Brzezinski was a very powerful National Security Advisor to President Carter. Before that, he founded the Trilateral Commission. Later he taught Madeline Albright and many other key figures in US foreign policy. Brzezinski initiated the “Afghanistan Trap”. That was the secret 1979 US program to mobilize and support mujahedin foreign fighters to invade and destabilize Afghanistan. In this period, Afghanistan was undergoing dramatic positive changes. As described by Canadian academic John Ryan, “Afghanistan once had a progressive secular government, with broad popular support. It had enacted progressive reforms and gave equal rights to women.” The Brzezinski plan was to utilize reactionary local forces and foreign fighters to create enough mayhem that the government would ask the neighboring Soviet Union to send military support.
US Foreign Policy
The issue of illegal Jewish settlements is in the news again, this time owing to a recent attack by Palestinian fighters who opened fire on a car carrying Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank. One of the settlers was killed and two were injured as their car was traveling near what Israeli sources call an “illegal settlement” named Homesh, an outpost erected and maintained without Israeli government or military permission. The settlers were traveling home to another settlement, Shavei Shomron. Settlers in the region are militant fanatics known to be particularly violent, and have on numerous occasions attacked Palestinians who live in neighboring villages.
Donald Trump thinks he’s still president according to no more reliable a source than Rachel Maddow on her February 5th show. This was confirmed in May by Vanity Fair. Right-wing conspiracy theorists echo this analysis as recently as this month. Left-liberals are smugly confident that Kamala Harris’s running mate is in the White House, snoozing in the presidential bedroom. Inquiring minds ask what is the evidence nearly a year into the alleged Biden presidency that there has been a change of guard in Washington? +The Obama-Biden union card check proposal was not on Mr. Trump’s political horizon, nor is it on that of the current occupant in the White House.
By and large, Biden’s foreign policy already seems stuck in the militarist quagmire of the past twenty years, a far cry from his campaign promise to reinvigorate diplomacy as the primary tool of U.S. foreign policy. In this respect, Biden is following in the footsteps of Obama and Trump, who both promised fresh approaches to foreign policy but for the most part delivered more endless war. By the end of his second term, Obama did have two significant diplomatic achievements with the signing of the Iran nuclear deal and normalization of relations with Cuba. So progressive Americans who voted for Biden had some grounds to hope that his experience as Obama’s vice-president would lead him to quickly restore and build on Obama’s achievements with Iran and Cuba as a foundation for the broader diplomacy he promised.
It's a very interesting environment, and it's interesting that you connect up the issue of media, CNN, for example, and Facebook. That's a very important and interesting kind of connection. Why? Oh, I think we forget that Facebook is supposed to be merely a platform for the exchange of information and ideas. But there's tremendous pressure on Facebook to, in fact, operate as a publisher by deciding what content is appropriate for users to share and what content is inappropriate. CNN, of course, is a privately owned corporation. But Black Alliance for Peace suggests that CNN is part of what we refer to as the ideological apparatus of the state. That is, even though it's privately owned, there's not much space between its positions, the worldview that it advocates, and that of the US state and the ruling elements that we say control the US state. So, in the current media environment, private Western corporations—which pretend to be "objective" media outlets—work in tandem with the state.
“Clear Differences Remain Between France and the U.S, French Minister Says,” is the headline to a remarkable piece appearing in the New York Times. The Minister, Bruno Le Maire, is brutally frank on the nature of the differences as the quotations below Illustrate. (Emphases in the quotations are jvw’s.) In fact, they amount to a Declaration of Independence of France and EU from the U.S. It is not surprising that the differences relate to China after the brouhaha over the sale of U.S. nuclear submarines to Australia and the surprising (to the French) cancellation of contracts with France for submarines. Mr. LeMaire, sounding very much like a reproving parent, characterized this as “misbehavior from the U.S. administration.”
In 1985, when President Reagan declared Nicaragua “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” his words were followed by a trade blockade, a ban on commercial flights and—most seriously of all—the financing of the “Contra” war, which led to 30,000 deaths. When, 33 years later, Donald Trump made the same declaration, its effect was far more limited. Yet presumably neither president saw the absurdity in designating a country as an “extraordinary threat” when it has just six million people, is one of the poorest in the hemisphere, and has only a tiny military budget. Nor, apparently, does President Joe Biden, who has renewed the declaration and added to the sanctions.
As some readers may have noticed, Antony Blinken has the State Department festooning its embassies around the world with “BLM” banners and the rainbow flag of the sexual identity movement known commonly as LGBTQI+. As our virtuous secretary of state explained in April, when he authorized these advertisements for America’s splendidly raised consciousness, the BLM pennant commemorates the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year; the familiar LGBTQI+ colors will fly on our flagpoles in foreign capitals “for the duration of the 2021 Pride season.” So our guitar-strumming chief diplomat put it when announcing this… this policy, I suppose we are to call it. Taking the very serious cause for equal rights and turning it into cover for an extremely aggressive foreign policy, it makes for a pretty weird sight, if you have seen any of the pictures. Then again, so does our Tony as he flits around the world on the wings of an angel.
Carlos Lazo and a small band of Cuban Americans are on a 1,300-mile pilgrimage from Miami to Washington, D.C., to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Despite the blistering summer heat and occasional death threats (including a trucker who tried to run them off the road), the marchers persist. Lazo’s group is called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, and this grueling walkathon is certainly a labor of love. While right-wing Cubans in Miami call him “comunista,” Lazo has no time for ideology. He is neither for or against the Cuban government; he is for the Cuban people, the Cuban families. And he is disgusted by the cruelty of the U.S. blockade and by politicians who use the Cuban people as a political football--especially during this pandemic.
Silvia from Miami, Eduardo from Hialeah, Abel from Lakeland. The names pour in on the donations page for “Syringes to Cuba” as Carlos Lazo promotes the campaign on his popular Facebook livestream. An energetic Cuban-American high school teacher in Seattle, Lazo created a group called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, to unite Cuban Americans who want to lift the searing U.S. blockade that is immiserating their loved ones on the island. Puentes de Amor is the latest addition to the Syringes to Cuba initiative, which was started by the Saving Lives Campaign and the humanitarian organization Global Health Partners to help Cuba vaccinate its people against COVID-19.
Representative Ilhan Omar may have thought she was doing Palestinians a favor when she challenged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a congressional hearing on Monday. But her comments about Hamas only reinforce Israeli propaganda delegitmizing Palestinian resistance. Sadly Omar’s both-sidesism is a common feature of discourse even among ostensibly pro-Palestinian liberals. Omar posted this video clip of her exchange with Blinken. In her tweet she wrote that “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.” She claimed, “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.” Omar rightly challenges Blinken over US opposition to the International Criminal Court investigation of these alleged “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Washington, DC - In the dying months of his administration, President Donald Trump removed from the United States terrorist list a little-known paramilitary organization called ETIM, an acronym that stands for either the East Turkestan Independence Movement or the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, depending on whom one asks. The group is also sometimes known as the [East] Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP or ETIP). Explaining the decision, the State Department said that “ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist.” The move was hailed by a wide range of Uyghur groups in the United States, who saw it as a step towards blocking China’s actions against Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province.
Some people think that a change in government actually changes things. Not so. Moon of Alabma demonstrates through a series of tweets, the striking consistency of US foreign policy from one administration to the next regardless of whether it is Democratic or Republican.
President Biden took office promising a new era of American international leadership and diplomacy. But with a few exceptions, he has so far allowed self-serving foreign allies, hawkish U.S. interest groups and his own imperial delusions to undermine diplomacy and stoke the fires of war. Biden’s failure to quickly recommit to the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA, as Senator Sanders promised to do on his first day as president, provided a critical delay that has been used by opponents to undermine the difficult shuttle diplomacy taking place in Vienna to restore the agreement. The attempts to derail talks range from the introduction of the Maximum Pressure Act on April 21 to codify the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran to Israel’s cyberattack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.
On March 22, 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized sanctions against Wang Junzheng, the secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB). These sanctions, Blinken said, have been put in place against Wang Junzheng and Chen Mingguo because they are accused of being party to “genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.” The US Treasury Department followed suit with its own sanctions. Both Wang Junzheng and Chen Mingguo responded by condemning these sanctions that were not only imposed by the US but also by Canada, the UK and the EU.