Search

band annie's Weblog

I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Tag

politics

Empire : the Reckoning, from Obama to Trump

 

EMPIREBARACK OBAMA

marwan-be

Marwan Bishara examines President Obama’s legacy following Donald Trump’s victory and what this means for America.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/empire/2017/01/reckoning-obama-trump-170118125432628.html

19 Jan 2017 15:32 GMT 

The reckoning.

Donald Trump ran on a promise to tear down everything and anything Barack Obama had done.
Now it’s time for the reckoning.
Will Obama’s legacy, in fact, all be wrecked?
Will some of it stand, no matter what?
Will some of it be knocked to the ground now, with resurrection sure to come in the near future?

Marwan Bishara embarks on a journey of discovery.
Into the immediate past, the eight years of Obama.
Coming into office when America – indeed the whole world –
was on the verge of another Great Depression.
Bringing the crash to a soft landing
guiding it into a recovery.
Trying to end the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
but ending with even more chaos.

Into the shouting and confusion of today.
And a look into the future.

What will Obama’s legacy really be?
For America.
For the rest of the world.

Source: Al Jazeera News

Advertisements

Are you Progressive Except for Syria? Take the handy test here!

Posted: 02/26/2015 by editor

pes 3We have all already heard of the phenomenon of PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine), in which those who consider themselves progressives (liberals in the USA) or leftists are pretty liberal on every single issue except the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But, their syndrome has been pointed out and diagnosed fully. A lot of them justify this position by saying that supporting the government of Israel is a liberal position. Their problems are not our problem… they need help that we surely can’t provide.

However, there is another phenomenon far more worrisome because it involves those who are Progressive ALSO for Palestine, and that is the case of PES (Progressive Except on Syria). Those who are afflicted by this malady feel safety in numbers, because they are in fact the majority of non-Palestinian supporters of Palestine. They will actually USE the argument of Palestine as justification of their support of Assad, even though his regime has a terrible record regarding Palestinians, (as did that of his father).  They will argue that support of Assad is a progressive (liberal) leftist value. Whether it’s called “selective humanitarianism” “double standards” or “hypocrisy”, it is a dangerous and insidious disease and should be cured. Here is a little test to discover if perhaps YOU are afflicted with this mental illness.

pes 2Do you perhaps suffer from PES without being aware of it? Fear no more! We’re happy to provide you a self-diagnosis test with simple YES / NO replies so that you can discover your own hypocritical stance, and hopefully, be on the path to the cure.

