jueves, 19 de enero de 2017

A un día del recambio

Fue la elección del milenio, chicos. En el corazón del Imperio había que votar por Nerón o por Calígula. Difícil, eh? Al final ganó Calígula (foto). A un día de la asunción de Donald Trump como nuevo mandamás de los EEUU, reproducimos dos notas del profesor Gary Leupp publicadas recientemente en el sitio web Counterpunch. En la primera se pasa revista a la diversa gama de gente descontenta con el próximo presidente, por izquierda y por derecha. En la segunda secomenta la demencial nueva Guerra Fría que quiere imponerse entre el Imperio y los rusos. No se las pierdan; el tipo escribe muy bien.

Título: The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)

Texto: It is an extraordinary situation. The ruling class seems by and large quite shocked by the election result. Donald Trump is surely a representative of the class—in that he’s a billionaire for god sake—but, for the majority of the richest and most powerful, not their preferred choice as chief executive of the USA. This is apparent by Trump’s treatment at the hands of the corporate media (that he continues to insult), by the foreign policy establishment, by the intelligence agencies (which he sometimes disparages), by Congressional leaders of both parties who generally regret that he won. The Deep State seems to have its knives drawn for him.

Wall Street would have been comfortable—equally comfortable—with Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton as president. The RNC and DNC—the Central Committees of the official Two Parties—are huge concentrations of bourgeois power. Reince Priebus and Debbie Schulz Wasserman as their chairs were creatures of the status quo. The pundits favored Bush to win the Republican nomination, or maybe Cruz (despite his unpopularity among his peers), or maybe Rubio; Trump was an amusing long shot. And of course they assumed that Clinton would be the Democratic shoo-in. What could go wrong?

Things started to go wrong when the Trump campaign, treated to limitless free media exposure, spiraled out of control. The more outrageous Trump became, the more he attracted, first the Neanderthals, and then the more thoughtful types who thought, “Hm, looks like he could win. He’s awful, but at least he’s better than her.” And there are always plenty of opportunists like Giuliani, Christie and Carson willing to jump on a bandwagon that looks headed to possible victory.

In alarm, prominent Republicans including Mitt Romney expressed open disdain. In August 50 GOP former intelligence officers signed a statement opposing Trump, including CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, former Dick Cheney security adviser Eric Edelman, former Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, and former deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick. In October 55 retired flag military officers signed a statement declaring Trump “utterly unworthy of being commander-in-chief and president.” House Speaker Paul Ryan, the most powerful figure at the time in the Republican Party, who only endorsed Trump in June, was by one count obliged to distance himself from the candidate eight times by August and declined to campaign for him.

Alas, despite all this confusion and alarm within the ruling class, the Trump genie had been let out of the bottle.

And what of Clinton’s smooth path to power, to be paved by such experienced political operatives as campaign director John Podesta and Wasserman Schulz? Something started going very wrong when Bernie Sanders kept getting massive youthful crowds who were anything but turned off by an elderly Jewish socialist talking about college debt relief. They were so confidant of the pervasiveness of their own tired Cold War thinking among the masses that they assumed no self-avowed socialist could gather any momentum. The fools!

And then there were those Wikileaks emails (allegedly hacked by Russians) showing how the DNC chair had assured her colleagues that they needn’t be “silly,” because Sanders “won’t be president”; how one staffer had raised the prospect of labeling Sanders an atheist in largely evangelical districts; how Podesta had recommended using press contacts to promote Trump as one of the more easily defeatable of the Republican candidates.

This plus the (separate) issue of Hillary’s use of a home server for emails, and alleged violations of security policy and accountability, and Comey’s sudden reopening of the investigation so soon before the election. There was no enthusiasm for Clinton, and especially among the youth, a lot of simmering resentment that the primary process had been rigged. If the Clinton camp smugly expected the Sanders supporters (having been “brought into the political process”) would channel their much-praised “enthusiasm” into a Clinton vs. Trump race, they were optimistic. Many enraged Sanders supporters would never defile themselves with a Clinton vote.

And so, a corrupt process produced a uniquely unpopular president-elect. And now you have a unique convergence of forces all questioning Trump’s legitimacy to rule, but for different reasons.

Rep. John Lewis says he can’t accept Trump because Russia helped him get elected; his vow to boycott the inauguration ceremony has been embraced (so far) by over 40 other members of Congress. Similarly, the Deep State can’t accept him because he wants rapprochement with Russia. Suddenly all the liberal shills on TV are expressing reverence for Lewis’s civil rights legacy and associations with Martin Luther King alongside moral outrage at the charges leveled against Moscow by the Deep State. How strange to see Rachel Maddow and John Brennan in bed together.

There will be tens of thousands of protesters on the cold streets of DC on Friday chanting “He’s not my president!” mostly for the reasons touted endlessly by the DNC: he’s a racist, misogynist, bigot, who lost the popular vote. Some will add to the charges “He’s a Putin puppet,” thus making common cause with the worst war mongers who remain firmly lodged in the power structure and (despite his promises of good relations with Russia) around Trump himself.

The Revolutionary Communist Party on the other hand says we can’t accept Trump because he’s a fascist. Their manifesto calling for mass protests to “reach a crescendo January 20” declares:

“By any definition, Trump is a fascist… [Fascism] is a very serious thing. It has direction and momentum and must be stopped before it becomes too late. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive ‘traditional values.’ Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, even executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on ‘minorities.’ In Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, fascism did all these things. This is where this can go.”

No mention of any supposed Putin-Trump “bromance.” Not that there should be. But the radical left—preoccupied with opposing more imperialist wars in the Middle East—is not much given to analysis of the U.S.-Russian relationship, or reflection on the very real possibility of nuclear war triggered by events in Ukraine, Syria or even the Estonia.

The U.S. possesses 7,100 nuclear warheads, Russia 7,300. (France is thought to have 300, China 260, the UK 215, Pakistan 140, India 110, Israel 80, North Korea 8.) A U.S.-Russian war could destroy civilization, not by blowing up monuments and orchestrating acts of exemplary horror, raping, crucifying and beheading children, but by obliterating whole cities the way the U.S. obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No, worse, much, much worse next time than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

That Trump’s few vague words about friendship with (as opposed to belligerency towards) Russia should set him up for this “Putin’s puppet” charge quietly intimated on the one hand by voices within the Deep State hoping to shame Trump into towing the new Cold war line, and on the other hand by John Lewis-type liberals eager to hop on the Cold War bandwagon to justify their rejection of the president-elect, should disturb any thinking person. It is the patriotic union of all who can be united over the traditional, knee-jerk Russophobia.

