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.
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”.
By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report – Human Rights Watch acts as an arm of U.S. foreign policy. This phony “rights” organization backs the deportation and prosecution of Rwandan dissidents like Joseph Nkusi, who dared to maintain that Hutus were also massacred in the Rwanda bloodbath. Under a minority Tutsi dictatorship, “even using the description ‘Rwandan Genocide’ is a crime; authorities enforce a law passed in 2008 making ‘genocide against the Tutsi’ the only legal description.” “Human Rights Watch is OK with Nkusi’s prosecution because its own absolutist conclusions about the genocide are compatible with those of Rwanda’s absolutist, totalitarian government.”
By Claire Bernish for Mint Press News – On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed for the first time publicly that the bureau is officially investigating hotly contentious allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election — but, even if proven true, such geopolitical escapades better characterize the routine behavior of accuser than of accused. “The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” the director announced, adding the bureau would conduct a probe to discern whether Trump’s associates had contact with Russian officials. Despite that the U.S. has hypocritically exerted influence over foreign elections in all corners of the globe — in fact, it has arrogantly done so a whopping 81 times between 1946 and 2000, alone — with just one-third of those operations undertaken overtly.
By Justin Raimondo for Anti-War – for This question is always hard to answer because they don’t call it the Hermit Kingdom for nothing. Very little comes out of the notoriously reclusive – and repressive – Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, and not that much gets in. But occasionally there is a burst of activity that, like the eruption of a volcano, is hard to miss – the recent launching of four ballistic missiles being one of them. The missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, about 190 miles off the Japanese coast, sending shockwaves throughout the region. Both Tokyo and Seoul protested, while the North Koreans characterized the action as a logical reaction to the perceived threat of imminent military action by the US and South Korea.
By Eddie Haywood for WSWS – The chief of the US African Command (AFRICOM), General Thomas Waldhauser, warned last week in an annual report to Congress that resource constraints on his forces are threatening to undermine Washington’s influence over Africa. Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, AFRICOM was created with the mission of exerting greater military influence over Africa in order to maintain and facilitate Western capitalism’s exploitation of the continent’s vast economic resources and its working masses. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, General Waldhauser warned that AFRICOM’s “inadequate surveillance, poor supply chain networks…
By Ron Unz for The Unz Review – The rise of China surely ranks among the most important world developments of the last 100 years. With America still trapped in its fifth year of economic hardship, and the Chinese economy poised to surpass our own before the end of this decade, China looms very large on the horizon. We are living in the early years of what journalists once dubbed “The Pacific Century,” yet there are worrisome signs it may instead become known as “The Chinese Century.” But does the Chinese giant have feet of clay? In a recently published book, Why Nations Fail, economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”
By Jonathan Marshall for Consurtium News – In 1961, senior Pentagon consultants drafted a 33-page blueprint for initiating — and winning — a nuclear war against the Soviet Union. It was based on top-secret intelligence that Soviet nuclear forces were few in number and poorly defended — making them an easy target for a U.S. preemptive strike. A U.S. government photograph of Operation Redwing’s Apache nuclear explosion on July 9, 1956. Convinced of U.S. superiority, the Joint Chiefs of Staff began advising President John F. Kennedy to risk nuclear war over Cuba and Vietnam — even though their own analysis conceded that if something went wrong, 75 percent of Americans might die. If JFK hadn’t rejected their advice, we might not be here today.
By William Blum for William Blum – Conservatives have had a very hard time getting over President Trump’s much-repeated response to Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer”. Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?” One could almost feel a bit sorry for O’Reilly as he struggled to regain his composure in the face of such blasphemy. Had any American establishment media star ever heard such a thought coming from the mouth of an American president? From someone on the radical left, yes, but from the president?
By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes – The publication called Business Insider is carrying a story promoting a US first-strike attack on North Korea. The article includes a quote from the Wall Street Journal that reads, “An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country’s nuclear-weapons threat, people familiar with the process said, a prospect that has some U.S. allies in the region on edge.” The BI article also states: Military action against North Korea wouldn’t be pretty. Some number of civilians in South Korea, possibly Japan, and US forces stationed in the Pacific would be likely to die in the undertaking no matter how smoothly things went.
By Staff for Telesur. On Monday, the U.S. launched its latest diplomatic attack on Venezuela by officially putting Vice President Tareck El Aissami on a sanctions list reserved for “drug kingpins” without offering any evidence or issuing any criminal charges. Venezuela was quick to respond, with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez calling the move “lamentable and highly dangerous,” adding that her government “will not tolerate any aggression on our soil against our ability to be free.” For his part, El Aissami — who has vigorously and categorically denied the accusation — said the “miserable and vile aggression” was simply “an acknowledgment of (his) status as an anti-imperialist revolutionary.” As Venezuela contemplates its official response to the move, it’s important to review the background to this latest sanction.
By Ahmed Shawki for Jacobin. After his visit to Africa, Malcolm began to argue that the black struggle in the United States was part of an international struggle, one that he connected to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism. He also began to argue in favor of socialism. Referring to the African states, he pointed out, “All of the countries that are emerging today from under the shackles of colonialism are turning towards socialism.” He no longer defined the struggle for black liberation as a racial conflict. “We are living in an era of revolution, and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against the oppression and colonialism which has characterized this era,” he said. “It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of black against white, or as purely an American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiters.”
By Mike Head for WSWS – Defying warnings from Beijing not to escalate tensions in the South China Sea, the Trump administration last Saturday said a United States aircraft carrier strike group had begun “routine” patrols in the strategic waterway. According to a US Navy statement, the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer is joining the 97,000-ton Carl Vinson along with aircraft from Carrier Air Wing for the operations. The Carl Vinson carries a flight group of more than 60 aircraft, including F/A-18 jet fighters, as well as a crew of 7,500. This is not the first such mission. The Obama administration also ordered US aircraft carrier operations in the South China Sea as part of its “pivot to Asia” to confront China’s rising influence. Almost a year ago, the USS John C. Stennis led another “routine” cruise through the area.
By Alex Christoforou for The Duran. The Obama Administration, with the help of the CIA and main stream media, cleverly diluted the fact they they violently overthrew the democratically elected government in Ukraine, and encouraged the illegal, putsch government to attack its own citizens in the east of the country. Oliver Stone was never fooled by Obama’s Ukraine game, which resulted in the former POTUS getting outplayed in Crimea by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oliver Stone is now urging US President Donald Trump to make public any secret documents he has in his possession on the origins of Obama’s conflict in Ukraine.