GovernmentThe original source of this article is The BulletCopyright © Prof. Vijay PrashadThe Bullet, 2020

New memoire by Margaret Randall: Intrepid Anti-imperialist

by Susan Babbitt for The Saker Blog

Margaret Randall’s new memoire, I Never Left Home[1] is a story of resistance in Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua. Now 83, in New Mexico, she is writer, teacher and mentor to younger artists. Randall is an intrepid, compassionate example of anti-imperialist creativity, with more than 150 publications of poetry and non-fiction, all demonstrating profound respect for ideas from the South.

It is not common. Two 2019 books on the Cuban Revolution, sympathetic to the leaders of that revolution, ignore the ideas that explain it. Centuries-long philosophical traditions, challenging popular ideas arising in Europe, now dominant in universities, are just left out. I return to this.

Randall integrated the 1968 protests in Mexico supporting the Cuban Revolution. With Sergio Mondragón, she founded El corno emplumado /the plumed horn, a bilingual quarterly publishing vanguard poets from North and South America from 1962-1969. In all, it published 31 issues and a dozen books. According to Roberto Fernandez Retamar, legendary director of the iconic Casa de las Américas in Havana, recently deceased, El Corno was a “great achievement”.

Randall worked sacrificially, without a salary. After the journal’s defense of Mexico’s 1968 Student Movement, it was closed. Randall was forced to leave Mexico (without a passport) and worked and raised children in Cuba from 1969-80. She then joined the “explosion of exuberance” that was the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua until its “death” provided reason to leave.

She returned to the US (1984) where she fought deportation from her country of birth for five long years.

Lived Lies

Yet Randall does not question the philosophical roots of imperialism. This is not a criticism. It is precisely because Randall is so respectful of ideas from the South that her fascinating story shows just how hard it is to question the philosophical roots of imperialism or even to identify them.

They are behaviour patterns and values. They are identity. In Dostoevsky’s Demons, liberal academic Stepan Trofimovich says before dying: “I’ve been lying all my life. Even when I was telling the truth …. The worst of it is that I believe myself when I lie. The most difficult thing in life is to live and not lie.”

It’s because lies are behaviour. Dostoevsky was a liberal in the 1840s and Demons (written in the 1860s when Russia was being flooded by new ideas like feminism, atheism, nihilism) exposes a problem. Its characters “eat” ideas. They don’t believe them, and they don’t know they don’t believe them. [2]

Beliefs can be tacit, presupposed, not acknowledged, just lived. This aspect of thinking is known in analytic philosophy of science in North America.[3] Philosophers call such beliefs “non-propositional”. They are not expressed in sentences. They explain behaviour, movement. You know what you believe by looking at how you live. And you may not believe that you believe what you in fact believe.

It is partly why, in the anti-war movement in the US in the 60s and 70s, there was a slogan: There are no innocents. It meant that a quiet white life was collusion in the slaughter abroad. Behaviour patterns and values lived day by day, sustained ideology justifying slaughter abroad.

Toni Morrison calls it the “story beneath the story” and James Baldwin a “burning fire”. The phenomenon – lies that are lived, without knowing – has been known in Cuba since the early nineteenth century. It’s been known elsewhere, in fact in many philosophical traditions outside Europe (and within Europe by Marx). The Buddha, for instance, was very clear that beliefs, which we identify with and out of which we create an image of or story about ourselves, arise mostly arbitrarily from habit patterns, our own and society’s. We are in bondage to such (often tacit) beliefs.

They prevent choice. It is partly why the Buddha taught mental control, through the practise of meditation, although this is not understood in the current “mindfulness” craze in the US. [4]

Randall picks out elements of the ideas that challenge dominant worldviews but does not put them together or draw the consequences. They have to do with power, as I explain further below. Throughout the memoire, she comes back to the question of power. It is, she writes throughout the book, the explanation for political failures in Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Maybe, but the problem is not power as such, as we will see. This is a mistake and she could know it. But again, this is not meant as criticism ; it is indication of how hard it is to recognize lived ideology.

In 1999 in Caracus, Fidel Castro said, “They discovered smart weapons. We discovered something more important: people think and feel.” The statement is about lies that are lived and how to know them.

José de la Luz y Caballero, in early 19th century Cuba, a priest who wanted independence, taught philosophy because of a lie: slavery. Progressives accepted it.[5] They couldn’t imagine life without slavery. Luz taught philosophy in order that privileged youth could know injustice when injustice is identity: lived lies.

Cuban philosopher and revolutionary, José Martí, later, identified another lie: that the South must look North to live well. He built a revolution resisting it in the nineteenth century. It extended into the twentieth. It was not just about the lie, but about how to know it: a revolution in thinking.[6]

Early independence leaders, and later Martí, studied thinking. This point gets missed.

About her experiences in Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua, Randall comments on the deep connection, in each of these societies, between art and politics. Cuban philosopher Armando Hart, admired by Randall, has said the connection between art and politics is one of the Cuban Revolution’s most important ideological strengths.

It is about how we know. “People think and feel”. It has consequences, including for power.

Reciprocity

Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, said everyone is a philosopher but only some are called philosophers. This is because everyone, at some moments, thinks philosophically. You ask yourself whether you’re living a good life, whether you’ve done the right thing, or whether you’ve been a good friend to someone. In such moments, you employ philosophical concepts. You do so without realizing.

How we think determines how we act. This is known in many philosophical traditions. In the West, we think that how I act and what I say is most important and what I think is private, of no practical consequence. For the Buddha, just to mention one philosopher who thought otherwise, “mind matters most”. [7]

What you think results inevitably in actions and words. It includes what you think of “human”, that is, what you think it means to be human and to realize your unique potential as a human being. But how you think about “human” depends upon your society. We consider this further in the next section.

Marx made this point and his philosophy[8] challenges an idea that dominated in nineteenth century Europe and even more so today. It is the view that who I am – my self – is my mind, my thoughts. It goes back to René Descartes (1641) and evolved into ideas of identity, rationality and most notably freedom. They are ideas that are so deep-seated, culturally, that they are difficult to point out.

They are assumed, lived. This is part of the rationale for this current work, inspired by Randall.

Both Luz and Martí taught that “people think and feel”. It’s about reciprocity. Interconnectedness is a trendy idea among some philosophers, especially feminists, who emphasize relationships and emotional sensitivity. They urge connectivity as an antidote to liberal individualism, and a source of knowledge. Cuba’s philosophers, especially Martí, broke that trail in this hemisphere long ago, as I explain.

A new book on the US medical system identifies just such thinking, known to science, but hard to practise. Reciprocity involves experiencing – that is, feeling – relations between people, and becoming motivated, even humanized. Anyone seriously ill in the US (and Canada), knows medicine is not about care. Soul of Care, by Harvard psychiatrist, Arthur Kleinman, explains why.[9]

The failure is systemic. He cites an educator at a major US medical school, who feels like a “hypocrite” teaching about care. She knows doctors don’t have time to listen and are not so encouraged. Medicine is about “cost, efficiency, management talk”. Survival “depends on cutting corners, spending as little time as you can get away with in human interactions that can be emotionally and morally taxing.”

As Kleinman tells his personal story, of caring for his beloved wife, Joan, he offers a different view. Caregiving is not a moral obligation; it is existential. At its heart is reciprocity, the ““invisible glue that holds societies together”. In caregiving, one finds within oneself “a tender mercy and a need to act on it”. Caregiving, Kleinman argues, made him more human

Reciprocity offers solutions not identifiable previously. It matters for science, for truth. But the capacity must be cultivated. “Being present” means submitting intellectual judgment, on occasion, to experience of feelings. One can’t just decide to do it without preparation.

Yet such training is not happening. It’s not likely to. It contradicts “politically useful fictions” like the “self-made man”.

Two points stand out: Reciprocity makes you. Its value is not moral. It is about who you are, as a person. It explains capacities. Exercising reciprocity, you gain capacities. You gain energy, drive, wisdom. Second, reciprocity has epistemic value. It leads you to truths that could not be accessed otherwise.

These points are made by a US scientist. He is not a Marxist. He is a caring, sensible, medical professional and he draws on his own personal experience to make a case of urgent philosophical merit.

The same case was made by the nineteenth century independistas who rejected, thoroughly, a view of freedom arising from Europe. They understood that (1) it disallowed the acquiring of human capacities and (2) it made truth, especially about what it means to be human, inaccessible. On this, more anon.