How can the progressive anti-Trump movement move forward, if it either embraces this narrative of Russian “interference in the U.S. election” (which is based, after all, on the premise that whoever leaked the damning DNC and Podesta messages showing how the DNC worked to promote Trump’s candidacy, and to curtail Sanders’ support, thereby influenced public opinion against Clinton whereas public opinion should have been mercifully spared the information), or fails to target it as misinformation and war mongering?

If the goal is to so isolate Trump that he is somehow driven from power, one would like the antiwar masses to smash the corrupt system, build a new society and avoid war. One would not like to make common cause with those who hate Trump, not for his fascistic tendencies, but for his challenge to the warmongering neocon/liberal interventionist status quo that wants to maintain a posture of unremitting hostility towards Russia.

Without analyzing these dialectics, how can those who long for revolution—as I do—navigate the post-election political situation, and exploit the crisis to serve the people’s ends?


Título: The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

Texto: It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia.

The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.

(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a “catastrophe” and “tragedy”—which in many respects it was. The press chooses to ignore his comment that “Anyone who does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, while anyone who wants to restore it has no brain.” It conflicts with the simple talking-point that Putin misses the imperial Russia of the tsars if not the commissars and, burning with resentment over the west’s triumph in the Cold War, plans to exact revenge through wars of aggression and territorial expansion.)

The U.S. media following its State Department script depicts Russia as an expansionist power. That it can do so, so successfully, such that even rather progressive people—such as those appalled by Trump’s victory who feel inclined to blame it on an external force—believe it, is testimony to the lingering power and utility of the Cold War mindset.

The military brass keep reminding us: We are up against an existential threat! One wants to say that this—obviously—makes no sense! Russia is twice the size of the U.S. with half its population. Its foreign bases can be counted on two hands. The U.S. has 800 or so bases abroad.

Russia’s military budget is 14% of the U.S. figure. It does not claim to be the exceptional nation appointed by God to preserve “security” on its terms anywhere on the globe. Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. has waged war (sometimes creating new client-states) in Bosnia (1994-5),  Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001- ), Iraq (2003- ), Libya (2011), and Syria (2014- ), while raining down drone strikes from Pakistan to Yemen to North Africa. These wars-based-on-lies have produced hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, millions of refugees, and general ongoing catastrophe throughout the “Greater Middle East.” There is no understating their evil.

The U.S. heads an expanding military alliance formed in 1949 to confront the Soviet Union and global communism in general. Its raison d’être has been dead for many years. Yet it has expanded from 16 to 28 members since 1999, and new members Estonia and Latvia share borders with Russia.

(Imagine the Warsaw Pact expanding to include Mexico. But no, the Warsaw Pact of the USSR and six European allies was dissolved 26 years ago in the idealistic expectation that NATO would follow in a new era of cooperation and peace.)

And this NATO alliance, in theory designed to defend the North Atlantic, was only first deployed after the long (and peaceful) first Cold War, in what had been neutral Yugoslavia (never a member of either the Warsaw Pact nor NATO), Afghanistan (over 3000 miles from the North Atlantic), and the North African country of Libya. Last summer NATO held its most massive military drills since the collapse of the Soviet Union, involving 31,000 troops in Poland, rehearsing war with Russia. (The German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier actually criticized this exercise as “warmongering.”)

Alliance officials expressed outrage when Russia responded to the warmongering by placing a new S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems on its territory of Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic coast. But Russia has in fact been comparatively passive in a military sense during this period.

In 1999, as NATO was about to occupy the Serbian province of Kosovo (soon to be proclaimed an independent country, in violation of international law), nearby Russian peacekeepers raced to the airport in Pristina, Kosovo, to secure it an ensure a Russian role in the Serbiam province’s  future. It was a bold move that could have provoked a NATO-Russian clash. But the British officer on the ground wisely refused an order from Gen. Wesley Clark to block the Russian move, declaring he would not start World War III for Gen. Clark.

This, recall, was after Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright (remember, the Hillary shill who said there’s a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t vote for women) presented to the Russian and Serbian negotiators at Rambouillet a plan for NATO occupation of not just Kosovo but all Serbia. It was a ridiculous demand, rejected by the Serbs and Russians, but depicted by unofficial State Department spokesperson and warmonger Christiane Amanpour as the “will of the international community.” As though Russia was not a member of the international community!

This Pristina airport operation was largely a symbolic challenge to U.S. hegemony over the former Yugoslavia, a statement of protest that should have been taken seriously at the time.

In any case, the new Russian leader Putin was gracious after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, even offering NATO a military  transport corridor through Russia to Afghanistan (closed in 2015). He was thanked by George W. Bush with the expansion of NATO by seven more members in 2004. (The U.S. press made light of this extraordinary geopolitical development; it saw and continues to see the expansion of NATO as no more problematic than the expansion of the UN or the European Union.) Then in April 2008 NATO announced that Georgia would be among the next members accepted into the alliance.

Soon the crazy Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the promise of near-term membership, provoked a war with the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which had never accepted inclusion of the new Georgian state established upon the dissolution of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991. The Ossetians, fearing resurgent Georgian nationalism, had sought union with the Russian Federation. So had the people of Abkhazia.

The two “frozen conflicts,” between the Georgian state and these peoples, had been frozen due to the deployment of Russian and Georgian peacekeepers. Russia had not recognized these regions as independent states nor agreed to their inclusion in the Russian Federation. But when Russian soldiers died in the Georgian attack ion August, Russia responded with a brief punishing invasion. It then recognized of the two new states (six months after the U.S. recognized Kosovo).

(Saakashvili, in case you’re interested, was voted out of power, disgraced, accused of economic crimes, and deprived of his Georgian citizenship. After a brief stint at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University—of which I as a Tufts faculty member feel deeply ashamed—he was appointed as governor of Odessa in Ukraine by the pro-NATO regime empowered by the U.S.-backed coup of February 22, 2014.)

Sen. John McCain proclaimed in 2008: “We are all Georgians now,” and advocated U.S. military aid to the Georgian regime. An advocate of war as a rule, McCain then became a big proponent of regime change in Ukraine to allow for that country’s entry into NATO. Neocons in the State Department including most importantly McCain buddy Victoria Nuland, boasted of spending $ 5 billion in support of “the Ukrainian people’s European aspirations” (meaning: the desire of many Ukrainians in the western part of the country to join the European Union—risking, although they perhaps do not realize it, a reduction in their standard of living under a Greek-style austerity program—to be followed by NATO membership, tightening the military noose around Russia).

The Ukrainian president opted out in favor of a generous Russian aid package. That decision—to deny these “European aspirations”—was used to justify the coup.

But look at it from a Russian point of view. Just look at this map, of the expanding NATO alliance, and imagine it spreading to include that vast country (the largest in Europe, actually) between Russia to the east and Poland to the west, bordering the Black Sea to the south. The NATO countries at present are shown in dark blue, Ukraine and Georgia in green. Imagine those countries’ inclusion.

