Thursday, July 29, 2021


"NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Amalia Dache of the University of Pennsylvania about race in Cuban society, and why Afro-Cubans have been at the forefront of recent protests."

-->Dr. Dache didn't have a good word to say about Cuba, but perhaps that might be expected since her family "escaped" from the island and her father had been a supposed "political prisoner." Dr. Dache makes some interesting points not often heard in our mainstream media: that Blacks in Cuba get universal healthcare and complete access to education, something not afforded people of color in the US. But the professor does not dwell on these positives about Cuba. She is clearly there to find fault with what she calls the "revolutionary dictatorship" leading the country. The government doesn't provide enough food for Black students to go to college. No mention, of course, of the intensely damaging US embargo in her discussion of this food scarcity. 

Dr. Dache goes on to point out political repression of Blacks, skipping over the fact that the US has a much higher incarceration rate for African Americans at 38%. She might have also mentioned that the peak of race based discrimination in Cuban history occurred from 1898 - 1902, the period that the US invaded and occupied the island. 

Dr. Dache takes Black Lives Matter to task for supporting calls to end the blockade of Cuba, a Black Lives stance that is rarely mentioned in our mainstream media. The embargo has, in fact, disproportionally hurt people of color in Cuba, another aspect that gets omitted in this little propaganda piece. NPR simply gives us more of the same when it comes to covering up US imperialism. Don't expect anything better when NPR reports on other targets of our military empire, be they Venezuela, Nicaragua, or Cuba. 


Common Dreams:

"Several of the same corporations and law firms that publicly condemned the passage of Georgia's voter suppression law in March also contributed thousands of dollars this year to state lawmakers and officials who supported the legislation, according to a new analysis of campaign finance disclosures, first reported on Thursday by the Washington Post.

'Many of the most powerful institutions in our society—global corporations and elite law firms—have made vague statements about supporting voting rights, but these statements are meaningless if these entities continue to fund the politicians behind restrictive voter legislation,' said Daniel Jones, president of Advance Democracy, the nonprofit research group behind the analysis.

Georgia's sweeping attack on voting rights, signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, restricts access to the ballot in numerous ways, including by limiting early and absentee voting, reducing the number of ballot drop boxes, and criminalizing those who attempt to provide food and water to voters who are often forced to wait in line for hours on end."

-->The NYT had a long article about the ins and outs of passing a voting rights act. Strangely the large corporate donations to Republicans opposing voting reform was left out. 


The Guardian UK:

"The latest flare-up of violence in the Gaza Strip has been accompanied by a 'catalogue of violations' committed by Israeli police against Palestinians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, according to research from Amnesty International.

Arab citizens of Israel have been subjected to unlawful force from officers during peaceful demonstrations, sweeping mass arrests, torture and other ill-treatment in detention, and police have failed to protect Palestinians from premeditated attacks by rightwing Jewish extremists, the human rights watchdog said on Thursday. ...

Palestinians face a culture of increasing repression and violence from the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, said Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for the Middle East and north Africa. On Thursday protesters took to the streets of Ramallah over the death in custody of an outspoken political figure arrested by Palestinian security forces."

-->This is a simple story of human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. What isn't so simple is why readers have to find out about this in the English publication, "The Guardian," rather than in the NYT.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The New York Times:
"Biden Pressing for Democracy Closer to Home. President Biden took office with bold warnings for Russia and China about human rights as he pressed democracies around the world to stand up against autocracy. But this week, he is facing a string of similar challenges in America’s neighborhood."

-->The NYT assumption that the United States is a force for democracy in Latin America is simply laughable. The CIA has spent decades overthrowing democratically elected presidents in the region, only to put in some of the worst dictators imaginable. The only real challenge to democracies south of the boarder is to choose their form of government without the intervention of CIA assassins, illegal trade embargoes and outright military invasions. 

In fact, after 30 years of involving itself in the Middle East, the US is closely allied with some of the most brutal of dictators in the world. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two countries that get billions in US military aid, are among the most repressive. And then there is our top recipient of foreign aid, apartheid Israel, where fully half of the population lives in perpetual occupation and siege, all because they are the wrong religion. Our newspaper of record calls all of this involvement "pressing for democracy." Only in the dream world of the Pentagon. 

After a couple of paragraphs, the NYT gets down to the real reason why Biden is worried about Latin America: "But U.S. influence began waning in the region over the past decade, as it turned toward fighting terrorism in the Middle East and as Russia and especially China moved in to finance projects and offer political support and other incentives."

-->Russia and China are now important trade partners with many Latin American countries. The US is attempting to overthrow democratically elected leaders in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to reverse these gains. First our national media will slander these countries with propaganda. Next, there will be special operations to train and arm insurgents. We have seen it all before. Calling for democracy is nothing but the fig leaf that hides US imperialism. Shame on the NYT to pollute the national discourse with these crude distortions. 



"A wave of protests in Cuba became the somewhat unlikely focus of global attention earlier this week, the events becoming the worldwide No. 1 trend on Twitter for over 24 hours, as celebrities, politicians and even the president of the United States weighed in on the action. ... Media, too, were quick to focus on the story, giving the protests front and center coverage, something extremely unusual for demonstrations in Latin America. Far larger and more deadly movements in Chile and Ecuador were mostly ignored by the corporate press. ...

