Category Archives: Uncategorized

too ridiculous

Facebook blocks sharing of WSWS anti-censorship video
Eric London, WSWS, Jan 15 2018

Facebook has blocked users from sharing a social media video promoting the Jan 16 online meeting “Organizing resistance to Internet censorship,” featuring David North and Chris Hedges. The initial post of the video, uploaded Friday, cannot be shared by any user. Those who attempt to do so receive an error message that seems to imply a technical failure.

Users reported, however, that upon clicking “If you think you’re seeing this message by mistake, please let us know,” they were presented with a notice that clearly indicates the content had been blocked in the name of keeping Facebook “safe.”

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A repost of the video, submitted on Sunday, is shareable, underscoring the arbitrariness of Facebook’s censorship measures. The blocking of the video took place one day after Facebook blocked another WSWS video from being shared, indicating what is likely an acceleration of its politically motivated censorship. In another incident on Saturday, Facebook blocked an attempt by the WSWS to purchase an advertisement to promote the Perspective column “Facebook announces major plan to censor news content.” This was their response to the attempt:

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These actions come just days after Facebook announced a new Newsfeed protocol that will deprioritize public posts and articles by organizations and promote “personal moments.” The purchase of advertisements will be the only way that news and political organizations can gain substantial exposure for their content. Any public content critical of the actions of Zuckerberg will be effectively banned from distribution on Facebook. It is clear that the Facebook censorship experienced by WSWS is part of the company’s accelerating moves to censor political speech on the Internet. Under these conditions, Tuesday’s online meeting “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship,” which will be held at 7 PM EST at endcensorship.org, is of critical importance.

UNRWA’s money

Pindostan ready to hold millions of dollars from UNRWA: report
Mallory Shelbourne, The Hill, Jan 14 2018

Pres Trump is reportedly ready to cut part of Pindostan’s aid package to UNRWA, the UN agency that oversees aid to Palestinian refugees, AP reported on Sunday. Anonymous officials said Trump is mulling cutting aid to UNRWA from $125m to $60m but has not yet made a decision. A decision may come as soon as Tuesday, according to AP. Mad Dog Mattis and Rex Tillerson reportedly support the decision to cut the first portion of the aid package. The State Dept on Sunday told AP:

The decision is under review. There are still deliberations taking place.

UNRWA was created after the 1948 War to help displaced Palestinian refugees and receives funding from member states of the UN. The State Dept earlier this month said the administration would also halt security assistance to Pakistan, citing the nation’s failure to fight terrorist groups operating within its borders.

this story is surrounded by warty leprous faces supposedly healed by laser surgery in my immediate geographical vicinity, courtesy of google adverts, yuk

British Parliament To Debate Ban Of Hezbollah As Terrorist Entity
Benjamin Weinthal, JPost, Jan 13 2018

BERLIN – The British House of Commons is slated to debate on Jan 25 a ban of the entirety of Hezbollah. Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) head MP Joan Ryan, worked to obtain the cross-party debate. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends.” LFI director Jennifer Gerber told the JPost on Friday:

LFI has long called for the complete proscription of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, driven by an anti-Semitic ideology, which seeks the destruction of Israel. The British government has repeatedly failed to take action to ban it in its entirety. This debate is intended to increase the pressure on them to do so without further delay or excuses. They ban the Izz’ed-Din el-Qassam Brigades, its military wing, but not its political wing. This distinction is not one that Hezbollah itself recognizes. Deputy Sec-Gen Naim Qassem stated in 2009: “The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads Jihad actions in the struggle against Israel.” This false distinction means that Hezbollah flags can be flown on the streets of Britain. This is most notably seen in London during the annual Quds Day parade. Last June, LFI vice-chair Louise Ellman wrote to the home secretary calling for Hezbollah’s proscription. She also asked the Mayor to review the policing of the Quds Day event. In November, she met with the Metropolitan Police to discuss our concerns.

