Venezuela And Iran Show Solidarity Can Overcome US Empire

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Commemorating 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths

The official milestone of 100,000 dead in the United States from COVID-19 is near. This figure is certainly an undercount as thousands of deaths from COVID-19 are not being recorded. Before our weekly news analysis, we pause to commemorate those deaths.

The US, with 4 percent of the world’s population, has 28 percent of the COVID19 deaths, disproportionately impacting black and brown people. Why is the US doing so poorly? President Trump surely deserves a great deal of blame. He continues to make major errors and critical mistakes were made in the first few months when Trump said on January 22: “It’s just one person coming in from China. We have it totally under control” and, on February 26: “When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days will be down to zero.” The Trump Death Clock reports 58,614 deaths could have been prevented if the US had acted more quickly. 

But the problems are deeper than Trump. The US healthcare system is the most expensive in the world yet it is out of reach for tens of millions of people. The nation has never adequately invested in public health and does not have a community-based healthcare system that would have allowed immediate tracking of the virus. No state has met the requirements for reopening its economy, yet many are doing so. The nation has not put in place the testing and tracing needed to monitor and eliminate the virus. 

This weekend, images of people at beaches and in malls without taking safety precautions compound the errors. In the next month, the impact of this recklessness will be widespread illness and death. We see nothing in US public policy coming from either party that will prevent that likely reality. Rather than fixing obvious errors in policy, the bipartisans are compounding them. We need to keep pushing for more. Our next General Strike call is May 28 at 7 pm EST. Our speaker is Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson and People’s Strike. Register at bit.ly/MayDayMeeting.

Iranian oil tanker Fortune arrives in Venezuela waters and is escorted by the Venezuelan Navy. From Telesur.

A Victory for Sovereignty, Independence, and Peace

This week, Venezuela and Iran faced up to threats made by the United States and defied the illegal US sanctions by sending five oil tankers from Iran to Venezuela. The US’ longterm unilateral coercive measures have prevented the two countries with the largest oil reserves from selling their oil. This economic terrorism has caused tens of thousands of deaths in each country. Despite this economic warfare and constant threats of military attack, the two nations joined together in solidarity and broke through the US blockade to deliver much-needed oil and supplies to Venezuela.

This was a victory for sovereignty, independence, and peace. It was an act of dignity for both countries to take this successful stand against the United States. They have shown the world that illegal US economic sanctions, which impact 39 countries and one-third of the world’s population, can be defeated. They set an example that other nations can refuse the US’ unlawful demands. Acting together, the world can end the abusive unilateral coercive measures, end dollar domination, and create a multi-polar world where nations large and small have sovereignty and independence from hegemony.

US Navy ships in the Caribbean from Military.com.

US Threats and Show of Force Dissipate

Last week, President Trump told a conservative audience that the US has Venezuela surrounded. Earlier this year, Trump ordered a US armada to the Caribbean to target Venezuela, including destroyers, littoral combat ships, Poseidon maritime planes, AWAC surveillance aircraft, and on-ground special forces units. This is the largest US military presence in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama.

Anonymous White House officials told Reuters the US has been “looking at measures that can be taken” to stop the “unwelcome”  impending delivery. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed high-level Trump official saying the administration “would not abide” Iran’s support of Maduro and “The president has made clear the United States will not tolerate continued meddling by supporters of an illegitimate regime.”

These threats are occurring just weeks after the failed May 3-4 mercenary invasion of Venezuela organized and led by ex-US special forces troops. The Bay of Pigs-like attempt to enter Venezuela by sea with 80 mercenaries was stopped by the Venezuelan government with the assistance of fishermen in the civilian militia. Two former US special forces and some Venezuelan military defectors are under arrest. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has promised to use all means at the disposal of the United States to free the US citizens.

This week, US courts allowed the seizure of Venezuela’s largest foreign asset, CITGO, worth an estimated $8 billion. A federal judge approved the sale of the  CITGO refineries after the US Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling. Foreign Minister Arreaza denounced the sale as an act of piracy and said, “There are 12 children waiting for a bone marrow transplant” that was going to be paid for by CITGO profits.  On May 14, Venezuela filed suit in a London commercial court that seeks to force the UK Central Bank to return an estimated US $1 billion worth of Venezuelan gold. Venezuela plans to use the gold to buy food, medicines, and healthcare equipment to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic reports Reuters.