However, while giving the protests a great deal of coverage, the corporate press across the political spectrum consistently downplayed one of the primary causes of unrest: the increasingly punitive US blockade. ...

[It] is ironic indeed that a host of outlets resorted to using images of pro-government demonstrations to illustrate how large and impressive the anti-government movement was. The Guardian (7/12/21), Fox News (7/11/21), Boston Globe (7/11/21), Financial Times (7/12/21), Yahoo! News (7/11/21) and NBC’s Today program (7/13/21) were among that used an image of masses of government supporters gathering in central Havana to show the extent of the anti-Communist demonstrations."

-->Cuba brings out the very worst in the US media, with distortions and outright lies being the norm. Sad that we still think of our media as "free" when it so slavishly parrots misconceptions about Cuba. All the news that Wall Street thinks is fit to print.


Orinoco Tribune:

"Jorge Rodríguez, head of the National Assembly of Venezuela, has presented evidence that links the Colombian mercenaries implicated in the recent murder of Jovenel Moïse in Haiti, with the 2018 assassination attempt on President Maduro.

Rodríguez reported that the security firm that had recruited the Colombian hitmen was also involved in a failed assassination attempt on the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, that occurred on August 4, 2018. On that occasion, Maduro had accused his Colombian counterpart, then President Juan Manuel Santos, of being behind the failed assassination attempt. 

Jorge Rodríguez referred to a report published on July 11 by the American newspaper Miami Herald to assert that the Colombians implicated in the murder of Haitian President Moïse, hired by the security firm CTU Security LLC, based in Miami, Florida, were also involved in the attack against the Venezuelan president."

-->These are links that most of our well trained, mainstream media will never make for the public. US assassinations of Third World leaders is the dirty secret of the empire. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021


"[Donald Rumsfeld and Bechtel]. On the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Bechtel, the gargantuan global construction firm based in San Francisco, issued its revenue numbers for 2004. While the situation continued to deteriorate for the US military forces in Iraq, Bechtel reported more fragrant news.

Although the privately-owned company doesn’t disclose its profits, Bechtel did announce that its income was soaring to new heights not seen since the 1960s when the company was damming some of the world’s most glorious canyons, building some of the most dangerous nuclear plants and constructing military bases for the staging of the war on Vietnam.

For the year 2004, Bechtel brought in more than $17.4 billion, a record haul for the company. That makes two record years in a row. Last year [2003] Bechtel earned more than $17 billion for the first time. Both peaks were all the more impressive given the senescent condition of the economy. Much of that robust income stream [came] from its operations in Iraq, where Bechtel is the king of contractors."

-->While the major media focuses on Donald Rumsfeld's personality quirks, the rest of the story is carefully avoided. Much of that story involves Bechtel, one of the largest US war, nuclear and oil construction firms, as well as Rumsfeld's dirty dealings on its behalf over the last half century. One can't understand US disastrous wars abroad without looking at this country's war machine and how government officials are paid off to make it grow.



"Israeli settlements amount to ‘war crime.’ ... A top UN rights expert has called for Israeli settlements to be classified as war crimes, urging the international community to demand accountability for a practice it has long deemed illegal.

Presenting his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, said the settlements constitute a 'violation of the absolute prohibition against settler implantation'. ...

'I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,' Lynk told the Geneva rights forum."

-->Strangely enough, the NYT offered readers a story entitled "U.N. Rights Council Orders Inquiry Into Israel After Gaza Strife," but the newspaper is less forthcoming about news stories that actually state that Israel is committing war crimes against the Palestinians.  


Black Alliance for Peace:

"The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) condemns the arrogance and illegality of United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti Helen La Lime’s July 8 statement that Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph will be the new president, just one day after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

The decision was announced to the press after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting had been called on Haiti. But BAP asks: Who gave the United Nations special envoy the power to make that kind of determination for the people of Haiti? ...

BAP is concerned the political situation the United States created by supporting a dictatorship in Haiti is quickly replicating the moment when the United States swept in to colonize the predominantly African/Black country after the 1915 assassination of Haiti’s president, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam."

-->Our mainstream media never questions the right of the US military to step back into Haiti, occupy the country and set up its next government. The history of US military invasions and occupations of this sovereign nation is never part of the story told to the US public.


Thursday, July 08, 2021

NPR Weekend Edition for Sunday July 4:

"NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and historian Marlene Daut discuss parallels between the Haitian Revolution and the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. for our series, 'We Hold These Truths.' "

-->Some of the more important truths are, however, left out of this otherwise insightful segment about the Haitian Revolution. Yes, the Haitian founding documents treat all people as equals, in direct contrast to our own Constitution. Good point. But why leave this discussion to founding principals? The US has had a two hundred year history of trying to suppress Haitian equality and democracy. What happened to that part of the story?

It is not just the two recent CIA coups that overthrew Aristide, the democratically elected president. It is not just the slave wages that large US corporations pay to Haitian workers. It is not just the invasion and of Haiti in 1915, or the twenty year US military occupation that followed. 

In 1893, Frederick Douglass described US relations with Haiti more accurately than what listeners heard on NPR last Sunday. In a speech on white racism Douglass said that, "Haiti is black, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being black…After Haiti had shaken off the fetters of bondage, and long after her freedom and independence had been recognized by all other civilized nations, we continued to refuse to acknowledge the fact….and treated her as outside the sisterhood of nations."

So NPR leaves out the important stuff, as usual. The role of US imperialism didn't make the cut on this Fourth of July. Our citizens are perpetually kept in the dark about US military and economic interventions in the Third World. It is like a program on the Holocaust that doesn't mention the Nazis. Why don't you take a look the real history of Haiti.



"A key witness in the Department of Justice’s case against Julian Assange has admitted that his entire testimony is false, a revelation that could be the death knell for US attempts to prosecute the Wikileaks founder.

Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, often known as 'Siggi the Hacker,' made the confession to Icelandic outlet Stundin (6/26/21) last weekend. The article details how Thordarson, a convicted felon, pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, used his position to steal money from Wikileaks, and received immunity from prosecution from the FBI in a quid pro quo.

Such a blatant and juicy piece of important news should have made worldwide headlines. But, instead, as of Friday, July 2, there has been literally zero coverage of it in corporate media; not one word in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, Fox News or NPR. A search online for either 'Assange' or 'Thordarson' will elicit zero relevant articles from establishment sources, either US or elsewhere in the Anglosphere, even in tech-focused platforms like the Verge, Wired or Gizmodo."

-->The empire has put all news about Assange on hold. This is because the US hopes to convict and imprison an Australian news reporter for revealing America's various war crimes in Iraq. 


The Onion:

"Weapon Of Mass Destruction Found Dead At 88"

-->And the twenty year occupation and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan were all Rumsfeld's fault. That is not what the Onion had to say, but what the major US media is now reporting to its gullible public. Blame one man, not a colonial superpower that has been invading and obliterating Third World countries since the end of WWII. 

We did the same thing with McNamara and the Vietnam War. Let Rumsfeld take the blame, rather than the Pentagon, the weapons makers and the oil companies that dictate such a blood-soaked foreign policy in the Middle East. And of course, it wasn't just Hitler and the Nazis who invaded Poland. It was the German people, so enamored of their newfound glory that all thoughts of a moral universe were left behind. What us left of our moral universe on this Fourth of July, 2021?

Thursday, July 01, 2021

 Common Dreams:

"The Biden administration has reportedly granted Boeing an export license for the sale of $735 million in advanced weaponry to the Israeli government, news that came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday pledged $5.5 million in emergency aid to help Gaza recover from the latest Israeli bombing campaign.

Citing an unnamed congressional staffer, Alex Kane of Jewish Currents reported Tuesday that the U.S. State Department approved the export license on May 21, a necessary step in the planned delivery of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs to Israel.

As Kane pointed out, the "two kinds of laser-guided munitions... were reportedly used by Israel in the 11-day attack on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday with a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas."

-->The NYT didn't carry this story. Nor did any other major US media. Shameful acts of war, shamefully covered up. 


Common Dreams:

"If you get your foreign policy news today from CNN or MSNBC or NPR or similar outlets, then you’re bombarded hour after hour with the idea that the United States has the absolute right to impose sanctions on country after country overseas if they violate human rights or are not democratic.

To give just one example: On Sunday, CNN anchor Dana Bash grilled Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on why the White House is not imposing yet more sanctions on Russia (and China) and why Team Biden was 'giving in to Russia' on the gas pipeline to Western Europe. Sullivan was emphatic in insisting that sanctions had been imposed and more were on the way—boasting that Biden had grabbed even more presidential power to sanction Russia through an executive order.

I’m old enough to remember the superiority complex behind the liberal media propaganda during the Cold War with the Soviet Union—while U.S. foreign policy, in the name of democracy, massacred millions of people of color, mostly civilians, across the globe—from Asia to Southern Africa to Latin America."

-->A moment of truth in a sea of lies. This is Jeff Cohen on Corporate "liberal" media propaganda. 


Common Dreams:

"New research released Monday shows the post-9/11 wars launched by the U.S. military since 2001 have resulted in over 30,000 suicides by active duty American solders and veterans—over four times the number killed in combat operations.

According to Brown University's Costs of War Project—established in 2010 to account for the loss of lives and taxpayer dollars spent on U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—an estimated 30,177 veterans and service members have killed themselves over the last nearly two decades, compared with 7,057 members of the military who have been killed in combat. The findings were compiled from interviews, government data, and secondary literature.

'The sheer length of the war has kept service members in the fight longer, providing more opportunities for traumatic exposure.' —Costs of War Project

The report 'reveals an increasingly severe crisis,' the authors wrote, with the veteran suicide rate per 100,000 people in the U.S. outpacing that of the public."

-->Our compliant media, including the NYT left this story out. It might have resulted in bad publicity for the empire.