Category: National
A Russian warning
worker | June 2, 2016 | 3:50 am | Analysis, National, political struggle, Russia, war profiteering | Comments closed

A Russian warning


We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy as being in shambles and the Russian military as weak—all based on no evidence. But we—knowing both Russian history and the current state of Russian society and the Russian military, cannot swallow these lies. We now feel that it is our duty, as Russians living in the US, to warn the American people that they are being lied to, and to tell them the truth. And the truth is simply this:

If there is going to be a war with Russia, then the United States
will most certainly be destroyed, and most of us will end up dead

Let us take a step back and put what is happening in a historical context. Russia has suffered a great deal at the hands of foreign invaders, losing 22 million people in World War II. Most of the dead were civilians, because the country was invaded, and the Russians have vowed to never let such a disaster happen again. Each time Russia had been invaded, she emerged victorious. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia; in 1814 Russian cavalry rode into Paris. On June 22, 1941, Hitler’s Luftwaffe bombed Kiev; On May 8, 1945, Soviet troops rolled into Berlin.

But times have changed since then. If Hitler were to attack Russia today, he would be dead 20 to 30 minutes later, his bunker reduced to glowing rubble by a strike from a Kalibr supersonic cruise missile launched from a small Russian navy ship somewhere in the Baltic Sea. The operational abilities of the new Russian military have been most persuasively demonstrated during the recent action against ISIS, Al Nusra and other foreign-funded terrorist groups operating in Syria. A long time ago Russia had to respond to provocations by fighting land battles on her own territory, then launching a counter-invasion; but this is no longer necessary. Russia’s new weapons make retaliation instant, undetectable, unstoppable and perfectly lethal.

Thus, if tomorrow a war were to break out between the US and Russia, it is guaranteed that the US would be obliterated. At a minimum, there would no longer be an electric grid, no Internet, no oil and gas pipelines, no interstate highway system, no air transportation or GPS-based navigation. Financial centers would lie in ruins. Government at every level would cease to function. US armed forces, stationed all around the globe, would no longer be resupplied. At a maximum, the entire landmass of the US would be covered by a layer of radioactive ash. We tell you this not to be alarmist, but because, based on everything we know, we are ourselves alarmed. If attacked, Russia will not back down; she will retaliate, and she will utterly annihilate the United States.

The US leadership has done everything it could to push the situation to the brink of disaster. First, its anti-Russian policies have convinced the Russian leadership that making concessions or negotiating with the West is futile. It has become apparent that the West will always support any individual, movement or government that is anti-Russian, be it tax-cheating Russian oligarchs, convicted Ukrainian war criminals, Saudi-supported Wahhabi terrorists in Chechnya or cathedral-desecrating punks in Moscow. Now that NATO, in violation of its previous promises, has expanded right up to the Russian border, with US forces deployed in the Baltic states, within artillery range of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, the Russians have nowhere left to retreat. They will not attack; nor will they back down or surrender. The Russian leadership enjoys over 80% of popular support; the remaining 20% seems to feel that it is being too soft in opposing Western encroachment. But Russia will retaliate, and a provocation or a simple mistake could trigger a sequence of events that will end with millions of Americans dead and the US in ruins.

Unlike many Americans, who see war as an exciting, victorious foreign adventure, the Russians hate and fear war. But they are also ready for it, and they have been preparing for war for several years now. Their preparations have been most effective. Unlike the US, which squanders untold billions on dubious overpriced arms programs such as the F-35 joint task fighter, the Russians are extremely stingy with their defense rubles, getting as much as 10 times the bang for the buck compared to the bloated US defense industry. While it is true that the Russian economy has suffered from low energy prices, it is far from being in shambles, and a return to growth is expected as early as next year. Senator John McCain once called Russia “A gas station masquerading as a country.” Well, he lied. Yes, Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and second-largest oil exporter, but it is also world’s largest exporter of grain and nuclear power technology. It is as advanced and sophisticated a society as the United States. Russia’s armed forces, both conventional and nuclear, are now ready to fight, and they are more than a match for the US and NATO, especially if a war erupts anywhere near the Russian border.

