Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Common Dreams:

"The Billion Dollar Deal that Made Google and Amazon Partners in the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. No amount of Google justification or Amazon rationalization can change the fact that they are facilitating Israeli war crimes in Palestine. 'We are anonymous because we fear retaliation.' This text was part of a letter signed by 500 Google employees last October, in which they decried their company's direct support for the Israeli government and military.

In their letter, the signatories protested a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Israeli government which provides cloud services for the Israeli military and government that 'allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel's illegal settlements on Palestinian land'.

This is called Project Nimbus. The project was announced in 2018 and went into effect in May 2021, in the first week of the Israeli war on besieged Gaza, which killed over 250 Palestinians and wounded many more."

-->What US media is going to call attention to Google and Amazon as they make money from Israeli apartheid? Certainly not the major players like the NYT, which had a story about Google's Spotify billing in Israel, but nothing about surveillance and war crimes. 


Code Pink:

"This past Tuesday, The New York Times published a Bret Stephens’ article entitled 'A New Iran Deal Leaves Us Weaker and Meeker.' On the very same day, The Washington Post ran a piece by John-never-met-a-war-he-didn’t-like-Bolton urging the Senate to prevent the Iran Nuclear Deal from being resealed. 'Republicans should seize the moment; perhaps there is at least one Democrat,' he pleaded, claiming that a resealing of the deal would 'encourage North Korea, gratify China and Russia, appall Israel and our Arab allies, and endanger the United States and the world.'

As of today, it has been four days since the op-eds by Stephens and Bolton were published and neither the Times nor the Post have yet published counterarguments. In fact, scrolling back through both papers’ opinion sections for the month of March, their hawkish articles were the only op-eds devoted to the Iran Deal.

With the world already on the brink of a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S., it is worse than disappointing that The NY Times and The Washington Post editorial boards have not taken positions or published op-eds in favor of resealing the Iran Deal."

-->Yes, your mainstream media has gotten the New Cold War virus. In the interests of world peace, and the continuation of our species, let's not let the NYT get away with calling itself a reasonably progressive voice in US foreign affairs. In fact, the NYT is a warmongering publication going back to the US invasion of Korea.


Common Dreams:

"U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday unveiled the Ending Corporate Greed Act, which aims to end corporate price gouging in the midst of multiple global crises by imposing a 95% tax on the windfall profits of major companies.

'The working class cannot bear the brunt of this economic crisis, while corporate CEOs, wealthy shareholders, and the billionaire class make out like bandits.'

The bill—spearheaded by Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.)—is inspired by previous windfall profits tax plans implemented during World Wars I and II as well as the Korean War. During WWII, Sanders' office noted, 'the tax rate reached as high as 95%, which ensured that companies could not profiteer off the war.'

'The American people are sick and tired of the unprecedented corporate greed that exists all over this country. They are sick and tired of being ripped off by corporations making record-breaking profits while working families are forced to pay outrageously high prices for gas, rent, food, and prescription drugs,' Sanders said in a statement."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story. With corporate types making up the majority of the NYT Board of Directors, our "newspaper of record" avoids these types of populist ideas. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Common Dreams:
"In the run-up to and during the Bush administration's catastrophic invasion of Iraq, corporate media outlets were accused of acting as stenographers for the White House, amplifying official justifications for the attack—which were lies—while stifling dissenting voices.

Today, having apparently learned no lessons—or the wrong ones—from Iraq, reporters for corporate newspapers and cable TV programs are yet again facing criticism for their coverage of a war, this time one in which the White House has vowed not to involve U.S. troops.

During briefings held at the White House over the past week as Russia ramped up its assault on Ukraine, correspondents have incessantly pushed Press Secretary Jen Psaki on President Joe Biden's refusal to escalate U.S. involvement in the war even further, questioning the administration's refusal to impose a no-fly zone and send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. By contrast, very few questions have centered on the diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine and what the U.S. is doing to facilitate the ongoing negotiations."

-->Why must it be that way? The NYT gives pages and pages of coverage to Ukraine each day. Did the NYT cover the mass suffering of Yemen under attack by US planes and bombs? Or to the genocidal attacks on Gaza that the US encouraged and paid for?  And will this drumbeat for war push the administration into WW III?


Black Agenda Report:

"Half of the Countries Abstaining from the United Nations General Assembly Resolution Condemning Moscow Were African Union Member States. Since the post-World War II period national liberation movements and independent countries in Africa have developed solid diplomatic and economic relations with the former Soviet Union and today’s Russian Federation.

It is this history which underlines the refusal of numerous African governments and mass organizations to side with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in its efforts to encircle Russia in order to leave it as a diminished state dependent upon the dominant imperialist nations globally.

In the immediate aftermath of the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the racist treatment of approximately 16,000 African students as well as thousands of others from Asia gained international news coverage. Africans were denied admission onto trains, refused food provided to Ukrainians, while attempting to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Poland.

These incidents should not have been surprising considering the expansion and institutionalization of fascist and Nazi ideology among those governing the Ukrainian state since the U.S.-backed Euromaidan coup of February 2014. Washington, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, sought to subvert any efforts by ousted President Viktor Yanukovych to walk a middle-line between the U.S., European Union on the one side and Russia on the other."