Kleinman says medicine needs help from sociology and “even philosophy”. But the myth of the self-made man is taught in philosophy. It’s called philosophical liberalism. Liberalism is not just a political view. It is importantly philosophical, and it is assumed by many who do not call themselves liberals: feminists, anarchists, Aristotelians, environmentalists. If you look closely at the arguments you discover they assume liberal ideas of identity, rationality and autonomy.[10]

Philosophical liberalism denies person-making reciprocity. It becomes unimaginable in the way Kleinman so compellingly describes.

Marx taught such reciprocity – the kind that recognizes receiving back, cause and effect, giving. So did Lenin, the Buddha, and Christian philosophers, Thomas Merton, Jean Vanier and Ivan Illich. We don’t teach these philosophers in philosophy departments in North America. We barely recognize them.

Caregiving is so alien to medical practise that Kleinman’s “modest proposal” is to omit it from the curriculum altogether. Nonetheless, as he points out, health institutions claim to care about care. Kleinman’s colleague says: “We can’t even tell ourselves lies we can believe in”.

But they can. Whole societies can, and we do. “There are no innocents”, as they said in the 70s.

Group Think

The early Cuban independence activists, not radical, knew something about thinking that is now uncontroversial in analytic philosophy of science in North America. What they knew is this: All individual thinking is “group think”.

Everyone wants to be “authentic”: a real individual. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor referred to an “age of authenticity” in which the priority is happiness and choice: my own, of course.[11] But philosophers of science argue that in every instance of individual thinking, you name what you are thinking about. You say to yourself, “I am falling in love”. Why call it “love”? it is because of what you saw on TV.

Every act of thinking, no matter how private, involves naming. And names come from society. They are not from you. Names are socially dependent, a result of the “group”. Your “private”, individual thinking is always group think.

There is only one way to avoid group think. Cuban philosopher Cintio Vitier uses the word “teluricidad” (earthiness) to link Luz y Caballero and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, then Martí and eventually Fidel and Che Guevara.[12] Teluricidad has to do with feeling and how it moves us beyond conformity, if we have the guts to think it matters.

It takes guts because it challenges an entire world view: liberalism. Part of philosophical liberalism is an intellectual idea of rationality. It makes feelings suspect, as is explained further below.

That Descartes was wrong is cliché, but his view is influential. It is the idea that my self is my story, my memories. I act freely when I act from “within.” Yet there is no “within”, at least not unless you learn mental control, which Is not valued in the West and the North, although it was in ancient times.

Brilliant Cuban philosopher, diplomat and politician, Raúl Roa, argued in 1953 that the world was passing through its gravest crisis ever.[13] It was because the consolidation of US power brought with it a conception of human beings. It was an idea that arose in the Renaissance, which was not a rebirth of ancient humanism which recognized contemplation but, instead, the invention of a view appropriate for capitalism: homo faber, the man of action.

Roa calls it the “world’s gravest crisis” precisely because it makes moral and human truth implausible. Liberalism separated fact and value: There is no truth about value. It’s a convenient view if you live in the rich and powerful part of the world.

When I started reading philosophers from the South – those who resisted imperialism and colonialism – I discovered that they didn’t ask whether there is knowledge about value.[14] They had no doubt. I discovered the same about the Buddha. He didn’t ask whether there is knowledge about value. He assumed there is. [15]

The existence of moral and human truths is, arguably, an essential dividing point between Eastern and Western philosophy. It has significant implications.[16] The point for now is that philosophers from the South – at least those who resisted imperialism and colonialism – are more Eastern than Western in this crucial respect.

Roa could see this. Luz, mentioned above, taught philosophy because of the implication of European (liberal) philosophy for truth. He knew slavery was a lie. But slavery was an injustice lived by the privileged classes, somewhat like the division between North and South is lived by the rich North today: an identity. We consider ourselves “lucky” when we should, if we were honest, feel shame.

Luz saw the intersection between art and nature, feelings and science, faith and proof. He was a scientist who taught philosophy, credited by historians for teaching Cubans “how to think”. Roa’s point, in 1953, from Cuba, in the South, is that homo faber doesn’t contemplate such intersections. Homo faber doesn’t tolerate insecurity. Homo faber controls.

Desires, preferences, values, life plans are from without. They are a result of cause and effect. Thinking, desiring, planning, no matter how supposedly private, involves naming. Feeling does not. Alright, it sometimes does, such as in the example above about falling in love. But it doesn’t have to. Thinking always involves naming. It can’t happen without naming. And names are shared.

The Buddha knew this 2500 years ago, and he taught people to control their minds, so they could feel without naming.[17] That’s partly what meditation is about, although it is not how it is understood currently, as mentioned above.

The “Problem” of Power

Even before Martí, radical Cuban liberation activists condemned a popular presupposition of European philosophy: We act on “our own” when we follow our dreams just because they are ours. Some call it “the bourgeois myth of self-origination”, the idea that we ourselves cause our desires.

Che Guevara called it a cage: One attempts to escape alienation by doing one’s own thing but the remedy “bears the germs of the same sickness”, not permitting “escape from the invisible cage”.[18]

The cage is not just power structures. It is also accepted beliefs, stories, memories. But these depend on power structures. Martí mistrusted “the Yankee and European book”, at least for democracy, because “imported forms and ideas … have in their lack of local reality” prevented real self-government. Some of those ideas were about freedom itself: what Isaiah Berlin called “negative freedom”. It is the idea, roughly, that you are free if nothing gets in your way, within limits.

It is not the only idea out there in the history of philosophy. It is certainly not the most sensible. Human beings, like every other entity in the universe are subject to cause and effect. Reciprocity. It means, as Marx said, that we change the world that changes us. We know the world as it acts upon us, changes us, transforms us, sometime in ways we do not choose or even understand.

This is how we get truth, not by looking “inside” at a mythical “self”, mostly invented.[19]

Martí praised the poet José María de Heredia who dared “to be free in a time of pretentious slaves”, suggesting that “pretentious slaves” are “so accustomed . . . to servitude that [they become] … slaves of Liberty!” We can only become free when we understand the causal forces that determine our thinking and do the work to properly challenge and change such structures.

In doing so we exercise power.

Martí, admired by Randall and translated into English by her mother, states in his famous “Our America” that Latin American leaders must bring about “by means and institutions . . . the desirable state in which every man knows himself and is active”. [20] This is a remarkably unliberal claim. Individuals, Martí is saying, know themselves, not by looking “within”, but “by means and institutions” brought about by good government, that is, through the government’s exercise of power.

It doesn’t mean there have not been misuses of power in Cuba. In 26 years of going there regularly I have not met anyone who would deny misuses of power. But it changes the analysis.

Randall admires Cuba’s humanism, writing that “one of the Cuban revolution’s saving graces is [that] … a great humanity underpins its initiatives” (196). She quotes Che Guevara, who says a true revolutionary must be guided by “great feelings of love”. [21]

Philosophical liberalism devalues “feelings of love”. They are irrational. They cannot involve truth. Rationality is intellectual. It is what Fidel Castro was referring to when he said that better than smart bombs is recognition that “people think and feel”. He is referring to a philosophical view that has existed in many cultures, including the indigenous cultures of Central America that so profoundly influenced Martí, and which Randall cites.

It was the view of ancient philosophers like Chuang Tzu and the Buddha, and poets such as Rumi.

Cuban history makes such humanistic motivation believable. Cuban presence in Angola, according to historian Richard Gott, was “entirely without selfish motivation”. Cuba sent 300,000 volunteers between 1975 and 1991, more than 2,000 of whom died, to push back and eventually defeat apartheid South Africa. In Pretoria, a “wall of names” commemorates those who died in the struggle against apartheid. Many Cuban names are inscribed there. No other foreign country is represented.[22]

The US claimed that Cuba was acting as a Soviet proxy but according to US intelligence, Castro had “no intention of subordinating himself to Soviet discipline and direction.” He criticized the Soviets as dogmatic and opportunistic, ungenerous toward Third World liberation movements, and unwilling to adequately support North Vietnam. Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger wrote in his memoire 25 years later that Castro was “probably the most genuinely revolutionary leader then in power”.[23]

US Intelligence even identified the real motivation for Cuba’s costly involvement. Castro, it was reported, “places particular importance on maintaining a ‘principled’ foreign policy . . . [and] on questions of basic importance such as Cuba’s right and duty to support nationalist revolutionary movements and friendly governments in the Third World, Castro permits no compromise of principle for the sake of economic or political expediency.”