The ultimate corporate media source, the Wall Street Journal, urged military action to halt the Iranian tankers, warning of the “risk to U.S. interests in doing nothing.” They claimed “President Trump has the legal power to declare an emergency and interdict the tankers.”  It warned the US needs to be prepared to respond to Iran in the Persian Gulf if they do so.

Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity published a memorandum to the President warning that taking action would result in serious blowback from the world against the US. Further, such an action would be illegal and an act of war that would have unpredictable consequences, not just in Latin America but in the Middle East where there are many US targets. They urged the administration to stop “saber-rattling” as “huffing and puffing hasn’t blown Maduro’s house down.”

The five supertankers – Fortune, Forest, Petunia, Faxon and Clavel – carrying around 1.5 million barrels of fuel have to pass the belligerent US armada. Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said, “They will be escorted by Bolivarian National Armed Forces boats and planes to welcome them in and thank the Iranian people for their solidarity and cooperation.” 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi accused the US of threatening piracy and vowed a decisive response.”  Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami warned the United States “Iran will not tolerate obstacles [to its oil ships]. Both the United States and other countries know that we will not hesitate. If the obstacles continue or increase, Iran’s response will be forceful.”

Both Iran and Venezuela warned the United Nations that any action by the United States to stop the oil tankers would be illegal. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif wrote UN Secretary Antonio GuterresVenezuela’s UN ambassador, Samuel Moncada, alerted the agency to the “threat of imminent use of military force by the United States.” The letter warned: “Ships with British, Dutch, French and American flags are bordering the coasts of our country, with a hostile and aggressive attitude . . . threatening the imposition illegal of a naval blockade.” He urged the UN Security Council to take immediate action to end the “warmongering and criminal policies,” of the US, which threaten the peace, security, and stability of the region.

Earlier in the week, the US blocked the Security Council resolution denouncing the attempted mercenary invasion of Venezuela. Ambassador Moncada thanked the countries that stood up for international law in the Security Council. Maduro said, “We have had a great victory in the UN Security Council” by exposing the US to criticism from the world.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro shake hands at Wyndham Concorde hotel in Magarita, Venezeula, on September 16, 2016. Reuters.

The First Iranian Supertanker Enters Venezuelan Waters

While the world waited for military conflict, on Saturday night after 7 pm local time, the first supertanker entered Venezuelan waters and is currently being escorted by the Bolivarian Republics’ military to port. The US did not intercept the tanker. Hopefully, this will continue for the remaining four tankers and the US will end the economic war against Iran, Venezuela, and other countries.

The arrival of these tankers from Iran marks a historic milestone as it is the first time that the Middle Eastern country exported fuel to Latin America. This is one example of many of US sanctions bringing nations together in solidarity against the United States. The US is caught in a paradox — the more it exercises force, the more power it loses as nations unite against US domination. 

Venezuela’s strategic ties to Iran date back almost two decades, when President Hugo Chávez, the founder of its socialist state, struck a flurry of economic and financial deals with the president of Iran. The two nation’s were co-founders of OPEC in 1960. In 2008, Venezuela shipped gasoline to Iran when US sanctions were crippling its industry. Maduro has continued to build bilateral relations with Iran resulting in economic and other trade deals as well as through OPEC and the Non-Aligned Movement.

On Friday night, a group of Venezuelan youths raised the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran in front of the mountain barracks where Commander Hugo Chavez rests as a token of appreciation for the shipment of fuels. People in both Venezuela and Iran celebrated the victory over the US blockade.

Now is the time to build on that success to grow the movement against the US’ illegal coercive measures. The Sanctions Kill coalition is holding a series of webinars to educate and organize toward that goal. The first was on May 9 and featured representatives from six countries. Speakers included Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, Charge des Affaires of the Cuban Mission to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Francisco O Campbell, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations and Carlos J. Ron Martinez, Venezuelan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The next webinar will be on Sunday, May 31 at 1:00 pm EST and will feature representatives from Gaza, Venezuela, and other nations. It is taking place during an international week of action against imperialism from May 25 to 31.

