Category: Fascist terrorism
Chris Hedges: The revengeful suffering orchestrated by the American empire on Afghans will be of Biblical proportions
worker | September 2, 2021 | 7:28 pm | Afghanistan, Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/533640-american-empire-afghans-suffering/

Chris Hedges: The revengeful suffering orchestrated by the American empire on Afghans will be of Biblical proportions

Chris Hedges: The revengeful suffering orchestrated by the American empire on Afghans will be of Biblical proportions
Washington, humiliated in Afghanistan as it was in Iraq, Syria, and Vietnam, is blind to its declining strength, ineptitude, and savagery, but still capable of murderous retribution against those who expose these truths.

The Carthaginian general Hannibal, who came close to defeating the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, committed suicide in 181 BC in exile as Roman soldiers closed in on his residence in the Bithynian village of Libyssa, now modern-day Turkey. It had been more than thirty years since he led his army across the Alps and annihilated Roman legions at the Battle of Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. Considered one of the most brilliant tactical victories in warfare, centuries later it inspired the plans of the German Army Command in World War I when they invaded Belgium and France. Rome was only able to finally save itself from defeat by replicating Hannibal’s military tactics.

It did not matter in 181 BC that there had been over 20 Roman consuls (with quasi-imperial power) since Hannibal’s invasion. It did not matter that Hannibal had been hunted for decades and forced to perpetually flee, always just beyond the reach of Roman authorities. He had humiliated Rome. He had punctured its myth of omnipotence. And he would pay. With his life. Years after Hannibal was gone, the Romans were still not satisfied. They finished their work of apocalyptic vengeance in 146 BC by razing Carthage to the ground and selling its remaining population into slavery. Cato the Censor summed up the sentiments of empire: Carthāgō dēlenda est (Carthage must be destroyed). Nothing about empire, from then until now, has changed.

Imperial powers do not forgive those who expose their weaknesses or make public the sordid and immoral inner workings of empire. Empires are fragile constructions. Their power is as much one of perception as of military strength. The virtues they claim to uphold and defend, usually in the name of their superior civilization, are a mask for pillage, the exploitation of cheap labor, indiscriminate violence, and state terror.

The current American empire, damaged and humiliated by the troves of internal documents published by WikiLeaks, will, for this reason, persecute Julian Assange for the rest of his life. It does not matter who is president or which political party is in power. Imperialists speak with one voice. The killing of thirteen US troops by a suicide bomber at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday evoked from Joe Biden the full-throated cry of all imperialists: “To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.” This was swiftly followed by two drone strikes in Kabul against suspected members of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), which took credit for the suicide bombing that left some 170 dead, including 28 members of the Taliban.

ALSO ON RT.COMGeorge Galloway: Do Britain and the US secretly want Julian Assange to commit suicide?The Taliban, which defeated US and coalition forces in a 20-year war, is about to be confronted with the wrath of a wounded empire. The Cuban, Vietnamese, Iranian, Venezuelan, and Haitian governments know what comes next. The ghosts of Toussaint Louverture, Emilio Aguinaldo, Mohammad Mossadegh, Jacobo Arbenz, Omar Torrijos, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Juan Velasco, Salvador Allende, Andreas Papandreou, Juan Bosh, Patrice Lumumba, and Hugo Chavez know what comes next. It isn’t pretty. It will be paid for by the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans.

The faux pity for the Afghan people, which has defined the coverage of the desperate collaborators with the US and coalition occupying forces and educated elites fleeing to the Kabul airport, begins and ends with the plight of the evacuees. There were few tears shed for the families routinely terrorized by coalition forces, or the some 70,000 civilians who were obliterated by US air strikes, drone attacks, missiles, and artillery, or gunned down by nervous occupying forces who saw every Afghan, with some justification, as the enemy during the war. And there will be few tears for the humanitarian catastrophe the empire is orchestrating on the 38 million Afghans, who live in one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world.

Since the 2001 invasion, the United States deployed about 775,000 military personnel to subdue Afghanistan and poured $143 billion into the country, with 60 percent of the money going to prop up the corrupt Afghan military and the rest devoted to funding economic development projects, aid programs, and anti-drug initiatives – with the bulk of those funds being siphoned off by foreign aid groups, private contractors, and outside consultants.

Grants from the United States and other countries accounted for 75 percent of the Afghan government budget. That assistance has evaporated. Afghanistan’s reserves and other financial accounts have been frozen, meaning the new government cannot access some $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank. Shipments of cash to Afghanistan have been stopped. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Afghanistan will no longer be able to access the lender’s resources.

ALSO ON RT.COMAmericans have long claimed Afghanistan helped end ‘Soviet empire’ – now it’s their turn?Things are already dire. There are some 14 million Afghans – one in three – who lack sufficient food. There are two million Afghan children who are malnourished. There are 3.5 million people in Afghanistan who have been displaced from their homes. The war has wrecked infrastructure. A drought destroyed 40 percent of the nation’s crops last year. The assault on the Afghan economy is already seeing food prices skyrocket. The sanctions and severance of aid will force civil servants to go without salaries, and the health service, already chronically short of medicine and equipment, will collapse. The suffering orchestrated by the empire will be of biblical proportions. And this is what the empire wants.

