The Coming War on China by John Pilger

…This is my 60th film, the majority for ITV and including those made for the cinema. Filmed on five potential frontlines across Asia and the Pacific during almost two years, the story is told in chapters that connect a secret and ‘forgotten’ past to the rapacious actions of great power today and to an inspiring popular resistance, of which little is known in the West.

Chapter one, ‘The secret of the Marshall Islands’, describes a secret programme – Project 4.1 – that turned these Pacific islanders into guinea pigs for the development of nuclear weapons. Once known as the Last Paradise, the Marshalls and their indigenous people were subjected to the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb exploded every day for twelve years.

Of all the places of upheaval I have reported from, I have not experienced anything quite like Bikini atoll. In the emerald lagoon where the US exploded a hydrogen bomb called Bravo in 1954, there is a vast black hole, a void in which an entire island was vaporised. Bikini’s people have never returned. The food is unsafe to eat and the water unsafe to drink. There are no birds and no natural sounds. Our shoes registered ‘leave now’ on a Geiger counter. The US Department of Energy comes regularly to measure its mutations; there is a radioactive market garden and palms planted in surreal grid formation. The experiment never ends…

John Pilger

http://thecomingwarmovie.com

 

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Tariq Ali talks to the award winning Journalist and Filmmaker John Pilger about the state of the world.

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Support Chelsea’s Petition to Obama

Sign the whitehouse.gov petition in
support of Chelsea’s request today!

Official clemency application from Chelsea Manning.

November 10, 2016
Also coverage by the Guardian and the New York Times. November 14, 2016

Chelsea has been informed that the Army will hold another disciplinary hearing on the second attempted suicide, which was prompted by the punishment given by the first disciplinary hearing following her initial suicide attempt.

New York Times
November 4, 2016

Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide last month as she was starting a week of solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., her punishment for a previous attempt to end her life in July.

Ms. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking archives of secret documents to WikiLeaks, disclosed the attempted suicide, which took place Oct. 4, in a statement she dictated over the phone to a member of her volunteer support network. She asked that it be sent this week to The New York Times, according to members of the network who want to keep their identities private.

Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Ms. Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, confirmed the attempt, which raised new questions about the military’s handling of the troubled soldier, dating to when she was permitted to deploy to Iraq and kept at her post in a secure facility despite signs of erratic behavior.
Read the full NYT article here

Sign the whitehouse.gov petition in
support of Chelsea’s request today!

 

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We Are All Deplorables

We Are All Deplorables
By Chris Hedges

Nov 20, 2016

My relatives in Maine are deplorables. I cannot write on their behalf. I can write in their defense. They live in towns and villages that have been ravaged by deindustrialization. The bank in Mechanic Falls, where my grandparents lived, is boarded up, along with nearly every downtown store. The paper mill closed decades ago. There is a strip club in the center of the town. The jobs, at least the good ones, are gone. Many of my relatives and their neighbors work up to 70 hours a week at three minimum-wage jobs, without benefits, to make perhaps $35,000 a year. Or they have no jobs. They cannot afford adequate health coverage under the scam of Obamacare. Alcoholism is rampant in the region. Heroin addiction is an epidemic. Labs producing the street drug methamphetamine make up a cottage industry. Suicide is common. Domestic abuse and sexual assault destroy families. Despair and rage among the population have fueled an inchoate racism, homophobia and Islamophobia and feed the latent and ever present poison of white supremacy. They also nourish the magical thinking peddled by the con artists in the Christian right, the state lotteries that fleece the poor, and an entertainment industry that night after night shows visions of an America and a lifestyle on television screens—“The Apprentice” typified this—that foster unattainable dreams of wealth and celebrity.

Those who are cast aside as human refuse often have a psychological need for illusions and scapegoats. They desperately seek the promise of divine intervention. They unplug from a reality that is too hard to bear. They see in others, especially those who are different, the obstacles to their advancement and success. We must recognize and understand the profound despair that leads to these reactions. To understand these reactions is not to condone them.

The suffering of the white underclass is real. Its members struggle with humiliation and a crippling loss of self-worth and dignity. The last thing they need, or deserve, is politically correct thought police telling them what to say and think and condemning them as mutations of human beings.

Those cast aside by the neoliberal order have an economic identity that both the liberal class and the right wing are unwilling to acknowledge. This economic identity is one the white underclass shares with other discarded people, including the undocumented workers and the people of color demonized by the carnival barkers on cable news shows. This is an economic reality the power elites invest great energy in masking.

The self-righteousness of the liberal class, which revels in imagined tolerance and enlightenment while condemning the white underclass as irredeemable, widens the divide between white low-wage workers and urban elites. Liberals have no right to pass judgment on these so-called deplorables without acknowledging their pain. They must listen to their stories, which the corporate media shut out. They must offer solutions that provide the possibility of economic stability and self-respect.