But such a fight would be suicidal for all sides. We strongly believe that a conventional war in Europe runs a strong chance of turning nuclear very rapidly, and that any US/NATO nuclear strike on Russian forces or territory will automatically trigger a retaliatory Russian nuclear strike on the continental US. Contrary to irresponsible statements made by some American propagandists, American antiballistic missile systems are incapable of shielding the American people from a Russian nuclear strike. Russia has the means to strike at targets in the USA with long-range nuclear as well as conventional weapons.

The sole reason why the USA and Russia have found themselves on a collision course, instead of defusing tensions and cooperating on a wide range of international problems, is the stubborn refusal by the US leadership to accept Russia as an equal partner: Washington is dead set on being the “world leader” and the “indispensable nation,” even as its influence steadily dwindles in the wake of a string of foreign policy and military disasters such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. Continued American global leadership is something that neither Russia, nor China, nor most of the other countries are willing to accept. This gradual but apparent loss of power and influence has caused the US leadership to become hysterical; and it is but a small step from hysterical to suicidal. America’s political leaders need to be placed under suicide watch.

First and foremost, we are appealing to the commanders of the US Armed Forces to follow the example of Admiral William Fallon, who, when asked about a war with Iran, reportedly replied “not on my watch.” We know that you are not suicidal, and that you do not wish to die for the sake of out-of-touch imperial hubris. If possible, please tell your staff, colleagues and, especially, your civilian superiors that a war with Russia will not happen on your watch. At the very least, take that pledge to yourself, and, should the day ever come when the suicidal order is issued, simply refuse to execute it on the grounds that it is criminal. Remember thataccording to the Nuremberg Tribunal “To initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Since Nuremberg, “I was just following orders” is no longer a valid defense; please don’t be war criminals.

We also appeal to the American people to take peaceful but forceful action to oppose any politician or party that engages in irresponsible, provocative Russia-baiting, and that condones and supports a policy of needless confrontation with a nuclear superpower that is capable of destroying the US in about an hour. Speak up, break through the barrier of mass media propaganda, and make your fellow Americans aware of the immense danger of a confrontation between Russia and the US.

There is no objective reason why US and Russia should consider each other as adversaries. The current confrontation is entirely the result of the extremist views of the neoconservative movement, whose members have infiltrated the US Federal government, and who consider any country that refuses to obey their dictates as an enemy to be crushed. Thanks to their tireless efforts, over a million innocent people have already died in the former Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia and in many other countries—all because of their maniacal insistence that the USA must be a world empire, not a just a regular, normal country, and that every national leader must either bow down before it, or be overthrown. In Russia, the irresistible force that is the neocon movement has finally encountered the immovable object. They must be forced to back down before they destroy us all.

We are absolutely and categorically certain that Russia will never attack the US, nor any EU member state, that Russia is not at all interested in recreating the USSR, and that there is no “Russian threat” or “Russian aggression.” Much of Russia’s recent economic success has a lot to do with the shedding of former Soviet dependencies, allowing her to pursue a “Russia first” policy. But we are just as certain that if Russia is attacked, or even threatened with attack, she will not back down, and that the Russian leadership will not “blink.” With great sadness and a heavy heart they will do their sworn duty and unleash a nuclear barrage from which the United States will never recover. Even if the entire Russian leadership is killed in a first strike, the so-called “Dead Hand” (the “Perimetr” system) will automatically launch enough nukes to wipe the USA off the political map. We feel that it is our duty to do all we can to prevent such a catastrophe.

Eugenia V Gurevich, PhD
Dmitri Orlov
The Saker (A. Raevsky)


The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world


Why are Americans so angry?
worker | February 3, 2016 | 10:11 pm | Analysis, National, political struggle | Comments closed

Why are Americans so angry?

Man shouting in front of an American flagImage copyright iStock

Americans are generally known for having a positive outlook on life, but with the countdown for November’s presidential election now well under way, polls show voters are angry. This may explain the success of non-mainstream candidates such as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders. But what is fuelling the frustration?

A CNN/ORC poll carried out in December 2015 suggests 69% of Americans are either “very angry” or “somewhat angry” about “the way things are going” in the US.

And the same proportion – 69% – are angry because the political system “seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington,” according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from November.

Many people are not only angry, they are angrier than they were a year ago, according to an NBC/Esquire survey last month – particularly Republicans (61%) and white people (54%) but also 42% of Democrats, 43% of Latinos and 33% of African Americans.