UNICEF estimates that 500,000 children were killed as a direct result of sanctions on Iraq.  Expect child deaths in Afghanistan to soar above that horrifying figure. And expect the same imperial heartlessness Madeleine Albright, then the US ambassador to the United Nations, exhibited when she told ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children because of the sanctions were “worth it.” Or the heartlessness of Hillary Clinton, who joked, “We came, we saw, he died” when informed of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s brutal death. Or the demand by Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia, who after the attacks of 9/11 declared: “I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there’s collateral damage, so be it.” No matter that the empire has since turned Libya, along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, into cauldrons of violence, chaos, and misery. The power to destroy is an intoxicating drug that is its own justification.

Like Cato the Censor, the US military and intelligence agencies are, if history is any guide, at this moment planning to destabilize Afghanistan by funding, arming, and backing any militia, warlord or terrorist organization willing to strike at the Taliban. The CIA, which should exclusively gather intelligence, is a rogue paramilitary organization that oversees secret kidnappings, interrogation at black sites, torture, manhunts, and targeted assassinations across the globe. It carried out commando raids in Afghanistan that killed a large number of Afghan civilians, which repeatedly sent enraged family members and villagers into the arms of the Taliban. It is, I expect, reaching out to Amrullah Saleh, who was Ashraf Ghani’s vice president and who has declared himself “the legitimate caretaker president” of Afghanistan. Saleh is holed up in the Panjshir Valley.  He, along with warlords Ahmad Massoud, Ata Mohammad Noor, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, are clamoring to be armed and supported to perpetuate conflict in Afghanistan.

ALSO ON RT.COMWayne Dupree: Biden will NEVER accept responsibility for his botched evacuation of Afghanistan“I write from the Panjshir Valley today, ready to follow in my father’s footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to once again take on the Taliban,” Ahmad Massoud wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post“The United States and its allies have left the battlefield, but America can still be a ‘great arsenal of democracy,’ as Franklin D. Roosevelt said when coming to the aid of the beleaguered British before the U.S. entry into World War II,” he went on, adding that he and his fighters need “more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies.”

These warlords have done the bidding of the Americans before. They will do the bidding of the Americans again. And since the hubris of empire is unaffected by reality, the empire will continue to sow dragon’s teeth in Afghanistan as it has since it spent $9 billion – some estimates double that figure – to back the mujahideen that fought the Soviets, leading to a bloody civil war between rival warlords once the Soviets withdrew in 1989 and the ascendancy in 1996 of the Taliban.

The cynicism of arming and funding the mujahideen against the Soviets exposes the lie of America’s humanitarian concerns in Afghanistan. One million Afghan civilians were killed in the nine-year conflict with the Soviets, along with 90,000 mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers.  But these deaths, along with the destruction of Afghanistan, were “worth it” to cripple the Soviets.

Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, along with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, oversaw the arming of the most radical Islamic mujahideen groups fighting the Soviet occupation forces, leading to the extinguishing of the secular, democratic Afghan opposition. Brzezinski detailed the strategy – designed, he said, to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam – taken by the Carter administration following the 1979 Soviet invasion to prop up the Marxist regime of Hafizullah Amin in Kabul:

We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet  Union, and both the State Department and the National Security Agency prepared long lists of sanctions to be adopted, of steps to be taken to increase the international costs to the Soviet Union of their actions. And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to  make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible; and we engaged in that effort in a collaborative sense with the Saudis, the Egyptians, the British, the Chinese, and we started providing weapons to the Mujaheddin, from various sources again — for example, some Soviet arms from the Egyptians and the Chinese. We even got Soviet arms from the Czechoslovak communist government, since it was obviously susceptible to material incentives; and at some point we started buying arms for the Mujahideen from the Soviet army in Afghanistan, because that army was increasingly corrupt.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Over-the-horizon’ is just the newest buzz phrase for American incompetence – as proven by recent drone strikes in AfghanistanThe clandestine campaign to destabilize the Soviet Union by making it “bleed for as much and as long as is possible” was carried out, like the arming of the contra forces in Nicaragua, largely off the books. It did not, as far as official Washington was concerned, exist – a way to avoid the unwelcome scrutiny of covert operations carried out by the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s that made public the three decades of CIA-backed coups, assassinations, blackmail, intimidation, dark propaganda, and torture. The Saudi government agreed to match the US funding for the Afghan insurgents. The Saudi involvement gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which fought with the mujahideen. The rogue operation, led by Brzezinski, organized secret units of assassination teams and paramilitary squads that carried out lethal attacks on perceived enemies around the globe. It trained Afghan mujahideen in Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province. It shifted the heroin trade, used to fund the insurgency, from southeast Asia to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This pattern of behavior, which destabilized Afghanistan and the region, is reflexive in the military and the intelligence community. It will, without doubt, be repeated now in Afghanistan, with the same catastrophic results. The chaos these intelligence agencies create becomes the chaos that justifies their existence and the chaos that sees them demand more resources and ever greater levels of violence.