And imagine NATO demanding that Russia vacate its Sevastopol naval facilities, which have been Russian since 1783, turning them over to the (to repeat: anti-Russian) alliance. How can anyone understand the situation in Ukraine without grasping this basic history?

The Russians denounced the coup against President Viktor Yanukovych (democratically elected—if it matters—in 2010), which was abetted by neo-fascists and marked from the outset by an ugly Russophobic character encouraged by the U.S. State Department. The majority population in the east of the country, inhabited by Russian-speaking ethnic Russians and not even part of Ukraine until 1917, also denounced the coup and refused to accept the unconstitutional regime that assumed power after Feb. 22.

When such people rejected the new government, and declared their autonomy, the Ukrainian army was sent in to repress them but failed, embarrassingly, when the troops confronted by angry babushkas turned back. The regime since has relied on the neo-fascist Azov Battalion to harass secessionists in what has become a new “frozen conflict.”

Russia has no doubt assisted the secessionists while refusing to annex Ukrainian territory, urging a federal system for the country to be negotiated by the parties. Russian families straddle the Russian-Ukrainian border. There are many Afghan War veterans in both countries. The Soviet munitions industry integrated Russian and Ukrainian elements. One must assume there are more than enough Russians angry about such atrocities as the May 2014 killing of 42 ethnic Russian government opponents in Odessa to bolster the Donbas volunteers.

But there is little evidence (apart from a handful of reports about convoys of dozens of “unmarked military vehicles” from Russia in late 2014) for a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. And the annexation of Crimea (meaning, its restoration to its 1954 status as Russian territory) following a credible referendum did not require any “invasion” since there were already 38,000 Russian troops stationed there. All they had to do was to secure government buildings, and give Ukrainian soldiers the option of leaving or joining the Russian military. (A lot of Ukrainian soldiers opted to stay and accept Russian citizenship.)

Still, these two incidents—the brief 2008 war in Georgia, and Moscow’s (measured) response to the Ukrainian coup since 2014—have been presented as evidence of a general project to disrupt the world order by military expansion, requiring a firm U.S. response. The entirety of the cable news anchor class embraces this narrative.

But they are blind fools. Who has in this young century disrupted world order more than the U.S., wrecking whole countries, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocents, provoking more outrage through grotesquely documented torture, generating new terror groups, and flooding Europe with refugees who include some determined to sow chaos and terror in European cities? How can any rational person with any awareness of history since 1991 conclude that Russia is the aggressive party?

And yet, this is the conventional wisdom. I doubt you can get a TV anchor job if you question it. The teleprompter will refer routinely to Putin’s aggression and Russian expansion and the need for any mature presidential candidate to respect the time-honored tradition of supporting NATO no matter what. And now the anchor is expected to repeat that all 17 U.S. intelligence services have concluded that Vladimir Putin interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

Since there is zero evidence for this, one must conclude that the Democratic losers dipped into the reliable grab bag of scapegoats and posited that Russia and Putin in particular must have hacked the DNC in order to—through the revelation of primary sources of unquestionable validity, revealing the DNC’s determination to make Clinton president, while sabotaging Sanders and promoting (through their media surrogates)  Donald Trump as the Republican candidate—undermine Clinton’s legitimacy.

All kinds of liberals, including Sanders’ best surrogates like Nina Turner, are totally on board the Putin vilification campaign. It is sad and disturbing that so many progressive people are so willing to jump on the new Cold War bandwagon. It is as though they have learned nothing from history but are positively eager, in their fear and rage, to relive the McCarthy era.

But the bottom line is: U.S. Russophobia does not rest on reason, judgment, knowledge of recent history and the ability to make rational comparisons. It rests on religious-like assumptions of “American exceptionalism” and in particular the right of the U.S. to expand militarily at Russia’s expense—-as an obvious good in itself, rather than a distinct, obvious evil threatening World War III.

The hawks in Congress—bipartisan, amoral, ignorant, knee-jerk Israel apologists, opportunist scum—are determined to dissuade the president-elect (bile rises in my throat as I use that term, but it’s true that he’s that, technically) from any significant rapprochement with Russia. (Heavens, they must be horrified at the possibility that Trump follows Kissinger’s reported advice and recognizes the Russian annexation of Crimea!) They want to so embarrass him with the charge of being (as Hillary accused him of being during the campaign) Putin’s “puppet” that he backs of from his vague promise to “get along” with Russia.

They don’t want to get along with Russia. They want more NATO expansion, more confrontation. They are furious with Russian-Syrian victories over U.S-backed, al-Qaeda-led forces in Syria, especially the liberation of Aleppo that the U.S. media (1) does not cover having no reporters on the ground, and little interest since events in Syria so powerfully challenge the State Department’s talking points that shape U.S. reporting, (2) misreports systematically, as the tragic triumph of the evil, Assad’s victory over an imaginary heroic opposition, and (3) sees the strengthening of the position of the Syrian stats as an indication of Russia’s reemergence as a superpower. (This they they cannot accept, as virtually a matter of religious conviction; the U.S. in official doctrine must maintain “full spectrum dominance” over the world and prohibit the emergence of any possible competitor, forever.)


The first Cold War was based on the western capitalists’ fear of socialist expansion. It was based on the understanding that the USSR had defeated the Nazis, had extraordinary prestige in the world, and was the center for a time of the expanding global communist movement. It was based on the fear that more and more countries would achieve independence from western imperialism, denying investors their rights to dominate world markets. It had an ideological content. This one does not. Russia and the U.S. are equally committed to capitalism and neoliberal ideology. Their conflict is of the same nature as the U.S. conflict with Germany in the early 20th century. The Kaiser’s Germany was at least as “democratic” as the U.S.; the system was not the issue. It was just jockeying for power, and as it happened, the U.S. intervening in World War I belatedly, after everybody else was exhausted, cleaned up. In World War II in Europe, the U.S. having hesitated to invade the continent despite repeated Soviet appeals to do so, responded to the fall of Berlin to Soviet forces by rushing token forces to the city to claim joint credit.

And then it wound up, after the war, establishing its hegemony over most of Europe—much, much more of Europe than became the Soviet-dominated zone, which has since with the Warsaw Pact evaporated.  Russia is a truncated, weakened version of its former self. It is not threatening the U.S. in any of the ways the U.S. is threatening itself. It is not expanding a military alliance. It is not holding huge military exercises on the U.S. border. It is not destroying the Middle East through regime-change efforts justified to the American people by sheer misinformation. In September 2015 Putin asked the U.S., at the United Nations: “Do you realize what you’ve done?”

Unfortunately the people of this country are not educated, by their schools, press or even their favorite websites to realize what has been done, how truly horrible it is, and how based it all is on lies. Fake news is the order of the day.