Candidates have sensed the mood and are adopting the rhetoric. Donald Trump, who has arguably tapped into voters’ frustration better than any other candidate, says he is “very, very angry” and will “gladly accept the mantle of anger” while rival Republican Ben Carson says he has encountered “many Americans who are discouraged and angry as they watch the American dream slipping away”.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says: “I am angry and millions of Americans are angry,” while Hillary Clinton says she “understands why people get angry”.

Here are five reasons why some voters feel the American dream is in tatters.

1. Economy

“The failure of the economy to deliver real progress to middle-class and working-class Americans over the past 15 years is the most fundamental source of public anger and disaffection in the US,” says William Galston, an expert in governance studies at the Brookings Institution think tank.

Although the country may have recovered from the recession – economic output has rebounded and unemployment rates have fallen from 10% in 2009 to 5% in 2015 – Americans are still feeling the pinch in their wallets. Household incomes have, generally speaking, been stagnant for 15 years. In 2014, the median household income was $53,657, according to the US Census Bureau – compared with $57,357 in 2007 and $57,843 in 1999 (adjusted for inflation).

There is also a sense that many jobs are of lower quality and opportunity is dwindling, says Galston. “The search for explanations can very quickly degenerate into the identification of villains in American politics. On the left it is the billionaires, the banks, and Wall Street. On the right it is immigrants, other countries taking advantage of us and the international economy – they are two sides of the same political coin.”

2. Immigration

Image of US population projections 2015-2060

America’s demographics are changing – nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the US since 1965, not all of whom entered the country legally. Forty years ago, 84% of the American population was made up of non-Hispanic white people – by last year the figure was 62%, according to Pew Research. It projects this trend will continue, and by 2055 non-Hispanic white people will make up less than half the population. Pew expects them to account for only 46% of the population by 2065. By 2055, more Asians than any other ethnic group are expected to move to US.

“It’s been an era of huge demographic, racial, cultural, religious and generational change,” says Paul Taylor, author of The Next America. “While some celebrate these changes, others deplore them. Some older, whiter voters do not recognise the country they grew up in. There is a sense of alien tribes,” he says.

The US currently has 11.3 million illegal immigrants. Migrants often become a target of anger, says Roberto Suro, an immigration expert at the University of Southern California. “There is a displacement of anxiety and they become the face of larger sources of tensions, such as terrorism, jobs and dissatisfaction. We saw that very clearly when Donald Trump switched from [complaining about] Mexicans to Muslims without skipping a beat after San Bernardino,” he says, referring to the shooting in California in December that left 14 people dead.

3. Washington

US Capitol BuildingImage copyright Getty Images

When asked if they trust the government, 89% of Republicans and 72% of Democrats say “only sometimes” or “never”, according to Pew Research. Six out of 10 Americans think the government has too much power, a survey by Gallup suggests, while the government has been named as the top problem in the US for two years in a row – above issues such as the economy, jobs and immigration, according to the organisation.

The gridlock on Capitol Hill and the perceived impotence of elected officials has led to resentment among 20 to 30% of voters, says polling expert Karlyn Bowman, from the American Enterprise Institute. “People see politicians fighting and things not getting done – plus the responsibilities of Congress have grown significantly since the 1970s and there is simply more to criticise. People feel more distant from their government and sour on it,” she says.

William Galston thinks part of the appeal of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is down to frustration with what some see as a failing system. “So on the right you have someone who is running as a ‘strong man’, a Berlusconi and Putin, who will get things done, and on the left you have someone who is rejecting incrementalism and calling for a political revolution,” he says.

Ted Cruz, who won the Republican caucuses in Iowa, is also running as an anti-establishment candidate. “Tonight is a victory for every American who’s watched in dismay as career politicians in Washington in both parties refuse to listen and too often fail to keep their commitments to the people,” he said on Monday night.

4. America’s place in the world

Barrack Obama, Xi Jinping and Vladimir PutinImage copyright AFP

America is used to being seen as a superpower but the number of Americans that think the US “stands above all other countries in the world” went from 38% in 2012 to 28% in 2014, Pew Research suggests. Seventy percent of Americans also think the US is losing respect internationally, according to a 2013 poll by the centre.

“For a country that is used to being on top of the world, the last 15 years haven’t been great in terms of foreign policy. There’s a feeling of having been at war since 9/11 that’s never really gone away, a sense America doesn’t know what it wants and that things aren’t going our way,” says Roberto Suro. The rise of China, the failure to defeat the Taliban and the slow progress in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group has contributed to the anxiety.