All empires die. The end is usually unpleasant. The American empire, humiliated in Afghanistan as it was in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, as it was at the Bay of Pigs and in Vietnam, is blind to its own declining strength, ineptitude, and savagery. Its entire economy, a “military Keynesianism,” revolves around the war industry. Military spending and war are the engine behind the nation’s economic survival and identity. It does not matter that with each new debacle the United States turns larger and larger parts of the globe against it and all it claims to represent. It has no mechanism to stop itself, despite its numerous defeats, fiascos, blunders and diminishing power, from striking out irrationally like a wounded animal. The mandarins who oversee our collective suicide, despite repeated failure, doggedly insist we can reshape the world in our own image. This myopia creates the very conditions that accelerate the empire’s demise.

The Soviet Union collapsed, like all empires, because of its ossified, out-of-touch rulers, its imperial overreach, and its inability to critique and reform itself. We are not immune from these fatal diseases. We silence our most prescient critics of empire, such as Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Andrew Bacevich, Alfred McCoy, and Ralph Nader, and persecute those who expose the truths about empire, including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, and John Kiriakou. At the same time a bankrupt media, whether on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox, lionizes and amplifies the voices of the inept and corrupt political, military and intelligence class including John Bolton, Leon Panetta, Karl Rove, H.R. McMaster and David Petraeus, which blindly drives the nation into the morass.

ALSO ON RT.COMIf Biden worried less about the optics of communicating with the Taliban, the IS-K carnage may not have happenedChalmers Johnson, in his trilogy on the fall of the American empire – ‘Blowback’, ‘The Sorrows of Empire’, and ‘Nemesis’ – reminds readers that the Greek goddess Nemesis is “the spirit of retribution, a corrective to the greed and stupidity that sometimes governs relations among people.” She stands for “righteous anger,” a deity who “punishes human transgression of the natural, right order of things and the arrogance that causes it.” He warns that if we continue to cling to our empire, as the Roman Republic did, “we will certainly lose our democracy and grimly await the eventual blowback that imperialism generates.”

“I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and, in the end, produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent,” Johnson writes. “The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring. But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy. Nemesis stalks our life as a free nation.”

If the empire was capable of introspection and forgiveness, it could free itself from its death spiral. If the empire disbanded, much as the British Empire did, and retreated to focus on the ills that beset the United States, it could free itself from its death spiral. But those who manipulate the levers of empire are unaccountable. They are hidden from public view and beyond public scrutiny. They are determined to keep playing the great game, rolling the dice with lives and national treasure. They will, I expect, preside gleefully over the deaths of even more Afghans, assuring themselves it is worth it, without realizing that the gallows they erect are for themselves.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Fascism: A History
worker | August 31, 2021 | 8:47 pm | Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

https://rtd.rt.com/trailers/fascism-a-history/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications

Fascism: A History

A vicious ideology before and after Hitler

On September 19, 2019, the European Parliament declared it was the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany who paved the way for WWII. However, the secret files revealed both of the USSR’s allies had signed several pacts with Hitler, while the US also lent Wehrmacht economic support. The UK and the US tried to enter into a separate peace agreement with Germany and hang the Soviet Union out to dry. Their further plans went even further and could’ve had disastrous consequences. What was going on in the allies camp?

Gutting Anti-Imperialism 
worker | August 13, 2021 | 6:53 pm | Fascist terrorism, Imperialism | Comments closed

A new posting –

Gutting Anti-Imperialism  

– from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/Where human rights doctrines served a liberating purpose, unleashing human potential and providing protection against feudal caprice and privilege during the rise of capitalism, they now are more often instruments of manipulation and oppression in the era of moribund, decadent capitalism... To read more, please go to: https://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2021/08/

René González of the Cuban Five on Cuba’s Challenge and Washington’s Hypocrisy
worker | August 13, 2021 | 6:51 pm | Cuba, Cuban Five, Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/08/cuban-five-cuba-protests

René González of the Cuban Five on Cuba’s Challenge and Washington’s Hypocrisy

RENÉ GONZÁLEZ

René González is one of the Cuban Five, long jailed in the US for their intelligence work combating far-right Miami terrorist groups. He spoke to Jacobin about the blockade and what his trial told him about the US’s concern for human rights in Cuba.

A Cuban flag flies over Havana. Andrew Wragg / Flickr

INTERVIEW BY
Denis Rogatyuk

René González is a former member of Cuba’s “Wasp Network,” set up to combat the terrorism long directed against the island by far-right Miami exile groups. Following the murder of over two hundred Cubans in sustained attacks on the country’s aviation, shipping, and tourism sectors — organized by figures like CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles — this intelligence unit worked to infiltrate and undermine the terrorist milieu.