  1. Did you protest or complain about the unfairness of the USAelections for any reason but believe that Assad won a landslide victory in free and fair elections?
  2. Do you think that Assad is fighting terrorism?
  3. Do you think that the Palestinian cause is being defended by Assad?
  4. Do you believe that the war in Syria is all about foreign aggression due to their national and pan-Arab stances” and is not a people’s uprising? In fact, you think the whole Arab Spring has got to be “exposed” as an imperialist, western plot.
  5. Do you think that the Intifada in Palestine is legitimate and that the uprising in Syria is manufactured (while of course saying so having been paid guest to Assad’s presidential palace)?
  6. Do you think that the Palestinian cause is being defended by Hezbollah even when they target and kill Palestinian refugees and ignore the growing tensions between Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Hezbollah?
  7. Do you condemn religiously-inspired militias such as ISIS and Al Nusra when they commit murder and use violence against civilians but have not condemned Hezbollah when it commits murder and uses violence against civilians?
  8. Do you think that it was a good idea for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) to shoot on the Palestinians who mourned those killed on Naksa Day 2011?
  9. Have you called Gaza “the world’s largest open-air prison” but don’t agree with the UNHCR claim that Syria’s war “is more brutal and destructive than the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has turned into the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the cold war.”?
  10. Have you endorsed or thought a No Fly Zone was a good idea for Gaza but reject it as Imperialist meddling or abid to save Al Qaeda if it’s done in Syria?
  11. Do you condemn the Palestinians tortured to death in Israeli prisons (since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinianshave been tortured to death) but have not condemned the 200 Palestinians tortured to death in Syrian prisons since 2011? You naturally probably don’t know about the at least 2100 Syrians who were tortured to deathinside these prisons.
  12. Do the at least 10,000 bodies of prisoners in Syrian regime prisons that were ordered to be catalogued by the regime mean nothing to you since you don’t have details on what the reasons for their deaths could be?
  13. Do you call for release of political prisoners from Israeli jails but do not call for the release of the tens of thousands of political prisoners in Syrian jails?
  14. Have you actually asked for money to bring Gazan children to make a protest for the NFZ but think that asking for a NFZ in Syria is a bid to help Al Qaeda?
  15. Do you think Al Qaeda and ISIS are Mossad / CIA inventions?
  16. Do you protest against the death penalty in the USA: Executions in 2014, 35, but don’t do the same for Iran: executions in 2014, Between 721 and 801 at least.
  17. Do you think it is wrong for the US to provide Israel with armaments because it engages in war crimes but at the same time, think it is justified for Russia to provide the Syrian regime with armaments and military expertsbecause “it’s war against NATO”?
  18. Do you condemn Israel’s “extra judicial killing” but claim that Assad must do everything he needs to maintain power because blocking his actions in any way, even by condemning them “… could end up ousting Assad. It would mean replacing him with pro-Western stooge governance. It would eliminate another Israeli rival. It would isolate Iran. It would be disastrous for ordinary Syrians.”
  19. Have you ever praised Assad’s government because it is secular, or “fighting the enemy of the West”: because after all, you only see the alternatives being Assad or the “Islamic Fundamentalists”?
  20. Did you support Haniyeh and Meshaal until they started waving the Syrian revolution flag?
  21. Do you erroneously refer to the Syrian revolution flag as the “French Mandate Flag” ignoring that even the Assad regime celebrated it as the Independence flag each “Evacuation (Independence) Day on 17 April to celebrate the resistance against the French colonialists?
  22. Do you know the names of at least one Palestinian dissident/political writer but don’t know any Syrian ones?
  23. Do you call the opposition to Assad “Western-backed rebels” either from a Pro-Israel or Pro-Iran standpoint?
  24. Did you protest for Palestinian detainees and even know their names but not do the same for Palestinian detainees in Syrian’s prisons?
  25. Do you know the name of at least one minor arrested or killed by Israel but don’t know the name of at least one minor arrested or killed by the Assad regime?
  26. You have protested against the racist and discriminatory Apartheid Wall and checkpoints in Israel/Palestine but you have nothing much to say about Syrian military checkpoints and sniper-lined checkpoints?
  27. Did you get angry when a US newspaper used a photo of Iraqi deaths, claiming they were Syrian, but when Palestinian supporters use Syrian ones, it’s “illustrating the suffering in Gaza”?
  28. You have protested against Israeli use of phosphorus bombs but you have nothing much to say about the unconventional weapons use by Assad against both opposition fighters and civilians such as barrel bombs andchemical weapons?
  29. Are you critical of the US for intervening in affairs of other countries but think it’s normal for Iran and Russia to be sending troops into Syria to help the regime?
  30. You would never consider Palestine compromising with Israel but you believe that the opposition must compromise with the regime in Syria.
  31. Do you condemn the Saudi monarchy and refer to them as Wahhabis, Salafis, etc., but refuse to recognise that Iran is a theocracy?
  32. Do you think that Assad is simply doing everything he can to protect the minorities in his country?
