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Commentary

Commentary
The Zionist Colonization of Palestine
Chris Hedges: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the product of ancient ethnic hatreds. It is the tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same land. It is a manufactured conflict, the outcome of a 100-year-old colonial occupation by Zionists and later Israel, backed by the British, the United States and other major imperial powers. ... This project is about the ongoing seizure of Palestinian land by the colonizers. It is about the rendering of the Palestinians as non-people, writing them out of the historical narrative as if they never existed and denying them basic human rights. ... It became the tragic fate of the Palestinians, who had no role in the European pogroms or the Holocaust, to be sacrificed on the altar of hate... Visit Website ]
Feb 24, 2020, 4:15pm

Commentary
Why Do People Believe Con Artists?
Barry M. Mitnick: ... con artists are especially skillful at what social scientists call framing, telling stories in ways that appeal to the biases, beliefs and prominent desires of their targets. They use strategies that take advantage of human weaknesses. ... Desperate people can suspend disbelief --- John D. Rockefeller’s father, William, was a bigamist and seller of alleged cures and ineffective patent medicines to ailing people, riding the circuit through rural towns. ... Hearing a false claim over and over can be enough to generate belief in it. A common advertising and public relations strategy is to be extremely visible by multiplying “impressions,” so people see the message everywhere. ... People have a built-in willingness to defer to confident assertions made by an apparently expert or legitimate authority... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2020, 11:57am

Commentary
Assange defence team: “The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism”
Thomas Scripps: More than 100 journalists from 23 countries attended a press conference in London yesterday to discuss the US extradition hearing for Julian Assange that opens Monday ... Ten years ago, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson recalled, Assange was an internationally celebrated journalist. WikiLeaks had worked with a core group of journalists from all over the world to release the documents known as Cablegate. “Those core values are being challenged in a court next week in the Julian Assange case.” ... Describing as “absurd” the US State Department’s claims that Assange is not a journalist, and WikiLeaks not a media organisation ... Rejecting the baseless allegations of “heartbroken generals from the Pentagon” that WikiLeaks’ exposures had “endangered lives,” Hrafnsson replied, “I thought that was ironic from the person who we [had] just exposed as having run death squads in Afghanistan.”... Visit Website ]
Feb 19, 2020, 3:38pm

Commentary
Who Will Compensate for Stolen Secrets and How?
Vladimir Platov: According to a journalistic investigation conducted by the Swiss TV program Rundschau, the German TV channel ZDF and the The Washington Post, American and German intelligence services gained access to secret correspondence from more than a hundred countries up until 2018 (at least!), through the Swiss company Crypto AG from the canton of Zug. ... With the help of specially modified encryption devices produced by Crypto AG, they’ve been quietly listening to and monitoring global information channels for decades, accessing the secret correspondence of dozens of governments which utilized Crypto AG’s encryption equipment. ... US intelligence services didn’t limit themselves to just using Crypto AG, but have expanded their secret arsenal of encryption companies, turning to Google, Microsoft, Verizon and other American tech giants in order to take advantage of the global scale of their activities, according to former Western spies... Visit Website ]
Feb 18, 2020, 2:59pm

Commentary
The New Rules of the Game
Chris Hedges: The quadrennial political game of least worst, or how to scare the public to vote for presidential candidates who serve corporate power, comes this season with a new twist. ... should Bernie Sanders manage to evade the snares, traps and minefields laid for him by the Democratic Party elites, should he miraculously become the party’s nominee, the game of least worst will radically change ... Trump will become the establishment’s reluctant least worse option. Sanders will become a leper. ... The ruling elites, once divided between Trump and Hillary Clinton, with most of the elites preferring Clinton, will be united against Sanders. They will back Trump as the least worst... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2020, 2:43pm

Commentary
Why This Election Is Different
David Swanson: U.S. presidents 43, 44, and 45 have been, respectively, a nitwit, a smart guy, and a dumbfuck. ... The policies have been variations on the theme of rolling catastrophe regardless. Climate collapse is ever nearer, and nuclear apocalypse is more likely than ever before (according to the Doomsday Clock). ... We can elect the very best prom king or queen, the person we’d like to have a beer with, the “outsider,” the “change candidate,” or some other vacuous label, but none of that will steer the world away from the cliff it’s rushing toward. ... If representative government is supposed to approximate democracy, then we have to figure out what we want and who will come closest to representing it. ... Do we want a civilized healthcare system like the rest of the wealthy nations of the world have long had? Or do we want to spend more money for less health... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2020, 11:48am

Commentary
The Beasts and the Bombings: Reflecting on Dresden, February 1945
Brett Wilkins: The Allied destruction of Dresden wasn’t the biggest or deadliest aerial bombardment of a German city during World War II ... But it is by far the most infamous ... the British had implemented a policy of what they called “terror bombing,” or the total deliberate destruction of German cities, as a method of breaking the will of the German people ... The first RAF warplanes approached the city after 9:30 p.m. on February 13. Some 200,000 incendiary bombs along with 500 tons of high-explosive munitions including two-ton “blockbuster” bombs were dropped during the initial raids, sparking thousands of fires that could be seen from 500 miles (800 km) away in the air ... The heat generated by the inferno melted human flesh, turning many victims into piles of goop. Men, women, children, the sick, the elderly, refugees and Allied POWs and even the animals in the city zoo — all were incinerated together... Visit Website ]
Feb 11, 2020, 4:45pm