Up is down, black is white, Russia is the aggressor, the U.S. is the victim. The new president must be a team-player, and for God’s sake, understand that Putin is today’s Hitler, and if Trump wants to get along with him, he will have to become a team-player embracing this most basic of political truths in this particular imperialist country: Russia (with its nukes, which are equally matched with the U.S. stockpile) is the enemy, whose every action must be skewed to inflame anti-Russian feeling, as the normative default sentiment towards this NATO-encircled, sanction-ridden, non-threatening nation, under what seems by comparison a cautious, rational leadership?


CNN’s horrible “chief national correspondent” John King (former husband of equally horrid Dana Bash, CNN’s “chief political correspondent”) just posed the question, with an air of aggressive irritation: “Who does Donald Trump respect more, the U.S. intelligence agencies, or the guy who started Wikileaks [Assange]?”

It’s a demand for the Trump camp to buy the Russian blame game, or get smeared as a fellow-traveler with international whistle-blowers keen on exposing the multiple crimes of U.S. imperialism.

So the real question is: Will Trump play ball, and credit the “intelligence community” that generates “intelligence products” on demand, or brush aside the war hawks’ drive for a showdown with Putin’s Russia? Will the second Cold War peter out coolly, or culminate in the conflagration that “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) was supposed to render impossible?

The latter would be utterly stupid. But stupid people—or wise people, cynically exploiting others’ stupidity— are shaping opinion every day, and have been since the first Cold War, based like this one on innumerable lies.

miércoles, 18 de enero de 2017

Brasil: tudo bem, tudo legal

Dos notas recientes nos vuelven a llamar la atención sobre la delicada situación política, económica y social que vive Brasil en estos días. Ambos artículos son del diario Página/12. El primero es una nota de opinión de Eric Nepomuceno, de carácter general:

Título: Días de mentiras en un precipicio llamado Brasil

Texto: Por estos días el gobierno encabezado por Michel Temer publicó en los grandes medios de comunicación avisos de página entera trazando loas a sus conquistas e indicando que 2017 será el año de la remontada. Pues por estos días el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el FMI, que puede ser acusado de cualquier cosa excepto de cercanía con el PT de Lula da Silva, lanzó sus nuevas proyecciones para la economía global en este nuevo año. Y Brasil aparece en lugar de destaque: si todo va bien, si no hay sorpresas, el PIB crecerá un escuálido 0,2 por ciento. De los países que integran el G-20, que reúne las mayores economías del mundo, Brasil será el que menos crezca, si es que crece. Nadie en el gobierno comentó la proyección del sacrosanto FMI, capilla mayor para los rituales neoliberales retomados por los que usurparon el poder.

Por estos días el gobierno de Temer, surgido a raíz del golpe institucional que destituyó a la presidenta Dilma Rousseff, aseguró que ya en el primer trimestre, a lo sumo en el segundo, habrá creación de nuevas plazas de trabajo, recuperando parte de los millones de empleos perdidos en los últimos diez o doce meses. Pues por estos días la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, que puede ser clasificada de todo, menos de extremista, difundió sus previsiones para el desempleo en el mundo. Una vez más, Brasil aparece en lugar de destaque: este año, de cada tres trabajadores que alrededor del planeta perderán sus empleos, uno será brasileño. Millones serán.

Por estos días el gobierno brasileño aseguró que ya se notan signos claros de recuperación en el sector industrial. Pues por estos días un órgano vinculado con ese mismo gobierno comprobó que desde que Temer usurpó la presidencia, el consumo de bienes industriales se desplomó 10 por ciento en el país.

Por estos días el gobierno se vanaglorió por haber logrado reducir drásticamente la inflación, lo que es verdad. Pues por estos días se olvidó de mencionar que la inflación de desplomó porque también el consumo se derrumbó de manera tenebrosa, llevando al cierre miles de comercios y pequeñas y medianas empresas a lo largo y a lo ancho del mapa.

Por estos días Michel Temer, con sus pronunciamientos y discursos siempre llenos de palabras sonoras y absolutamente vacías de contenido, sigue dando muestras de sus dones de acróbata soberano para esquivar la balacera de denuncias que alcanzan a los operadores del golpe que lo instaló en el poder. Pues por estos días surgieron nuevas y consistentes denuncias contra algunos de los más fuertes integrantes del círculo de sus más íntimos. Y ya se sabe, por estos días, que muchas más vendrán. Lo que no se sabe es cuántos de los que lo defienden sobrevivirán en el Congreso y en el gobierno.

Por estos días, frente a ese cuadro absolutamente desolador, sin embargo, surgen declaraciones de integrantes de la pandilla que se apoderó del poder y que sí, merecen crédito. Vale mencionar al menos un ejemplo: el patético ministro de Justicia, Alexandre de Moraes, aseguró que la situación en las cárceles brasileñas estaba bajo control. Pues por estos días quedó claro que él dijo la verdad: una sucesión de matanzas y rebeliones dejaron al menos 130 muertos en catorce días, la mayoría de ellos degollados, mutilados y algunos, quemados vivos. La situación sí, está bajo control, pero de los dos mayores cárteles de narcotraficantes actuantes en el país, y que sobornan y corrompen a toda clase de funcionarios y magistrados corruptibles y sobornables, frente a la impotencia tenebrosa del Estado.

Por estos días, en fin, se supo que la decorativa primera dama, Marcela Temer, una ex señorita de una ciudad del interior de San Pablo, sólo habla a la prensa con expresa autorización del señor su esposo. Le toca a él, como corresponde, leer las respuestas que la asesoría de la dama en cuestión prepara para que ella conteste, por escrito desde luego, lo que le preguntan los periodistas. Contestar en vivo, ni pensar…

Por estos días es fácil darse cuenta de que ni las peores previsiones parecen capaces de prever la infinita capacidad de desastre de este gobierno.

Por estos días resulta duro saber que faltan muchos otros más para que llegue diciembre.


La segunda nota, de ayer, es de Dario Pignotti desde Brasil; el tema específico de la nota son las recientes masacres carcelarias y lo que hay en juego detrás de ellas:

Título: Temer en jaque por las masacres carcelarias

Epígrafe: Los acuerdos de aliados del presidente con la banda más poderosa dentro y fuera de los presidios son el trasfondo de esta crisis de gran poder destructivo para el régimen surgido del golpe parlamentario.

Texto: “Yo sé tratar con delincuentes” dijo (amenazó) alguna vez Michel Temer en el Palacio del Planalto. Antes de llegar a la presidencia mediante un putch parlamentario, con el respaldo de las corporaciones judicial y policial, Temer fue ministro de Seguridad de San Pablo en 1992, cuando la policía de esa provincia mató a 111 presos de la cárcel de Carandirú.