Pindostan, the Arab League, the Netherlands, Israel and Canada have designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The White House on Friday urged all countries to outlaw all of Hezbollah. Pres Trump said:

I also call on all our allies to take stronger steps with us to confront Iran’s other malign activities. Among other actions, our allies should cut off funding to the IRGC, its militant proxies and anyone else who contributes to Iran’s support for terrorism. They should designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

Britain designated Qassam as a terrorist entity in 2008, the EU in 2013. The EU’s terrorist classification followed Hezbollah’s 2012 attack on an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, resulting in the deaths of five Israeli Jews and their Bulgarian Muslim driver. The trial of the two Hezbollah suspects is slated to proceed in February, in absentia, since the two suspects in the bombing fled to Lebanon. They are Lebanese-Australian Meliad Farah and Lebanese-Canadian Hassan el-Hajj Hassan. Lebanon has refused to extradite them. Lebanese-French national Mohamad Hassan el-Husseini is believed to have carried the bomb onto the bus. He died during the blast. Israeli and German MPs appealed to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to ban Hezbollah and the PFLP from Germany. De Maizière rejected the request. In 2013, Taleb Yaacoub, a Hezbollah member carrying both Lebanese and Swedish passports, was convicted in Cyprus for plotting to murder Israelis. The Cypriot court sentenced him to four years in prison. In 2015, a Cypriot court sentenced Hezbollah operative Hussein Bassam Abdallah to six years in prison for collecting explosives for use against Israelis.

this is petty, but we have to accuse them cos they accuse us

New Pindo sanctions attempt to influence Russia before election
Reuters, Jan 13 2018

MOSCOW – A new round of Pindo sanctions expected against Moscow is an attempt to influence Russia’s domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election, Deputy FM Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Saturday. Russia will hold its next presidential vote on Mar 18. Pres Putin is widely expected to win another six-year stint. Ryabkov told Tass:

Faschingstein is expected to impose fresh penalties against Russia as soon as early February for our alleged meddling in their elections. We expect Pindostan to present two anti-Russian reports with the sanctions. One of the reports will likely extend the number of Russian officials and companies on the sanctions list, while the other will analyse whether sanctions so far have proved to be effective. We see this as yet another attempt to influence our internal situation, especially ahead of our own presidential election.

The first sanctions against Russia were imposed in 2014 for its role in the Ukraine and Crimea. The EU also imposed penalties, prompting Russia to retaliate by banning food imports from countries that sanctioned it. In August, Pres Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions drafted by Congress critturs which limits his own ability to lift any sanctions against Russia. The new round of Pindo sanctions could possibly include a ban on the purchase of Russian treasury bonds.

glenn simpson is heading for contempt charges

Glenn Simson retracts his claim of FBI mole in Trump camp
Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times, Jan 13 2018

Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who sponsored the unverified anti-Trump dossier, claimed in August and again on Jan 2 that the FBI has a source inside the Trump camp who lent credence to the document. When a transcript of his secret August testimony was released on Tuesday, news headlines immediately latched onto the disclosure. Then suddenly, as quick as the headlines went up, someone close to Fusion was waving off reporters. Simpson had “mischaracterized” the source. It was not someone on the Trump inside, but apparently an Australian diplomat. He was featured in a Dec 30 NYT story as the source who tipped off the FBI. Campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos told him over drinks that a Russian-linked professor knew of “thousands” of Hillary Clinton emails in the hands of Moscow. How Simpson knew of the diplomat last August was unclear. He would have known of him in January when he wrote an op-ed in the NYT in which he again told of an insider source. He wrote:

As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.

Moments after Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the transcript, the inside-source story spread, especially in London, home base of Christopher Steele. In his testimony, Simpson told of Steele’s meeting with FBI agents in Rome in Sep 2016. Steele told MoJo he was trying to jump-start an investigation into Pres Trump. Simpson testified:

Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that that they my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point, that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization. It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something, and this person was not a Steele source, but an FBI one.

Hours after the transcript’s release, the corrections started. NBC reporter Ken Dilanian tweeted:

A source close to Fusion GPS tells me there was no walk-in source. That was a mischaracterization by Simpson of the Australian diplomat tip about Papadopoulis.