Commentary
What Is Happening to Assange Will Happen to the Rest of Us
Chris Hedges: David Morales, the indicted owner of the Spanish private security firm Undercover Global, is being investigated by Spain’s high court for allegedly providing the CIA with audio and video recordings of the meetings WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had with his attorneys and other visitors when the publisher was in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. ... The publication of classified documents is not yet a crime in the United States. If Assange is extradited and convicted, it will become one. ... The extradition of Assange would mean the end of journalistic investigations into the inner workings of power. It would cement into place a terrifying global, corporate tyranny under which borders, nationality and law mean nothing. ... Assange earned the enmity of the Democratic Party establishment by publishing 70,000 hacked emails ... exposed the donation of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the major funders of Islamic State. ... It exposed Clinton’s advance knowledge of questions in a primary debate... Visit Website ]
Feb 10, 2020, 4:47pm

Commentary
Shadow Coding: the Iowa Caucus and Carl Jung
Ipek S. Burnett: The Iowa Democratic Party had commissioned a new mobile app, a data synchronization platform, which was supposed to report the voting counts. As we know, what ensued were delays, inconsistencies, chaos, and confusion. ... the company behind the app, Shadow, Inc ... Remember Shakespeare: “What’s in a name?” ... Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, wrote extensively on the shadow—which he defined as the unrecognized and incompatible, and thus unconscious, part of one’s personality. ... According to Jung, the shadow was composed of repressed desires, uncivilized impulses, morally inferior motives, resentments. ... “It is a therapeutic necessity, indeed, the first requisite of any thorough psychological method, for consciousness to confront its shadow,” ... Visit Website ]
Feb 7, 2020, 2:26pm

Commentary
The United States of America’s Doll House: A Vast Tapestry of Lies and Illusions
Edward Curtin : While truth-tellers Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning sit inside jail cells and Edward Snowden lives in exile in Russia, the American people hole up in an illusionary dwelling constructed to reduce them to children afraid of the truth. Or is it the dark? ... But even though a majority of Americans have never believed the government’s explanation for JFK’s murder, they nevertheless have insouciantly gone to sleep for half a century in the doll’s house of illusions as the killing and the lies of their own government have increased over the years and any semblance of a democratic and peaceful America has gone extinct. ... Being deceived by the media liars is mirrored in people’s personal lives. People lie and want to be deceived. They choose to play dumb, to avoid a confrontation with truth... Visit Website ]
Feb 4, 2020, 1:34pm

Commentary
Why Democrats share the blame for the rise of Donald Trump
Robert Reich: I was part of a Democratic administration that failed to fix a rigged system ... Democrats did nothing to change the vicious cycle of wealth and power that had rigged the economy for the benefit of those at the top and undermined the working class. ... Democrats cannot defeat authoritarian populism without an agenda of radical democratic reform, an anti-establishment movement. ... We must reform the system that got us here in the first place... Visit Website ]
Feb 3, 2020, 3:10pm

Commentary
Endless War is a Disastrous (But Profitable) Enterprise
Lawrence Wilkerson: “There’s a bias in this town [Washington, DC] toward war,” President Obama said ... Simply stated, today America is not composed of an alert and knowledgeable citizenry, and the Complex that Eisenhower so precisely described is in fact, and in ways not even Eisenhower could have imagined, endangering our liberties and democratic processes. ... the U.S. Congress fuels the Complex — $738 billion this year plus an unprecedented slush fund of almost $72 billion more ... The Complex for most of its nefarious purposes owns the media that matters ... what it learned from the almost half century of the cold war with the Soviet Union: nothing on earth pays out so handsomely and consistently than a prolonged struggle with a major power... Visit Website ]
Feb 1, 2020, 2:17pm

Commentary
Follow the Real Money Behind the New Green Agenda
F. William Engdahl: Within little more than a year everyone imaginable seems to have jumped on the bandwagon of the new green agenda of radical measures to “stop” climate change. Now the bastion of corporate economic globalization, the Swiss Davos World Economic Forum, has made its main theme this year, “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World,” with major focus on such notions as “How to Save the Planet.” Of course, featured speaker was the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. ... What few realize is how carefully all this is being orchestrated to prepare a massive shift in global capital flows where a handful of financial giants stand to gain... Visit Website ]
Jan 28, 2020, 4:02pm

Commentary
Impeachment as a Distraction
Robert Fantina: Well, the circus has arrived in the United States capital, and the media is all agog at the show! ... Of course, like wrestling and magic tricks, the conclusion is foregone, and it is all nothing but smoke and mirrors. ... If ever there was a parade meant to be rained on, this is it. ... Yes, the impeachment of a U.S. president is newsworthy; ... But is this all, or even the most important thing, that is happening in the world today? ... Children in the U.S. are still hungry and homeless, conditions made worse by the extreme cold of winter. Unarmed minority citizens continue to die at the hands of the police, and mass shootings have not stopped. ... This is the United States of America in all its glory. This is the vaunted ‘democracy’ that politicians proclaim is the envy of the world. Heaven help us all... Visit Website ]
Jan 25, 2020, 11:41am

Commentary
Violent Chaos Is Practically American Foreign Policy
Maj. Danny Sjursen: The current commander-in-chief could never have expanded America’s wars in the Greater Middle East (contra his campaign promises) or unilaterally drone-assassinated a foreign leader, without the militaristic foundations laid down for him by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ... Bush the Younger committed the nation to the “original sin” of expansive, largely unsanctioned wars as his chosen response to the 9/11 attacks. ... It was his team that would write the playbook on selling an ill-advised, illegal invasion of Iraq based on bad intelligence and false pretenses. ... Barack Obama ... despite slowly pulling troops out of Iraq, he only escalated the Afghan War ... put his stamp of approval on the drone campaigns across significant parts of the planet ... Encouraged by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he also launched a new regime-change war in Libya... Visit Website ]
Jan 24, 2020, 3:25pm


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1969-70 FOL
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