Americans are also more afraid of the prospect of terrorist attacks than at any time since 9/11, according to a New York Times/CBS poll. The American reaction to the San Bernardino shooting was different to the French reaction to the Paris attacks, says Galston. “Whereas the French rallied around the government, Americans rallied against it. There is an impression that the US government is failing in its most basic obligation to keep country and people safe.”

5. Divided nation

Republican and Democrat signImage copyright iStock

Democrats and Republicans have become more ideologically polarised than ever. The typical (median), Republican is now more conservative in his or her core social, economic and political views than 94% of Democrats, compared with 70% in 1994, according to Pew Research. The median Democrat, meanwhile, is more liberal than 92% of Republicans, up from 64%.

The study also found that the share of Americans with a highly negative view of the opposing party has doubled, and that the animosity is so deep, many would be unhappy if a close relative married someone of a different political persuasion.

This polarisation makes reaching common ground on big issues such as immigration, healthcare and gun control more complicated. The deadlock is, in turn, angering another part of the electorate. “Despite this rise in polarisation in America, a large mass in the middle are pragmatic. They aren’t totally disengaged, they don’t want to see Washington gridlocked, but they roll their eyes at the nature of this discourse,” says Paul Taylor. This group includes a lot of young people and tends to eschew party labels. “If they voted,” he says, “they could play an important part of the election.”

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3rd Democratic debate
worker | December 20, 2015 | 8:08 pm | Analysis, National, political struggle | Comments closed

‘Trump is best ISIS recruiter’: Clinton, Sanders round on GOP ‘Islamophobia’ in 3rd Democrat debate

Hillary Clinton balanced her attacks on the Republicans with her disapproval of Democrat rivals in the latest debate. The senator called Republican frontrunner Donald Trump “ISIS’s best recruiter,” but also lashed out at Bernie Sanders for criticizing regime change in Syria.

Saturday’s Democrat party debate was marked by more unification against the Republican camp than before.

Millionaire mogul Donald Trump, perceived by the former Secretary of State as the biggest threat, received a beating from Clinton for aggravating an already tense climate of Islamophobia in the US and abroad.

“He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she proclaimed. The truth of the claim could not be verified and neither camp would comment, according to ABC News.

“I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world that there is a clash of civilizations… that there is some kind of Western plot or even war against Islam, which then I believe fans the flames of radicalization,”  she continued, most likely in reference to Trump’s suggestion to ban all Muslims from entering the United States – the latest of his remarks on the threat of terrorism.

When it came to gun control, Clinton stood firm on her core principle that guns will not make Americans safer – something the Democrats like to use against the Republicans. At the same time, however, she had no qualms with arming other countries – in particular sending weapons to the Syrian rebels to use against President Bashar Assad.

The former Secretary of State locked horns with Senator Bernie Sanders on the Middle Eastern strategy, particularly regarding removing Assad, the no-fly zone Clinton (again) proposed and the bigger picture of US involvement on foreign soil, which forms the core of their disagreements.

“Our differences are fairly deep on this issue; we disagreed on the war in Iraq,” Sanders said, alluding to Clinton’s support of almost every military involvement abroad in recent history. “Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be,” the NY Times quoted him as saying.

He added: “It is not Assad who is attacking the United States.”

Clinton blasted Sanders for supporting the removal of Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, then continued down the familiar road of advocating sending more arms to so-called moderate Syrian rebels.

“I think it’s fair to say Assad has killed, by last count, about 250,000 Syrians,” Clinton went on, while saying that if the US had armed the rebels even earlier, the current power vacuum allowing ISIS to run rampant would not exist.

Similarly, unlike Sanders, Clinton believes Russia needs to be controlled in Syria. “I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians, I am advocating it also because I think it would give us some leverage with the Russians,” she said, while Sanders remained adamant about the need to work together with Moscow on fighting terrorism in Syria, instead of focusing on dismantling another government.

READ MORE: Hillary ‘feels the Bern’ as MSM ignores Sanders’ surging poll numbers

Martin O’Malley was the third candidate present at the debates, but his views tended to be largely overshadowed by Clinton and Sanders facing off. That was to be expected, since Sanders now has precious little time to gain on Clinton, who is enjoying a significant lead. Experts believe it is partly for this reason that Sanders began to focus more on having an anti-ISIS strategy – something he was previously criticized for avoiding.