Immortalized in the 2019 Netflix film Wasp Network, González is best-known as one of the so-called Cuban Five. After the FBI broke up the Wasp Network in 1998, González and four of his colleagues were put before a Florida court in a trial internationally condemned for its lack of due process. He was sentenced to a fifteen-year jail spell, and finally returned to Cuba in 2013.

Today living in Havana, González saw first-hand the July 11 protests that captured international attention. In an interview with Voces sin Fronteras, hosted by Jacobin contributing editor Denis Rogatyuk, he spoke about the current situation in the capital, the history of US attacks on the island, and a six-decade-long economic blockade affecting even Cuba’s trade with third countries.


DR

What has your experience of the protests been, and what have you seen?

RG

Like the vast majority of Cubans, I woke up on July 11 and began my normal life — or at least, a normal Sunday under the pandemic — and suddenly information began appearing on social networks. First, about what was happening in San Antonio, then the president’s presence there, and gradually, especially from sites in Miami, information and jubilant videos about events elsewhere in Cuba.

I continued my routine, until I realized something more serious was going on. I started making some calls and in the evening, I went to two places where protests had taken place. I went to [the municipality of] Diez de Octubre, and when I got there, the protest was still ongoing but was practically over. You could see the damage, and then I went to Zanja Street where something had also happened, but much less.

So I could see things first-hand. Then, I think on the Monday there were some further protests, and a mixture of falsehoods, lies, and video footage. We all know now that images of Buenos Aires, Alexandria, Venezuela, and other places were used to create the impression that Cuba was immersed in chaos, and that the government had collapsed.

In Cuba, we all knew that was a lie, but I suppose that it will have had its effect on some people elsewhere, who do not know the Cuban reality. And I suppose that some exaggerations regarding the supposed repression of peaceful protesters will have made their mark on some of the not so well-informed.

DR

How about the counter-mobilizations, in support of the revolution?

RG

I’m not going to deny that what happened surprised us. We’re not used to seeing events like these in our country — and above all, this level of violence. I will clarify that not everyone who demonstrated was a violent person — there were places where some dissatisfied people came out, some with genuine claims and problems that have been imposed on us for years, largely from the United States. But the level of violence was unusual for Cuba. This is something we need to examine, make the corresponding analyses, and take the appropriate measures — in terms of public order, but also social and political measures.

These events provoked a response among people who don’t want to see our country like this. The demonstrations organized by communities and by trade unions took to the streets to show that we want to build a peaceful country — we don’t want these levels of street violence. And also to show that most Cuban people continue to support this country, the revolution, the government.

Above all, that we’re aware that beyond the legitimacy of some people’s demands, all this is part of an attack against Cuba. It was well-planned through social networks. But we are going to defend this government, our sovereignty, our independence — and we are going to continue resisting.

We, as a country, as a people, as a community, have for six decades been subjected to a genocidal policy whose express purpose is precisely to make people surrender out of hunger, out of desperation, out of necessity. And well, there are people who surrender. I don’t mean this as an insult — I don’t think that everyone necessarily has to have the same level of endurance. The people who decided to blame the Cuban government for all this aren’t all criminals.

But I believe that criminal elements, spurred on by the tremendous campaign on social networks, made these demonstrations into what we saw in [those] days. I believe that the part of the population that maintains a dignified position in the face of US imperialism’s criminal policy has the right to take to the streets to demonstrate in favor of this process and against the policy that has tried to suffocate us for sixty years.

DR

What do you think about the comparisons being made between these protests and the so-called “El Maleconazo” in 1994?

RG

There are many points of contact. The main one, the “backdrop,” is the US blockade against Cuba, which has deliberately sought to sow despair among the Cuban people so that they become disenchanted and blame the government for this country’s economic problems and material hardships. It is part of a systematic, sixty-year policy, a common thread running through the 1994 crisis and the one we are facing now.

Moreover, I think that in both cases, the uprising was promoted from abroad. In 1994, the immigration issue was used so that some desperate people took to the streets and, in this case, the COVID situation has been used. This has been linked to an intensification of the criminal US policy against Cuba, imposed by President Trump and continued by President Biden.

I think that US empire’s policy towards Cuba will continue to promote these events. It will not change as long as they consider that they can provoke despair in the Cuban people, and there are moments like these when various circumstances converge that increase people’s material hardships and when part of that population — out of despair in some cases, in other cases due to political, malicious, sometimes even criminal intentions — end up taking these positions and take to the streets.

DR

Have you seen signs of a campaign of fake news?

RG

Yes, of course. The US government has always tried to use the media to influence the Cuban population and incite insurrection, illegality, and violence. We cannot forget that during Reagan’s presidency, Radio Martí was created. Previously, there was Radio Ciudad alongside Radio Americas. The US Government always wanted to use communications to subjugate Cuba, as part of this war. This is the psychological component of a war of attrition that is anything but simply psychological. In the 1960s, it was the radio, then came TV Martí, though it was never seen in Cuba, and recently social networks have joined this war.

