Morales Declares ‘Total Independence’ From World Bank And IMF

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has been in office since 2005 | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – Bolivia’s popular uprising known as the The Cochabamba Water War in 2000 against United States-based Bechtel Corporation over water privatization and the associated World Bank policies shed light on some of the debt issues facing the region. “The Bank and the IMF have been requiring these countries (in the Global South) to accept “structural adjustment,” which includes opening markets to foreign firms and privatizing state enterprises, including utilities,” the New Yorker reported. At the time, the World Bank had stated, “Poor governments are often too plagued by local corruption and too ill equipped” and “no subsidies should be given to ameliorate the increase in water tariffs in Cochabamba.” The New Yorker, reported, “Most of the poorest neighborhoods were not hooked up to the network, so state subsidies to the water utility went mainly to industries and middle-class neighborhoods; the poor paid far more for water of dubious purity from trucks and handcarts. In the World Bank’s view, it was a city that was crying out for water privatization.”

US Deep State: Sabotaging Putin-Trump Ceasefire Agreement In Syria

or-39355

By Federico Pieraccini for Strategic Culture Foundation – The most eagerly anticipated meeting of the year, that between Putin and Trump, lasted far more than the scheduled 20 minutes, extending past two hours. This is not too much of a surprise given the points of friction that needed to be discussed, the many outstanding issues in international relations, and the fact that this was the first official meeting between the two world leaders. The results achieved exceeded initial ambitions, and the personal chemistry between Putin and Trump seems to have been sufficient to reach an important agreement in Syria as well as to conduct discussions surrounding cyber security. Trump even asked Putin about the alleged Russian hacking in the US presidential election as a way of appeasing detractors back home. The statements of both presidents following their meeting underlined their positive intentions. Putin called Trump a very different person from the one portrayed in the media, mentioning that he was reflective and very attentive to details. Trump, for his part, praised the meeting with Putin, stating the importance of dialogue between nuclear-armed superpowers. The most important agreement concerned a ceasefire in southern Syria along the border with Israel and Jordan.

Putin, Xi Message To Trump: US Unipolar World Is Over

Flickr/ erokism

By Finian Cunningham for Information Clearing House – July 07, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The US’ strategy has been to isolate Russia internationally. Evidently, it is Washington that is becoming more isolated on the global stage. This week in the run-up to the G20 summit in Germany, the reverse in fortunes could not be more glaring. While North Korea was openly defying Washington with a breakthrough ballistic missile test, and US President Donald Trump was embroiled in his usual juvenile tweeting antics, Russia and China’s leaders were proudly consolidating their strategic alliance for a new multipolar global order. Western media won’t acknowledge as much, but the meeting this week in Moscow between Putin and Xi Jinping was of historical importance. We are witnessing a global transition in power. And for the common good. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping bond through an apparent deep sense of mutual respect and wisdom about the political challenges facing today’s world. The two leaders have met on more than 20 occasions over the past four years. President Xi referred to Russia as China’s foremost ally and said that in a topsy-turvy world the friendship between the two was a source of countervailing stability.

Conflict Between US & Russia Over Downing Of Syrian Aircraft

A U.S. F-18 Super Hornet. (U.S. Air Force)

By Robert Burns for Associated Press – WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Sunday shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants, an action that appeared to mark a new escalation of the conflict. The U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Iraq said in a written statement that a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The shootdown was near the Syrian town of Tabqa. The U.S. military statement said it acted in “collective self defense” of its partner forces and that the U.S. did not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters. According to a statement from the Pentagon, pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqah in northern Syria, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town. Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the town, the Pentagon said. Following the pro-Syrian forces attack, the coalition called its Russian counterparts “to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,” according to the statement.

Resisting Imperialist Militarism On Memorial Day

From countercurrents.org

By Brian Trautman for Counter Currents – The United States is the most militarized and jingoistic nation on earth. Its foreign policy is guided by imperialist militarism, neoliberal capitalism and racial xenophobia. For more than sixteen years now, three presidential administrations have carried out a so-called “War on Terror” (GWOT), a perpetual state of war that is waged globally, under the depraved reasoning that “the world is a battlefield,” to quote investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. As demonstrated by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the GWOT is conducted through conventional warfare. More often, however, it is executed through covert or “dirty” wars, against groups and individuals in many other nations. The U.S. has the financial and logistical capacity to wage these illegal wars. Its bloated military budget is larger than the next seven countries combined. It is by far the largest operator of military installations abroad, maintaining nearly 800 bases in around 70 countries. The ever-growing military-industrial complex, which President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address, permeates every facet of our society – from an economy largely dependent on the war industry, to military recruiting in our public schools, to police militarization.

