Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Covert Action Magazine:

"Instead of promoting what it claims to—peace, stability, 'nation-building'—the U.S. government, Ingiriis [a Somali historian] elaborates, keeps Somalia 'war torn,' and a 'failed state.' The Somali people pay the cost—the ultimate cost, in thousands upon thousands of cases—as a result. But not everyone loses.

Petroleum industry analysts call Somalia 'promising ... one of the last truly unexplored oil frontiers.' And major firms are keen to profit there. Shell and ExxonMobil, for example, paid Mogadishu $1.7 million in 2019 for 30-year rights to offshore blocks, and Somalia launched 'its first offshore oil and gas exploration licensing round' last year to attract other companies.

But there were two main threats to these oil interests. One came from within Africa: Niger Delta militias, for example, were stealing $1 billion in oil each year, thereby posing 'a direct threat to U.S. strategic interests in sub-Saharan Africa.' ... The second threat was China. Because it requires enormous resource inputs to sustain its economic growth—it became a net oil importer in 1993—its interest in African oil increased roughly in time with Washington’s interests, alarming U.S. officials.

-->To the the NYT and the major US media, Somalia is a terrorist haven that the CIA is monitoring in an effort to keep the peace. The NYT finds "no public evidence that the agency has carried out anything but surveillance missions so far." How different this view is from the brutal resource war that the CIA is really fighting in Somalia. 


Common Dreams:

"Affirming that healthcare is a basic human right and that people must come before profits, Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2021 on Wednesday, exactly one year after the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Dingell (D-Mich.) unveiled the landmark legislation at a virtual town hall Wednesday afternoon, where they highlighted the devastating effects of a virus that has killed more than 537,000 people in the United States while leaving millions more uninsured due to pandemic-related job loss and underemployment. 

The bill (pdf)—backed by a record 112 House co-sponsors—guarantees healthcare to every U.S. resident as a human right. It provides comprehensive benefits including primary care, vision, dental, prescription drugs, mental health, long-term services and supports, reproductive healthcare, and other services. It eliminates copays and private insurance premiums.

-->The NYT is so disinterested in Medicare for All that our newspaper of record didn't bother reporting this story at all. Corporate interests always come first when reporting on healthcare.


The Daily Beast;

"A Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson [Capt. Jay Baker] came under fire Wednesday afternoon for pinning the deadly Tuesday shooting rampage that left eight dead—including six Asian women—on a 21-year-old white man’s 'really bad day.'

But it seems the same spokesperson shared racist content online, including pointing the finger at China for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—the same vitriol advocates say has fueled a horrific surge in violence against Asian Americans. In a Facebook page associated with Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, several photos show the law enforcer was promoting T-shirts with the slogan 'COVID-19 imported virus from CHY-NA.'

'Place your order while they last,' Baker wrote with a smiley face on a March 30 photo that included the racist T-shirts. 'Love my shirt,' Baker wrote in another post in April 2020. 'Get yours while they last.' ”

-->Can we trust a racist sheriff's office to determine what happened in the recent mass murder of six Asian women? But the NYT hasn't printed Capt. Jay Baker's history of anti-Asian Facebook postings. Why not? Perhaps the NYT, is protecting the "good image" of the empire, especially when our State Department is ramping up the Cold War with China.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

 Common Dreams:

"House Progressives Implore Biden State Dept. to Center Palestinian Rights.

The conversation is shifting, public sentiment is changing, and it's time the Biden administration listened to the people and spoke up for Palestinian rights.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, a dozen House Democrats urged the Biden administration to 'ground its engagement on Palestine and Israel in international law and human rights and undue the damage done by the Trump administration,' as Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who led the effort alongside Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, put it.

'We look forward to establishing a new, mutually productive relationship with the State Department under your leadership that results in U.S. policy that supports the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people,' the group of 12 progressive lawmakers—including Tlaib and Pocan as well as fellow Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and others—wrote to Blinken."

-->Progressive members of Congress are doing the unthinkable: calling for human rights for Palestinians. The Democratic electorate is behind them too, with ever larger pluralities favoring racial justice in the Holy Land. Corporate media, however, is a big problem. The NYT, for example didn't even cover this story of shifting sentiments. 


FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Media):

"UN Rebuke of US Sanctions on Venezuela Met With Stunning Silence. Alena Douhan, the UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, published her preliminary report on February 12 on the impact of US and European sanctions on Venezuela.

The report laid bare how a years-long campaign of economic warfare has asphyxiated Venezuela’s economy, crushing the government’s ability to provide basic services both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. ...

The campaign to overthrow the Venezuelan government, Douhan added, 'violates the principle of sovereign equality of states and constitutes an intervention in domestic affairs of Venezuela that also affects its regional relations.' ...

Many Western journalists, however, appear not to have seen these overt declarations of collective punishment against the Venezuelan population—a crime against humanity under Article 7 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, according to former UN Expert Alfred de Zayas."

-->Yes, the pathetic falling in line of our establishment media. Read the FAIR analysis of how the BBC, the Guardian, NYT, and the Washington Post simply leave out US human rights violations when it come to Venezuela. Only pro empire stories get broadcast or printed.  


Common Dreams:

"New Report to Expose War Industry Lobby Behind $264 Billion US Nuclear Missile 'Boondoggle.' Progressive lawmakers are urging Biden to halt the missile program, arguing it would 'divert limited resources from higher priority needs.'

A new report by the Federation of American Scientists set for publication next week will reportedly argue that U.S. plans to spend up to $264 billion on construction and maintenance of a new nuclear missile are mostly being fueled by intense lobbying from the powerful weapons industry, not rational or humane strategic objectives."

-->Another important story goes missing in our "newspaper of record." The NYT is hardly ever against new weaponry, no matter how wasteful or redundant. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Guardian UK:
"The overwhelming majority of Palestinians in the West Bank were born into, and have spent their entire lives under, an Israeli military occupation that violates their right to self-determination. A new report by the UK charity War on Want exposes how a core part of what sustains that occupation is a military judicial system characterised by violations of international law.

The report – Judge, Jury and Occupier – is a deep dive into the diverse ways in which Palestinians’ rights are being violated – from arrest, through interrogation, conviction and jail time. It reflects the experiences of Palestinian lawyers and human rights groups....

Since 1967, for example, Israel has decreed more than 411 Palestinian organisations illegal, including all the major Palestinian political parties. Palestinian civilians are then prosecuted for 'membership and activity in an unlawful association', a key tool in Israel’s repression of anti-occupation activism."

-->Yes, Israeli laws oppress five million Palestinians who are caught up in the illegal occupation of their homeland. Where is the NYT in all this? Our "newspaper of record" routinely leaves out the details of that oppression, like this story. 


Common Dreams:
"After eight members of the Democratic caucus joined all 50 Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Friday to kill an amendment reattaching a $15 minimum wage provision to the Senate's coronavirus relief package, progressives pointed out that nearly every single one of the lawmakers who voted against the raise for low-paid workers nationwide is a millionaire.

'Today's vote on Senator Sanders' $15 minimum wage amendment is incredibly sad,' Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and author of the forthcoming book Tax the Rich, said in a statement.

'$15 per hour is the bare minimum anyone in this country needs to survive,' Pearl continued, 'and it is baffling that any member of the U.S. Senate, much less a number of Democrats, could look at the crisis this country is enduring and decide that tens of millions of low-income workers, including millions of frontline workers who put their lives on the line every day in the midst of a global pandemic, should not get a raise.' "

-->Most of our media, following the lead of the NYT, omits stories like these. Why remind Americans that we are ruled by millionaires who vote to protect the very richest among us? It is a corrupt system, and our mainstream media is part of the problem, not part of the solution.


Common Dreams:
"80 House Democrats Urge Biden to Repeal Trump's 'Cruel' Sanctions on Cuba, [and] Reverse US Hostility. 'With the stroke of a pen, you can assist struggling Cuban families and promote a more constructive approach,' the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the president.

According to Erik Sperling, executive director of Just Foreign Policy, the advocacy group that helped initiate the letter, the lawmakers' message to Biden 'is a sign of a sea change on Cuba policy in Congress, particularly given its support from all flanks of the Democratic Party and from a dozen influential members of House leadership.' ...

During his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to undo former President Donald Trump's hardening of the six decades-long U.S. economic blockade against Cuba, a shift that he pursued even while Cubans endured acute shortages of food and medicine as a result of the coronavirus crisis."

-->Yes, there is possible movement on the illegal and immoral US blockade of Cuba. But the story just gets left out of our mainstream media. It wan't picked up by the NYT or any other major newspaper, although Reuters carried the story.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

 Daily Herald:

"FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A Fort Wayne man accused of fatally shooting and killing two young men and wounding a third was formally charged Tuesday with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Joseph Bossard, 32, also was charged with aggravated battery, criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and using a firearm during a crime.

Joshua Cooper and Anderson Retic, both 19, were shot while sitting in their car at a gas station Feb. 17. A third person Jaylin Rice, 20, remains hospitalized is in serious condition.

-->This might be a big story, but only Fox News has picked it up so far. A quick search of the NYT for the white murderer "Joseph Bossard" comes up with nothing. This story, like all the others, doesn't mention the fact that the killer was white and the victims all Black. Was this a hate crime? Our national media rarely asks this question.


Common Dreams:

"A new report published Thursday details United States so-called 'counterterrorism' operations by the U.S. military in 85 nations since 2018 as part of its 'Global War on Terror,' the open-ended post-9/11 campaign that has seen over half a dozen countries attacked or invaded, hundreds of overseas military bases built, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent—with no end in sight. 

The report—published by the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute and USA Today—features an interactive map showing U.S. military operations on every inhabited continent on Earth, including combat, training, exercises, and bases.

'Despite the Pentagon's assertion that the U.S. is shifting its strategic emphasis away from counterterrorism and towards great power competition with Russia and China, examining U.S. military activity on a country-by-country basis shows that there is yet to be a corresponding drawdown of the counter terror apparatus,' the report states. 'If anything, the map demonstrates that counterterrorism operations have become more widespread in recent years.' "

-->Why wouldn't our newspaper of record, the NYT, want to publish this story that outlines just how extensive US military actions have become in the last several years. Covering up for the empire always comes first.


Common Dreams:

"Iran Slams Israel for Recent Activity at the 'Region's Only Nuclear Bomb Factory.'

New satellite analysis by the Associated Press of Israel's nuclear facility in the Negev desert provides fresh evidence of recent, major activity at at the site.

Israel, which has not signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), has never officially declared its nuclear weapons program but is believed to have an arsenal of an estimated 90 nuclear warheads.

The secretive facility in question is the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona. Last week, the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) said that commercial satellite imagery it obtained and that was taken in January showed 'significant new construction' at the site."

-->No interest in this story from the NYT, which only publishes stories critical of Israel if it has to.