We all know that the US Government dedicates considerable funds to this psychological warfare, which, through social networks, has been “dropped” on Cuba. It is a persistent, systematic, methodical, scientifically calculated effort that does end up impacting some people — and has been a very important element in this campaign.

This campaign is carried out in two directions. One aims to break our spirits, to confuse some Cubans, to incite us to violence, to make us believe and rationalize the theory that the embargo does not exist, that there is no blockade, that the Cuban government is to blame for everything. But we mustn’t forget that it also aims to deceive the rest of the world, so that people receive false news about Cuba. It aims to magnify any problem that occurs here and thereby justify the demands for “humanitarian intervention,” which many of the worst spokesmen of the Cuban counterrevolution make to the US government in the hope that its army will hand them back their privileges in Cuba.

In both cases, I think this is a criminal use of a technological instrument that in other circumstances should serve to bring people closer, to sow the seeds of peace. Obviously, this is not in the interest of those who wish to reconquer Cuba. And that’s a phenomenon that we must continue to face and fight.

DR

Is it possible to do something from outside of Cuba?

RG

As in the case of the Cuban Five, I think it’s important for people to inform themselves and not be fooled, to try to learn about Cuba from the Cubans who are here. Not to be influenced by all the campaigns, the lies, the misinformation that — both through social networks and through the hegemonic disinformation media — are disseminated throughout the world. To try to stay informed and spread that information among your friends, your acquaintances, and try to stir worldwide solidarity with the Cuban people, against the criminal policies of the US government.

Let’s not kid ourselves. They want to turn Cuba into a Syria, a Libya, an Iraq, and then come in with all these processes we’ve seen already in which capital returns and supposedly rebuilds the country that they have just destroyed. They want to do the big business that they do everywhere when they arrive with their “humanitarian” interventions, in favor of “democracy,” etc.

DR

What have been the harshest effects of the blockade that you have observed in the last year?

RG

The blockade has been a brutal act of war, intensified over the past four years by the Trump administration. The assault on the Cuban economy has been brutal, even before the pandemic came along. I’ll give some examples.

With the connivance of the Latin American right, specifically the presidents of Brazil and Ecuador, the medical programs that brought several billion dollars a year to enter Cuba were dismantled. That was a brutal economic blow. Then [Trump’s administration] continued to take measures against family remittances. Trump talked a lot about “human rights,” as does Mr Biden and all the others who went before did. They attacked the Cuban family and cut remittances to relatives in Cuba, inflicting another blow to the heart of the Cuban family economy. Further, [foreign-based] Cubans’ trips to Cuba were drastically reduced.

The pandemic added to all this. After the other blows I described, the Cuban economy was counting on tourism, but the pandemic has practically paralyzed the tourism industry and we have had to do without that income, which is what allowed the development of normal life in Cuba.

Under these conditions, the United States has increased its disinformation campaign, its psychological war against Cuba, always with the message that the fault lies with the inefficiency of the Cuban government — that it doesn’t care about its citizens and should be protested against. The result has been that some people have become desperate and have lost their perspective on the real impact that these measures have had on Cuba.

I don’t know the exact figure, but we can speak of several billion dollars that have stopped arriving in Cuba in recent years. Under these conditions, the government has had to deal with the pandemic — and the resources are simply not enough for everything. I wouldn’t venture a comparison with other governments such as Leningrad [in 1941], but the conditions we are experiencing at this time are quite similar.

If we lived in a just world, the Trumps and Bidens would be prosecuted for this criminal policy. It is imposed by the largest political, economic and military power in human history against a country of 11 million inhabitants which gives the rest of the world only solidarity, love, and peace. But our all-powerful neighbors have decided to set us against each other. They continue to dream — as it was set out in the 1980s — that through hunger and despair Cubans will end up desperate and will kneel before the US government.

DR

As a former US political prisoner, what would you say to those who say that Cuba is a dictatorship or a totalitarian regime?

RG

I think that the repression within US society is visible to the whole world. I am amazed when some people take lessons on human rights, on the rule of law, from the US government.

The US government has been repressive from its inception, and that has not changed. That’s not even mentioning the rest of the planet. The US government considers that it has the right to decide that each country must do what suits the US government — and, if not, it will have to face the consequences.

The trail of death that it has left around the world in recent decades just because a government decided not to do what suits US capital is appalling — and that is what they are looking for in Cuba. To speak of repression, and to do so in the name of the US government, is the most blatant cynicism.

I think that has a lot to do with the experience that we [the Cuban Five] had, especially in the legal process to which we were subjected. If the annals of American legal history are studied one day, the trial that we went through would be right up there for its cynicism, for the use of lies, by a government that considers itself the arbiter of human rights and legality around the globe.