Un año después, en 1993, como respuesta al fusilamiento de Carandirú (cuyos responsables continúan en libertad) surgiría una agremiación de reclusos, a la vez que organización criminal incruenta, denominada Primer Comando de la Capital (PCC).

Los acuerdos difusos de aliados de Temer con el PCC, la banda más poderosa de Brasil con poder de fuego dentro y fuera de los presidios, son el subtexto de esta crisis que es carcelaria pero también política y cuenta con un potencial destructivo capaz de hacer temblar al régimen implantado tras la caída de la ex presidenta Dilma Rousseff.

Por cierto el PCC está involucrado en todas las rebeliones carcelarias ocurridas desde el 1º de enero en Brasil –la última declarada ayer en Rio Grande do Norte– con un saldo que asciende a unos 140 muertos si se incluyen las víctimas de otros episodios (¿aislados?) registrados en varios estados, incluso del sur y sureste brasileño.

Ese estallido en cadena, que empezó en la Amazonia, en el norte, y siguió por la región nordeste, es contemplado por Temer desde su oficina en Brasilia, en la que permanece recluido para eludir las protestas que enfrentó las pocas veces que viajó al interior del país. Ni siquiera se trasladó a la Amazonia, donde ocurrió el primer motín, el 1º de enero, por lo que hoy los ministros de seguridad de las 27 provincias viajan a la capital federal para analizar una situación que según el ministro de Justicia, Alexandre de Moraes, “está bajo control”.

Al contrario de Temer y Moraes, que viajó sólo por unas horas a la Amazonia, la presidenta del Supremo Tribunal Federal, Carmen Lucia Antunes Rocha, ha tomado cartas en el asunto y además de reunirse con jueces en Manaus impulsa la evacuación de las cárceles, donde cerca del 40 por ciento de los detenidos aguardan una sentencia firme o ya cumplieron sus penas pero igual siguen encerrados.

La superpoblación de los centros de detención, donde se hacinan 640 mil personas, según datos que el propio gobierno considera desactualizados, es el germen de este levantamiento, al que se suma la disputa “geopolítica” entre el PCC y otras gavillas, como el Comando Vermelho, surgido en Río de Janeiro, por el control de las rutas de drogas procedentes de Colombia y Perú a través del río Solimoes.

Quien tenga el control de los presos y las corruptas autoridades penitenciarias de la Amazonia también dominará el corredor por el que se transportan psicotrópicos hasta los grandes mercados consumidores de San  Pablo y Río de Janeiro, y los puertos, como el de Santos, en el interior de San Pablo, desde donde se exportan cargamentos hacia Europa.

La actitud protagónica de la jefa del Supremo Antunes Rocha le valió la simpatía de grupos que luego de haber apoyado el golpe ya no confían en  Temer, que junto con su inoperancia ante el PCC y los alzamientos, está envuelto hasta el pescuezo en escándalos de corrupción de los que ya se conocen varias denuncias, mientras nuevas, y posiblemente explosivas, serán publicadas en las próximas semanas cuando se levante el secreto del sumario de las delaciones de los ejecutivos de la constructora Odebrecht.

Según el diario Folha de San Pablo en el gobierno ven con “celos” el desempeño de la jueza Antunes Rocha, la cual ya es citada como eventual candidata a la presidencia si Temer no logra mantenerse en el gobierno debido al fuego sumado de la guerra en las cárceles y las confesiones, “delaciones premiadas”, de los directivos de Odebrecht.

En todo caso números oficiales dan una magnitud del problema en los presidios y desmienten al ministro de Justicia Moraes, para quien la casa está en orden, ya que 9 presos murieron cada día (8,8 es el número exacto) en lo que va de 2017 una estadística preocupante si se la contrasta con la de 2016 cuando murió poco más de un interno cada 24 horas.

Si el destino de Temer es incierto, no es más confortable la situación del titular de Justicia Moraes, cuya permanencia en el cargo no está garantizada debido a su inoperancia frente a las masacres y a su estilo algo histriónico: el mes pasado viajó a Paraguay, hasta donde llega el brazo del PCC, para proponer la erradicación de la marihuana en América del Sur y exponer su simpatía con la Guerra contra las Drogas, al estilo de los derechistas ex presidentes Alvaro Uribe Vélez, colombiano, y el mexicano Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Onda expansiva

El último motín, iniciado ayer, ocurrió en la cárcel Raymundo Nonato de Natal, la capital de Rio Grande do Norte, donde decenas de internos, pertenecientes al Sindicato del Crimen, subieron a tejado munidos de palos y facones prometiendo venganza contra el PCC, responsable de la matanza de 26 presos, algunos degollados (la búsqueda de cuerpos no concluyó), el domingo pasado en Alcaçuz, otra cárcel de ese estado de la región nordeste, en la que ayer por la tarde la situación todavía era incierta y no se descartaba otro levantamiento.

Mientras tanto en Bahia, la provincia nordestina más populosa, continuaban prófugos los 47 detenidos que se fugaron de 4 presidios y comisarías la semana pasada. Tampoco fueron capturados todos los internos que se escaparon el domingo de la Penitenciaria Estadual Piraquara, en la sureña provincia de Paraná, donde un muro fue derribado con explosivos. En el balance de esta primera quincena fatídica se debe incluir el asesinato de dos presos, uno degollado, en el reclusorio, de San Pablo.

Ese estado, el más rico y poblado del país, es gobernado desde hace dos décadas por el Partido de la Socialdemocracia Brasileña (PSDB), cuyo líder histórico es el ex presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

El Partido Movimiento Democrático Brasileño (PMDB) de Michel Temer y el PSDB, de Cardoso y el actual gobernador paulista Geraldo Alckmin, son las agrupaciones principales del gobierno en vigor desde hace ocho meses.

Si los problemas en la cárceles se prolongan, esto desgastará a la alianza en el poder, pero si explota una rebelión en San Pablo, o en Río de Janeiro, esto puede hacer volar por los aires a esta administración y las aspiraciones presidenciales del gobernador paulista Alckmin.

Ayer las autoridades de San Pablo finalmente reconocieron lo que el fin de semana publicó en exclusiva el diario español El País (aunque posiblemente esa información también la supiera pero evitó publicarla la “gran prensa”, discípula del gobierno): que los servicios de inteligencia policiales distribuyeron en varias comisarías un informe sobre el riesgo de que hoy, martes 17 de enero, el PCC ordene el levantamiento de cárceles paulistas.

Se estima que esa gavilla no sólo ostenta la hegemonía casi absoluta sobre cada movimiento de los cien mil presos alojados en San Pablo, sino que tiene miles de “células dormidas” diseminadas en ese estado para reeditar acciones de guerrilla urbana como las realizadas en la semana trágica de mayo de 2006, cuando hubo choques con las fuerzas de seguridad y ataques relámpago, que dejaron cerca de 600 muertos. Y por primera vez en su historia reciente San Pablo quedó en virtual colapso.

