Tag Archives: protests

As Media Amplifies Unrest in Venezuela and Beyond, Millions Are Quietly Revolting in Colombia, by Alan Macleod and Whitney Webb

Any two-bit demonstration agains the government in a leftist Latin America will probably get picked up by the US mainstream media, but it ignores substantial and long-running protests against governments that are friends of the US government. From Alan Macleod and Whitney Webb at mintpressnews.com:

Despite protests of historic proportions fueled by anger over corruption and a brutal right-wing crackdown, the unrest in Colombia has garnered remarkably little international media attention compared to Venezuela.

Many of the massive anti-neoliberal protest movements that exploded across the globe last year have pressed on into 2020, especially those that rose up throughout Latin America. Many of those demonstrations — clearly newsworthy due to their enormous size, composition, and motives — were and continue to be ignored by prominent English language news outlets, essentially creating a media blackout of these movements.

This trend has been particularly magnified in Latin American countries whose current governments are closely allied with the United States, with Colombia, in particular, standing out. Despite being faced with protests from hundreds of thousands of people fueled by anger over state corruption, proposed neoliberal reforms and a spike in murders of social leaders, the unrest in Colombia has garnered remarkably little international media attention.

In contrast, U.S.-supported right-wing movements attempting to topple socialist governments like those in Venezuela and Bolivia have received a great deal of coverage and open support from both the media and the political class.

It is certainly telling that international media outlets largely ignored the protests of Colombia’s teachers, who were motivated to act largely due to a dangerous wave of violence targeting them incited by the government itself, leading to several murders and hundreds of death threats in the span of just a few months. Colombia’s President Iván Duque’s political mentor Álvaro Uribe, himself president between 2002 and 2010, accused the country’s teachers of brainwashing the youth: “Teachers only teach them to yell and to insult, not how to debate, warping their minds,” he said.

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Assange’s Extradition Case: Critical Moment for the Antiwar Movement, by Nozomi Hayase

Can apathy and hostility be overcome and the tide of public and political opinion be turned in favor of Julian Assange? From Nozomi Hayase at antiwar.com:

Last week, Leader of the UK opposition Jeremy Corbyn challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on the US extradition request for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Corbyn stated that Assange had been charged by the US “for exposing war crimes, the murder of civilians and large-scale corruption”. Backing the Council of Europe, who warned that the prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent for journalists and called for his immediate release, he asked:

“Will the Prime Minister agree with the Parliamentary report that’s going to the Council of Europe that this extradition should be opposed and the rights of journalists and whistleblowers upheld for the good of all of us?”

Corbyn has risen to political prominence for his lifelong activism against military action. He opposed the 2003 Iraq War and also voted against British military involvement in Afghanistan and Libya. The Labour leader, who is known for his staunch commitment to democratic rights and peace, understood very well the value of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of government secrets.

WikiLeaks’ publication of documents concerning US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was a major contribution to the antiwar movement. The release of the Collateral Murder video provided a rare window into modern asymmetric warfare, revealing the war crime of a US military airstrike killing innocent civilians in a suburb of Iraq.

Corbyn, who has not mentioned Assange’s plight over the last 10 months, and with now less than two weeks before his extradition hearing, finally broke his silence. In his question to the Prime Minister, he fiercely asserted the voice of the antiwar movement at the Parliamentary session.

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Enormous Crowds at Iraq’s Million Man March Tell America to Leave for Good, by Alan Macleod

The US can’t take a hint, but a message coming from 2.5 million people is pretty unmistakeable. From Alan Macleod at mintpressnews.com:

An estimated 2.5 million Iraqis descended on Baghdad to stage a “Million Man March” calling for an end to the nearly 17 year-long U.S. occupation of their country.

People from all over Iraq have descended upon its capital Baghdad, heeding the call from influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for a “million man march” calling for an end to the nearly 17 year-long U.S. occupation of the country. Images from the event show seas of peaceful crowds walking together through the city center. Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, estimated that more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations. While there are many divisions in Iraqi society, marchers hope to send a united message against American imperialism.

“Pompeo keeps going on about respecting Iraqi sovereignty. Well Iraqis want you out of their country,” said Lebanese-American journalist Rania Khalek, adding that the recent U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seriously backfired, leading to a huge show of anti-American sentiment. She also took aim at the media coverage; “Whenever a couple hundred people protest against Iran, ittrends on twitter. Yet when hundreds of thousands in Iraq protest against the US? No trending,” she said.

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Soldiers Who Fight War, by John Feffer

Just like a substantial portion of the American population, a substantial portion of the soldiers fighting in Vietnam turned against the war. From John Feffer at antiwar.com:

One of the enduring myths connected to the Vietnam War is that the U.S. military could have won the war if the politicians and protesters back in Washington didn’t somehow handicap the generals.