We saw things in that trial that you don’t even see in the movies. We saw the prosecutors blatantly lie. Blatantly put people on the stand to lie knowing that everyone knew it was a lie — knowing with tremendous confidence that the jury was going to believe all those lies. We saw the prosecutors blackmail witnesses, threaten them with prosecution if they testified. That is, witnesses that we took to the trial for the defense, witnesses that were given subpoenas according to our right to defense but couldn’t testify because the prosecutor stood with tremendous calm and said that if that person testified, he would prosecute them.

In the trial, we saw the prosecutors threaten an American general that his pension would be taken away if he testified in favor of the defense. We saw all kinds of violations, mockeries of due process. … It had nothing to do with what we see in the movies where the accused has every right to defend himself.

Really, I think the trial taught us to better understand why an individual like Joe Biden, who is painted, presented or sold as liberal and moderate, can stand in front of a camera and say no to reopening family remittances because the Cuban government supposedly going to appropriate them. Why he can then stand before a camera and suddenly offer us vaccines, but insist that an international organization has to come to distribute them among the population because the Cuban government — the only one in Latin America that has created a vaccine — supposedly isn’t going to.

You have to be cynical, you have to be hypocritical, to say such things. I do not know if Biden is a lawyer — he is probably also a lawyer. I think he has learned from the cynicism that colors those who represent that imperialist, criminal, genocidal government. Our experience as political prisoners left a mark on us and quickly taught us to be able to identify such people.

The majority of the Cuban people continue to defend this revolution. I think it is a question of principles and human dignity. There is no reason why we should capitulate: we will continue to defend this revolution. We will have to look inside ourselves, rectify what has to be rectified. But I do not think it is worthy of our history, of our martyrs, of the principles that have inspired this revolution, that we surrender to an empire because it wants to starve us. We will have to look for solutions within ourselves — but surrender is not an option for us.

By indulging Ukraine’s claims to Crimea, West is encouraging country’s ‘neo-Nazi’ government policy, thunders Russian FM Lavrov
worker | August 13, 2021 | 6:44 pm | Fascist terrorism, Russia, Ukraine | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/russia/531866-lavrov-zelensky-summit-control-crimea/

By indulging Ukraine’s claims to Crimea, West is encouraging country’s ‘neo-Nazi’ government policy, thunders Russian FM Lavrov

By indulging Ukraine's claims to Crimea, West is encouraging country's ‘neo-Nazi’ government policy, thunders Russian FM Lavrov
Moscow’s top diplomat has reacted angrily to news that representatives of more than two dozen nations will attend a summit called by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to discuss how Kiev can now reassert control over Crimea.

Speaking to a group of young people involved with an art collective based on the disputed peninsula on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the West’s support was pushing Zelensky to be more and more extreme in pursuit of his policy goals. The ‘Crimean Platform’ forum, he said, “will continue to nurture the neo-Nazi and racist mentality of the current Ukrainian government.”

Blasting the participation of foreign attendees, he said that the US, EU and other supporters of Kiev’s claims were behaving “shamefully.” At least 37 states are expected to send delegates to the event, which will be timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union on August 24.

ALSO ON RT.COMEXCLUSIVE: Ultranationalist organizations are radicalizing Ukraine’s young people, and the Kiev government is paying them for itIn April, Lavrov’s official spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, argued that Ukraine was recklessly indulging far-right sentiments to prop up its government and strengthen anti-Russian feeling. Speaking after demonstrators at a march in Kiev raised banners and carried flowers to commemorate the SS Galicia division, raised from Ukrainian levies to fight alongside Nazi Germany, Zakharova said government policy was an “insult” to those who had died in World War II.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed concern at the time over the celebration of a unit that had been, it said, “involved in some of the worst crimes that took place during the Holocaust.”

In December, an RT investigation found that Kiev’s Ministry of Youth and Sports was handing over cash to far-right groups to run children’s camps, in which young people could be at risk of indoctrination. Annual military-style camps see teenagers fighting hand-to-hand, lighting flares and marching in formation. The organizers of one camp, linked to Nazi-sympathizing political organizations, said that the participation of their graduates in fighting in eastern Ukraine was proof their method was working to engender a sense of “patriotism.”

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‘Apocalypse Now’: What are Risks of CIA’s Possible All Out Clandestine War Against Russia & China?
worker | August 13, 2021 | 6:40 pm | China, Fascist terrorism, Russia | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202108121083591013-apocalypse-now-what-are-risks-of-cias-possible-all-out-clandestine-war-against-russia–china/

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Decorated CIA veteran Douglas London has recently called for enhancing clandestine warfare against Russia and China, insisting that the US has enough tools to trump Moscow and Beijing. However, economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and CIA veteran Philip Giraldi have pointed out some apparent flaws in London’s doctrine.

On 5 August, an op-ed titled “Defence alone will not protect us from Russia and China” by Douglas London, a retired senior CIA operations officer and adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University’s Centre for Security Studies, was published in The Hill.

He argued that “bolstering defences alone and adding military firepower” will not deter Russia and China “who pay little price for malign behaviour.” The US intelligence community is “good at sabotage,” possesses “robust covert and overt cyber capabilities,” and knows how “to steal secrets [and] change the course of history with covert deeds,” according to him. All that’s needed to rein in Moscow and Beijing are Washington’s political will, “a more agile and balanced strategy of offence and defence,” and “a dash of clandestine mischief,” London argues.