A national poll released today shows Clinton is leading Sanders by 31 points, except in New Hampshire, where Sanders has a 10 point lead.

After State Monopoly Capitalism?
worker | December 20, 2015 | 7:55 pm | Analysis, class struggle, Economy, National, political struggle | Comments closed

After State Monopoly Capitalism?

– from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:

Few review articles are as satisfying as the recent Paul Krugman examination of Robert Reich’s new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, in the New York Review of Books (December 17, 2015). To begin with, it was gratifying to find the stark candor behind the title of Reich’s book. “Saving capitalism” assuredly implies that capitalism is on the ropes—in danger of expiring—an implication that I both believe and welcome.

Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, and another colleague, Joseph Stiglitz share lofty accomplishments in academic economics and constitute the intellectual triumvirate informing the non-Marxist left in the US. Although they do not agree on everything, they share a core set of beliefs in the viability of capitalism and its need to reform. It is unusual to see Krugman and Reich suggesting such blatant urgency.
The felt urgency turns on the dramatic increase of economic inequality in major capitalist countries, particularly the US. Krugman stresses that inequality was an issue that Reich and he “were already taking seriously” twenty-five years ago. That may be, but I think it’s fair to say that neither was taking the growth of inequality seriously as a structural feature of capitalism until the important work of Thomas Piketty two years ago.
Krugman takes us on an intellectual journey, outlining in clear, non-technical terms how he, Reich, and other non-Marxist economists modified their understanding of the causes of inequality growth (not simply inequality, but its growth) over the last several decades. Where Krugman arrives is nothing short of amazing: he, no doubt unwittingly, describes an evolved capitalism resembling the capitalism that Marxists described well over half of a century ago.
Decades ago, liberal, mainstream economists believed that rising inequality in the US sprang from a poor match between technological requirements and workers’ skill sets—what Krugman calls “skill-based technological change” (SBTC). Education was seen as the great leveler, restoring wealth and income to those falling behind. But with the correlation between levels of education and compensation broken today, all reject SBTC as an adequate explanation and the key to arresting the growth of inequality. The growth of debt-laden college graduates working in call centers surely shatters that illusion. Or as Krugman smartly puts it: “…hedge fund managers and high school teachers have similar levels of formal training.”
But economists fell back on another technological example: robots and other productivity-enhancing devices replacing workers. But Krugman makes short shrift of this explanation:
…if we were experiencing a robot-driven technological revolution, why did productivity growth seem to be slowing, not accelerating?
…if it were getting easier to replace robots with machines, we should have seen a rise in business investment as corporations raced to take advantage of the new opportunities; we didn’t and in fact corporations have increasingly been parking their profits in banks or using them to buy back stocks.
Krugman thus dismisses a technological explanation for the growth of inequality.
Instead he urges that we consider the centerpiece of Reich’s study: monopoly power.
It is the concentration of economic power in the hands of fewer corporate players that accounts for growing economic inequality, according to Krugman and Reich: “…it’s obvious to the naked eye that our economy consists much more of monopolies and oligopolists than it does of the atomistic, price-taking competitors economists often envision.”
So why did it take Reich and Krugman so long to arrive at this juncture, a place that Lenin visited over a hundred years ago? Marxist writers like Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy devoted an entire influential book to monopoly capitalism nearly fifty years ago.