Desde entonces varias fuentes, incluso ex funcionarios de los gobiernos provinciales del PSDB, admitieron que hubo pactos de no agresión con el PCC y su enigmático comandante, Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias Marcola, quien presume de haber leído a Maquiavelo y conocer la teoría de la guerra de Sun Tsu y hasta algunos escritos de Ernesto Che Guevara.

Marcola está detenido en la cárcel paulista de Presidente Bernardes, donde habría constituido su alto mando, igual que lo hizo en 2006 cuando ordenó aquel levantamiento en el que demostró la operatividad de su ejército irregular.

Otros jefes del PCC fueron “deportados” en los últimos años a penales federales ubicados en el resto del país, para impedir que impartan órdenes en su estado de origen.

Esa táctica de los gobiernos del PSDB, partido del gobiernador Alckmin y el ministro de Justicia Moraes, se reveló equivocada: sea porque no impidió el funcionamiento del PCC en San Pablo, sea porque permitió que la organización “exporte” su poder al resto del país, como lo demuestran los alzamientos recientes en la Amazonia y el nordeste, dijeron miembros del Ministerio Público en una entrevista publicada ayer por el diario Folha de San Pablo.

martes, 17 de enero de 2017

“Primavera árabe” en USA?

Se acerca el día del traspaso de mando en el Imperio. Llueven las hipótesis conspirativas. Acá va una, del sitio web Moon of Alabama. A ver si te gusta:

Título: "It Can't Happen Here" - Color Revolution By Force

Texto: The "Donald Trump likes Russia" and "Russia bad" strategy was propagated by the Clinton election campaign. It build on constant U.S. incitement against Russia after the U.S. coup in Ukraine partially failed and after the Russian intervention on the side of the government in Syria. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was the main force behind the original anti-Russian campaign. When Clinton lost the election to Trump the theme connecting Trump and Russia was continued and  fanned by parts of the U.S. intelligence community.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI published a propaganda report claiming nefarious Russian cyber activities during the election without providing any evidence. The report came together with the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats by the Obama administration. The DHS then planted a false story of Russian cyber-intrusion into a Vermont utility with the Washington Post.

The Director of National Intelligence Clapper followed up with a "report" of alleged Russian interference with the election. Even the Putinphobe Masha Gessen found that to be a shoddy piece of implausible propaganda. The DNI then helped to publish an MI6 "report" of fakes asserting Russian influence on Trump. In an unprecedented threat escalation the Pentagon sends a whole brigade and other assets to the Russian border.

Now the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, warns the President elect to "watch his tongue". Is there any precedence of some "intelligence" flunky threatening a soon to be President?

This has been, all together, a well though out propaganda campaign to reinforce the scheme Clinton and her overlords have been pushing for quite some time: Russia is bad and a danger. Trump is aligned with Russia. Something needs to be done against Trump but most importantly against Russia.

Propaganda works. The campaign is having some effects:

Americans are more concerned than they were before the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign began about the potential threat Russia poses to the country, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The Jan. 9-12 survey found that 82 percent of American adults, including 84 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans, described Russia as a general "threat" to the United States. That's up from 76 percent in March 2015 when the same questions were asked.

Such extensive and expensive campaigns are not run by chance. They have a larger purpose.

Originally the campaign was only directed against Russia with the apparent aim of reigniting a (quite profitable) cold war. Seen from some distance the campaign now looks more like the preparation for a typical CIA induced color-revolution:

In most but not all cases, massive street protests followed disputed elections, or requests for fair elections, and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian.

What is missing yet in the U.S. are the demonstrations and the large civilian strife.

Unlike the earlier CIA launched color revolutions in Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004) and elsewhere, all recent U.S. instigated "color-revolutions", i.e. putsch attempts, have been accompanied by the use of force from the side of the "peaceful protesters". Such color-revolutions by force were instigate in Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

A common denominator of these was the primary use of violence occurred from the "good side" against the "bad side" while the propagandists claimed that it was the "bad side" that started the shooting and strife. The "good site" is inevitably "demonstrating peacefully" even when many policemen or soldiers on the "bad side" die. Thus was the case in Libya where the U.S. and its Gulf proxies used al-Qeada aligned Jihadis from Benghazi as "peaceful demonstrators" against the government, in Syria where the NATO and Gulf supported Muslim Brotherhood killed policemen and soldiers during "peaceful demonstrations" in Deraa and in Ukraine where fascist sharpshooters killed demonstrators and policemen from a hotel roof in the hand of the opposition. All three happened while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

There have been claims of an upcoming color-revolution in the U.S. from different extremist sides of the political spectrum. Before the election Neocon Jackson Diehl claimed that "Putin" was preparing a color-revolution against a President-elect Clinton to enthrone Donald Trump. But as Trump won fair and square and Clinton lost that plot did not make it to the stage. After the election the conspiracy peddler Wayne Madsen immediately "discovered" that Clinton and George Soros were launching a color-revolution against Trump.

Remnants of the Clinton campaign have called for a large anti-Trump demonstration during the inauguration on January 20 in Washington DC.

Mass shootings in the United States by this or that type of lunatics happen every other month. There are no wild conspiracy theories or nefarious plots necessary to consider some what-if questions around such an event.

So what happens after some "Trump supporter" on January 20 starts to shoot into the demonstrating masses (and also into the police cordons)?

What if the CIA, DHS and DNI then detect and certify that the ensuing "massacre" was a "Russian plot"?

lunes, 16 de enero de 2017

Vuelta al mundo bipolar

El mundo ya no es unipolar, pero tampoco multipolar. Es, más bien, bipolar, con dos superpotencias, una de las cuales se basa en la integración de docenas de naciones en, al menos, dos continentes. Este y otros interesantes aspectos, que reproducimos a continuación, aparecen en la nota de Federico Pieraccini aparecida estos días en el sitio web Strategic Culture Foundation. El muchacho tal vez peca de optimista, si bien su análisis nos resultó estimulante. Acá va otra de sus frases finales: El tiempo que viene será un lapso en el que Rusia, China e Irán deberán realizar elecciones definitivas. El artículo que reproducimos a continuación es el cuarto y último de una serie, a cargo del mismo autor, aparecida en el mismo sitio web. Acá va: 

Título: Trump's Delusion: Halting Eurasian Integration and Saving 'US World Order'

Epígrafe: The preceding three parts of this series analyzed the mechanisms that drive great powers. The most in-depth understanding of the issues concerned the determination of the objectives and logic that accompany the expansion of an empire (http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/12/19/geopolitics-globalization-and-world-order.html). Geopolitical theories, the concrete application of foreign-policy doctrines, and concrete actions that the United States employed to aspire to global dominance were examined (http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/12/23/united-states-and-race-global-hegemony.html). Finally, the last bit of analysis focused particularly on how Iran, China and Russia have adopted over the years a variety of cultural, economic and military moves to repel the continual assault on their sovereignty by the West (http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/01/01/how-united-iran-russia-china-changing-world-better.html). Finally, specific attention was given to the American drive for global hegemony and how this has actually accelerated the end of the 'unipolar moment', impelling the emergence of a multipolar world order.