Gorbachev Warns Of Growing Danger

Ukraine’s anti-Russian President Petro Poroshenko speaking to the Atlantic Council in 2014. (Photo credit: Atlantic Council)

By Rick Sterling for Consurtium News – A group of Americans visiting Russia heard dire warnings from ex-Soviet President Gorbachev that the tensions between the U.S. and Russia are creating a dangerous situation for the world, reports Rick Sterling, who is on the trip. The former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is 87 years old but still sharp. He told a delegation of 30 Americans in a two-week visit to Russia organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, “This is a time to be concerned. We should worry about relations between our two countries. … Things cannot continue as they are.” President Gorbachev recalled his initial meetings with President Reagan, which came after six years of poor relations and hostility. In the first summit meeting, Reagan issued a long list of accusations against the Soviet Union; Gorbachev responded with his own accusations against the U.S. After that meeting Gorbachev said “He’s not a hawk; he’s a dinosaur” while Reagan said about Gorbachev “He’s a die-hard communist.” At the next summit meeting, Reagan continued lecturing Gorbachev. After listening for 15 minutes. Gorbachev stopped Reagan saying, “That’s enough. If you want to talk as equals we can go very far. Differences can be bridged. Problems can be resolved. But as equals.”

Gorbachev: It Was Worse Than This, And We Fixed It

Screenshot 2017-05-15 at 9.13.36 AM

By David Swanson for Lets Try Democracy – On Friday in Moscow I and a group from the United States met with former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. He said the current relationship between Washington and Moscow alarmed him. But, he said, it is possible to rebuild trust. “We had a situation that was worse, but we were able to rebuild trust. And people-to-people contacts helped to rebuild trust.” When Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan first met, presidents of the two countries had not met for six years. Members of Reagan’s cabinet opposed the meeting. Gorbachev came out of the meeting saying of Reagan “He’s not a hawk, he’s a dinosaur.” Reagan came out denouncing Gorbachev as “a die-hard communist.” But they kept meeting. Eventually and inevitably Reagan asked what the Soviets would do if the U.S. were attacked by a meteor or aliens. Both men said their countries would help each other. However, Reagan was a fan of Star Wars, both the weapons boondoggle and the movie — which he may have kept distinct from each other in his mind. Gorbachev and Reagan accomplished a great deal of disarmament, not to mention Gorbachev’s accomplishing the nonviolent dissolution of an empire.

The U.S. Behavior That Concerns Russia

16

By David Swanson for Lets Try Democracy – I attended a meeting in Moscow on Friday with Vladimir Kozin, longtime member of Russia’s foreign service, advisor to the government, author, and advocate for arms reduction. He handed out the list of 16 unresolved problems above. While he noted that the United States funds NGOs in Russia, as well as Ukraine, to influence elections, and described that as a reality in contrast to U.S. stories of Russia trying to influence a U.S. election, which he called a fairy tale, the topic did not make the top-16 list. He added to the top of the list as something that could be obtainable, and something he considers very important, the need for an agreement between the U.S. and Russia on no first use of nuclear weapons, an agreement that he thinks other nations would subsequently join. Then he stressed what he’s listed as the first item above: removing what the U.S. calls missile “defense” but what Russia views as offensive weaponry from Romania, and ceasing the construction of the same in Poland. These weapons combined with no commitment to no first use, Kozin said opens up the possibility of an accident or a misinterpretation of a flock of geese leading to the destruction of all human civilization.

War, Militarism & No Mainstream Opposition: Different Administration Same Story

No war We say no to war

By Ajamu Baraka for Popular Resistance. The absence of any real opposition to the reckless use of U.S. military force – the attack on Syria, the macho demonstration bombing in Afghanistan, the provocations toward North Korea – exposed once again the unanimity among the U.S. ruling class and the state on the use of military force as the main strategy to enforce its global interests. What this means for Black and oppressed people, in the capitalist centers in the West and in the Global South is that we cannot afford the luxury of diversionary politics when it is our bodies that are in the crosshairs of an F-16 in Libya and a Glock 9mm in the hands of a racist cop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For us, unrestrained militarism and war has always meant death and destruction. It also means that attempting to build oppositional coalitions to confront and defeat militarism and neoliberal state austerity cannot depend on effective and consistent support from democrat party related structures both inside and outside of the democrat party such as many of the nonprofits and labor unions.