-->This reporting is all the more surprising because our mainstream media just never takes this point of view. Rather the US media is all Pentagon propaganda all of the time. 


Common Dreams:

"Progressives Hand Biden List of 55 Executive Actions Because 'Working People Can't Wait.' 'Taken together, these actions will have an immediate and meaningful impact on people's lives,' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

With the pivotal midterm elections looming, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Thursday unveiled a slate of more than 50 executive actions it is urging President Joe Biden to pursue as much of his domestic policy agenda remains stalled in Congress—thanks in large part to right-wing members of his own party.

The CPC's new list of executive order recommendations is broad in scope, aiming to address a variety of pressing issues including sky-high drug prices, the worsening climate emergency, the coronavirus pandemic, mounting student loan debt, and a rigged tax system—priorities that Biden vowed to tackle on the campaign trail in 2020."

-->The Washington Post covered this story, but very few other news outlets did. The Democratic Party would like to have us focus on Ukraine and Russia so it didn't have to talk about the party's failed progressive agenda.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Democracy Now:

"Report from Ukraine: Russian Forces Carry Out 'Vindictive and Deliberate' Attacks on Civilians; 'I’m Ready to Be Arrested': Activist in Moscow Says Mass Russian Protests Can Stop Putin’s War; Attack on Maternity Ward is a War Crime: David Miliband on Russia’s Bombing of Mariupol."

-->These headlines from a recent Democracy Now program (Mar 10) have one thing in common. They are all anti Russian and anti Putin. Every guest that came on had the same point of view about how the invasion started and how Russia was committing war crimes. For a supposed balance, listeners were offered an interview with a Russian peace activist, who ended up repeating the same sentiments.

To be fair, Amy did have Tariq Ali as a guest on a recent program: "Neither Putin who launched [the war], nor NATO who have created a situation over the last 30 years, as some of the more intelligent U.S. commentators have been telling us now for a long time, has finally reached its apogee. It will end here, whatever the solution." At least he acknowledges NATO's role in provoking Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

So when it comes to Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and now Russia, Democracy Now can't really be trusted. It is an awful defeat for the left in the US. But perhaps it will prompt other leftist media to step up and take its place. We desperately need a national source of news and analysis that isn't pro US empire. 


Caitlin's Newsletter:

"Kremlin-backed media outlets have been banned throughout the European Union, both on television and on apps and online platforms. RT has lost its Sky TV slot in the UK, where the outlet is also blocked on YouTube. Australian TV providers SBS and Foxtel have dropped RT, and the federal government is putting pressure on social media platforms to block Russian media in Australia. ...

Twitter is also placing warnings labels on all Russia-backed media and delivering a pop-up message informing you that you are committing wrongthink if you try to share or even 'like' a post linking to such outlets on the platform. ... 'The purge of RT and other Russian media outlets in the US and Europe is 100% censorship,' tweets journalist Michael Tracey. 'Go ahead and argue it's justified, but at least don't be a coward and admit you are advocating censorship.'

'The western world believes that it has a monopoly on what constitutes 'political truth' and that their ideological worldview is the only correct, valid and authoritative one,' writer and analyst Tom Fowdy observed. 'They preach freedom of speech and the press to other countries, but exempt themselves from it.' "

-->The censoring of Russian media in the EU and US has been censored out of the US media. Rather than addressing the issue first hand, the NYT runs stories like: "What It Was Like to Work for Russian State Television." Not much is printed about the disappearing of freedom of speech in the US Empire. 


Common Dreams:

"A new law passed Thursday that effectively bans the naturalization of Palestinian spouses of Israeli Jews was condemned by human rights advocates in Israel and around the world, some of whom called it the latest manifestation of an apartheid regime.

Reut Shaer, a lawyer with the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, told Reuters that the law 'comes off as more xenophobic or racist because it's not only giving extra rights and privileges to Jewish people, but also preventing certain basic rights only from the Arab population.' ...

Public polling has consistently shown a majority of Israeli Jews oppose marriage between Arabs and Jewish people. The very prospect of Jewish women dating Arab men has brought seething crowds out into the streets of towns like Bat Yam, where in 2010 one demonstrator asserted that 'any Jewish woman who goes with an Arab should be killed.' "

-->Yes, Israel is an apartheid state. But readers of the NYT will never really get it. Our supposed "newspaper of record" left this story out.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

The New York Times:
"Speaking as One Propaganda Voice. In much of the world, Russia is losing the information war over Ukraine."

-->One might think that this headline in the NYT is about the US corporate controlled drumbeat for NATO and military intervention in Ukraine. For in our own country, war propaganda is the order of the day. Even Alen Chartock of NPR, that fawning sycophant of Pete Seeger, is full of war talk. Even Amy Goodman of Democracy Now has a steady stream of anti-Russian guests on her program. Is this the way we are to understand the intensions of the empire? Is the US really going to pull out all the stops, and risk a nuclear war over Ukraine?