  33. Do you call the Israeli occupation of Palestine ethnic cleansing but do not speak out against the regime-driven massacres in Syria that are ethnically based?
  34. Do you refer to the Assad regime, Hezbollah and Iran as the “Axis of Resistance” even when they don’t react to Israeli attacks on them?
  35. Do you think the following two statements are both true?
    a. Dissent in the United States is patriotic.
    b. Protesting in Syria is an assault on the State and needs to be quelled.
  36. Do you think the following two statements are true?
    a. Pepper spraying protesters in the USA is a violation of human rights.
    b. The Syrian regime has to use whatever force it deems necessary against protesters, because they protesters have violent intentions.
  37. Do you think that Israel must be brought to the ICC for crimes against humanity but think that the Syrian regime should not?
  38. Do you condemn the USA vetoes on the UN Security Council in favour of Israel but praise the Russian and Chinese ones in favour of Assad both to stop sanctions and to prohibit ICC investigation including three Chinese vetoes on Syria alone out of eight total vetoes in their history?
  39. Do you think the following statements are both true?
    a.Calling a U.S. citizen anti-American or un-American for being critical of the US government is ridiculous, knee-jerk, unintelligent and actually incorrect.
    b.People who are critical of Assad are closet or overt imperialists and want US control over the region.
  40. You do not believe that Russia is an imperialist state while you are certain that Syria is an anti-imperialist state defending itself against imperialist onslaught.
  41. Do you think that Erdogan is seeking to dominate politics in the region in an attempt to restore what was once the Ottoman Empire or even think the US is trying to establish an Islamic State but support Iranian domination and the Shi’a Crescent?
  42. Have you signed petitions against companies such as Soda Stream and Coca-cola but not against weapons provider, the Russian monopoly Rosoboronexport or even the western companies providing the Syrian and Iranian regimes with surveillance equipment that they use against dissidents and opposition?
  43. Do you call innocent victims killed by American drones or victims of war crimes but consider the Syrians and Palestinians killed by Syrian bombs and chemical weapons collateral damage?
  44. Do you reject the USA/UK “War on Terror” but believe that Assad has a right to use whatever means possible tokill whoever he considers as a terrorist in Syria and that Syria is a sovereign nation fighting Al Qaeda?
  45. Have you mentioned the Blockade on Gaza in conversations and know it is illegal and a crime against humanity but don’t feel the same about the Blockade on Yarmouk?
  46. Do you respond to criticism of Assad by pointing out USA human rights violations?
  47. You know the name of USA civilians killed by cops or vigilantes, but you don’t know the name of a single Syrian victim of torture in the Assad prisons.
  48. You have protested for the closure of Gitmo, but you don’t raise your voice or even one eyebrow over theSyrian Torture Archipelago in which “The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture [in the 27 detention facilities run by Syrian Intelligence] that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity.” Moreover, you don’t want to notice that Syria’s government has been cooperating with the CIA extensively in renditions and the torture programme.
  49. You think that Israel should not have nuclear capacity but that Iran should have nuclear capacity. Extra pointsif you support Non-Proliferation. Super extra points if you participated in any No Nukes events in the West or signed any such petitions, super extra and mega extra points if you are against nuclear power.
  50. You believe that the Palestinian struggle is about human rights but the Syrian protests were sectarian and religious-oriented, driven by people who wanted to overthrow and overtake power illegitimately if not in factmanufactured by the West?
  51. Do you believe it’s normal for the Syrian constitution to be amended every time that it serves the Assad familybut the US Constitution is sacred and especially no amendments should be made to limit gun possessionwhether you detest the US government or think it should basically call all the shots around the world?
  52. Do you think that Jews protesting the Israel government are noble people who are fighting for human rights and justice while any Syrian protesting the Assad regime are in cahoots with the Israeli government.
  53. Do you believe that, “We must not in any way call for the removal of President Assad unless he commits acts of terror against us. Assad’s government has committed no such act, thus rendering it criminal for foreign governments to undermine the Syrian regime. You either stand for national sovereignty, or against it. The choice is yours.” While at the same time have supported efforts from the liberals or conservatives to have Obama impeached?
  54. Do you believe that foreign countries helping the Palestinians militarily to win against Israel is legitimate but helping Syrians win against Assad is meddling and think that “any further intervention in Syria would be for U.S. interests, like weakening an ally of Iran, and would encourage Assad’s allies to step up their armament shipments. The carnage would continue, and perhaps increase.”?
  55. Do you reject claims that the involvement of Iran and Russia in favour of Assad is meddling?
  56. Do you think that the entire Syrian war is for the purpose of the US weakening Syria so that it can pursue its own interests in the region but ignore the fact that Russia has enormous interests in Syria that are far more evident?
  57. Have you ever found yourself denying Assad had chemical weapons but also applauding the Syrian regime’s decision to hand them over to Russia as a strong gesture towards peace?

pes 1

How many questions did you answer YES to?

Between 1 and 5? You are headed towards selective humanitarianism, or even are afflicted with Western Privilege Syndrome!

Between 6 and 10? You are dangerously using double standards and believe that human rights aren’t something universal, but allow your ideological or dogmatic prejudices to influence your ethical judgement!

Over 10? You are a dyed in the wool Hypocrite! Maybe you should avoid “current events” altogether, you have no understanding of what human rights and justice mean, you should wash your mouth out before you ever speak about human rights for Palestinians or anyone.

“Assassination Market”

“Assassination Market” Crowdfunds Murder of Gov’t Officials with Bitcoins; Bernanke, Obama, NSA’s Alexander Top Kill-List

In Archive, on November 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

assassination-market-list

11/18/2013

Andy Greenberg/Forbes:

Last month I received an encrypted email from someone calling himself by the pseudonym Kuwabatake Sanjuro, who pointed me towards his recent creation: The website Assassination Market, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations. According to Assassination Market’s rules, if someone on its hit list is killed–and yes, Sanjuro hopes that many targets will be–any hitman who can prove he or she was responsible receives the collected funds.

For now, the site’s rewards are small but not insignificant. In the four months that Assassination Market has been online, six targets have been submitted by users, and bounties have been collected ranging from ten bitcoins for the murder of NSA director Keith Alexander and 40 bitcoins for the assassination of President Barack Obama to 124.14 bitcoins–the largest current bounty on the site–targeting Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve and public enemy number one for many of Bitcoin’s anti-banking-system users. At Bitcoin’s current rapidly rising exchanges rate, that’s nearly $75,000 for Bernanke’s would-be killer.

Sanjuro’s grisly ambitions go beyond raising the funds to bankroll a few political killings. He believes that if Assassination Market can persist and gain enough users, it will eventually enable the assassinations of enough politicians that no one would dare to hold office. He says he intends Assassination Market to destroy “all governments, everywhere.”

“I believe it will change the world for the better,” writes Sanjuro, who shares his handle with the nameless samurai protagonist in the Akira Kurosawa film “Yojimbo.” (He tells me he chose it in homage to creator of the online black market Silk Road, who called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts, as well Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.)  ”Thanks to this system, a world without wars, dragnet panopticon-style surveillance, nuclear weapons, armies, repression, money manipulation, and limits to trade is firmly within our grasp for but a few bitcoins per person. I also believe that as soon as a few politicians gets offed and they realize they’ve lost the war on privacy, the killings can stop and we can transition to a phase of peace, privacy and laissez-faire.”

I contacted the Secret Service and the FBI to ask if they’re investigating Assassination Market, and both declined to comment.

Sanjuro didn’t actually invent the concept of an anonymous crowdfunded assassination market. The idea dates back to the cypherpunk movement of the mid-1990s, whose adherents dreamt of using encryption tools to weaken the government and empower individuals. Former Intel engineer and Cypherpunk Mailing List founder Tim May argued that uncrackable secret messages and untraceable digital currency would lead to assassination markets in his “Cryptoanarchist’s Manifesto” written in 1992.

A few years later, another former Intel engineer named Jim Bell proposed a system of funding assassinations through encrypted, anonymous donations in an essay he called “ Assassination Politics.” The system he described closely matches Sanjuro’s scheme, though anonymity tools like Tor and Bitcoin were mostly theoretical at the time.

Sanjuro tells me he’s long been aware of Bell’s idea. But he only decided to enact it after the past summer’s revelations of mass surveillance by the NSA exposed in a series of leaks by agency contractor Edward Snowden. “Being forced to alter my every happy memory during internet activity, every intimate moment over the phone with my loved ones, to also include some of the people I hate the most listening in, analysing the conversation, was the inspiration I needed to embark on this task,” he writes. “After about a week of muttering ‘they must all die’ under my breath every time I opened a newspaper or turned on the television, I decided something had to be done. This is my contribution to the cause.”

“I am a crypto-anarchist,” Sanjuro concludes. “We have a bright future ahead of us.”

source

Cruz: “The Dream of Keeping Poor People from Seeing a Doctor Must Never Die”

Posted by
ted-cruz-580.jpegWASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Acknowledging that the government shutdown was coming to an end, an emotional Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor today to make an impassioned speech, telling his colleagues, “The dream of keeping poor people from seeing a doctor must never die.”

His eyes welling up with tears, Sen. Cruz said, “I embarked on this crusade with a simple goal: to keep affordable health care out of the reach of ordinary, hard-working Americans. And while this battle was lost, that dream—that precious, cherished dream—will live on.”

Reflecting on the government shutdown and near-default that almost touched off a global financial apocalypse, Sen. Cruz said, “We’ll give it another try in a few weeks.”

Sen. Cruz’s closest ally, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) also spoke reverently of the shutdown, calling it “the most expensive Civil War reënactment in history.”

“Unfortunately, once again, the wrong side won,” he said.

Over in the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) congratulated his colleagues on the deal to resolve the shutdown, telling reporters, “This proves that when we work together, we can come up with a totally unsatisfactory solution to a completely unnecessary crisis.”