In 1991, Cuba’s “great crusade” led Nelson Mandela to ask, “What other country can point to a record of greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?”

Cuba’s internationalism continues. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Few have heeded the call [to fight Ebola]s, but one country has responded in strength: Cuba.” Cuba responded without hesitation, sending more than 450 doctors and nurses, chosen from more than 15,000 volunteers, by far the largest medical mission sent by any country.

Explained philosophically, though, internationalism is a practical, not moral, obligation as it is often portrayed. Human beings are part of nature, and we depend upon nature, including other human beings. In 1998, Fidel Castro said that Cuba’s humanist project explains Cuba’s resistance to the US financial, commercial and economic blockade.

He cited the power of ideas, specifically ideas about the practical, not moral significance of internationalism. This gets missed. It is reciprocity: lived, not just theorized

Two books published in 2019, both sympathetic to Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution (to a point) miss it. Cubans call it the “battle for ideas”. It is about ideas but also about the nature of ideas, that they arise from feeling, for example, and not just from rationalization.

Cuba Libre! Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History by Tony Perrottet [24] tells stories – good ones – about the guerilla struggle between 1956-8, leading to the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. There is only caricatured reference to Martí and no explanation of the history of resistance that explained and energized the sacrifice that Perrotet describes as “improbable”.

It is not improbable if philosophical liberalism is rejected, as it was, and reciprocity is lived.

The second book, of note, is a “revisionist” view of young Fidel Castro [25] describing Fidel Castro as an individual with strengths and weaknesses, that is, as a normal human being. Jonathan Hansen does not explain why we should expect otherwise. Although Hansen mentions the struggle for “cuba libre”, he does not explain it. In particular, he does not mention resistance to European ideology and the driving force of a quite different vision of human freedom than the one the consolidation of which Roa identifies as “the world’s gravest crisis”.

It’s like writing a biography of Stephen Hawking without mentioning collapsing stars or imaginary time. No one would do it. But Hansen makes the strange claim that Castro loved only one thing: the revolution. He didn’t love anything else, not even his son. Would anyone say Hawking loved only one thing: cosmology? And nothing else? Cosmology shaped his life, and the revolution shaped Castro’s. Does that mean no love for human beings is possible?

It is a silly view, only plausible if not examined. And there’s the rub. Philosophers of science argue that we only find empirical evidence to support theories if we first, to some degree, believe such theories, even without evidence.[26] This means that we don’t examine that which we don’t find surprising.

It’s why Cuba’s “battle for ideas” does not get proper attention in Randall’s memoire. It is not expected. There is no question the answer to which is expected to be useful and interesting. This is how theory works. It depends upon judgments of interest and plausibility. There is no question about the battle for ideas because there is nothing we care about that the battle for ideas might explain.

So, ironically, the battle for idea can only matter if there is a battle for ideas: against philosophical liberalism. It makes human truths implausible and inaccessible. In the “age of authenticity”, as Charles Taylor points out, the priority is happiness and choice, and humanness is whatever you believe it to be.

It is not a plausible view for those who have struggled for centuries against dehumanizing imperialism and, for anyone who cares to look seriously, plenty of compelling evidence supports their position.

Conclusion

Cuba resisted the US embargo for sixty years. It defied predictions of imminent collapse after the disappearance of the Soviet Union. And when Fidel Castro stepped down in 2006 because of illness, Cuba again defied predictions— this time of internal squabbling and chaos. Julia Sweig, US Rockefeller senior fellow, noted a “stunning display of orderliness and seriousness” and concluded that the Cuban Revolution “rests upon far more than the charisma, authority and legend of [Raul and Fidel Castro].”

Far more than power.

The “far more” is philosophical, a vision of who we can be, and know ourselves as, as human beings. It predates Martí but was most radically realized by Martí, who thought political liberation does not long endure without spiritual freedom. He meant that sensitivity and humility matter more than knowledge because we gain capacity to respond to beauty, whether in ideas, people or events.

Only with such responsiveness can we know the unexpected, which may be humanness.

It is Cuba’s gift to the world. But it must be understood. It Is not simple and can even be disruptive. But it is urgent. It is not clear that Randall sees this. However, she has done more than many and deserves enormous credit. But what is missed matters. I believe she’d agree.

Notes:

  1. I Never Left Home: A Memoire of Time and Place (Duke University Press, 2020) 
  2. Richard Pevear “Introduction” Demons (Vintage, 1995). 
  3. E.g. Boyd, Richard N. “How to be a moral realist”, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (Ed.), Essays on moral realism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988) 181-228; Kitcher, Philip, ”The Naturalists Return”, The Philosophical Review 101(1992 1): 53 – 114. 
  4. E.g. Ronald Purser, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Penguin Random House 2019) HOW MINDFULNESS BECAME THE NEW CAPITALIST SPIRITUALITY HOW MINDFULNESS BECAME THE NEW CAPITALIST SPIRITUALITY By RONALD PURSER 
  5. Cintio Vitier, Ese sol del mundo moral (Havana, Editorial Félix Varela, 1996)10-18 
  6. Rodriguez, Pedro Pablo Pensar, prever, servir (Havana: Ediciones Unión, 2012) 
  7. Chapter 1 of Dhammapada found here: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/scrndhamma.pdf 
  8. Allen Wood, Karl Marx (Routledge 2003) is arguably the best account of Marx’s philosophy (as opposed to his politics). Wood argues that many Marxists do not sufficiently consider Marx’s philosophy. 
  9. Penguin Random House, 2019. Review is here: https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/soul-care-moral 
  10. I have argued this in “Anarchy a false hope? Latin American revolutionaries knew dhamma and saddha” Kalmanson, Leah, ed. Comparative Studies in Asian and Latin American Philosophies (Bloomsbury Press, 2018); “Political Freedom and Epistemic Injustice” in Ian Kidd, José Medina, Gaile Polhaus eds. Handbook on Epistemic Injustice (Routledge Press, 2017). 
  11. A Secular Age (Harvard University, 2007), 473-479). 
  12. Ese sol, op. cit., 14-18 
  13. Roa, Raúl “Grandeza y servidumbre del humanismo”, Viento Sur, Havana: Centro cultural de Pablo de la Torriente Brau 2015) 44-62 . 
  14. E.g. Brazilian philosopher, Paulo Freire, wrote that “authentic humanism” is “impossible” not to discover, even with deep-seated cultural, intellectual and political acceptance of imperialist and colonialist dehumanization. See Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Myra Berman Ramos (Trans.) (New York: Continuum Press, 2000) 43. 93. 
  15. I have explored this in Humanism and Embodiment (Bloomsbury 2014) 
  16. Ernesto Limia Díaz explains the ineffectiveness of the international left by this phenomenon: denial of moral truth in Cuba:¿fin de la Historia? (NY: Ocean Sur, 2015) 90 
  17. Hart, William, The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka ( Harper Collins, 1987). 
  18. “Man and socialism in Cuba”. In David Deutschman (Ed.), The Che Guevara reader: Writings on guerilla strategy, politics and revolution (pp. 197– 214). (Ocean Press, 1997). (Originally published 1965) 
  19. Patrick Modiano’s Sleep of Memory (Yale University press, 2018) See review at https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/sleep-memory 
  20. 1891 rpt. In Esther Allen (Ed. and Trans.), José Martí: Selected writings (Penguin Books, 2002) 290 
  21. “Man and socialism”, op cit, 211 
  22. Gleijeses, Piero, Conflicting missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976 (University of North Carolina, 2002) 300-327. 
  23. Gleijeses, Piero, Visions of Freedom: Havana. Washington, Pretoria and the struggle for southern Africa (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2013) 306, 373, 521, 525, 526 
  24. Blue Rider Press (January 22, 2019). See review https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/cuba-libre-che 
  25. Hansen, Jonathan M. Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary (Simon and Schuster, 2019). See review at https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/young-castro 
  26. E.g. Philip Kitcher, Abusing Science: The Case against Creationism (MIT Press, 1982) ch. 2 

Soleimani: The ‘Muslim Che Guevara’ dies, but revolutionary culture continues

January 05, 2020

A demonstrator holds the picture of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani during a protest against the assassination in Baghdad of the Iranian commander by the United States, in Tehran, Iran, on January 3, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

By Ramin Mazaheri – PressTV

“ A people without hate cannot triumph over a brutal enemy.” – Che Guevara

The assassination on Iraqi soil of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani will produce many things, and global resentment and hatred for Washington is undoubtedly already one of them.