Whether the source the FBI supposedly told Steele about could be Papadopoulos is doubtful. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about issues surrounding his contacts with the professor. The criminal complaint says the FBI did not interview him until Jan 2017, three months after Steele met with the agents in Rome. The story correction caught the eye of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, who on Thursday sent off a letter to Fusion attorney Joshua Levy, demanding to know why he did not correct the record after spending hours reviewing the transcript in October and November or contact the committee last Tuesday. The senator wrote:

If it is true that your client’s statement to the Committee was a mischaracterization, why did you not attempt to correct your client’s statement as soon as you and/or he realized it was not accurate?

Simpson at first requested a private interview with committee staff instead of an open hearing. Later he demanded the panel release the transcript, which Feinstein did. The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. The money went from them to a DC law firm to Fusion to Steele.

snafu on the turkish-syrian border

Pindo-led coalition to build 30,000-strong border force in Syria
AFP, Jan 15 2018

BEIRUT – The Pindo-led coalition fighting Daesh said on Sunday (Jan 14) it was working to create a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria, drawing sharp condemnation from Turkey. With the offensive winding down, the coalition and its allies in the SDF were beginning to shift their focus to border security, coalition spox Col R Dillon told AFP. He said:

There is a goal of a final force of approximately 30,000, about half of whom would be retrained SDF fighters. There are approximately 230 individuals that are training right now in the border security force. That’s an inaugural class.

Backed by the Pindo-led coalition’s air strikes, SOF advisers and weapons, the SDF has ousted Daesh from swathes of northeastern Syria. Its Kurdish and Arab members now control territory bordering Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east and Syrian government forces to the west. Turkey reacted sharply to news of the border force on Sunday, saying it would “legitimise a terror organisation.” Ankara is fiercely opposed to the SDF, which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG, considered by the Turkish government to be a terrorist group. Ibrahim Kalin, spox for Turkish Pres Erdogan, said:

Rather than end its support to the SDF-YPG, these steps taken to legitimise a terror organisation and to make it permanent in the region are worrying. Accepting this state of affairs is absolutely not possible.

Top SDF media official Mustefa Bali confirmed the creation of the border force, and said training had already begun. He told AFP:

We are transitioning to a new phase of coordination between us and the international coalition. The wide areas and cities that were liberated need someone to protect them. The new units will be deployed along the Turkish border and adjacent to territory held by Syrian troops.

Bali did not immediately respond to a question on rules of engagement in those areas. Turkey has often targeted YPG positions in northern Syria, and on Sunday, Erdogan threatened to attack the Kurdish-held area of Afrin in northern Syria “in the days ahead.” The SDF’s relationship with regime forces is less tense. Since last year, a deconfliction line cutting diagonally across eastern Syria has largely kept the two forces from clashing. Dillon said:

The force is primarily part of a broader strategy to “prevent the resurgence of Daesh. With the fight against Daesh, as the remaining pocket continues to go away, we know that doesn’t mean the end of Daesh. We’ll have to make sure that there is security that can be maintained. SDF troops in Syria’s east are already coordinating with Iraqi forces across the border to target any transient movement by Daesh between the two countries.

Turkey says Pindo training of YPG/SDF border force is unacceptable
Reuters, Jan 14 2018

ANKARA – Pres Erdogan’s spox on Sunday denounced efforts by the U.S.-led coalition to train a border security force in northern Syria including Kurdish YPG fighters as worrying and unacceptable. Ibrahim Kalin said:

Instead of ending support for the YPG, as we have requested, Pindostan is taking worrying steps to legitimise this organisation and make it lasting in the region. It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted.
Turkey will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders.

Turkey plans assault on Kurdish enclave in Syria
AP, Jan 14 2018

ISTANBUL – A YPG spokesman in Afrin, in Aleppo province, said there had been clashes on Sunday between his unit and Turkish troops near the border. Turkish troops are stationed in rebel-held territory on both sides of Afrin. Rojhat Roj said:

Shelling of areas in Afrin district killed one YPG fighter and injured two civilians. The YPG will fight to defend our gains, our territories.