Texto: In this fourth and final analysis I will focus on a possible strategic shift in the approach to foreign policy from Washington. The most likely hypothesis suggests that Trump intends to attempt to prevent the ongoing integration between Russia, China and Iran.

The failed foreign-policy strategy of the neoconservatives and neoliberals has served to dramatically reduce Washington's role and influence in the world. Important alliances are being forged without seeking the assent of the United States, and the world model envisioned in the early 1990s – from Bush to Kagan and all the signatories of the PNAC founding statement of principles – is increasingly coming undone. Donald Trump’s victory represents, in all likelihood, the last decisive blow to a series of foreign-policy strategies that in the end undermined the much-prized leadership of the United States. The ceasefire in Syria, reached thanks to an agreement between Turkey and Russia, notably excluded the United States.

The military, media, financial and cultural assault successfully prosecuted over decades by Washington finally seems to have met its Waterloo at the hands of the axis represented by Iran, Russia and China. The recent media successes (RT, Press TV and many alternative media), political resistance (Assad is still president of Syria), diplomatic struggles (negotiations in Syria without Washington as an intermediary) and military planning (Liberation of Aleppo from terrorists) are a result of the efforts of Iran, Russia and China. Their success in all these fields of operations are having direct consequences and implications for the internal affairs of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.

The relentless efforts by the majority of Western political representatives for a successful model of globalization has created a parasitic system of turbo capitalism that entails a complete loss of sovereignty by America’s allies. Brexit and Trump have served as an expression of ordinary people’s rejection of these economic and political regimes under which they live.

In Syria, Washington and its puppet allies have almost exited the scene without achieving their strategic goal of removing Assad from power. Within the American political system, the establishment, spanning from Clinton to Obama, was swept away for their economic and political failures. The mainstream media, spewing an endless stream of propaganda aimed at sustaining the political elite, completely lost their battle to appear credible, reaching unprecedented peaks of partisanship and immorality.

Donald Trump has emerged with a new approach to foreign policy affairs, shaped by various political thinkers of the realist mould, such as Kenneth Waltz and John Mearsheimer. First on the to-do list is doing away with all the recent neoconservative and neoliberal policies of foreign intervention (Responsibility to Protect - R2P) and soft-power campaigns in favor of human rights. And there will be no more UN resolutions deviously employed as cover to bomb nations back into the stone age (Libya). Trump does not believe in the central role of the UN in international affairs, reaffirming this repeatedly during his campaign.

The Trump administration intends to end the policy of regime change, interference in the internal affairs of foreign governments, Arab Springs, and color revolutions. Such efforts, they argue, are ultimately ineffective anyway and are too costly in terms of political credibility. In Ukraine the Americans have allied themselves with supporters of the Nazi Stepan Bandera, and in the Middle East they finance or indirectly support al Qaeda and al Nusra Front. These tactics, infamously branded as 'leading from behind', never achieved their desired results. The Middle East is in chaos, with a Moscow-Tehran axis emerging and going from strength to strength. In Ukraine, the government in Kiev not only seems incapable of complying with the Minsk agreements but also of prosecuting a new military campaign with no guarantees from their European and American partners.

There is a wild card that Trump hopes to play in the first months of his presidency. The strategy will focus on the inherited chaotic situation in the Middle East and Ukraine. Obama will be blamed for the previous chaos, it will be argued that sanctions against the Russian Federation should be removed, and Moscow will be given a free hand in the Middle East. In one fell swoop, the future president may decide not to decide directly on the Middle East or on Ukraine, avoiding any further involvement and instead finally making a decision in the national interest of his country.

A sustainable strategy may finally be attained by remaining passive towards the developments in the Middle East, especially on the Syrian front, leaving it firmly in Russian hands, while emphasizing at the same time the effort against Daesh in cooperation with Moscow. Another wise choice would see Kiev falling by the wayside, trashing Ukrainian ambitions to regain the Donbass and recover Crimea. Finally, removing sanctions would allow the next president to strengthen the alliance with European partners (a diplomatic necessity that Trump must make as the new president). Over two years the EU has suffered from economic suicide in the name of a failed policy strategy imposed by Washington. The Trump presidency will seek to normalize relations between Moscow and Washington as well as with European allies more willing to actively collaborate with the Trump administration.

The Middle East will accordingly see a decline in violence, increasing the chances of seeing an end to the conflict in Syria. This plan for the initial phase of the Trump presidency has been widely announced during the months leading up to his election, both by himself or by members of his staff.

The implicit message is to seek dialogue and cooperation with all nations. Probably what lies behind these overtures is actually an explicit willingness to try to break the cooperation between Russia, Iran and China. The motivations for this action stem from the implications for the United States if a full military, cultural and economic alliance between Beijing, Moscow and Tehran is formed. It would almost ultimately consign the United States to irrelevance on the grand chessboard of international relations.

More realistically, Trump aims to shift the focus of the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific, where the largest US commercial interests will reside in the future; a shift of focus from the Middle East to the South and East China Seas. The geopolitical reasons behind this decision, and the guiding theories behind it, were addressed particularly in the first article of this series. In summary, Trump intends to accelerate Obama’s Asian pivot, bringing about profound changes to US foreign policy. Smoking the peace pipe with Russia will free up resources (to "build up our military" in naval terms) to be focused in the Pacific. He intends to emphasize the importance of bilateral relations between allies ("free riders" Japan and South Korea) to focus on containing China.

The wildcard that Trump hopes to play in breaking the alliance is called Russia. Thanks to previous peace talks developed with Moscow, Trump hopes for a reprise of Kissinger's strategy with China in 1979, with the addition of a promise of non-interference in the Middle East against Iran and Syria by the United States. In an exchange unlikely to happen, the American administration is hoping to convince the Kremlin that no action will be taken in the Middle East against Moscow and its allies, including Iran, in exchange for help in containing the Republic of China.

With this in mind, Trump’s choice of a very questionable personality to liaise between Washington and Tel Aviv, combined with the strong rhetoric of Trump against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the equally harsh responses from Tehran to the threats of the future president, seem to satisfy the roles and rhetoric of all parties involved. No actions, only rhetoric. For Tehran and Tel Aviv it is easier to argue that to sign an agreement. The Iranian nuclear deal will, for this reason, continue to be a major point of tension, but also the guarantor of unlikely military action.