Around the world the assessment is the same: Washington has committed an act of war. In their bloodlust to reverse Iran’s popular and democratic revolution – in order to keep feeding their bottomless neo-imperial greed –  Washington has electroshocked the world into remembering its brutal immorality: one remembers the pain of doctor’s needle with more clarity than the pain of a week-long illness, after all.

There will be so many ramifications to this cowardly, illegal, inhuman act – which so nakedly aims to be of profit solely to the US elite and not the average American – that we should take time to historically assess the true legacy of Soleimani: 

he is the Muslim Che Guevara.

He is not merely the “Iranian Che Guevara” because that makes no sense given Che’s ideals: Just like the Argentinian, Soleimani spent many years of his life fighting US imperialism in many countries and ultimately died in a foreign land out of his certainty in the reality of international brotherhood.

Remains of Gen. Soleimani arrive in Iran for cross-country funeral

Remains of Gen. Soleimani arrive in Iran for cross-country funeralThe remains of anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his companions have arrived in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz from Iraq where they were assassinated by the US early Friday.

Limiting Soleimani’s legacy to the “Iranian Che Guevara” also makes no sense given the ideals of the Iranian revolution: Soleimani’s death reminds the world that Iran – seemingly alone in the anti-imperialist struggle in 2019 – repeatedly gives their time, money, blood, love and lives to non-Iranians out of a sense of progressive political internationalism.

Che Guevara died in October 1967 in Bolivia. The group Che died with was international, including Peruvians, Argentinians, Cubans, Bolivians and even two Europeans. Without Soleimani’s presence in Iraq and Syria both of those countries would be under total imperialist domination today, and probably Lebanon as well.

The Iranian revolution is just as international in scope and reach as the Cuban revolution Che was a part of creating and defending. Iran’s critics say they want to turn every Muslim into a Shia and make the laws of Iran the laws of the entire world…. but that is obviously the hubris of the imperialist West – Iran’s progressive goal is not control but liberation of the masses and then their empowerment.

Few Westerners seem to realize that the primary motivation of Che – perhaps the very picture of internationalism –  was undoubtedly Latin American nationalism: his dream was the same as Bolivar’s (and Cuba’s Marti and others in Chile, Nicaragua, etc.). For those who see the anti-imperialist struggle with historical accuracy, there is in an obvious parallel here with the “Muslim World nationalism” of Iran’s Soleimani.

Only the religion-phobes, the uselessly pedantic and the outright Iranophobes and Islamophobes will fail to see that.

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: Paper

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: PaperGeneral Soleimani’s assassination may trigger the ultimate objective of ending the US military presence in Iraq, a British paper says.

It’s no matter to billions of people if such persons remain blind: Just like Soleimani, Che was disavowed by the leading leftists and revolutionaries of his day – the USSR detested Che and his bold resistance to Washington, which few recall. (Like Iran today, Che was appreciative of the Chinese view.) Moscow insisted – in their quite European fashion – that only they should lead and strategise the fight against Western imperialism. In short: now that the USSR had been liberated from foreign imperialism, nobody else needed to take up arms anymore. Of course, at the time of Che’s death the USSR was no longer led by the anti-fascist hero Che affectedly called “Daddy Stalin” – Khrushchev, Brezhnev and finally Gorbachev would grow decadent, corrupt, even renounce Soviet support for international anti-imperialist struggles, and finally wilfully implode the USSR from the very top and against the overwhelming democratic will of the Soviet people.

To the Western leftists – or anywhere else in the world – who can’t see clearly: Why did they kill Soleimani, too? Do they still think he was, to use a term popular in the US around 2003, an “Islamo-fascist”? Washington is certainly fascist, but they are not so very Islamophobic to kill Soleimani over being a Muslim. I hope this group keeps trying – one day they’ll finally understand. 

Che was assassinated because his explicit goal was to create “multiple Vietnams”. Surely many streets will be named after Soleimani in Syria, and Iraq, and even Palestine (if Iran could get some help from Arab nations). Soleimani was undoubtedly a success.

But the invasion, sanctions, re-invasion and occupation of Iraq never motivated the West like Vietnam. Why? Islamophobia, perhaps. The injustice towards Iraqis did, however, motivate Iranians like Soleimani.

Was Che a success? He failed in Bolivia and the Congo, but Cuba remains the “first free country in the Americas”, and many would rightly say the only. Less appreciated is how Cuba fought alongside non-Latin Angola – who had the misfortune of being colonised by the most backwards Western imperialist (Portugal) – and how this directly led to the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Che was undoubtedly a success.

Axis of resistance to respond decisively to Gen. Soleimani’s assassination: Top Hezbollah official

Axis of resistance to respond decisively to Gen. Soleimani’s assassination: Top Hezbollah officialA top Hezbollah official says the response of the axis of resistance to the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani will be decisive.

In the West Che is only a successful way to make money – his face sells all types of merchandise – but the notion that his ideas are remembered, understood or (LOL) taught is laughable. For the West Che merely symbolises romance, not revolution, politics or morality.

And that’s where this article moves on from placing Soleimani in his proper historical context.

If Iranians think that continuing their revolution is just romance and posing – instead of a necessary self-sacrifice, which is undertaken with no expectation of earthly reward (and in fact more likely to produce quite the contrary), in order to prevent brutality and hate ruining the lives of tens of millions of Iranians – then their revolution will fail. Revolutions often fail: ask the French. They still celebrate it every Bastille Day, but that is more romance and posing.

For those non-Iranians who think the Iranian revolution is not needed globally, and especially regionally, urgently – just go ask an Iraqi, Syrian or Palestinian if they agree. Other countries will be included one day, and I am first thinking of those areas which are so deeply vital to Islamic culture, such as Egypt, Morocco and Arabia. One day the sons and daughters of Che and Soleimani will unite in countries which are neither Muslim nor Latin, Inshallah.

For those who think Soleimani will be the last atrocious slaying it is necessary to recall that the death of Che was only the first – Sukarno, Nkrumah, Ben Bella, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy soon followed.

However, we should not forget they were preceded domestically by Malcolm X and John Kennedy – assassination is not at all a new policy for the US, and we should not imagine that suddenly is now. The goal of such assassinations is clear: to discourage future revolutionaries, and also to retard ongoing anti-imperialist movements.

Iraqi parliament passes law legalizing Popular Mobilization Units

Iraqi parliament passes law legalizing Popular Mobilization UnitsThe Iraqi parliament votes to transform Popular Mobilization Units into a legal and separate military corps.

However, I am not worried that the Iranian Revolution will fall with Soleimani, and I mean that with reverence for his sacrifice and achievements: the idea that a popular revolution can (or should) rest on the work of one man alone… this is not revolution, nor popular, but the “great man-ism” of Western capitalism-imperialism. This is Macron, Rhodesia, Louis XIV, Churchill, and, of course, Trump. A successful revolutionary culture produces a system which is able to produce moral and capable leaders over and over and over until the revolution is truly secure – Iranians have more than 40 years of successful revolution upon which to justifiably base their faith in the future, despite these sad days.

Trump has committed an act of war, but a quick, hasty revenge will almost certainly be detrimental to the many just causes Soleimani and others have sacrificed so much for. Soleimani did not become the Muslim Che Guevara and repeatedly triumph over a brutal enemy by placing the good of one person over the good of the nation and the good of the struggle.

Angola provides the best example of how Che’s death should have been dealt with: they launched an anti-imperialist offensive called “Che is not dead”, which proved to be the beginning of the end of Portuguese control over Guinea-Bissau and then of the entire Portuguese empire by 1974.