In December, AP reported that Pindostan was developing an expanded training programme for YPG border guards in Syria to prevent the resurgence of Daesh. Turkish Pres Erdoğan announced earlier:

Turkey will launch a military assault on the Kurdish enclave in Afrin in northern Syria in the coming days. I urge Pindostan to support our efforts. We aim to purge terror from our southern border. I hope that Pindostan will not side with the YPG during the Afrin operation. I want to work with Pindostan in the region. We expect Pindostan to support Turkey in its legitimate efforts. The Afrin operation will be an extension of our 2016 operation, which aimed to combat Daesh and stem the advance of the YPG.

Erdoğan spox Kalin said:

Pindostan is taking steps to legitimise and solidify the YPG. There are worrying reports that Pindostan wants to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria involving the YPG. It’s absolutely not possible to accept this. Turkey will defend itself.

Hediye Yusuf, a senior Kurdish official, tweeted:

The Turkish operation against Afrin is a violation of the Syrian people and undermines international efforts to reach a political solution in Syria.

their only purpose is warmongering, so china & russia can’t be bothered to come

China absence looms over Canada meeting on how to pressure NK
David Ljunggren, Reuters, Jan 13 2018

VANCOUVER – Foreign ministers from around 20 nations gather on Tuesday to discuss how to curb NK’s nuclear ambitions through diplomatic and financial pressure, but China, seen as a key player in any long-term solution, will be absent. The Vancouver meeting, co-hosted by Canada and Pindostan, comes amid signs that tensions on the peninsula have eased, at least temporarily. North and SK held talks for the first time in two years last week and NK says it will send athletes across the border to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Pindostan says the international community must look at ways of expanding a broad range of sanctions aimed at North Korea’s nuclear program. Brian Hook, the State Dept’s director of policy planning, said:

There is growing evidence that our maximum pressure campaign is being felt in NK. They are feeling the strain.

Hook told a briefing in Washington that participants including Rex Tillerson would examine how to boost maritime security around NK to intercept ships trying to defy sanctions as well as “disrupting funding and disrupting resources.” The 17-nation Proliferation Security Initiative said on Friday:

It is imperative for us to redouble our efforts to put maximum pressure on NK.

Another challenge in Vancouver will be the absence of the PRC, which has significant influence in NK and is its chief trading partner. The meeting includes those nations that sent troops to the Korean war of 1950-53 to fight against the PRC, which condemned the gathering. Foreign ministry spox Lu Kang told a regular briefing:

Holding this kind of meeting that doesn’t include important parties to the Korean peninsula nuclear issue actually cannot help in advancing an appropriate resolution to the issue.

Hook said China and Russia would be fully briefed on the conclusions. That said, say diplomats:

Without China there is a real limit as to what can be achieved.

Zhao Tong of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing said Pindostan did not want Russia and China potentially distracting the discussion by reiterating their proposal to halt joint military drills. Fears of war have eased somewhat after the first round of SK-NK talks in more than two years, and Trump, in an interview with the WSJ on Thursday, appeared to signal more openness. Debate within the Pindo administration over whether to give more active consideration to military options such as a pre-emptive strike on a NK nuclear or missile site has lost momentum ahead of February’s Olympic games, the officials said. Trump has cast the PRC as critical to reining in NK. The White House on Friday welcomed news that China’s imports from NK plunged in December to their lowest in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014, curbed by UN sanctions. Last month Trump accused China of allowing oil into NK, which he said would prevent “a friendly solution” to the nuclear crisis. Beijing denied the charge.

i won’t hold my breath

Gates Foundation &c Should Worry About Donations to Clinton ‘Charities’
Charles Ortel, Lifezette (Blog), Jan 12 2018

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So the FBI is again investigating the “Bill, Hillary & Clinton Foundation.” That should make Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett and other affluent Pindos who have given to the Clinton Foundation wish they had asked more questions before writing those checks. Here’s why: “Due diligence” doesn’t end when the Clinton “charities” cash your check. The FBI agents and forensic accountants probing the Clinton Foundation must go all the way back to Oct 23 1997 and examine precisely how a public charity organized to hold federal records of the Clinton presidency somehow evolved by 2002 to “fight HIV/AIDS internationally,” plus a raft of additional tax-exempt purposes that were never properly authorized in the foundation’s Articles of Incorporation.