Krugman apologetically– “an intellectual and a policy error”–attributes the mainstream economic neglect of monopoly to an influential paper written by Milton Friedman in 1953 that emphatically dismissed the effects of monopoly power on significant economic behavior.
Thus, non-Marxist economists and their political allies have scorned the concept of monopoly power until recently, a concept that Marxists have made a centerpiece of their analyses for most of the twentieth century. What is “obvious to the naked eye…” now informs the theories embraced by our left-leaning reformers.
But Krugman and Reich reveal another crucial linkage—that between economic power (monopoly power) and political power (“And this ties the issue of market power to political power”). They see monopoly power as sustained, protected, and expanded by political actors. At the same time, they see political actors as selected, nourished, and guided by monopoly power. This creates a troubling conundrum for those seeking to reform capitalism. Reich’s conclusion, in Krugman’s words:
Rising wealth at the top buys growing political influence via campaign contributions, lobbying, and the rewards of the revolving door. Political influence in turn is used to rewrite the rules of the game—antitrust laws, deregulation, changes in contract law, union-busting—in a way that reinforces income concentration. The result is a sort of spiral, a vicious circle of oligarchy.
Putting aside the clashing metaphors of circles and spirals, this statement reasonably captures the mechanism behind the socio-economic formation Marxists call State Monopoly Capitalism.  For Marxists, concentration necessarily begets monopoly capitalism, which subsequently completely fuses with the state, creating a mutually reinforcing synthesis. The state rules in the interest of monopoly capitalism while policing the economic terrain to maximize the viability and success of monopoly capital. Monopoly capital legitimizes the state and selects and imposes its overseers. Nothing demonstrates the intimacy more than the crisis bailouts of mega-corporations (“too big to fail”) and the increasing establishment of international governing bodies and trade agreements. Nothing demonstrates monopoly capital’s political dominance more than the decisive role of mega-corporate money in the two-party political process.
With the recognition of the vital link of monopoly capital and the state, Krugman and Reich reach an understanding on a parallel with those Marxist theorists who characterized the post-World War II era as one of state monopoly capitalism. While some features of that characterization were and are sometimes disputed (see, for example, Politico-Economic Problems of Capitalism, Y. Varga, 1968), most Marxists would enthusiastically welcome the two economists to their camp on this important issue.
But unlike Marxists, who see the overthrow of capitalism as the final answer to the wedding of monopoly power to political power, Krugman, Reich and their liberal and social democratic colleagues are left with the conundrum that follows inescapably from their conclusions about the source of inequality. The economic reforms that they envision to retard the growth of inequality are altogether blocked by the massive political power stacked against them. And that political power is stacked against reform because political power is the purchase of monopoly power. In other words, their findings confirm that monopoly has the political process locked up and that lock will ensure that monopoly will continue to grow along with inequality.
Krugman clearly recognizes this conundrum and casts serious doubts over Reich’s wistful glance back at the past and faith that a New Deal-like solution will magically emerge from the amorphous “populism” of candidates from both parties (he mentions Ted Cruz!).
Of course Krugman is right in dismissing Reich’s nostalgic answer, but he can offer no alternative.
We conclude that the growth of inequality will only be stopped when the program of saving capitalism is put aside for a program that vigorously challenges the capitalist system. We hope that Krugman and Reich will draw the same conclusion in the future.
Zoltan Zigedy
The stench of fascism is here thanks to Trump
worker | December 7, 2015 | 7:33 pm | Immigrants' Rights, National, political struggle | Comments closed
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Norcross, Georgia October 10, 2015