But the last word belonged to Sen. Cruz, who ended his emotional speech with a quiet benediction: “Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere.”

Get the Borowitz Report delivered to your inbox.

Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty.

Sarah Palin Calls for Invasion of Czech Republic

Apr. 22, 2013

0128-sarah-palin-political-career_full_600Sarah Palin called for the invasion of the Czech Republic today in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Boston.

In an interview with Fox News, the former governor of Alaska said that although federal investigators have yet to complete their work, the time for action is now.

“We don’t know everything about these suspects yet,” Palin told Fox and Friends this morning, referring to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who allegedly carried out the Boston Marathon attacks. “But we know they were Muslims from the Czech Republic.

“I betcha I speak for a lot of Americans when I say I want to go over there right now and start teaching those folks a lesson. And let’s not stop at the Czech Republic, let’s go after all Arab countries.

“The Arabians need to learn that they can’t keep comin’ over here and blowing stuff up. Let’s set off a couple of nukes in Islamabad, burn down Prague, then bomb the heck out of Tehran. We need to show them that we mean business.”

Can’t See Russia…

Although hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson applauded Palin’s jingoism, they immediately attempted to rectify her multiple geographic errors.

“Well Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, which isn’t Arab,” Carlson corrected, “and Tehran is the capital of Iran, which is predominantly Persian. But I do see your point.”

“Also Czech Republic isn’t really an Arab or even Muslim country, I don’t think,” Doocy added, “but otherwise what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I think most Americans wish Obama would step up and lead on this one.”

Palin, however, didn’t take kindly to being corrected and defended her analysis.

“Steve, that’s probably one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever heard. How is Czech Republic not a Muslim country? You saw those brothers, they were Islamic and they were Chechen!”

“Yes there were Muslim and they were ethnic Chechens,” Doocy started, “but they grew up mostly in Kyrgyzstan and the United States. And more importantly, Chechens don’t come from the Czech Republic, they come from Chechnya, which is part of Russia. ”

“What’s the difference?” Palin responded. “Isn’t Russia part of the Czech Republic?”

“No, the Czech Republic is a separate country. It’s part of the European Union and a strong NATO ally,” Doocy noted. “But heck, why not? Let’s invade. What could go wrong?”

“Yeah and while we’re at it,” Carlson added, “let’s call the Queen of England and see if the U.K. will join us.”

In a statement released after the interview, Palin attacked Fox News and its “pro-Islamic” and “pro-geography” bias.

“This is just another case of the politically correct liberal media refusing to tell the truth about radical Islam,” she said.

source

Confirmed: Assange Will Run for Australian Senate in 2013

 January 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

01/30/2013WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate in 2013, it has been confirmed on Wednesday. It is not yet clear how he will escape from London’s Ecuadorean embassy.

WikiLeaks representative Kristinn Hrafnsson confirmed to RT that Julian Assange will run for a seat in the Australian Senate.

A native of Australia’s Queensland state, Assange said in March last year that he wanted to “bring liberty back to the center of Australian politics.” His Senate candidacy will help him defend free speech and the “right of citizens… to live their lives free from state interference,” he explained.

After taking political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London in June, Assange expressed interest in the senate seat in December, when he said that he would run as a candidate as part of a yet-to-be-formed WikiLeaks party. He also called on to his supporters to stand with him.

Assange is expected to run on a WikiLeaks party ticket; If he cannot physically make it to the Senate, his seat will be taken by his running mate, the WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Assange’s mother Christine has confirmed her son’s senate candidacy: “He will be awesome,” she told AAP News. She added that currently, Australians can only choose between the two major parties in the country’s legislature, which she called “US lackey party number one and US lackey party number two.”

“It will be great to ‘Assange’ the senate for some Aussie oversight,” Christine Assange said.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced earlier in the day that the country’s national elections will be held on September 14.

Assange may not be able to be physically present at the Australian senate as he remains holed up in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in order to avoid extradition to Sweden. Stockholm has called for Assange to be questioned in the presence of those who made the sex crime allegations. This has raised concerns from Assange’s lawyers that the WikiLeaks found could then be extradited again to the US upon arriving in Sweden.

If extradited to the US, Assange will likely face trial for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables. It was revealed in September last year that US authorities had declared Assange and WikiLeaks to be enemies of the state.

source

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