Thanks in large part to Soleimani’s efforts, after so many decades of Western-led corruption, hate and brutality Iraq appears strong enough that they may even be able to expel the US immediately and even peacefully. I don’t think Soleimani would ask for any greater legacy than that – this is what he died for.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’

سليماني: وفاة “مسلم تشي جيفارا” ، لكن الثقافة الثورية مستمرة

بقلم رامين مظاهري

رامين ماظاهري هو المراسل الرئيسي في باريس لتلفزيون برس ، ويقيم في فرنسا منذ عام 2009. عمل مراسلاً لصحيفة يومية في الولايات المتحدة ، وقد نشر تقارير من إيران وكوبا ومصر وتونس وكوريا الجنوبية وأماكن أخرى. وهو مؤلف كتب “سأحطم كل شيء أنت: إنهاء الدعاية الغربية بشأن الصين الحمراء” و “الاشتراكية المتجاهلة النجاح: الاشتراكية الإسلامية الإيرانية” المقبلة.

“لا يمكن لشعب بلا كراهية الانتصار على عدو وحشي” – تشي جيفارا

إن اغتيال قاسم سليماني على أرض العراق سينتج عنه أشياء كثيرة ، ولا شك أن الاستياء والكراهية العالميين لواشنطن هو أحدهما بالفعل.

التقييم في جميع أنحاء العالم هو نفسه: لقد ارتكبت واشنطن عمل حرب. في غمرة دمائهم لعكس ثورة إيران الشعبية والديمقراطية – من أجل الاستمرار في إطعام جشعهم الإمبريالي الجديد الذي لا نهاية له – صدمت واشنطن العالم بأسره لتتذكر مخالفته الوحشية: يتذكر المرء ألم إبرة الطبيب بمزيد من الوضوح أكثر من ألم الأسبوع. مرض طويل ، بعد كل شيء.

سيكون هناك الكثير من التداعيات على هذا العمل الجبان وغير القانوني واللاإنساني – الذي يهدف بشكل مكشوف إلى تحقيق ربح فقط للنخبة الأمريكية وليس المواطن الأمريكي العادي – لدرجة أننا يجب أن نأخذ الوقت لتقييم تاريخياً للتراث الحقيقي لسليماني: المسلم تشي جيفارا.

إنه ليس مجرد “تشي تشي جيفارا الإيراني” لأن هذا لا معنى له في ضوء مُثُل تشي: تمامًا مثل الأرجنتيني ، قضى سليماني سنوات عديدة من حياته يقاتل الإمبريالية الأمريكية في العديد من البلدان وتوفي في النهاية في أرض أجنبية بدافع اليقين في حقيقة الإخاء الدولي.

إن قصر تراث سليماني على “تشي تشي جيفارا الإيراني” ليس له أي معنى أيضًا في ضوء مُثُل الثورة الإيرانية: إن وفاة سليماني تذكر العالم بأن إيران – التي تبدو وحدها في الكفاح ضد الإمبريالية في عام 2019 – تعطي مرارًا وتكرارًا وقتهم وأموالهم ودمائهم ، الحب والعيش لغير الإيرانيين بدافع الإحساس بالأممية السياسية التقدمية.

توفي تشي جيفارا في أكتوبر 1967 في بوليفيا. كانت المجموعة التي مات بها تشي دولية ، بما في ذلك البيروفيين والأرجنتين والكوبيين والبوليفيين وحتى الأوروبيين. وبدون وجود سليماني في العراق وسوريا ، سيكون كلا هذين البلدين تحت السيطرة الإمبريالية الكاملة اليوم ، وربما لبنان أيضًا.

إن الثورة الإيرانية ذات نطاق عالمي ومدى انتشارها كما كانت الثورة الكوبية تشي جزءًا من الإبداع والدفاع. يقول منتقدو إيران إنهم يريدون تحويل كل مسلم إلى شيعة وجعل قوانين إيران قوانين العالم بأسره …. لكن من الواضح أن هذا هو غطرسة الغرب الإمبريالي – فهدف إيران التدريجي ليس السيطرة بل تحرير الجماهير ثم تمكينها.

يبدو أن القليل من الغربيين يدركون أن الدافع الأساسي لتشي – ربما صورة الأممية – كان بلا شك القومية الأمريكية اللاتينية: كان حلمه هو نفسه حلم بوليفار (ومارتي كوبا وغيرها من تشيلي ونيكاراغوا ، إلخ). بالنسبة لأولئك الذين يرون النضال ضد الإمبريالية بدقة تاريخية ، هناك في موازاة واضحة هنا مع “القومية العالم الإسلامي” من سليماني إيران.

فقط رهاب الدين ، الإيرانيين الفاشلين غير المجاهدين والصواب والخوف من الإسلاموفوبس سيفشلون في رؤية ذلك.

لا يهم المليارات من الناس إذا ظل هؤلاء الأشخاص عمياء: تمامًا مثل سليماني ، تم التخلي عن تشي من قبل كبار اليساريين والثوريين في عصره – الاتحاد السوفيتي كره تشي ومقاومته الجريئة لواشنطن ، وهو ما يذكره القليلون. (مثل إيران اليوم ، كان تشي يقدر وجهة النظر الصينية). أصرت موسكو – بأسلوبها الأوروبي تمامًا – على أنها فقط يجب أن تقود وتضع استراتيجية للحرب ضد الإمبريالية الغربية. باختصار: الآن بعد أن تم تحرير الاتحاد السوفيتي من الإمبريالية الأجنبية ، لم يعد هناك من يحتاج إلى حمل السلاح بعد الآن. بالطبع ، في وقت وفاة تشي ، لم يكن الاتحاد السوفييتي يقوده البطل المعادي للفاشية تشي المتأثر “دادي ستالين” – خروشوف ، بريجنيف وأخيراً غورباتشوف سوف يزداد الدعم السوفييتي للانحطاط الدولي المناهض للإمبريالية النضال ، وأخيرا تنفجر عن عمد الاتحاد السوفياتي من القمة وضد الإرادة الديمقراطية الساحقة للشعب السوفياتي.

إلى اليساريين الغربيين – أو في أي مكان آخر في العالم – الذين لا يستطيعون رؤية بوضوح: لماذا قتلوا سليماني أيضًا؟ هل ما زالوا يعتقدون أنه ، لاستخدام مصطلح شائع في الولايات المتحدة حوالي عام 2003 ، “فاشي إسلامي”؟ من المؤكد أن واشنطن فاشية ، لكنهم ليسوا من الإسلاميين الذين يقتلون سليماني بسبب كونهم مسلمين. آمل أن تستمر هذه المجموعة في المحاولة – في يوم ما سيفهمون في النهاية.

تم اغتيال تشي لأن هدفه الواضح كان إنشاء “فيتنام متعددة”. بالتأكيد سيتم تسمية العديد من الشوارع باسم سليماني في سوريا والعراق وحتى فلسطين (إذا كانت إيران قد تحصل على بعض المساعدة من الدول العربية). كان سليماني بلا شك نجاحًا.

لكن الغزو والعقوبات وإعادة الغزو والاحتلال للعراق لم يحفز الغرب مثل فيتنام. لماذا ا؟ رهاب الإسلام ، ربما. ومع ذلك ، فإن الظلم تجاه العراقيين قد حفز الإيرانيين مثل سليماني.

كان تشي النجاح؟ لقد فشل في بوليفيا والكونغو ، لكن كوبا لا تزال “أول بلد حر في الأمريكتين” ، وكثيرون سيقولون بحق فقط. أما الأمر الأقل تقديراً فهو كيف قاتلت كوبا إلى جانب أنغولا غير اللاتينية – التي عانت من سوء حظ الاستعمار من قبل الإمبرياليين الغربيين الأكثر تخلفاً (البرتغال) – وكيف أدى ذلك مباشرة إلى نهاية نظام الفصل العنصري في جنوب إفريقيا. كان تشي بلا شك نجاحًا.

في الغرب ، ليست تشي سوى وسيلة ناجحة لكسب المال – وجهه يبيع جميع أنواع البضائع – لكن فكرة أن أفكاره يتم تذكرها أو فهمها أو تعليمها (LOL) أمر مضحك. بالنسبة للغرب ، تشي فقط ترمز إلى الرومانسية وليس إلى الثورة أو السياسة أو الأخلاق.

وهنا ينتقل هذا المقال من وضع سليماني في سياقه التاريخي المناسب.