“The US has most of the tools and resources required to prevail against Russia, China and other authoritarian rivals,” he wrote. “Still, to dominate, America needs greater comfort to operate in the shadows where it can exact costs that would make any enemy think twice before acting.”

Timing of London’s Op-Ed

The timing of the article coincides with two major developments, according to Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer: first, “the already disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan with disengagement in other theatres of operations”; second, the September legislative elections in Russia.

The US military-industrial complex is increasingly concerned about the pullout from Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the CIA counter-terrorism veteran. He notes Israel also fears that the US military disengagement would embolden Tehran and “already warned, repeatedly, that it is prepared to strike Iran alone, if necessary, though its Lobby is working hard to make sure that Washington becomes involved in whatever results.”

In this Jan. 1, 2020 file photo, Iraqi army soldiers are deployed in front of the U.S. embassy, in Baghdad, Iraq.  U.S. and Iraqi officials on Thursday, Dec. 3, say the U.S. is withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad, temporarily reducing personnel amid regional security concerns.
© AP PHOTO / NASSER NASSER
In this Jan. 1, 2020 file photo, Iraqi army soldiers are deployed in front of the U.S. embassy, in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi officials on Thursday, Dec. 3, say the U.S. is withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad, temporarily reducing personnel amid regional security concerns.

At the same time, London “appears to be a spokesman for a certain type of thinking, it is to be assumed that many in the national security community will urge the White House to take steps to interfere covertly in upcoming Russian elections while also stirring up unrest in China,” according to Giraldi.

“London’s objective is clearly to bring about regime change in both Moscow and Beijing, and he believes that it can be accomplished using the intelligence tools he has recommended, which he opines can ‘change the course of history,'” he suggests.

Election interference and regime change ops have been the US’ modus operandi for quite a while, notes Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Wall Street Journal editor, ex-Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, and former member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger. It would be frivolous on the part of Moscow and Beijing to host US and EU-backed NGOs, according to the economist.

“It was Washington that overthrew the Ukrainian government and established in its place an anti-Russian government. It was Washington that nearly overthrew the Belarus government. NGOs flush with dollars are agents of overthrow,” Dr. Roberts says, adding that the US establishment was even prepared to break its own rules to unseat the undesired government of President Donald Trump.

Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police. (File)
© SPUTNIK / ANDREY STENIN
Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police. (File)

On 1 August, Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin warned in an interview with a Russian journalist that the September legislative elections could become a focal point for interference, stressing that Russia’s security services already know “which areas will be struck.”

Earlier, in May, a draft proposal prepared by European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs called upon the EU to be prepared “not to recognise the parliament of Russia” after the September vote. On 4 August, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly announced that they would not send election observers to Russia for the first time in nearly three decades. The OSCE move was endorsed by the US Department of State.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping
© SPUTNIK / ALEXEY NIKOLSKIJ
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping

What are Ramifications of Clandestine War Against Russia, China?

To convince his readers of the necessity to launch what appears to be an all-out shadow war against Russia and China, London outlined a long list of Moscow and Beijing’s “faults,” including election interferencedisrupting US confidence in its own vaccines, and ransomware attacks, neither of which have ever been backed by credible evidence. He went even further by blaming Russia for fuelling both racial enmities during the Black Lives Matter’s summer 2020 unrest and the 6 January riots in the US, which, according to Dr. Roberts, indicates that the ex-CIA official “has clearly lost his hold on reality.”

London also mentioned the so-called “Gerasimov doctrine” – a 26 February 2013 article written by Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov and detailing a hybrid strategy which “blurs war and peace.” Still, the ex-senior CIA official seems to be turning a blind eye to the fact that the general was actually describing Western hybrid warfare techniques and methods to withstand them.

Established in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations
© AP PHOTO / DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, CHERIE CULLEN
Established in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations

Apparently, London believes that clandestine warfare against Moscow and Beijing would be a safer option than an overt standoff: “Operating asymmetrically with plausible deniability facilitates the means to pivot and de-escalate, providing adversaries a face-saving off-ramp from further retaliation,” he wrote. However, he seriously miscalculates Moscow and Beijing, according to Dr. Roberts and Giraldi.

“Mr. London’s recommendations are irresponsible, because they amount to a call for Washington to start a war with Russia and China,” Dr. Roberts says, adding that sabotage or cyber-attacks are effectively “acts of war.”  According to the economist, “neither Russia nor China are likely to pretend that the source of attacks are unknown, especially after a former senior CIA official calls for them.”

London’s strategy aimed at deterring Russian and Chinese decision-makers “would amount to an all-out semi-covert war against powerful adversaries which could easily escalate into a shooting war,” echoes Giraldi.