The FBI should train its sights on the Dallas office of the IRS
On May 19 2015, Rep Marsha Blackburn and colleagues called on the federal tax agency to investigate the Clinton Foundation. The IRS treated this solidly grounded request dismissively. It was not until Jul 22 2016, following a second congressional request led by Blackburn, that then-IRS chief John Koskinen said agency officials in Dallas would open a review of the multiple issues flagged by the Thug Congresscritturs. Records already held by the IRS concerning the main Clinton Foundation and its affiliates are voluminous and include key information the public does not have, such as the names and precise amounts donated by major contributors each year from 1998 through 2016. The IRS also has the ability to cross-check declarations made by the Clinton Foundation with declarations made by donors such as the Gates Foundation that are private foundations. The Clinton charity is a public foundation, and there are significant differences involved. The FBI should review the IRS’s work from Jul 22 2016 forward to determine how comprehensively the tax agency examined Clinton Foundation filings and to spot the multiple massive defects in the charity’s official reports, including false statements and noncompliant financial audits.

Big trouble for big donors to the Clintons
Without access to a Nov 18, 2004 agreement signed by the Clinton Foundation, investigators will not know the foundation is required to remain a “public charity” as long as federal records of the Clinton presidency are kept in its presidential library at Little Rock, Arkansas. Note here that a “public charity” must be supported broadly by members of the public and cannot be controlled by a single family. Then further note that as of Nov 2 2013 the Clinton Foundation violated its presidential library agreement with the National Archives by amending its bylaws to create Class A and Class B directors. This fact has yet to be shared as required with all of the regulators in all of the states where the Clintons solicit charitable contributions, perhaps because the amendments gave Class A directors unchallenged authority to dominate the Clinton Foundation. The amendments specifically named as Class A directors Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. That created major league tax problems for the Clinton Foundation and its private foundation donors such as the Gates, beginning in 2013 when the charity switched auditors from BKD LLP to Price Waterhouse Coopers. Why? Because both the Clinton Foundation and its multiple affiliates ceased being validly organized and operated public charities as a result of the Class A/Class B amendment. This is key for both the IRS and FBI investigators, and such donors as the Gates and Buffett.

Clock ticks for Clintons’ private foundation donors
A private foundation may not contribute money to an entity claiming to be a public charity when the recipient is not in fact a validly organized and operated public charity. Such grants are treated by the IRS as “taxable expenditures.” A long-standing pattern and practice of making taxable expenditures can provoke stiff penalties and even lead to winding up of a private foundation donor. The Clinton Foundation and many large private foundations operate in New York State where charities must register and where they are required to report “material changes” in their legal status and operating structures within 30 days. Starting in 2001, the Gates Foundation made numerous donations to the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates as can be seen through careful review of Gates Foundation public filings. The Gates and Buffett foundations have experienced and highly intelligent persons who should have spotted the raft of defects evident in filings of the Clinton Foundation charity network. Why have the Gates and Buffett worked so closely with a set of charities whose public record is so deeply flawed and that now is under investigation by the FBI and IRS?

Problems for foreign governments, too
Why have so many foreign governments contributed large sums to the Clinton Foundation, while not seeming to care about obvious defects in the public record? And why did it take so long for the IRS to spot many obvious red flags in Clinton Foundation filings? Pres Trump will soon attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, along with representatives of advocates for unregulated “globalism,” many of whom benefit from loosely-controlled charities that are in fact slush funds for the rich and powerful. Meanwhile, former Rep Corrine Brown, a Black Democrat from Florida, will shortly report to federal prison for her part in running an $800k charity as a personal piggy bank. How long till accounting firms realize clients who donated to the Clinton Foundation have huge potential tax problems constituting “material changes” reportable in New York, California, and other states? And how much longer will the Clinton Foundation charity network be allowed to solicit funds? The issue of effectively regulating and disciplining illegally organized and operated charities is about to become front of mind worldwide.

trump is on board with war against russia, i suppose :-(

British reporters asked to present negative stories ahead of FIFA World Cup in Russia
RT.com, Jan 12 2018

See this cached copy of David Huckabee’s Wikipedia page  – RB

British reporters have been instructed to churn out negative stories ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Foreign Ministry spox Maria Zakharova said on Friday. TASS quoted her as saying:

We learned that reporters from the UK, not just one media outlet but a number of them, received in the truest sense of the word a state order to launch a smear campaign against holding the World Cup in Russia. Stories, topics and approaches had been already conjured up. Among the stories that could emerge were Russia’s alleged lack of the necessary infrastructure and conditions to hold the championship, the aggressive behavior of Russian fans, a lack of professionalism among local law enforcement officials and the inability to guarantee foreign tourists’ safety.