إذا كان الإيرانيون يعتقدون أن استمرار ثورتهم هو مجرد حب وتظاهر – بدلاً من التضحية بالنفس الضرورية ، والتي يتم القيام بها دون توقع لمكافأة دنيوية (وفي الواقع من المرجح أن تنتج عكس ذلك تمامًا) ، من أجل منع الوحشية والكراهية تدمير حياة عشرات الملايين من الإيرانيين – ثم ثورتهم ستفشل. الثورات غالبا ما تفشل: اسأل الفرنسيين. ما زالوا يحتفلون به في كل يوم من أيام الباستيل ، لكن هذا هو المزيد من الرومانسية والتظاهر.

بالنسبة لأولئك غير الإيرانيين الذين يعتقدون أن الثورة الإيرانية ليست ضرورية على المستوى العالمي ، وخاصة على المستوى الإقليمي ، على وجه السرعة – ما عليك سوى أن تسأل عراقيًا أو سوريًا أو فلسطينيًا إذا وافقوا على ذلك. سيتم إدراج بلدان أخرى في يوم من الأيام ، وأنا أفكر أولاً في تلك المجالات التي تعتبر حيوية للغاية للثقافة الإسلامية ، مثل مصر والمغرب والجزيرة العربية. في يوم من الأيام ، سيتحد أبناء وبنات تشي وسليماني في بلدان ليست مسلمة ولا لاتينية ، إن شاء الله.

بالنسبة لأولئك الذين يعتقدون أن سليماني سيكون آخر جريمة قتل فظيعة ، من الضروري أن نتذكر أن وفاة تشي كانت الأولى فقط – سوكارنو ونكروما وبن بيلا ومارتن لوثر كينغ وروبرت كينيدي سرعان ما تبع ذلك.

ومع ذلك ، لا ينبغي لنا أن ننسى أن مالكوم إكس وجون كينيدي سبقهما على الصعيد المحلي – الاغتيال ليس على الإطلاق سياسة جديدة للولايات المتحدة ، ويجب ألا نتصور أن الأمر أصبح مفاجئًا الآن. هدف مثل هذه الاغتيالات واضح: لتثبيط الثوار في المستقبل ، وكذلك تأخير الحركات المستمرة المناهضة للإمبريالية.

ومع ذلك ، لست قلقًا من سقوط الثورة الإيرانية مع سليماني ، وأعني بذلك تقديسًا لتضحياته وإنجازاته: فكرة أن الثورة الشعبية يمكن (أو ينبغي) أن تعتمد على عمل رجل واحد بمفرده … هذه ليست ثورة ، ولا شعبية ، ولكن “العظم العظيم” للإمبريالية الغربية. هذا هو ماكرون ، روديسيا ، لويس الرابع عشر ، تشرشل ، وبطبيعة الحال ، ترامب. تنتج الثقافة الثورية الناجحة نظامًا قادرًا على إنتاج قادة أخلاقيين وقادرين مرارًا وتكرارًا حتى تصبح الثورة آمنة حقًا – يتمتع الإيرانيون بأكثر من 40 عامًا من الثورة الناجحة التي يمكن أن يبني عليها إيمانهم في المستقبل ، على الرغم من هؤلاء أيام حزينة.

لقد ارتكب ترامب عملا حربيا ، ولكن من المؤكد أن الانتقام السريع المتسرع سيضر بالكثير من الأسباب العادلة التي ضحى بها سليماني وآخرون ضحوا بالكثير من أجلها. لم يصبح سليماني المسلم تشي غيفارا وانتصر مرارًا وتكرارًا على عدو وحشي من خلال وضع مصلحة شخص واحد على خير الأمة وخير النضال.

تقدم أنغولا أفضل مثال على كيفية التعامل مع وفاة تشي: لقد شنوا هجومًا معاديًا للإمبريالية أطلق عليه “تشي لم يمت” ، والذي أثبت أنه بداية نهاية السيطرة البرتغالية على غينيا بيساو ثم الإمبراطورية البرتغالية بأكملها بحلول عام 1974.

ويرجع الفضل في ذلك إلى حد كبير إلى جهود سليماني ، بعد عقود طويلة من الفساد بقيادة الغرب ، والكراهية والوحشية ، يبدو أن العراق قوي بما يكفي حتى يتمكن من طرد الولايات المتحدة على الفور وحتى بسلام. لا أعتقد أن سليماني سيطلب أي إرث أكبر من ذلك – هذا ما مات من أجله.

(الآراء المعبر عنها في هذا المقال لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء Press TV).

Related Videos

21st Century Wire YEAR IN REVIEW: 2019 Top Ten (Real) Conspiracies

21st Century Wire

It’s New Year’s Eve again, which means it’s time for our annual wrap-up, looking at some of the most important and unusual, and dare we say conspiratorial events of 2019. This past year was built on the back of a highly polarizing 2018, which saw the post-World War II world order coming apart at the seams, and the 20th century religions of neoliberalism and globalization being relegated to the ideological depths in the face of an evolving nationalist and mercantilist Anglo-American-dominated transatlantic order. Following on from 2018, this year saw the collapse of the seemingly sacrosanct ‘official conspiracy theory’ narratives of improbable ‘chemical attacks’ like Skripal in the UK, and Douma in Syria, both of which had profound geopolitical ramifications at the time. These are just a few stories which helped to shape the zeitgeist this past year. If 2019 taught us anything, it’s that conspiracies are real

There were a number of honorable mentions this past year which would have normally been good enough to break into the top ten in previous years, but not this time…

Honorable Mentioned Highlights – One event which would’ve normally made it into the top ten, but didn’t, was President Trump’s grand decree in October that he would be “pulling US troops out of Syria” – only this was the third time he made such an announcement in the past 24 months, and just like the previous ones, this one was another bait and switch. To compensate for leaving US forces to illegally occupy Syria’s own oil fields, Trump was able to ‘close the file’ on alleged ISIS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi. We’re told that the illusive Caliph was supposedly chased-down, “whimpering and crying,” by a US military German Shepherd in a dead-end underground tunnel in Idlib. Of course, we’ll never know what actually happened because the US military proceeded to level the compound with an airstrike, thus destroying any evidence. Other official conspiracy theories of note included the untimely death of British mercenary entrepreneur, James Le Mesurier, who was founder of the controversial White Helmets ‘search and rescue’ group. After his death, ruled a likely suicide under the influence of medication (falling from his balcony while his wife was sleeping in the adjacent room) by Istanbul police, Le Mesurier’s defenders in mainstream media and intelligence agencies began blaming his death on members of public, journalists and academics who had either questioned or criticized Le Mesurier and the nature of US and UK-backed White Helmets operations alongside listed terrorist organizations in Syria. On a related geopolitical front, Iran featured heavily in what some dubbed as the Tanker Wars in 2019, which included a series of unidentified attacks on western and Gulf flagged oil tankers traveling in the Persian Gulf. Naturally, these were blamed on Iran by the US, and were followed by the British military hijacking and seizing an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar and preventing it from delivering fuel to the sanctions-hit economy of Syria. It seemed the West was testing various mechanisms to trigger a war with Iran, maybe hoping for an irrational response which never came. The US also baited the Iranians by flying in its airspace with their $150 million Globalhawk drone, which Iran shot down with their $12,000 anti-aircraft unit. Tensions remain high. 2018’s “Antisemitism in the Labour Party” canard was ramped-up and weaponized in 2019 to form part of an all-out establishment propaganda effort to reduce electoral support for Britain’s Labour Party in the run-up to the General Election. Sadly, it worked, but the political assassination of Jeremy Corbyn will go down in history as one of the darkest political acts ever, perpetrated by a shrewd coalition that included the Israeli Lobby, the Conservative Party, the Tony Blair wing of the Labour Party, and the mainstream media. Other honorable mentions for 2019 may include Brussels moving ever-closer to finalizing its new “EU Army”, aka EU Defense Union, something which Tories happily avoided talking about before the last election, possibly because they have quietly committed to opt-in to the new defense arrangement – even if there’s a Brexit. In Asia, the western press began ramping-up the human rights rhetoric in order to condemn China for its treatment of Muslim ethnic minority Uyghurs in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, claiming China has interned millions of Uyghurs in cruel concentration camps. But the US seems to be taking a leaf from China’s authoritarian book, as Silicon Valley’s Kafkaesque political censorship and de-platforming program reach new highs in 2019, and looks set to continue in 2020 with the US elections. Twitter was also exposed as employing Saudi spies to dig up dirt on critics of the regime, as well as British spooks from Brigade 77 information warfare unit embedded at the tech firm too. Late in the year, the US also saw a bizarre mass shooting by a ‘rogue’ Saudi pilot training at the US base there, which was quietly swept under the rug by US officials. Around the same time, we saw yet another alleged ‘ISIS inspired’ terror attack on London Bridge – a quintessential Daily Shooter event if there ever was one, featuring another known wolf, on the radar of intelligence, wearing a tag, and even attending a ‘prisoner reform’ conference next door. Unfortunately the perp won’t be interrogated because he was executed on the city pavement before anyone could get to the bottom of what happened, and more importantly, why. Shades of Jean Charles de Menezes, and so many others by now.