The Non-Aligned Movement, a decades-old coalition of 120 nations representing 55 percent of the world’s population, has become reactivated. They met in Azerbaijan in October 2019 and in Venezuela in August 2019.  Both meetings denounced US sanctions and US military threats around the world. Nations are starting to provide assistance to sanctioned countries. In April, Britain, France and Germany used a new trade mechanism that bypasses US sanctions called Instex to send medical aid to Iran. These are positive signs.

While the victory of Iran and Venezuela is significant, it does not end the US economic war against the two countries. The US is persistent in its foreign policy goals and both countries need to be prepared for US escalation as a result of the Iranian supertankers going to Venezuela. Both countries cherish their independence and sovereignty. They will not give in. And they are building international solidarity. We in the US must demand that our government cease its hostilities and become a cooperative member of that global community.

  • Red Robbo

    ‘Venezuela’s strategic ties to Iran date back almost two decades, when President Hugo Chávez, the founder of its socialist state,…’.

    “Maduro recognizes Venezuela is still a capitalist-based economy…” (Popular Resistance newsletter, 27 May, 2018).

  • Plantiful

    It is great to see other countries that the US is trying to destroy with economic genocide all working together to defeat the Empire. The clown needs to be put back in its box, and Iran and Venezuela have started the process. Maybe the US will smarten up before it completely loses all respect and influence in the world.

  • Southern

    While present conditions remain the US will never smarten up untill such time as when the working class becomes truly united – which ain’t about to happen no thanks to the CV19 lockdown which conveniently prevents mass gatherings.

    The authorities prefer online ”dissent” that way they can monitor who and what.

  • mwildfire

    What’s needed is accretion–other countries joining these two in resistance, and ideally not only the victim nations whose representatives are scheduled to participate in that webinar. When countries formerly “absorbed into the blob” as Caitlin Johnstone puts it, step up to refuse obedience and support the victims, then we’ll really be seeing the promise of change.

  • pajarito

    Oil and oil wars continue to dominate world events. Let’s boycott the oil economies every hour of every day in every way we can. Keep it in the ground!! Build local self-reliance!! Support more non-aligned countries to defeat US sanctions. Eighty percent of travel is less than 12 miles, so use a bike!!

  • 0040

    A passel of self serving lies topped with the usual its Trumps fault sauce. As to Venezuela and Iran neither would exist in their current form , if not allied with China and Russia. Those alliances being somewhat tenuous to say the least. The so called progressive left call for intervention in both states has served only deep-state purposes throughout the 21st century.

  • 0040

    “Online dissent” is an oxymoron.

  • Harriet Heywood

    So great to see countries acting in solidarity with each other against the demands of the evil empire!

  • floyd gardner

    It is US against the world; WHY do they all hate us?

  • William P. Homans

    Thank you, Kevin and Margaret, for your timely report.

  • kevinzeese

    I’m not sure who you mean by “The so called progressive left call for intervention”.

    The left that we work with opposes US intervention in both countries. If you mean Democrats — then call them Democrats. Venezuela intervention is bipartisan as the transnational corporations see tremenous riches in both countries, especially Venezuela which ranks first in oil reserves, diamonds and gold as well as fifth in gas, has tremendous essential metals for electronics and weapons as well as large amounts of fresh water which is becoming a more-rare resource.

    Trump has built on the bad policies in Venezuela of Bush — who attempted a coup in 2002 and Obama – who declared Venezuela a national security threat and escalated sanctions, which Trump has escalated further. On Iran, both parties have sought to put in place a US friendly-government since the US puppet, the Shah of Iran was removed by the Iranian Revolution.

    As to China and Russia, their ties to both Iran and Venezuela are getting stronger on multiple fronts. US actions are bringing countries together to stand against the US government over dollar domination, economic sanctions, military threats and regime change campaigns. The US is losing ground quickly as an empire under President Trump.

  • 0040

    Under Obomber , the change candidate , wildly supported by progressives both Iranian and Venezuelan interest were attacked ruthlessly. Syria was bombarded and only saved by direct Russian intervention and Guiado , an Obomber clone was created during the Obomber regimes tenure, as sanctions were imposed . Trump was handed Obomber/Bush’s bag of shit and has been unable to rid himself of it thanks to the status quo aka deep state who require a Nixon like scapegoat to base their historical rewrites on. Trumps mastery of bullshit has made his nomination for that role unlikely.

  • dzzz

    ahhh, yes… gloat on it.. it’ll make it so much easier next time…!