7 times Trump critics called Russia a ‘shithole’ & worse and no-one cared
RT.com, Jan 13 2018

Donald Trump’s remarks on “shithole countries” roused a righteous high-mindedness in his detractors. But a perusal of their own past quotes suggest they are quite capable of similar words, when one particular state is involved.

Lindsey Graham on Trump:

Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.

On Russia:

A “one-man dictatorship” (2009) with “an economy the size of Italy” that is “playing a poker game with a pair of 2s” (2014).

Obama told the Economist in 2014:

Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.

Josh Marshall wrote on Trump:

It’s not just exclusion but a palpable dehumanizing contempt. The words only matter in as much as they illustrate the ugliness of what is currently happening and that is real and much more important than mere words.

Josh Barro, Business Insider Senior Editor, MSNBC contributor, wrote on Trump:

Our president is an extremely prejudiced man and also an extremely superficial one. The president’s prejudice causes him to make snap judgments about people, and his superficiality makes him incapable of processing information that might countermand his prejudices.

Trump’s comment encapsulates Pindostan’s perpetually racist foreign policy
Danielle Ryan, RT.com, Jan 12 2018

Critics of Pres Trump were quick to point out that his alleged use of the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and some African nations does not reflect what all Pindos think of the rest of the world. And they are correct. There are indeed millions of Pindos who feel genuinely disgusted that their president has characterized less fortunate nations in such a way. But Trump’s comment forces those Pindos to reckon with an uncomfortable reality: There are also millions of Pindos who do share the president’s sentiments. Fox News confirmed as much when, defending Trump, a host on the channel commented that this is just how Pindos “talk at the bar.” But let’s be honest. The “shithole” comment is actually the least offensive expression of this reality because in fact, Pindo foreign policy is built on what we might as well call the “shithole principle.” The idea that it’s perfectly reasonable to bomb, loot, destabilize and otherwise destroy any shithole country that’s inconveniently refusing to bow to Pindo demands, and that Pindostan has the singular right to act in such a manner. In polite company, this is known as Pindo exceptionalism, and Pindostan is referred to as “the indispensable nation.” This ideology, which by definition characterizes other countries as “dispensable” is supported by Pindos of all political stripes. Trump just doesn’t bother with the niceties or the facade, and the facade is a crucial part of maintaining the widespread acceptability of such an imperialist ideology. It’s a source of endless fascination and bafflement to many non-Pindos that interventionist foreign policy, which reduces other nations to rubble, is repeatedly one of the few sources of bipartisan agreement, while making a racist comment is considered a step too far.

If Trump’s critics in the Demagog Party and their supporters across the United States want to get angry about their government’s treatment of less fortunate nations, there’s no shortage of former presidents at which they could direct some of their ire. But that’s been rather difficult lately, because since Trump’s election, the media has been more than happy to wipe the Pindo foreign policy record clean in favor of a narrative that paints the current White House inhabitant as uniquely evil or abhorrent. This kind of Trumpwashing allows Trump’s opponents to live in a fantasy land where until Jan 2017, Pindostan’s leaders were benign peace-loving individuals who worked only for the good of humankind. Speaking of the media, it should be noted that while many high-profile figures in its ranks were quick to castigate Trump for his crude comment, their industry has been only too happy to promote the stereotype of African and Middle Eastern countries as wasteland shitholes for decades. As writer Karen Attiah put it in the WaPo, Western media has long used column inches to treat black and brown nations like nothing but backward shitholes. In the midst of the outrage over Trump’s comment, one Pindo journalist piped up to remind everyone that the “true shithole country” we should all be talking about is actually Russia.

Then there’s Josh Barro, the Business Insider editor who once opined on Russia as a “dystopic shithole since the dawn of history.”