One important thing to consider about 2019 is the slow motion break-down of all the western establishment’s official Russian conspiracy theories, all of which have featured so heavily in American and European politics since 2014. In other words, this worn-out framework has all but collapsed, but that won’t stop the usual media maven and political opportunists from still flogging that old horse.

With that in mind, here are some of the absolute blockbuster top real conspiracies of 2018…


10. Hong Kong’s ‘Democracy’ Protests – Hong Kong ends 2019 with more ‘democracy’ protests, supposedly disrupting normal festivities and shopping in China’s unique financial hub. Both US Democrats and Republicans gushed over protest leader Joshua Wong, flying him to Washington for photo-ops with Nancy Pelosi and Marco Rubio. However, it soon became known that the US government was actually directing and funding this supposed ‘grass roots uprising’ in China’s troubled territory. The US mainstream media then spun a propaganda campaign to try and paint the Chinese police in Hong Kong as ‘brutal’ and ‘repressive’, when in fact they were the opposite. Then evidence began to emerge showing extreme violence being used by the US-backed protest mobs, where Wong’s masked foot soldiers could be seen beating innocent passers-by, and even attacking elderly residents as well. ‘Pro-Democracy’ violence featured one particularly grisly attempted murder of multiple Hong Kong residents, including State Department-backed ‘freedom demonstrators’ who set a man on fire, attempting to burn him alive on the street. This push to demonize China can be viewed as part of the new US focus to disrupt and damage China’s reputation internationally as it attempts to forge ahead with its world-beating Belt and Road Initiative. Of course, the US is not taking China’s ascendancy lying down, but by the same token, fielding street thugs on the streets of Hong Kong may not net any long-term dividends, other than anger China and re-polarize the Pacific Rim. Maybe, that’s the plan.


9. Reconquista: Washington’s Take-down of South America – In 2019, Washington began turning back the clock to CIA’s golden years of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, where democratically Latin American governments were toppled one by one, and replaced by US-installed fascists and military juntas. The year started off with a bang, as the US State Department and its various operatives, over the span of three months, attempted no less than three failed coups in Venezuela. They even wheeled-out Jurassic neocon Elliot Abrams from the basement of Foggy Bottom to see if he had any of his 1980’s dark clandestine magic left in him. But the public support of the government of Nicholas Maduro was much stronger than the policy maven and spooks in Washington had anticipated. Comically, Neocons even went so far as to appoint their own President for Venezuela, a marionette named Juan Guaidó, which half of Venezuela hadn’t even heard of. A year on, the entire escapade has become a joke. Not surprisingly, a humiliated Trump Administration has quietly backed off of Venezuela, opting instead to continue sanctioning its economy, shorting its currency, stealing its foreign assets – all in all, punishing its citizens for rejecting a hostile US takeover. But Washington had better luck in Bolivia where a US-backed ultra rightwing fascist column was used in violent street protests demanding the removal of democratically elected President Evo Morales. To pull off the final move, the US had effectively bought off the country’s military and police forces who were used to depose Evo – in classic 1960’s CIA style. Evo was forced to flee his own country to Mexico, as US-backed mobs ransacked his home, and began hunting down and intimidating his political allies. That’s freedom and democracy, American style.


8. Yemeni Drones & Saudi Aramco – In September, an incredible underdog event took place. After nearly five years of a relentless war being waged against Yemen by its neighbor Saudi Arabia along with accomplices the United States, UK and the UAE – Yemen struck back, with its Houthi Resistance fighters launching a makeshift drone attack hitting two major Saudi Aramco oil installations across the border. Even though the Houthi Rebels immediately claimed responsibility for the assault on Abqaiq, the world’s largest oil processing plant, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately rejected the claim, and instead the US and Saudi invented a new official conspiracy theory which blamed Iran, accusing the regional rival of having “now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Saudi put on an legendary TV press performance to show the world the ‘evidence’ it had of drone fragments, supposedly implicating Iran. They hoped this could raise tensions enough to justify military action against Iran. “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” said Pompeo on Twitter. In the end, this intricate conspiracy theory spun by Washington simply fizzled out due to a lack of evidence to support their tenuous claim. As with its embarrassing failure in Venezuela, Washington just backed off quietly, and hoped no one would talk about it any more. What this incident really showed was that under-equipped, under-funded, and fully embargoed Yemen – could deliver a fatal blow inside of Saudi Arabia, and influence world energy markets by doing so. Make no mistake about it: Saudi and the US have been put on notice in Yemen.


7. Mueller and the Collapse of RussiaGate – Remember the official conspiracy theory pushed by the US establishment – that Russia somehow intervened in the 2016 US Presidential Election on behalf of Donald Trump, thus catapulting him into the White House? This past spring, the hysteria and excitement reached such a fever pitch, that Robert Mueller was canonized as the new patron saint of the Resistance movement. But it was a house of cards. Well after three long and torturous years, in an big top circus featuring 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and staff assigned to investigate, more than 2,800 subpoenas issued by the Special Counsel Mueller’s office, some 500 search warrants executed, more than 230 orders for communication records, 50 authorized orders (lets the government know who someone is communicating with and when, but not what they said), 13 evidence requests to foreign governments, 500 witnesses interviewed, well over $30 million taxpayer costs… the much-anticipated Mueller Report and investigation found no evidence that Trump had conspired with Russia. No collusion, and no election ‘interference’ by Russia. Nothing. RussiaGate R.I.P.

It should go down in history as one of the biggest phony official conspiracy theories of all-time. During his own testimony, the vaunted former FBI director Mueller came off as an incompetent old crank. The entire affair was a disaster for Democrats and their loyal mainstream media networks, all of whom had relentlessly hyped this conspiracy for years. In the end, this epic dud can only help Trump in his 2020 re-election bid. Let that sink in for a minute…


6. UkraineGate and Trump’s Impeachment – Alas, the death of RussiaGate gave way to a brand new gate… UkraineGate, and with it came that impeachment hammer which Democrats had been promising from before Trump was even sworn in office. Suddenly, Trump was facing the most perilous threat to a tenure of POTUS since Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson before that – all because of a telephone call on July 25th (the day after Robert Mueller tanked with his disastrous congressional testimony) with Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenksy. According to House Democrats, during the call, Trump threatened Zelensky with withholding a free donation of US weapons to Ukraine unless the Ukrainian president re-opened a corruption investigation into 2016 US election meddling under the previous President Poroshenko, and more importantly the activities former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. According to lead inquisitor Adam Schiff (CA-D), someone told someone about the call, who then told a “whistleblower” (a CIA analyst and friend of Obama and the Bidens) about it, who then then filed a complaint. In the end, Ukraine got its free stash of US missiles as ordered, but Democrats claimed Trump abused his power by asking for a “Quid Pro Quo” that somehow placed the national security of the US in grave danger, and that Trump tried to railroad a political opponent (Joe Biden is supposedly the DNC’s pre-determined selection for presidential nominee) by asking a foreign power to investigate him and his son, all of which they say rises to the level of “high crimes” by Trump. When asked, even Zelensky said there was no quid pro quo. This hardly mattered, as the verdict was already written before the hearings. Another grand official conspiracy theory cooked up by the establishment? Seems so. So shaky are Democrats about their case, that House leader Nancy Pelosi has failed to send her Articles of Impeachment before Christmas to the US Senate for the next step which is an Impeachment trial. This kicks the whole affair into the new year, and with poll numbers steadily rising against Democrat’s impeachment misadventure, it does not look good at all for Democrats heading into the 2020 election.