Martin Luther King Jr. understood the downward spiral of hating those who hate you. “In a real sense all life is inter-related,” he wrote in “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. …”

We cannot battle the racism, bigotry and hate crimes that will be stoked by the Donald Trump presidency without first battling for economic justice. This is not a gap between the tolerant and the intolerant. It is a gap between most of the American population and our oligarchic and corporate elites, which Trump epitomizes. It is a gap that is understood only in the light of the demand for economic justice. And when we start to speak in the language of justice first, and the language of inclusiveness second, we will begin to blunt the protofascism being embraced by many Trump supporters.

I spent two years writing a book on the Christian right called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I spent many months with dispossessed white workers in states such as Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California. I carried into the book project all the prejudices that come with being raised in the liberal church—a disdain for a magic Jesus who answers your prayers and makes you rich, a repugnance at the rejection of rationality and science and at the literal interpretation of the Bible, a horror of the sacralization of the American empire, and a revulsion against the racism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and blind intolerance that often afflict those who retreat into a binary world of good and evil.

Those enthralled by such thinking are Christian heretics—Jesus did not come to make us rich and powerful and bless America’s empire—and potential fascists. They have fused the iconography and symbols of the American state with the iconography and symbols of the Christian religion. They believe they can create a “Christian” America. The American flag is given the same sacred value as the Christian cross. The Pledge of Allegiance has the religious power of the Lord’s Prayer. That a sleazy developer and con artist was chosen as their vehicle—81 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump—for achieving this goal is startling, to say the least. But this is not a reality-based movement. Most of those who profit from this culture of despair, many wrapped in the halo of the ministry, are, like Trump, slick, amoral trolls.

My view of the tens of millions of Americans who have fallen into the embrace of the Christian right’s magical thinking underwent a profound change as I conducted interviews for the book. During that time I did what good reporters do: I listened. And the stories I heard were heartbreaking. I grew to like many of these people. The communities they lived in, many of which I visited, looked like the towns where my family lived in Maine. They were terrified of the future, especially for their children. They struggled with feelings of worthlessness and abandonment. I fear the Christianized fascism in which they enshroud themselves, but I also see them as its pawns.

They hate a secular world they see as destroying them. They long for the apocalyptic visions of Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series. They want the cruelty and rot of “secular humanism” to be obliterated before they and their families are lifted into heaven by the rapture (an event never mentioned in the Bible).

I finished my book with a deep dislike for megachurch pastors who, like Trump, manipulate despair to achieve power and wealth. I see the Christian right as a serious threat to an open society. But I do not hate those who desperately cling to this emotional life raft, even as they spew racist venom. Their conclusion that minorities, undocumented workers or Muslims are responsible for their impoverishment is part of the retreat into fantasy. The only way we will blunt this racism and hatred and allow them to free themselves from the grip of magical thinking is by providing jobs that offer adequate incomes and economic stability and by restoring their communities and the primacy of the common good. Any other approach will fail. We will not argue or scold them out of their beliefs. These people are emotionally incapable of coping with the world as it is. If we demonize them we demonize ourselves.

Arlie Russell Hochschild’s book “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right” in story after story makes clear that members of the white underclass are also victims and deserve our empathy.

The liberal class has no hope of defeating the rise of American fascism until it unites with the dispossessed white working class. It has no hope of being an effective force in politics until it articulates a viable socialism. Corporate capitalism cannot be regulated, reformed or corrected. A socialist movement dedicated to demolishing the cruelty of the corporate state will do more to curb the racism of the white underclass than lessons by liberals in moral purity. Preaching multiculturalism and gender and identity politics will not save us from the rising sadism in American society. It will only fuel the anti-politics that has replaced politics.

Liberals have sprinkled academic, corporate, media and political institutions with men and women of different races and religions. This has done nothing to protect the majority of marginalized people who live in conditions that are worse than those that existed when King marched on Selma. It is boutique activism. It is about branding, not justice.

Murray Bookchin excoriated the irrelevancy of a liberal class that busied itself with “the numbing quietude of the polling booth, the deadening platitudes of petition campaigns, car[-]bumper sloganeering, the contradictory rhetoric of manipulative politicians, the spectator sports of public rallies and finally, the knee-bent humble pleas for small reforms—in short the mere shadows of the direct action, embattled commitment, insurgent conflicts, and social idealism that marked every revolutionary project in history.”

Human history, as Bookchin and Karl Marx understood, is defined by class struggle. America’s corporate elites successfully fused the two major political parties into a single corporate party, one that seized control of electoral politics, internal security, the judiciary, universities, the arts, finance and nearly all forms of popular communication, including Hollywood, public relations and the press. There is no way within the system to defy the demands of Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry or war profiteers. And Trump is about to remove whatever tepid restraints are left.

Oswald Spengler in “The Decline of the West” predicted that, as Western democracies calcified and died, a class of “monied thugs,” people such as Trump, would replace the traditional political elites. Democracy would become a sham. Hatred would be fostered and fed to the masses to encourage them to tear themselves apart.

The only route left is revolt. If this revolt is to succeed it must be expressed in the language of economic justice. A continuation of the language of multiculturalism and identity politics as our primary means of communication is self-defeating. It stokes the culture wars. It feeds the anti-politics that define the corporate state.

“The heirs of the New Left of the Sixties have created, within the academy, a cultural Left,” Richard Rorty wrote. “Many members of this Left specialize in what they call the ‘politics of difference’ or ‘of identity’ or ‘of recognition.’ This cultural Left thinks more about stigma than about money, more about deep and hidden psychosexual motivations than about shallow and evident greed.”

Our enemy is not the white working poor any more than it is African-Americans, undocumented workers, Muslims, Latinos or members of the GBLT community. The oligarchs and corporations, many of them proponents of political correctness, are our enemy. If we shed our self-righteousness and hubris, if we speak to the pain and suffering of the working poor, we will unmask the toxins of bigotry and racism. We will turn the rage of an abandoned working class, no matter what its members’ color, race or religious creed, against those who deserve it.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_are_all_deplorables_20161120/

 

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HP Boycott Week of Action– Atlanta Event — This Tuesday NOV 29!!

Dear Friends and Allies,

On Tuesday November 29, 2016, which is the United Nation’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are staging an action for Palestinian rights at the Edgewood Retail District, 1250 Caroline street (off Moreland Ave), in Atlanta.

We will be acting in concert with more than 100 cities around the world in this Global Week of Action (Nov 25 to Dec 3) to bring international pressure on Hewlett-Packard (HP) companies to stop cooperating with Israel in their supression of the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories. We will be picketing, leafleting, gathering petition signatures, and asking customers to request that store managers de-shelve HP products from their stores.

When:  6pm to 8pm, Tuesday November 29, 2016

Where:  Edgewood Retail District, 1250 Caroline St, Atlanta, GA, in front of the Best Buy store and the Office Depot Store

What:  picketing, leafleting, petition signature gathering, customer education

Why:  to promote Palestinian human rights

What you can do:

1.  Share the Atlanta event on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ events/715092828653461/

2.  Join the International Thunderclap before Nov. 29:  https://www.thunderclap.it/ projects/49815-boycott- hewlett-packard?locale=en

3.  Share the petition:  tinyurl.com/stophp

4.  Share videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=qWbu4Dmvbxo

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=fkS8wDWAUoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=CwVHYw5MAOg

5.  Use these hashtags on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram: #BoycottHP or #StopHP.

6.  Important: on Dec 29-Dec 1 please tweet using this: #HPEDiscover to flood HP’s official convention hashtag with HP boycott tweets!

7.  Ask your church/synagogue/mosque/ temple/place of worship/place of work to divest from HP, stop buying HP computers and printers, and/or at least stop buying HP printer toner.

(The Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation, Mennonite Central Committee, and Unitarian Universalist Association have already divested from HP companies due to their involvement in the occupation.)

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/ events/112884545846474/

https://bdsmovement.net/ boycott-hp
http://www.hpboycott.org/ index.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=J_XPp-AHbNI&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=FA-Ot-OpQlM&feature=youtu.be

http://investigate.afsc.org/ company/hewlett-packard- company

Help us show HP companies that enabling Israeli apartheid is bad for business!

Please help get the word out by sending this email on to your organizations.

Thank you for your support,

Connie Sosnoff 

Jewish Voice for Peace, Atlanta

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NATO: Tool of US Imperialism

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SOLIDARITY WITH STANDING ROCK!

SOLIDARITY WITH STANDING ROCK!

SUNTRUST: DEFUND THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2016

11:30 A.M. CNN CENTER

Lakota Sioux and other indigenous leaders at Standing Rock have called for a day of action to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), SunTrust Bank is headquartered in Atlanta and has invested millions of dollars into the pipeline. Join us to demand SunTrust Bank pull out of the pipeline project. If you bank with SunTrust it can start with you – move your money and meet us in the streets.

Join us at CNN Center to build a community altar to send love, light and strength to this struggle but also to raise visibility and spark dialogue. Please bring an offering and if you’ve closed an account and they give you a confirmation slip please bring it with you.

First Nations people are in the fight of their lives, trying to protect the land and sustain life. Lets collectively lift our voices to demand and end to this pipeline the ongoing repression of ALL indigenous communities. We stand with Standing Rock, in support of indigenous sovereignty, in defense of the land and water that give us life.

Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund: https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf

Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme account: https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp

#NoDAPL #DivestFromDAPL #WaterisLife

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