Yet Barro has emerged as an oh-so-sincere critic of Trump’s for using the same word to describe other countries. These examples are further clarification, if any was needed, that racism and xenophobia are absolutely fine as long as Russians are the target. Recall also, former DNI Clapper commenting without any backlash that Russians are “genetically driven” to be dishonest. There is simply no way Clapper would have gotten away with such a comment had it been about any other nationality. If Pindos want to use the “shithole” scandal to have a conversation about how their government really treats other nations, they need to move beyond this kind of faux outrage and actually acknowledge a few home truths. Since Haiti is a hot topic right now, they might start with reading up on how Bill and Hillary Clinton, beloved of the liberal media, played a key role in keeping that country on its knees in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010. Pro-intervention conservatives who find the idea of hosting even small numbers of MENA refugees unacceptable could perhaps do some light reading into their government’s role in invading or otherwise destabilizing a long list of countries in that region too. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen: there’s plenty of recent history to choose from. In response to Trump’s comment, El Salvador’s government sent Pindostan a formal letter of protest. The country’s foreign ministry wrote that the comments were “detrimental to the dignity of El Salvador and other countries.” Meanwhile, Jeremy Scahill tweeted a reminder of Pindostan’s arming, training and financing of murderous paramilitaries in El Salvador in the 1980s. That line cuts to the heart of this issue. Too many of Trump’s critics are wearing rose-tinted glasses about the good old days before big bad Trump came along and ruined everything. That’s why they so easily erupt into outrage over the word “shithole,” but fail to see decades of imperialist and racist foreign policy as problematic. Yes, Trump made a vulgar comment, but the real difference between him and the presidents who have come before him is that he is willing to rip off the mask of decency and reveal the truly ugly face of Pindo leadership that lies beneath it. If nothing else, the world should thank him for that.

let’s do trump’s “racism,” full-tilt

Trump’s racist comments trigger international condemnation
James Cogan, WSWS, Jan 13 2018

DHg--X0WAAAxWBFAug 2017. How much has changed?

The already battered international standing of the Pindo government has been dealt a further blow by the revelation that Pres Trump labeled some of the most oppressed and impoverished nations as “shithole countries.” Disgust and anger over the openly racist comments that Trump made at a meeting on Thursday have only been intensified by his belated and obviously dishonest attempts to deny that he said what has been reported by multiple sources, including some who were at the meeting. The remarks were made at a White House conference with congress critturs of both parties on immigration policy. In response to a discussion on “temporary protected status,” which allows people from countries ravaged by natural disasters or war such as Haiti and El Salvador to live and work in Pindostan, Trump said:

What do we want Haitians here for? Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries? We should have more people from places like Norway!

Trump’s rant was leaked to the WaPo and made public. International denunciations soon followed. The UNHRC’s Rupert Colville told a press conference:

There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’ whose entire populations are not white and therefore not welcome.

The government of Haiti, from which hundreds of thousands of people have migrated to Pindostan to escape intractable poverty and political repression, issued a statement declaring:

The Government of Haiti condemns these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks in the strongest terms.

The country’s ambassador to Pindostan has demanded a public apology. Other political leaders also felt obliged to issue statements. The president of El Salvador tweeted:

Last Monday, the Trump administration stripped over 250,000 people from El Salvador of their protected status, people who have been living for decades in Pindostan, giving them 18 months to pack up and leave or be deported. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, tweeted to Trump:

During the 2016 election, Trump slandered millions of Mexican immigrants to Pindostan, asserting:

They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

The ANC government in South Africa labeled the remark as “extremely offensive.” The country’s media was full of denunciations and ridicule of Trump. One news outlet, the Daily Maverick, wrote:

At this rate, events at the White House will soon feature tiki torches and KKK hoods.