5. Greta – On paper, it sounded like the stuff of Hollywood: a 15-year-old Swedish student started a school strike for ‘the climate’ outside the Swedish Parliament, and her campaign went viral around the globe, and a new youth climate change movement was born. Incredible. Inspiring. Al Gore and associates were over the moon; their Joan of Arc had finally arrived to help save the planet. Time Magazine even named her “Person of the Year” in 2019. But on closer examination, the rise of Greta Thunberg was anything but grassroots. From the very first day, her campaign was driven by a multi-million dollar public relations machine that includes dozens of NGOs and media outlets, foundations and trusts, as part of an environmental astroturf extravaganza, the likes of which we’ve never seen. The practice is known as greenwashing – and in this case, Wall Street and City hedge funds, as well as a gaggle of foundations and NGOs – all hoping to capitalize on the new green bubble, and all determined to use this young child as their political battering ram to drive home an international ‘climate’ agenda. Greta gained headlines after scolding the public with her angry prose, “How dare you!” scowled the angry Swede at the infamous UN panel. “You have stolen my dreams!” railed the youngster to a room full of jovial stakeholders (while putting on an injured voice, reading off the script provided to her by a team of handlers). Their ‘climate emergency’ narrative is based on the theory that man-made CO2 is heating up the Earth’s atmosphere which will cause seas levels to rise and cause the “sixth mass extinction.” However, real data actually indicates that the Earth is heading into a cooling phase and that any changes in climate have nothing to do with man-made activity, but rather from the sun’s activity. Both sides of the debate do not appear to be budging, but the cooling camp seems to have real data in its favor, while the warmists seem to be relying heavily theory and computer-modeled climate predictions – programmed by scientists eager to show that man-made global warming is a real phenomenon. In the end, this unsuspecting child is being used by a cynical class of millionaires and billionaires, clearly stoking-up a generational culture war, with angry middle class youth demanding that western governments ‘unlock’, or rather rob trillions from existing pension funds in order to finance the bold dream of a ‘Green New Deal’ and the promise of a green utopia – they just need you to give them some $51 trillion to fund various and sundry “green tech,” which activists are convinced can lower the earth’s temperature and stave off the inevitable extinction of the human race by 2030, or maybe 2050, or is it 2100? We’re actually not sure, but we promise it’s totally real. What could possibly go wrong?


4. Epstein – As horrendous as revelations of Jimmy Saville were for western high society, the chronicles of billionaire VIP sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein were more devastating by orders of magnitude. His exploits ensnared US President Bill Clinton, and high-flying lawyer Alan Dershowitz, along with a long list of high-ranking VIPs. The fallout didn’t spare the British Royal Family either, with Prince Andrew being cast out into social oblivion for his own role in the scandal. The more the story marinated, the more seedy it became. His was a story of one locked door after another, concealing the adjoining halls of a castle dark which can only be acquired by navigating the circles of extreme wealth and influence. Many believe this was part of a high level blackmail operation designed to create leverage over top decision makers in politics and industry. There are also indications that Epstein “belonged to intelligence,” although it’s not certain which agencies he may have been supplying information to. For his own part, Epstein’s story ended abruptly after he was reportedly unconscious in a federal jail cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday August 10, 2019. The death was quickly ruled a “suicide by hanging.” Somehow, the CCTV camera footage appears to have gone missing. The guards, we’re told, were not on duty. “It was a horrible series of coincidences,” so says the official conspiracy theory of the highly unlikely death of Jeff Epstein in federal custody. He was awaiting a federal trial for charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking of underage girls dating back to the early 2000s. After his death, the trial was shelved. So it goes without saying that many ‘important’ and powerful people benefited from this outcome. His main accomplice is still at large, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media tycoon and Israeli super spy, Robert Maxwell. Many of the female victims are now speaking out publicly. Will there be any justice? Certainly, the mainstream media appear disinterested in pursuing the criminal segues of this story. Or will it become another grand conspiracy for the ages, alongside JFK, RFK and MLK?


3. A Global Uprising? – In 2019, we saw major uprisings and popular mobilzations on the streets in France, in the Spanish province of Catalan, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, India, Lebanon, Iraq, Haiti, Sudan, Hong Kong, as well as protests building in Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. Many of experts are scratching their heads, asking ‘what does it all mean’? Are these event interconnected, or are they being driven by the same underlying social or economic forces? Many of these events appear to be genuine grassroots events. However, others quite clearly were being co-opted and fueled by foreign powers seeking to capitalize on any succession of power that might be occurring, as was the case with protests in Hong Kong, Iraq, Russia and certainly there was evidence of this in Lebanon, although not as blatant as in other locations. Regardless, this trend is real and potentially world-changing and cannot be ignored, as billions of people (many of them younger) around the globe begin to realize that 20th century stalwarts like neoliberal vudoo economics, savage capitalism, US dollar and IMF debt-based control of the developing world, along with US-led neocolonial foreign policy and endless ‘regime change’ wars – are simply no longer going to cut it going forward. It seems that this new generation won’t settle for business as usual any more. Look out…


2. The OPCW Leaks – Never has there been such a profound story which was being categorically denied and ignored by the entire mainstream press. This past year saw a series of leaks coming out of the UN appointed watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which reveal that the alleged ‘chemical attack’ which the West and MSM said took place in Douma, Syria on April 2018 – never actually happened. Which means that the US, UK and France launched a retaliatory strike against Syria on the basis of a well-orchestrated ‘false flag’ hoax. Worst yet, there is proof the OPCW perpetrated an internal cover-up of evidence which would’ve exonerated Damascus. Consider this as Iraq WMD 2.0, because the very same fraudulent practices and heavy-handed US tactics, along with total media acquiescence to the official conspiracy theory narrative – has happened again. Like with the Integrity Initiative leaks which broke in late 2018, the OPCW leaks have been dripping out, some via WikiLeaks, and it’s been death by a thousand cuts for the US, UK and NATO establishment, who’ve been caught not only tampering with an investigation of what was meant to be a neutral international watchdog group, but have summarily closed ranks in an information blackout, even though the scandal is there for the world to see (for those willing to look). The reason for their evasive action is now clear: when the Douma ‘chemical attack’ happened, it was the mainstream media who colluded with western governments, and who relied on US and Saudi-backed terrorists Jayash al-Islam and the White Helmets – all working hand-in-hand to spin-up the West’s official narrative that somehow “Assad had gassed his own people.” And the leaks are still ongoing. Will the media and bamboozled politicians ever address this scandal, or will they play the ostrich until it’s too late? Either way, their credibility is now shot.


1. The Capture of Julian Assange – In April, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and bundled out of his safe haven in the Ecuadorian embassy after his asylum and citizenship were suddenly revoked by the host country – very clearly part of a coordinated conspiracy waged by the governments of the US, UK, Sweden and Ecuador – to prepare Assange for extradition to the US to face espionage charges by disingenuously re-framing Assange and WikiLeaks, a journalist and a publication – now as a “cyber terrorist” and a “hostile foreign intelligence service.” His removal from the embassy by British police was an act of extraordinary rendition. Despite interventions and rulings by multiple UN representatives, determined British authorities continue to hold Assange without charge in solitary confinement, and heavily sedated (by his own admission), inside of London’s Belmarsh super max prison. The UN’s has ruled that his detention constitutes torture. He is also unable to prepare for his US extradition hearing in February – one of the most important precedent cases, maybe in history, for the future of the freedom of the press. His legal team even requested for more time to submit evidence and postpone of the extradition hearing, but the fix was already in, and the judge flatly refuse to entertain any argument or admit Assange should no longer be held on remand without charge in high security confinement. With his physical and mental health deteriorating rapidly, there is a real risk now that Assange could even die in custody. How long can the supposed guardians of freedom and democracy in the West stand idle while this incredible injustice continues to unfold? Whatever your preferred outcome, the answers to these questions may come soon in the new year. Needless to say, many are hoping that the plutocracy in Washington and London come to their senses, and realize what a historic mistake they are making – and reverse course on this unprecedented judicial disaster.. 

What a wild year. Expect more of the same in 2020.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

SEE PREVIOUS TOP TEN CONSPIRACIES:

2018 Top Ten Conspiracies

2017 Top Ten Conspiracies

2016 Top Ten Conspiracies

2015 Top Ten Conspiracies

2014 Top Ten Conspiracies

%d bloggers like this: