Thursday, October 28, 2021

"Stop being polite – Colin Powell was a killer. Throughout his career, Powell did a swell job of rallying and maintaining bipartisan support for imperial killing – and putting as ‘polite’ a face as possible on it. 

The New York Times hails him as a 'pathbreaker': the United States’ first Black national security adviser, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and secretary of state. The rest of the US mainstream media have taken a similar line, erupting in characteristic American self-adulation at the idea that a once-discriminated-against Black man was able to make it so far in life. ...

[But] In 1989, Powell presided over all manner of bomb-based devastation in the Central American nation of Panama, where an untold number of mainly impoverished Panamanian civilians were slaughtered by the US military as it carried out 'Operation Just Cause' against longtime US ally and CIA asset Manuel Noriega."

-->And then there was the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, something that Aljazeera did not cover in its article. Powell was the young major who was assigned to investigate the mass murder of hundreds of civilians. According to his conclusion, the eyewitness accounts of the slaughter were "unsubstantiated," and relations between the Vietnamese people and the US military were "excellent." Powell was a Black man who used the color of his skin to sell US war crimes. That's what you won't read in the media of the empire.


Common Dreams:

"Do we really want a future of fear? Do we want the United States and its supposed enemy [China] to once again squander untold trillions of dollars on military expenditures while neglecting basic human needs, including universal health care, education, food, and housing, not to mention failing to deal adequately with that other looming existential threat, climate change? ...

Chinese leaders have even more reason to doubt the declared peaceful intent of AUKUS [security pact between Australia, the UK and the US] given that the U.S. military already has seven military bases in Australia and nearly 300 more spread across East Asia. By contrast, China doesn’t have a single base in the Western Hemisphere or anywhere near the borders of the United States. Add in one more factor: in the last 20 years, the AUKUS allies have a track record of launching aggressive wars and participating in other conflicts from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to Yemen, Somalia, and the Philippines, among other places. China’s last war beyond its borders was with Vietnam for one month in 1979.

Some will claim that the United States must counter China’s growing military power, frequently trumpeted by U.S. media outlets. ... Disturbingly, according to a recent Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey, a majority in the U.S. now appear to believe — however incorrectly — that Chinese military power is equal to or greater than that of the United States. In fact, our military power vastly exceeds China’s, which simply doesn’t compare to the old Soviet Union."

-->Oh, the new Cold War with China! The NYT has unfortunately "learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." Our newspaper of record never challenges the underlying insanity of this new cold war fever. Go watch "Dr. Strangelove" (1964) if you want to know what the empire is really cooking up for us.


Common Dreams:

"A coalition of more than two dozen press freedom groups on Monday intensified an earlier call demanding the U.S. Department of Justice drop its charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying the demand is now even more urgent due to recent reports that the CIA plotted to kidnap—and possibly kill—the journalist.


In a letter sent Friday to Attorney General Merrick Garland, groups including the Knight First Amendment Institute, Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders said the prosecution of Assange by the U.S. government is 'a threat to press freedom around the globe.' ...

As former intelligence consultant and press freedom advocate Edward Snowden tweeted Monday, the case against Assange 'criminalizes the sort of journalism you read every week in the newspaper.' "

-->The NYT is missing in action when it comes to Julian Assange and freedom of the press. Perhaps that's because the NYT has given up on a free press, and resigned itself to being a mouthpiece of the Pentagon and the US war machine.

Monday, October 18, 2021


"Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – Israeli settlers have committed violent, daily attacks against Palestinian villages and residents harvesting their olive trees over the past week. The attacks, which include beatings of farmers and destruction of trees, preceded the formal start of the olive harvest season on October 12 in the occupied West Bank, but intensified in number over the past week. ...

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler violence in the northern West Bank, told Al Jazeera they recorded 58 attacks since the start of the season, including nine on the village of Burin south of Nablus alone. 'It is evident that there is an increase in the attacks. We are 30 percent into the olive harvest season, and we have already had 58 attacks in the north [of the West Bank],' said Daghlas, describing the attacks as 'planned and not spontaneous'.

Harvesting olive trees is a key economic, familial and social activity for many Palestinians, who take days off work to tend to their lands, or those of their relatives, neighbours or friends. Between 80,000 to 100,000 families rely on olives and olive oil as primary or secondary sources of income."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story, so it is not surprising that the rest of the US media didn't either. How is it that a story like this makes it into two Israeli newspapers but not into a single US one? 


The Intercept:

"The EPA announced the creation of two internal scientific advisory panels after whistleblower accounts of internal corruption. ... One will focus on the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and the Office of Pesticide Programs and will be chaired by a science policy adviser, a new senior-level role within the agency. The EPA will also be overhauling its New Chemicals Division.

The announcement comes after The Intercept reported extensively on allegations of corruption from five whistleblowers within the New Chemicals Division, which is part of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, and detailed extensive problems within the Office of Pesticide Programs.

The whistleblowers have provided detailed evidence of interference with the assessment of dozens of new chemicals submitted to the agency by companies planning to introduce them to market. The scientists documented intense pressure within the agency to downplay or remove evidence of the potential harms caused by chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. They also reported that their findings were altered or deleted from assessments without their knowledge."

-->The NYT doesn't really like whistleblowers, and is often in bed with the chemical giants. No surprise that this disturbing story wasn't printed.


Common Dreams:

"'No Tech for Apartheid': 40+ Groups Demand Amazon and Google Ditch Israeli Military. Courageous workers at Google and Amazon are calling on their employers to stop enabling the Israeli government's oppression of Palestinian families—and we are proud to stand with them.

A day after hundreds of Amazon and Google workers condemned their employers for complicity in Israel's human rights violations against Palestinians, over 40 grassroots groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to amplify the efforts of activists around the world working to stop apartheid profiteers.

'As the Israeli military bombed homes, clinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem this past May, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military,' the campaign noted. 'By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.' "

-->Shame on Amazon and Google for making money off apartheid. Shame on the NYT for not covering how giant US companies are part of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Common Dreams:
"As environmental campaigners stress the urgency of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution recognizing 'the human right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment,' reporting out Tuesday spotlights the U.S. and U.K.'s refusal to support the proposal.

The resolution—backed by dozens of countries—is before the 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC), which is in an ongoing session this week. 'This week, the Human Rights Council could recognize the right to a healthy environment for all,' human rights defender Fernanda Hopenhaym tweeted Tuesday. 'This would be an important step forward to protect the environment, address the climate crisis, and provide a better platform for future generations.'

With the Human Rights Council expected to adopt the resolution later this week with broad international support, the U.S. and U.K. are seen as key holdouts."

-->This is one of those "say it ain't so" stories. The UK and US denying environmental rights to the peoples of the world. These two countries are partners in crime. Of course, our supposed newspaper of record, the NYT, didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:

"Facebook removed and suppressed content about 'apparent war crimes' that Israel's apartheid regime committed in May during its deadly assault on Palestinians, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

As Israeli forces illegally banished Palestinians from their homes throughout the Occupied Territories, attacked Islamic places of worship, brutally repressed demonstrators, and bombed civilian infrastructure in the besieged Gaza Strip, many people 'turn[ed] to social media to document, raise awareness, and condemn the latest cycle' of abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted.

According to HRW: Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, removed posts, including reposts of content from mainstream news organizations. In one instance, Instagram removed a screenshot of headlines and photos from three New York Times opinion articles for which the Instagram user added commentary that urged Palestinians to 'never concede' their rights. The post did not transform the material in any way that could reasonably be construed as incitement to violence or hatred."

-->The NYT has gone after Facebook a number of times recently. But when Facebook censors stories about Palestinian rights, the NYT is right there to cover up Facebook's transgressions. All the news that's fit to print, for Zionists that is.


Nonprofit Quarterly:

"Police foundations are exactly what they sound like: philanthropic endeavors sponsored by corporate funds that arm and train local police around the country. These foundations partner with companies like Starbucks, Amazon, Target, AT&T, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, and Comcast, among others, and manage million-dollar budgets to work directly with police departments. They do so without accountability and minimal public oversight.

As we previously reported for NPQ, these private foundations are involved in enabling some of the most troubling implicit bias practices by police departments, such as LAPD’s surveillance “predictive risk models” used to identify 'probable offenders' in select neighborhoods. ...

Indeed, the 1970s neoliberal 'experiment' of lifting the 'burden of bureaucracy' from local police has left us with an increasingly militarized police force that works under the mandate of unaccountable corporate donors. One can understand how 'defund the police' takes a wider turn for dismantling an undemocratic philanthropic structure that is a far cry from healthy police-community relations."

-->This important story was carried by some left publications. But why wouldn't the NYT cover how large private corporations are funding what should be our very public police departments. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Common Dreams:
"Environmental justice advocates and other progressives on Friday condemned a federal judge's decision Friday to sentence human rights lawyer Steven Donziger to six months in prison—following more than two years of house arrest related to a lawsuit he filed decades ago against oil giant Chevron. ...

Donziger represented a group of farmers and Indigenous people in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador in the 1990s in a lawsuit against Texaco—since acquired by Chevron—in which the company was accused of contaminating soil and water with its 'deliberate dumping of billions of gallons of cancer-causing waste into the Amazon.'

An Ecuadorian court awarded the plaintiffs a $9.5 billion judgment in 2011—a decision upheld by multiple courts in Ecuador—only to have a U.S. judge reject the ruling, accusing Donziger of bribery and evidence tampering. Chevron also countersued Donziger in 2011. ... [The] conviction of Steven Donziger, said one critic, 'perfectly encapsulates how corporate power has twisted the U.S. justice system to protect corporate interests and punish their enemies.' "

-->Corporate power twisting the justice system? The NYT wasn't interested in printing this story. Perhaps corporate power is twisting the NYT.


Yahoo News:

"Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks. ... In 2017, as Julian Assange began his fifth year holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the CIA plotted to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, spurring heated debate among Trump administration officials over the legality and practicality of such an operation.

Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request 'sketches' or 'options' for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred 'at the highest levels' of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. 'There seemed to be no boundaries.'

The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency’s multi-pronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord among the group’s members, and stealing their electronic devices."

-->The NYT didn't cover this CIA plot to assassinate Assange. Amazing really, since this story exposes the CIA for the lawless and ruthless agency that it is. Perhaps this story of murdering Assange was too much truth for our supposed "newspaper of record."


Common Dreams:

"Top Bernie Sanders Aide Details Just How Popular the $3.5 Trillion Package Truly Is. Warren Gunnels, the longtime staff director and policy advisor for Sanders ... argues in the video that corporate Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are blocking an agenda that is widely supported by the American public. ...

He then runs through a list of surveys—including an August 12 Fox News poll that found a majority of likely voters favor spending $3.5 trillion on priorities including combating the climate crisis, health care, and childcare—to underscore the package's popularity.

Noting the overwhelming support for some of the bill's individual components, Gunnels says: 'When 84% want to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing, and 81% want Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, opposing these policies doesn't make you a moderate. It doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you an extremist.' "

-->Maybe we should be looking at extremist newspapers, like the NYT, that didn't print these dramatic poll numbers. To the NYT, this infighting is all about "divisions within the Democratic Party." No mention that the public is wildly supportive of the $3.5 Trillion package.