When George H. W. Bush launched the first Gulf War in 1990, for instance, he said that “this will not be another Vietnam. Our troops will…not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back.”

This myth doesn’t account for the determination of the Vietnamese to repel the US troops. It also doesn’t take into consideration the US troops themselves and how they felt about the war. If any hands were secured by any backs, it was often the GIs themselves who were doing the tying.

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2019 was a year of global unrest, spurred by anger at rising inequality – and 2020 is likely to be worse, from the Conversation

The trend to unrest, dissent, dissolution, secession, decentralization, and devolution is only picking up steam. From theconversation.com:

2019 may well go down as the most disrupted year in global politics since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the subsequent implosion of the former Soviet Union.

However, the likelihood is that 2020 will be worse, and bloodier.

Conditions that spawned global unrest on every continent in 2019 are unlikely to recede. Rather, they are likely to worsen in the face of a slowing global economy and little sign of causes of disaffection being addressed.

Washington as disruptor

In a word, the world is in a mess, made more threatening by the retreat of the Trump administration from America’s traditional role as a stabilising force.

President Donald Trump has moved the US away from its traditional role of global stabilising force. AAP/EPA/Kevin Dietsch

If anything, Washington is a disruptor in its abandonment of international agreements. These include: the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership, previously the Trans Pacific Partnership, aimed at liberalising Asia-Pacific trade. The US has also withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that froze Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Ukrainian neo-Nazis flock to the Hong Kong protest movement, by Ben Norton

The Hong Kong protests are attracting all sorts of opportunists. From Ben Norton at thegrayzone.com:

Ukrainian fascists who previously fought in a US-backed neo-Nazi militia joined the anti-China protests in Hong Kong, sharing their tactics and showing off their tattoos.

Neo-Nazis from Ukraine have flown to Hong Kong to participate in the anti-Chinese insurgency, which has been widely praised by Western corporate media and portrayed as a peaceful pro-democracy movement.

Since March 2019, Hong Kong has been the site of often-violent protests and riots that have run the city’s economy into the ground. The US government has funded many of the groups leading the pro-Western and anti-Beijing movement, and opposition leaders have coordinated closely with conservative political figures in Washington like Marco Rubio and Steve Bannon, lobbying for sanctions and other punitive measures against China.

Numerous delegations of far-right groups from across the world have traveled to Hong Kong to join the violent insurgency against Beijing, in which secessionists have attacked police with bowsand arrows, shot gasoline bombs out of catapults, and burned numerous people alive.

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Iran in 2018, by Paul Craig Roberts

The Iranians cannot become the agents of a US regime change operation against their own government. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

In 1953 Washington and Britain overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a dictator to rule Iran for the benefit of Washington and the British. In declassified documents, the CIA has admitted its role in overthrowing the Iranian government. The overthrow pattern is always the same. Washington hires protesters, then introduces violence, controls the explanation, and unseats the government.

Ever since the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Washington-installed dictator in1979, Washington has been trying to regain control of Iran. In 2009 Washington financed the “Green Revolution,” which was an attempt to overthrow the Ahmadinejad government.

Today Washington is again at work against the Iranian people. It is difficult to believe that any Iranian, after watching what Washington-organized protests have done to Honduras, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria, have attempted to do to Iran in 2009, and is attempting to do today to Venezuela, could possibly in good faith go out into the streets against their own government. Are these Iranian protesters utterly stupid or are they hired to commit treason against their country?

Why does Iran permit foreign-funded operatives to attempt to destabilize the government as Ukraine did and as Venezuela does today? Are these governments so brainwashed by the West that they think that democracy means permitting foreign agents to attempt to overthrow the government?

Are governments so intimidated by the Western presstitutes that they find it challenging to defend themselves against foreign-paid provocateurs?

Having succeeded in causing violent protests in Iran, Washington now intends to use an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Iran in order to set the stage for more intervention against Iran. The Washington-incited violence has been turned into a “human rights issue” against Iran. Will Washington get away with it?

Iran’s fate is up to Russia and China. If Washington succeeds in destabilizing Iran, Russia and China are next. Russia seems to understand this. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday: “We warn the US against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Just as the Russian government comprehended that Russia could not permit Washington’s destabilization of Syria, Russia understands she cannot permit the destabilization of Iran.

The leader of Turkey has aligned with Russia, declaring “obviously some people from abroad are provoking the situation.”

That is obvious to everyone but Americans, who are constantly lied to by “their” government and by the presstitute lie factories such as CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC.

Trump and Haley are the type of loudmouths who are likely to break Washington’s power and influence over the world. They “take names,” admit that they bribe foreign leaders, and issue insane threats. If this doesn’t wake up the rest of the world, nothing will.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/01/05/iran-2018-paul-craig-roberts/