The government of Botswana called the remarks “reprehensible and racist” and reportedly summoned the Pindo ambassador to ascertain if the country was considered a “shithole” by Faschingstein. Across Africa, Trump was condemned and the imperialist powers including Pindostan were declared to be responsible for the continent’s legacy of poverty and backwardness. Not surprisingly, there have been no strong statements of condemnation by European governments or by Japan or Australia. The policies of all the imperialist powers are discriminatory against people from the poorest regions of the world. The EU is seeking to seal its borders to block refugees from Africa and the mid-east, leading to thousands of people losing their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Immigration to Japan is effectively impossible from most countries. Australia maintains a blacklist of dozens of states whose citizens are routinely denied even tourist visas. While they may not be officially labeled as “shithole countries,” that is how their populations are treated. In much of the world, officials of the Trump administration have been left to desperately try and contain the diplomatic fallout. The State Dept and the embassies have issued reassurances that Pindostan values its relations with African and Central and South American countries. The damage nevertheless extends internationally, as indicated by the announcement by the White House yesterday that Trump is canceling a February visit to Britain. There is no doubt he would have been met by even larger demonstrations than were expected due to the popular revulsion in Britain over his comments. In fact, wherever in the world Trump travels, the Pindo ruling class faces the prospect of its head of state being greeted by mass opposition to his presence.

After less than one year in office, Trump 45 is arguably more reviled than WMD fabricator and war criminal Bush 43. He is viewed by billions of people as an unstable warmonger, racist and liar. The Pindo working class, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse on the planet, expresses mounting opposition to Trump’s racist immigration policies and fascist outlook alongside mounting anger over falling living standards, failing infrastructure and police-state repression. The reaction of the political and media establishment to Trump’s remarks has had an air of despair. There is a degree of recognition in the capitalist class and its representatives that with the Trump administration, the protracted loss of Pindfosi authority and credibility on both the world arena and at home has reached a breaking point. Summing up the sentiment in the corridors of power, Idaho Thug Rep Mike Simpson told AP:

This a big deal. Pindostan’s influence and power in the world has really been about our ability to persuade because of our leadership, and he’s just destroying that.

At the same time, the condemnations of Trump are laced with hypocrisy, especially on the part of the Demagog Party and its supporters. In the final analysis, Trump simply gave crude expression to how the Obama administration viewed and treated migrants from the nations that have been labeled as “shithole countries.” Under Obama, at least 2.5 million people were deported, at least 1,000 per day, particularly people from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. If Hillary Clinton had been elected in 2016, the brutal persecution of so-called “illegal” immigrants would have continued unabated. The aim of the recriminations against Trump in the Pindo establishment is to try and present the current president as a mere aberration, a blemish on an otherwise healthy and democratic body politic. Every effort is being made to promote the conception that if a new figure was installed in the White House, things would return to “normal.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Trump is the product of a decades-long process, characterised by a steep decline in the global economic position of Pindo capitalism and the immense growth of class antagonisms and social inequality within Pindostan. The Cold War lies and propaganda that Pindo imperialism stood for liberty, democracy and human rights have been thoroughly exposed over the past 25 years. Faschingstein engages in intrigues or outright invasions of countries and inflicts death and destruction so Pindo banks and corporations can plunder resources and dominate markets. Within Pindostan, the living standards of the working class have been devastated to protect and increase the wealth of a tiny proportion of the population, the capitalist class and its upper-middle class periphery. It is within the degenerated political environment produced by these processes that Trump was able to win the presidency, through demagogic appeals to the immense alienation of sections of the population, and the political vacuum left by the right-wing, anti-working class policies of the Demagog Party. His administration has proceeded to pursue the interests of the capitalist oligarchy through massive corporate tax cuts at home and stepped-up militarist intrigues internationally. Trump is the noxious expression of the decline and decay of Pindo capitalism and its ruling class. The presence at the pinnacle of state power of an outright racist, who gives open and crude expression to the reactionary content of Pindo foreign and domestic policy, undermines the ability of Pindo imperialism to cloak its aggression and plunder around the world in the mantle of democracy and human rights. Anti-immigrant xenophobia, racism and nationalism are the inevitable corollary to militarism and deepening attacks on the working class. In every country, it is how the capitalist class is seeking to divide and disorientate the masses and defend its ownership and control over society’s wealth and productive capacity. The response of the working class to racism and chauvinism must therefore be developed in complete opposition to the capitalist system and all its political parties and defenders. In Pindostan and around the world, it must be answered with the fight for the international unity of the working class in the common struggle for world socialism.