  • chetdude

    The Democrats you are mentioning are NOT “progressives”!

    Progressives vigorously opposed the Empire and Obama as forcefully as “we” did Clinton, gwbush and now oppose Trump/Biden…

    Please try to rectify your fundamental fallacious assumption…or at least correct your mislabeling…

  • 0040

    Every dem will tell you he’s a progressive , and those so called progressives that vote , will then offer the lesser evil argument when challenged. Even Biden is claiming to be a progressive these days, while having Bernie second that assertion? .

  • kevinzeese

    You are describing Democrats. Obama was really a centrist Democrat, a corportist who was a very strong empire president. He rebuilt the empire after Bush weakened it Trump is also unintentionally weakening it.

    But, Obama is not a leftist, or progressive — more of a liberal Wall Street and war Democrat.

    The corporate media likes to call the Democrats the left, when they really are center-left (at best). There are no leftists in the US government we are all outside of government and most not supportive of either of the corporate parties. Don’t misuse language the way that the corporate mainstream media does. We do not want to confuse people on this website with their inaccurate language.

  • 0040

    He was of the left when he swept into office. Changing horses as a raging torrent sweeping in from the right is a tricky situation , and usually involves getting wet.

  • chetdude

    Actually, all you’re really saying is that when H. Clinton used it to self-describe in 2016, the label “progressive” lost all meaning…

    Alas, its replacement hasn’t surfaced yet. A good rule of thumb at the macro-level is someone who is in 100% support of Sanders’ Moderate New Deal Agenda.

  • 0040

    Mr Sanders and his ilk are pro Israel war mongers and life long supporters of the status quo, which perfectly defines an American progressive in the post covid era. The New Deal is just the Old Deal with green packaging.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Kevin and Margaret, not only “Venezuela And Iran Showing Solidarity Can Overcome this US Empire”, but very importantly ‘we the American people’ have a responsibility to help “Overcome the US Empire” — and specifically for these two critical reasons:

    First, ‘we the American people’ bear that responsibility to at least help to overthrow this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire, which is only nominally HQed in, and merely ‘posing’ as our once “promising” and sometimes progressive country (PKA) America — because it is our own country which is oppressing, terrorizing, and destroying our shared world.

    And Secondly, it is only ‘we the American people’ who can confront and overcome this Empire, for the simple reason that any and all other countries which have attempted to stand-up and confront this “US Empire” have seen their citizens killed by the tens or hundreds of thousands (and with complete impunity) when other countries citizens have attempted to discipline and reform the “US HQed EMPIRE”.

    It’s our duty to our world for ‘we the American citizens’ to confront and disciple this rapacious and murderous Disguised Global Crony Capitalist EMPIRE, which has taken over the US — which no other countries, citizens, nor global organizations can confront and ‘bring to heel’.

  • Jon

    The parallels between the US empire and its insistence on control and covid 19 are remarkably obvious.

  • Jon

    Good answer, Kevin!

  • kevinzeese

    He was supported by progressives because the breakthrough of the first black president excited people.

    He ran a campaign that sounded anti-war and anti-Wall Street and pro-single payer. It turned out he was none of that.

    He was a faux progressive who campaigned as a corporate centrist with a US empire foreign policy.

  • kevinzeese

    The Democratic Party is a corporate centrist party funded by Wall Street. Who cares what “every Dem” will tell us. They will say anything to fool the voters while doing the dirty work of Wall Street, K Street and the military-industrial complex. They will even lie and say Russia rigged the US election — what a joke! And, they say such an obvious falsehood with a straight face!

  • kevinzeese

    He ran as left of center and governed a corporate centrist. He would not prosecute US torturers or Wall Streeters who collapsed the economy. He became the drone president and deporter in chief. He allowed hundreds of thousands to lose their homes while giving trillions to investor-thieves. His healthcare law bailed out the insurance industry and gave them hundreds of billions in annual funding. He approved massive oil and gas infrastructure that resulted in the US becoming the top fossil fuel producer as climate change became a climate crisis.

    This is not the record of anything but a corporatist paying off his debts to his biggest donors — Wall Street, insurance, Big Pharma, weapons makers and K Street lobbyists. Now, they are all paying for the three Obama libraries in NY, Chicago and Illinois. Grotesque.