The CIA counter-terrorism veteran refers to London’s earlier remarks on the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020 that when carrying out a major covert action against an opponent “the US must first decide what’s most important, the price it’s willing to pay and anticipate the consequences.” However, “by his own standards he has gone off the rails in his recent peace recommending sustained clandestine actions against adversaries Russia and China,” Giraldi highlights.

A member of Lebanon's Hezbollah holds a Lebanese flag as he stands in front of a picture depicting senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who were killed in a U.S. attack, during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of their killing, in the southern village of Khiam, Lebanon January 3, 2021. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
© REUTERS / AZIZ TAHER
A member of Lebanon’s Hezbollah holds a Lebanese flag as he stands in front of a picture depicting senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who were killed in a U.S. attack, during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of their killing, in the southern village of Khiam, Lebanon January 3, 2021. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

“What London ignores is the possible consequences of his proposed policy, which include nuclear war with Russia that has the capability to destroy the United States,” says the CIA veteran. “Nor is he very good at providing a reason for engaging in the truculence that he embraces. He makes no case that either China or Russia actually threatens the American people apart from stating that they are attempting to encourage internal divisiveness to undermine American ‘democracy and freedoms.’ One does not need to have the Russians or Chinese involved to accomplish that.”

According to Giraldi, “Apocalypse Now makes for an exciting story but to threaten whole countries with annihilation based at best on a desire to change their forms of government makes no sense.” He does not believe that this agenda would be endorsed by the Americans.

FORT DRUM, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08: U.S. Army soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division arrive from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan on December 08, 2020 in Fort Drum, New York.
© AFP 2021 / JOHN MOORE
FORT DRUM, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 08: U.S. Army soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division arrive from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan on December 08, 2020 in Fort Drum, New York.

Why ‘Russia and China Have Nothing to Fear’ for Now

Moscow and Beijing remain “the necessary enemies for Washington and NATO,” to “justify the annual thousand billion dollar US military/security complex budget, and NATO is Washington’s method of controlling European foreign policy,” Dr. Roberts emphasises.

Still, the former Reagan official argues that “militarily, Washington is not a match for Russia or China, much less for both together.”

“The power of any country’s military depends on the power of the economy, the unity of the people, and the morale of the soldiers,” the economist says. “The US has spent a quarter century giving its manufacturing and industry to Asia. The Democratic Party’s identity politics has divided the population, setting black against white, feminist against men, sexual perversion against normal sexuality. The US government has declared Trump supporters to be ‘domestic terrorists’ and ‘insurrectionists,’ and they – half the population or more – are regarded as the ‘greatest threat’ that the US faces.”

The situation in European NATO member-states is no better, according to Dr. Roberts: “Throughout Europe and the English speaking world there are no nations, only Towers of Babel… which are divided against themselves… [and] cannot resist a unified opponent.”

Given this, Russia and China have nothing to fear for now, the economist believes, warning Moscow and Beijing against deluding themselves into believing that the US and NATO will play by rules with them.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Cuba accuses US government of inciting Molotov cocktail attack on its embassy in Paris
worker | July 27, 2021 | 8:16 am | Cuba, Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/news/530323-cuba-french-embassy-attack/

Cuba accuses US government of inciting Molotov cocktail attack on its embassy in Paris

Cuba accuses US government of inciting Molotov cocktail attack on its embassy in Paris
The Cuban Embassy in Paris was firebombed early Tuesday morning. The socialist country’s foreign minister accused the US of encouraging violence against Havana.

Two assailants hurled three Molotov cocktails at the diplomatic compound, causing some damage to the building, the Cuban mission said in a statement on its website. The diplomats were not injured.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced the “terrorist attack” and blamed Washington. “I hold the US government responsible for its continued campaigns against our country that encourage this behavior and for its calls for violence, with impunity, from its territory,” he tweeted.

The US backed this month’s historic anti-government protests on the island and imposed new sanctions on Havana over its crackdown on activists. “We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on July 12.

Biden’s hardline approach leaves little room for any potential easing of the embargo, which is taking a toll on Cuba’s economy.

During the largest demonstrations Cuba has seen in decades, people rallied against economic hardship, food and medicine shortages, blackouts, and the current political system. Protests were reported in more than 40 cities, including Havana, and were countered by pro-government rallies.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Beginning’ of the end? Biden warns Cuba of looming torrent of sanctionsDemonstrations were also held in the US, Argentina, Brazil, and other places abroad. In Spain’s capital, Madrid, protesters marched condemning the Cuban government on Monday, and a rally in support of the authorities took place the next day.

Officials in Cuba made some economic concessions after the protests, but also accused the US and domestic dissidents of using economic problems to stir unrest through social media. President Miguel Diaz-Canel accused the media of spreading lies about the nature and scope of the protests.

Washington broke off diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1960, shortly after revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro overthrew the government, and imposed an embargo in 1962.

An American embassy in Havana was reopened in 2015 during the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president, which sought rapprochement with Cuba. The policies were completely reversed under Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, and the situation remained unchanged after Biden replaced Trump.

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