Donald Trump Calls for Ban on Muslims Entering US

© REUTERS/ Tami Chappell

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday said all Muslims should be prohibited from entering the United States until Congress can take action.

In a statement issued to the press by his campaign, Trump called for “a total… shutdown of Muslims entering the US until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

The statement said polling data shows that “large segments of the Muslim population” hate Americans, which creates a risk for more attacks by extremists on US soil.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said in the statement.

“Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

In response to Trump’s statement, an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said: “We’re entering into the realm of the fascist now.”

Trump’s comments come after the FBI said both assailants who fatally shot 14 people last week in an attack in San Bernadino, California, had been “radicalized.”

Just a day earlier, on Sunday, President Barack Obama, in a national address delivered from the Oval Office, urged Americans not to turn against Muslims in the wake of the terrorist attacks in California.

Hours before the president’s address, Trump criticized Obama and his administration for for their unwillingness to say the words “radical Islam” when talking about terrorism. The GOP front-runner also defended his call to track Muslims in the United States.

“We are having a problem with the radicals in the Muslim group. Let’s not kid ourselves. You can say it, or you don’t have to say it,” Trump said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“But I’ve been saying it loud and strong. So if you have people coming out of mosques with hatred and with death in their eyes and on their minds, we’re going to have to do something.”

Trump last month seemed to indicate that he was in favor of implementing a database for tracking Muslims in America. He later backed away from the idea after drawing harsh criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Read more:

Clinton’s reactionary plan to fight ISIL debunked
worker | November 24, 2015 | 10:21 pm | National, political struggle, Russia, Syria | Comments closed
Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Alexandria, Virginia on October 23, 2015

Clinton Plan to Fight ISIL ‘All Rhetoric, No Strategy’ – Ex-US Ambassador

© AFP 2015/ Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s plan to destroy the Islamic State, announced last Thursday, is a reheat of neo-conservative rhetoric and lacking any strategy whatsoever, former US Ambassador Chas Freeman told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On the same day Clinton offered her proposed strategy to fight the Islamic State, her chief challenger for the nomination, US Senator Bernie Sanders, offered a different plan advocating close cooperation between the United States, Russia and major Muslim nations.

“‘Hillary’s plan’ is all rhetoric and no strategy. As such, it is hard to distinguish it from the bellicose pronouncements of our nation’s neo-conservative pundits,” Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a past president of the Middle East Policy Council, said.

Clinton wanted to repeat over Syria the policies she adopted as secretary of state to topple Libya’s long-time leader Muammar Gadhafi, not realizing that conditions were very different, Freeman argued.

“Ms. Clinton essentially proposes a replay of Libya, an example of the use of force that few, if any other than she, find inspiring. As she did in Libya, she proposes airstrikes and a ‘no-fly zone’ — a purely military approach aimed at regime change with a proven record of producing disasters,” he said.

Clinton’s new plan, Freeman pointed out, does not address the factors that radicalize Middle Easterners, as well as Western, Russian and Chinese Muslims and incite them to acts of terrorism both in the region and beyond it.

“She alleges, without showing how this might be so, that her advocacy of arming moderates in Syria that no one has ever been able to identify would have accomplished something other than the further intensification of one of the world’s most appalling instances of civil strife,” he continued.

Freeman also faulted Clinton for apparently lacking any awareness of the need to involve other regional states in her plan to fight the Islamic State.

“What is particularly striking, given her service as secretary of state, is the total absence in her plan of a diplomatic strategy for engaging Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors as well as… the international community to eliminate the causes and end the metastasis of Islamist terrorism with global reach,” Freeman noted.

Clinton’s plan, he added, would only add to the instability and chaos of the Middle East and make it an even more fertile breeding ground to produce fanatical Islamist extremists.

“There is no reason to believe that doing more of the same, which is essentially what Ms. Clinton is proposing, will do anything other than produce more 9/11s and more Parises,” Freeman said, referring to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and in Paris on November 13.

There was no novel or creative element whatsoever in any of Clinton’s proposals, Freeman continued.

“The world needs new thinking about how to deal with a problem that has grown to affect all the great powers as well as all of the Islamic world and that is worsening rather than retreating. Ms. Clinton shows no sign she can provide this new thinking,” Freeman concluded.

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Teenager gunned down in Chicago by police
worker | November 24, 2015 | 7:22 pm | National, police terrorism | Comments closed
Police car lights

Dashcam Footage of Laquan McDonald Killing Released in Chicago

© Flickr/ Robert Kuykendall

Dashcam footage of a Chicago police officer killing a 17-year-old teen was released on Tuesday night, the same day the cop was charged with first-degree murder.

Laquan McDonald, 17, was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke who turned himself in on Tuesday morning.

The city had announced that they would be releasing the dashcam footage on Wednesday, but it was released during a 4:30 PM news conference.

McDonald’s family had stated that they did not want the video released, but a freelance journalist had filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain it.

“This is a difficult time for us. As we have said in the past, while we would prefer that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise… ” a statement from the teen’s family read on Tuesday.

McDonald was reportedly holding a knife, which he used to slash the tires of a police vehicle.

Van Dyke fired a “barrage of bullets” less than 30 seconds after arriving at the scene, and continued shooting as McDonald’s body was on the ground.

State Attorney Anita Alvarez has stated that this was not a proper use of force and that it was not justified.

“With these charges, we are bringing a full measure of justice that this demands,” Alvarez told reporters on Tuesday.

Her announcement came just one day before the deadline set by a judge to release the video footage, taken from a police dash-cam.

“It is everything it has been described to be by the news accounts,” Alvarez said. “It is graphic, it is violent, it is chilling. I’ve been a prosecutor for nearly 30 years…to watch a 17-year-old young man die in such a violent manner is deeply disturbing.”

Fearing unrest over the disturbing footage, the family called for calm.

“We ask for calm in Chicago. No one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name. Let his legacy be better than that,” McDonald’s family asked.

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