So aside from saying that Putin is a bully and a war criminal, does the US media have permission to explore how we got this close to the edge? Apparently not. This is a country that is readying its people for war. The fact that the US has attacked and invaded any number of countries over the last 70 years makes no difference. The fact that the US military has killed millions in its quest for supremacy doesn't even enter the conversation. Our drones are killing people in at least seven countries right now, and our government is supporting genocides in both Yemen and in Palestine. We are asked to forget about all that, and start hating the Russians! 

The NYT headline is correct, but it should be describing the "one propaganda voice" of the American media. 



"Calling Russia’s Attack ‘Unprovoked’ Lets US Off the Hook. Many governments and media figures are rightly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine as an act of aggression and a violation of international law. But in his first speech about the invasion, on February 24, US President Joe Biden also called the invasion 'unprovoked.'

It’s a word that has been echoed repeatedly across the media ecosystem. 'Putin’s forces entered Ukraine’s second-largest city on the fourth day of the unprovoked invasion,' Axios (2/27/22) reported; 'Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine entered its second week Friday,' said CNBC (3/4/22). Vox (3/1/22) wrote of 'Putin’s decision to launch an unprovoked and unnecessary war with the second-largest country in Europe.'

The 'unprovoked' descriptor obscures a long history of provocative behavior from the United States in regards to Ukraine. This history is important to understanding how we got here, and what degree of responsibility the US bears for the current attack on Ukraine."

-->In this war climate, such an article really stands out. It will probably be more truth than most Americans can stomach. We should use this warmongering by the press to get a better sense of how the corporate media has controlled the message, especially when it comes to spending money on armaments, and taking cold war risks. Risks to the lives of all of us.


Activist Radio Blog:

"It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. So what truths have been erased in our new Cold War with Russia?

For one thing, Ukraine has long been a integral part of Russian history, not that this connection has spared its population from centuries of invasions and revolutions. Kyiv, in fact, was the 12th century capital of "Rus" which became part of Muscovy a century later. In the 18th century, Muscovy became the Russian Empire. 

For another, the US has been pursing an aggressive expansion of NATO since the late 1990s. Our country could have made a lasting peace with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead, we added more than a dozen new NATO member states surrounding Russia. In 2008, the US vowed to include Ukraine and Georgia as well, prompting a Russian invasion of the latter.

Against this background, the US orchestrated a coup in 2014 against Ukraine's President, Viktor Yanukovych. He was Ukraine's most popular politician when a 2010 election swept him into office. But Yanukovych had tried tried to balance Russian and EU interests, making him a NATO target. When he objected to a particularly harsh austerity plan proposed by the International Monetary Fund, the CIA began arming and training rightwing militias, like it has done so often before (Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, Venezuela and Honduras). 

Our hopeless media ignores all this. NPR cheerleads the hate Putin campaign. In the heart of the empire, the truth died long ago."


"When the corporate media push for war, one of their main weapons is propaganda by omission. In the case of the recent crisis in Ukraine, Western journalists have omitted key context about the expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War, as well as US support for the Maidan coup in 2014 (, 1/28/22).

A third and crucial case of propaganda by omission relates to the integration of neo-Nazis into the Ukrainian armed forces (, 3/7/14, 1/28/22). If the corporate media reported more critically about Western support for the neo-Nazi-infested Ukrainian security services, and how these forces function as a front-line proxy of US foreign policy, public support for war might be reduced and military budgets called into greater question.

As recent coverage demonstrates, one way of resolving this issue is by not mentioning the inconvenient matter of Ukrainian neo-Nazis altogether."

-->The major media is beating the drums of war again. There is no starker illustration of how uniform our media has become than the current hectoring for conflict with Russia. Alan Chartock and Rachel Maddow are two of the most despicable. They are simply propagandists for the Democratic Party as it whips up war hysteria. Wasn't this the peace party we all had to vote for? Does the party stand for anything?



"Israel holds up vital spare parts for Gaza's water and sewage systems. Israel is holding up the entry of hundreds of vital replacement parts for the proper functioning of Gaza's water and sewage systems. As a result, partially treated wastewater is being released into the sea, water leakage from pipes is even worse than usual, [and] rainwater runoff is causing a danger of flooding. The quality and quantity of drinking water, purified in special facilities, is also being affected, and the same problems keep happening because repairs are being made with makeshift materials.

Palestinian officials in the Gaza Water Utility say that there have been unexplained prolonged delays and foot-dragging in getting approvals to bring in the various necessary items since the war ended in May. An Israeli security official rejects the claims of delays."

-->While the world's attention is directed towards Ukraine, Israel ratchets up it genocidal treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. It takes an Israeli newspaper to break the story. 


Common Dreams:

"US Bombed Somalia Amid Russian Invasion of Ukraine. 'You do not, in fact, have to choose between American and Russian imperialisms,' wrote one anti-war reporter. 'The correct choice is to detest and resist both.'

Just before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale military assault on Ukraine, which has drawn accusations of potential war crimes and received global condemnation, the United States hit Somalia with the latest drone attack in its 15-year war against the impoverished nation."

-->The NYT was one of the very few media outlets that actually reported the recent US bombing of Somalia. For the rest of our mainstream media, this US military aggression against another Third World country just doesn't fit the narrative of American support for human rights.