  • kevinzeese

    The Ecosocialist Green New Deal is the real thing. You can review the details and budget at http://www.HowieHawkins.US. He includes a workers bill of rights, remaking multiple sectors of the economy and a transition to a peace economy. It will create tens of millions of jobs and an einvrionment and labor-friendly economy.

    The Democratic version is a fraud. Sanders has shown himself to be a Democratic Party sheepdog. He is doing is best to keep people quiet about the disaster of Joe Biden. His true colors are showing.

  • Nylene13

    Just what I was thinking as I read these comments.

    We need a new term for Progressive. One they can’t co-opt so easily.

    ‘Environment First’ comes to mind….

  • kevinzeese

    The Democrats misused progressive so it is a term that confuses people now. It has pushed people to get comfortable calling themselves leftists, radicals and socialists or ecosocialists.

  • Nylene13

    Sanders got it all started. Let us not forget that, those of us who are against Biden.

    Eco-Socialist is a good term. We need a new term like that to describe ourselves.

  • Nylene13

    Who was NOT going to vote for the first Black President of the United States?
    But all his campaign promises-he never kept one.

    “I am a Republican at heart” – President Obama.

  • Nylene13

    It was deliberate.

    That and most mainstream Democrats consider themselves progressive- just because they do not vote for Republicans.

  • earthcaretaker

    Yea for them. I am cheering them on

  • 0040

    America is a one party state ,or the 2 cheeks of the same arse as George Galloway once sniffed , at the pretense at duopoly and democracy projected by massive and long term propaganda efforts , a major industry in todays world employing millions. Under our system no one not supporting the status quo can ever be appointed or elected to high office , making change fun to speculate about but impossible to make happen by working within this corrupt beyond repair system . America is built on slavery and while the control mechanisms used to control the “deplorable” slaves has changed , and not for the better , that has never changed. The sight of so called progressives jumping aboard the shiny panic-demic bandwagon produces by our elites is both revolting and frightening. I see Mike Moore’s critique of the now corporate environmental movement has been pulled from You Tube ? A gross act of censorship cheered by many self identified “progressives” who will either vote for Biden as the lesser evil or tacitly support him while not voting . A majority position these days regardless of party affiliation.

  • 0040

    Chomsky long ago explained how the terms you suggest are made toxic to the big middle in American politics who view change as threatening , and rightfully it would now seem as civil rights and any vestiges of equality disappear.

  • 0040

    Mr Obombers skin tone has little relation to what Americans conflate as black/slave issues ? His “blackness” being Kenyan and in fact he is a member of a slave owing/trading family on his daddy’s side. His wife was his connection to American slavery as anyone researching him as a junior member of the Illinois legislature would have discovered . Another monstrous fraud perpetrated against the US electorate by Americas propaganda machine and one that continues to have horrific consequences today. Mr Trump is Mr Obombers legacy.

  • chetdude

    Earth First!

  • Southern

    Everyone hated the bully in the schoolyard – collectively we haven’t quite figured out how to unite which will be a far more efficient way to deal with the petulant bully.

    It doesn’t help of course that Western politicians are just as bent as their US counterparts.

  • iowapinko

    I very much favor the eco-socialist term for left/progressives. It captures the essence.

    It seemed to me like something snapped inside the Sanders campaign after the South Carolina debacle, when everything started to head south.

    Here in iowa, the official campaign staff were grossly incompetent to the point I began to wonder if they were being bribed by the DNC. Bernie should/could have won iowa BIG with competent organizational support (maybe he actually did win big, we’re never gonna know).

    I was profoundly disappointed with the campaign when they threw in the towel early. And everything Sanders himself has engaged in since then has amounted to capitulation.

    Bernie is afraid of fascism taking hold in the U$. His personal history makes the prospect all too palpable. The bizarre and reactionary behavior of so many in response to the pandemic has made me much MORE concerned with how easily the U$ could slip over the cliff into full-blown functional fascism.

    There are no good options in this election. Without doubt, we need to organize a united front left pol party, we have needed to get serious about this for decades.

    But the danger with Trump is not just that he is a fascist. He is a fascist ORGANIZER, with a potential to multiply and reproduce. He is a huckster of evil, and there seems to be a market for what he’s selling.

  • floyd gardner

    I was told, 60-some years ago, by my political science professor, that the U.S. had not 2 political parties but one party, with t 2 branches. Pretty perceptive for those times, but pretty obvious by now.