Imperialism And The Logic Of Mass Destruction

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Carl Boggs for Counter Punch – As throughout much of its war-obsessed history, the United States is currently engaged in military conflict – or threatening such action – across a broad contested terrain. In the cases of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, Washington has resorted to its familiar global modus operandi: sending off barrages of missiles and bombs, much of it hitting civilian populations and resources needed for their survival. Death tolls mount, the largest numbers lately in the protracted battle for Mosul. Heavier casualties are being visited upon non-combatants in Yemen, thanks to U.S.-backed Saudi aerial savagery. We have been told by the media that President Trump has apparently relaxed the rules of warfare, thus allowing civilians to be more easily victimized the midst of armed conflict. Innocent noncombatants are being made increasingly vulnerable to ravages of the largest and most aggressive war machine in history. That, however, would be a serious misreading of the situation: Trump, like Obama, the Bushes, and Clinton before him, is simply operating within an historical pattern of imperial war making for which rules of engagement matter little, if at all.

Empire Abroad, Empire At Home

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Richard Moser for Counter Punch – The “McCarthyism” of the 1950s was the first modern wave of coordinated social control. Truman stoked the fear and hatred of communism to serve foreign policy, but soon, in the hands of the FBI and unscrupulous politicians, it was turned against domestic dissent. The establishment decided that some ideas were so dangerous that American citizens did not have the right or capacity to think through them for themselves. The government would do the thinking for us. Dissent was equated with treason, and it was not until the hard fought battles of the civil rights movement that dissent was once again seen as legitimate. It’s worth remembering that Martin Luther King was widely accused of being a communist. Starting in the mid-50s, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program attacked dissenters. While the civil rights and black power movements were the primary targets of violent repression, almost all social movements were surveilled and disrupted. Today, protestors face escalating penalties, police violence, surveillance, and intimidation. Particularly since Trump’s election there have been a host of proposed laws that aim to criminalize first amendment rights of free speech and assembly.

Why Washington Is Terrified Of Russia, China

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Pepe Escobar for Information Clearing House – April 22, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Sputnik” – The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting the Pentagon’s avowed top two “existential” threats to America, does not come with a formal treaty signed with pomp, circumstance – and a military parade. Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi Jinping high-level meetings. Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it slip there may have been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if one of the strategic members is seriously harassed — be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea – NATO will have to deal with both. For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it. Exhibit A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited by the head of the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin, Anton Vaino.

The Latin American Left Today Global Center For Resistance

Anti-imperialism grafitti in Latin America

By Staff for Telesur. From Brazil to Venezuela there have been radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the region. However, Latin America remains a global center for creativity and resistance. Torn between right and left – and dealing with the significant pressures of imperialism and a colonial legacy – popular forces have been fighting for their social rights and progress, making significant strides and remaining vital despite setbacks. Amid this complicated scenario, teleSUR takes a look at the Latin American left of today – from the Indigenous councils to the national assemblies, the urban centers to the rural villages – which continues to stand strong and fight for an integrated, united and socialist future.

The NAFTA Machine is in Motion

unnamed

By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance. This month, the Trump adminsitration sent out an eight-page draft letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees outlining the administration’s objectives for NAFTA renegotiations. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expressed wanting to send out the official letter to Congress, which upon approval would initiate the 90-day consultation period required before beginning negotations. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto already began Mexico’s own 90-day consultation period in early February. That means the NAFTA negotiations could start in early July.

Closer To World War III: Russia & Iran Warn Military Response Next Time

The Trump Administration is seeking to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama Administration's climate policies. Credit: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Following Friday’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase, in retaliation for the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun earlier in the week, the alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a joint statement threatening action in response to “any breach of red lines from whoever it is”. “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” the group’s joint command centre said. Syria missile strike: Trump calls on ‘all civilised nations to end the slaughter and bloodshed’ US President Donald Trump said the strike on al Shayrat airbase, near Homs, with some 60 Tomahawk missiles was “representing the world”.