  • Collectivist

    Worth repeating:

    “The movement that sprung out of the pol campaign is real and potent. The cancellation of the Milwaukee convention and the pandemic-initiated social distancing have slowed us down, but I have no doubt the foundations of the movement can serve as the impetus to build an activist eco-socialist movement that will not collapse but develop and grow.”

    “But the danger with Trump is not just that he is a fascist. He is a fascist ORGANIZER, with a potential to multiply and reproduce. He is a huckster of evil, and there seems to be a market for what he’s selling.”

  • floyd gardner

    “Fool me once [2016], shame on you, Bernie. Fool me twice [2020],shame on me.”

  • floyd gardner

    Thank you. [I was an Iowapinko a number of years ago – campaigned for Jessie Jackson at that time.]

  • floyd gardner

    The Elephant and the Donkey are joined at the arse, which makes a normal bowel movement impossible and causes them both to be “full of it.”

  • Nylene13

    “Maybe he (Bernie) actually did win big, we’re never gonna know”.
    Yeah.

    The thing is, Scientists are saying we have 10 years left before irreversible environmental destruction. I fear Bernie was our last chance.

    I don’t know what Bernie is doing now. I don’t understand why he would tell his Delegates to sign a statement that they will say nothing against Biden or the DNC. I find it shocking.

    The Bernie movement was always about we the people, and the Environment and not Bernie, as Bernie himself said.

    I guess Bernie may be trying to stay to be an inference because he realizes Biden has no clue.

    But that is too little too late.

    As Bernie said-“The Environment must become our Priority”.
    Environmentally speaking- I see no difference if the President is Trump or Biden.

    I think perhaps Bernie is trying to desperately influence Biden.

    But that is at the risk of turning his own people against him.

  • Jeff

    I couldn’t agree more. These sanctions are evil, but so is oil.

  • Nylene13

    Don’t miss the article about Hawaii on P Resistance today.

    (May 27)

  • iowapinko

    “We need an Eco-Socialist Movement/Party.
    But we are out of time.”

    Right on, Nylene, we absolutely need an eco-socialist pol party and, even more importantly the movement that will give it life.

    Bernie was always the weakest link in the Sanders movement. He deserves a lot of credit for promoting the concept of socialism and bringing the concept into the popular mainstream. That was HUGE.

    But my impression after spending time with a variety of volunteers in the campaign is that the people who make up the movement are FAR more politically advanced and revolutionary than Sanders himself. We need to carry on and continue the forward push.

    No movement can or should build momentum on a single personality. Our unity and our diversity are our strength.

    As you accurately state, Nylene, we are running out of time. Which is why we can NOT allow the momentum of the Sanders campaign to become fallow.

    This coalition of militant working class advocates, union workers, civil rights activists and eco-socialists is a magical, powerful force much too valuable to waste.

    Take care, Nylene.

  • iowapinko

    We could have crossed paths, fg. I worked on the Jackson campaign as well. That man knew how to move a crowd!

  • iowapinko

    Those who have no fear of the potential for fascism in the U$ of 2020 are not paying attention. People with family history like Bernie understand just how much worse things can potentially become.

    I think he supports Biden because he is literally afraid of what the re-election of Trump could devolve into. His fears are not without merit.

    I honestly don’t believe there is a correct answer on the least worst vote for 2020. Of course, my heart is with a united front eco-socialist party. But, do we have enough time left to effectively organize this for the 2020 election; or would this simply ensure Trump’s reelection?

    On Nov 3, I know what the strategy needs to be; 3rd party. But right now, I’m not so sure.What are your thoughts on it?

  • Nylene13

    All True, but I would add that Bernie was the first to say that the Bernie Movement was not about him., but all of us.

    I don’t know what Bernie is doing now. It seems he thinks that the most important thing is that Trump is not re-elected, at any cost.

    I don’t agree. I think Biden is just as bad as Trump.

  • didactic1

    Drug dealers and Misoyginyst Puritans ( who in fact take bribes from foreign companies). Perfect.

  • didactic1

    Venezuela in current form should be destroyed. By Communists.

  • Jay Hansen

    It’s alright, have a good time, ’cause it’s alright.

  • iowapinko

    Thanks for sharing this info, Robert. What do you think they are up to? Do you think they are engaging in the perennial Republican scheme to disenfranchise a many voters as possible, or does it go beyond that?

    I can’t help but wonder if they have been setting the stage for either canceling the elections all together or de-legitimizing any potential loss.

    These people are not democrats (nor are the Democrats), but in the case of Trump and his henchmen, I wonder if they would concede power as a result of electoral losses. Maybe not.

    So many voters lack confidence in the accuracy and un-corrupted validity of the entire electoral process (after these recent primaries, I myself don’t trust outcomes) that they might think they could get away with cancelling out democracy and proclaiming Trump Pres until the crisis passes……..or whenever.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but my assessment of DT and the people around him is that the factors restraining them from unspeakably evil deeds have nothing to do with morality or compassion but a lack of competence and an inability to develop functional strategies.

    As the failures of the capitalist system continue to mount, and the effects of climate disruption become manifest, how will the representatives of capital react? I worry we are facing a very risky period ahead. Stay safe, my friend.

  • iowapinko

    Agree with everything you and NightRider post, C.

    Yes, Biden is very close to being as dangerous as Trump. It’s amazing that the ruling class seem to have established a pattern of promoting these fully incompetent characters for president, in the, I guess, time-honored tradition of wielding power from behind the throne.

    It started with Reagan, who they ran even though he was exhibiting serious signs of dementia, then ‘W’, a clueless incompetent whose role was fulfilled by Dick Cheney and the neo-con crooks, and now Trump, the idiot son of a full-fledged fascist, riddled with personality disorders and multiple mental health maladies as well. Just the person to be in control of the U$ nuclear arsenal. Lord help us!

    The silver lining here might be that the catastrophe we are confronted with COULD shock us into engaging in the WORK required to organize a real world left eco-socialist party.

    There are rumors that Jesse Ventura is vying for the Green Party nomination. I don’t know how left he is as opposed to libertarian, but, it’s an interesting development. He might be able to give Trump/Biden a real run for the money.

    I have heard of the KAARPR, but did not know you were involved. Wow, C, glad to hear this, they are fortunate to have your input. Have you met Angela Davis? I’ve had the privilege to meet her once and heard several of her presentations, very worthwhile all. She is both brilliant and kind, a combination that seems to be all too rare, unfortunately.

    I will be interested to learn what your group decides re the election. It is a difficult issue, imho. You might be interested in the Noam Chomsky interview related to this on Democracy Now. from either today 5/28 or the day prior. He emphasizes the potential for catastrophic, irreparable damage under a second Trump admin.

    Thank you for sharing, C, I value your thoughts. Take care.

  • iowapinko

    Trump is a danger to the survival of both people and planet. I agree, Biden is darn near as bad. But he doesn’t represent quite the same potential for promoting a full blown fascist state as with Trump.

    “but I would add that Bernie was the first to say that the Bernie Movement was not about him., but all of us.”

    Good point. Bernie accomplished a lot.. For whatever reason, he seems to have backed out of the struggle.

    That means it’s up to us to carry on, sister. Take care, Nylene.

  • Nylene13

    Well that is apparently what Bernie thinks too.

    I disagree.

    I think Biden is just as bad as Trump.

  • Nylene13

    Yeah, I think a lot of us Bernie supporters have thought about that.

  • RickW

    Either that – or a “grassy knoll” somewhere had he actually become president.
    Even though Bernie as president would likely have made only (if at all) a shallow dent in redirecting the growing disparity in the economy, his policies were/are just plain scary. But more importantly, he would have become some sort of rallying cry for a good part of the hoi polloi.

    Maybe Nikita Khrushchev was right when he said “We will bury you”. It’s just that he got the “we” part mistaken. Maybe the US is like that supervolcano that is sitting under Yellowstone Park, just waiting to blow it’s top….

    Lots of “maybe’s”, eh!

  • Alan MacDonald

    Kevin, I believe that some of the questions and doubts that you are receiving from some commenters arise because of the vague and varied definition of how to define serious protesters to the system that oppresses, tyrannizes, and controls ‘we the American (and global body of) people.

    While labels such as democrats, left, progressive, socialist, et. al. are subject to squishiness, I would strongly suggest that, IMHO, the only rock-solid definition of being a revolutionary under today’s oppressive, controlling, quietly murderous, and tyrannous ‘system’ is to define and fully understand what this highly camouflaged ‘system‘ is — as a basis of being committed to effectively, and non-violently, overthrowing this most advanced and dangerous global ‘system’ — and to pledge being in Revolution against it.

    On that basis, the extant system now in this 21st century must be understood to be the first such ‘system’ to exist on earth of oppression, tyranny, and death that is an; effectively-Disguised, truly-Global, corruptly-Crony, Capitalist-fueled EMPIRE.

    While there have existed in human history Empires that are partially-Disguised (the single-party Vichy-regime faux-government installed by the Occupying Nazi Empire in France 1940-1944), the nearly-Global 18th & 19th century British Empire along with the ancient Roman Empire, et. al., the many corrupt (and even corruptly-Crony) ancient/modern & western/eastern Empires, early Capitalist-fueled Empires (eg. British per Karl Polanyi, French, Belgian, 3 German/Nazi, Russian/Soviet, and informally the American Empire re. American Empire Project, Chalmers Johnson, Chomsky, Bacevich, et. al.) — there has never exited until the 21st century a completely Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire.

    Therefore, since ‘we the citizens of our world’ have now become faced with an actual Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire, it seems incumbent on us (and particularly U.S. citizens, because the nominal global HQ of the Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire is merely ‘posing’ as our formerly “promising’ and sometimes progressive country (PKA) America are the only people who could likely avoid being slaughtered in massive numbers, and with complete impunity — which many other foreign citizens have been — that ‘we the American people’ (as opposed to Europeans, Asians, South Americans, and various indigenous people have been) now in this 21st century have a special responsibility since our former country has led the world in these matters.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Bernie Sanders, like Noam Chomsky, are both not “pro Israel war mongers” — but you are showing a strong inclination to speaking in a manner that seems to indicate an anti-Semitic bias (which certainly is not a character flaw that you would be proud to expose to ‘we the citizens of our shared world’), nor to the principled left movement of Revolutionary anti-Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire people on this site or any sane site.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Both accurate and amusing, Floyd.

  • Alan MacDonald

    A peaceful people’s complete Second America “Political/economic & socialist Revolution Against Empire” seems like a “good (even essential) term“ also, Nylene, IMHO — particularly in light of the “analogy-thinking“ [George Lakoff UC Berkeley] along with Justin duRivage’s 2014 definitive history of our first one in 1776 “Revolution Against Empire” —- but without the Muskets.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Kevin, “under faux-Emperor” Trump, so named for two important reasons:

    1. Emperor Trump is, despite his insanity, only a ‘poser’, symptom, foil, and most notably, an expendable Chucky-doll puppet of the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, < 0.03%ers, self-appointed “Masters of the Universe” — and who, unlike his German mid-20th century version, not capable of “going off-leash”.

    2. While there may well be an incentive among an essential even-existential elite to occasionally “mow the lawn”, as Netanyahu incautiously alludes, any such actual efforts toward doing so with a 7 gang fairway mower being towed by a diesel tractor on the Country Clubs of our world is beyond the pale on this planet earth.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Kevin, while you have a point that Sanders has not unequivocally ‘exposed’ the fully extant and unique in all human history Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire — he has continued to ‘progress’ from just giving ‘thumbs-ups’, to increasing his understanding and expunging of the Empire, and it is notable that his (or as he says) “Our Revolution” is continuing to expand the diagnosis, metastasizing nature, and extent of this truly Global cancer of Empire needing to be treated with aggressive measures just short of ‘excising’ the tumor.

    While I was hopeful that he would move more rapidly than just in election cycles to “being a real socialist” and “speaking-out against the Empire” — Bernie and “Our Revolution”, which he really acknowledges as, “US NOT ME”, is taking quite bold steps, beyond even what he personally is comfortable with, to allow the legacy of this movement to ‘progress’ beyond a single mortal figure.

    This extra-ordinary people’s peaceful and complete movement toward a genuine Second American “Political/economic & socialist Revolution Against EMPIRE” — as birthed from Justin du Rivage’s 2014 definitive history in and of our earlier unique “Revolution Against Empire” — holds, IMHO, at least the “promise” of a rebirth beyond the mortal life of Bernie Sanders himself, to a promising legacy that may well be kept — or as Peter Sellers said in “Being There”, “It will grow in the spring”.