The real problem for the future administration in this strategy is offering a consistent plan of non-interference in the Middle East. Putin is well aware, in any case, that Washington is not able to intervene and change the fate of the balance of power that is forming in the Middle East. Trump’s indirect offer not to take action in the Middle East is at best a bluff that will not last long. Trump ignores (or, being a good negotiator, pretends not to want to see) that very few cards in his deck can be attractive to Moscow. The alliance between Moscow, Beijing and Tehran is firm and certified by strategic exchanges in many fields, a trend promising tremendous growth. The war in Syria has shown the results of effective coordination between the three nations. The addition of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will further strengthen security ties, without forgetting that the north-south corridor between Russia and Iran also ensures stability in an area of ??the globe where the danger of subversive terrorism is very high..

During the period of sanctions, Russia and China signed the most important and immense trade agreement in history, sealing Moscow’s turn toward the east. Such a move involves a level of strategic planning that goes well beyond the four years of a presidential term. If Trump hopes to achieve cooperation of some kind with Putin to further his grand strategy, he is deluding himself. However, he must out of necessity cooperate against terrorism in the Middle East with Russia and moderate Washington’s allies in the region who support terrorist. He will be forced to remove sanctions and reset the international relationship between Washington and Moscow, freeing the EU from a counterproductive situation in opposing the Russian Federation. He will probably then decide to ignore permanently the matter of Ukraine and Crimea, burying one of the tactics and strategies that was the cornerstone of the neoconservatives, namely an attempt to prepare the Ukrainian army to face the Russian Federation militarily, then drawing in NATO into an all-out war.

Trump knows he is in an inferior negotiating position vis-a-vis Moscow and Beijing. He is well aware that effecting a rupture of relations between China, Russia and Iran is almost impossible. The only advantage, from his point of view, is having more room to negotiate with Moscow, given the abysmal levels of relations between Putin and Obama.

Naturally, if Trump should really embark on such a mission of dividing the Eurasian continent, he is likely to expect very specific guarantees about the future attitude of Moscow towards Beijing. Putin will have very few problems in playing him to his advantage. Moscow has everything to gain from this situation. Trump hopes to have on his side the Russian Federation, then proceed to convince countries like Japan, the Philippines and South Korea that containing China is the only viable strategy for limiting China’s influence and future domination over Asia. These actions will provoke the opposite effects to those intended, thereby promoting further integration of Eurasia (AIIB and Silk Road 2.0), as shown by Obama’s Asian pivot. Any attempt to impose a new Asian pivot will end up in flames, as has been the case with the commercial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

In the meantime, with the removal of sanctions, many EU countries will finally be able to resume their energy and technology integration with the Eurasian continent, especially with Russia. Japan will in all likelihood be able to sign a peace treaty with Russia without violating its obligations to Washington.

In general, the removal of sanctions on Russia will accelerate many projects placed on hold by tensions between Washington and Moscow. Trump’s attitude, if he decides to have an aggressive posture towards Beijing, will force the Chinese elite to see what lies in store for it. Washington does not intend to have joint relations with Beijing. Trump has repeatedly reiterated the thoughts of Mearsheimer, a prominent contemporary geopolitical theorist, who states that in less than a decade China’s growth will likely pose a threat to the United States as a superpower. Mearsheimer argues that within a few years, thanks to the growth of nominal GDP and demographic increase, the Republic of China will be the first military power in the world to dominate Asia. Trump intends to concentrate all his efforts, in terms of foreign policy, on this factor. To succeed, he understands that he needs to have on his side several regional players (Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, India, the Philippines), especially the Russian Federation, as well as oversee a sea change that will transfer the attention in Washington from the Atlantic to the Pacific .

This period of time will represent for Moscow, Beijing and Tehran a time to make definitive choices, a season in which the national policy-makers of these nations will have to understand what road to embark on. For Tehran, the cards are dealt face up, with a predetermined role as regional power. For Moscow and Beijing the issue is far more complicated. Much will depend on how Beijing intends to oppose openly any hostile action of Trump. Moscow has for many years openly questioned the world order led by Washington. Beijing understandably seems reluctant to engage in direct confrontation. In all likelihood, Trump and his realist foreign-policy attitude will lead the Chinese elite to understand that Washington considers itself to be the only one entitled to grant world order. The Chinese elites need to understand that the only sustainable path for the future is the construction, with all actors, of a multipolar world that includes Washington, New Delhi, Moscow, Tehran, London and Brussels. Realistically, it is hard to think that the new administration would alter the strategic partnership formed between China, Iran and Russia. After all, Trump would retrace the same steps of his predecessors, simply by changing the angle of approach and trying to further shuffle the cards of international relations. The decision to improve the world through cooperation and mutual respect does not exactly match the aspirations of the American deep state that seeks war, chaos and conflicts.

The big difference we will see with a candidate like Trump is easy. Once all diplomatic efforts have failed against Beijing, instead of doubling down with military or terrorist efforts, the strategy will be abandoned in silence. The strong expressions against Beijing, the feared increase in military spending for the Pacific (to satisfy the industrial-military apparatus), and the rhetoric against Iran (to appease the Israel lobby), will be used to moderate the deep state’s intentions, while Trump will try to focus on economics and security (counter-terrorism) and much less on foreign policy.

Series Conclusion

This series has sought to invite readers to reflect on the epochal events that are occurring. The global hegemonic project that was supposed to be realized with a Clinton presidency has been stopped. The inevitable military confrontation with Russia, Iran and China has been averted thanks to the preventive actions of these countries together with the defeat of the Democratic candidate. A huge blow has been delivered to the establishment, with its impulse toward globalism and US imperialism.

The emergence of a multipolar world order has altered the way nations interact with each other in the field of international relations. Washington is no longer the only referent, and it is this that represents a pivotal transition from a unipolar world dominated by Washington. The mechanisms that regulate the great powers have varied in form and content, leading to an almost unprecedented international situation. The future multipolar world order, historically unstable, will in fact hold the promise of stability thanks to the actions of opposing nations to the American superpower. United they will stabilize the world.

The key to a sustainable future world order is the synergy between the newly formed Beijing, Moscow and Tehran axis as an economic, military and cultural counterweight to the US. The union and the alliance of these three nations has created a new super-pole, able to balance effectively the often destructive actions of Washington. Rather than a multipolar world order, we are actually faced with a situation of two superpowers, one of which is based on the integration between dozens of nations on more than two continents. It is a new era that will accompany us over the coming decades. The unipolar world is over – forever!

domingo, 15 de enero de 2017

Bueno y malo

Cada tanto hay algún europeo que se saca la venda de los ojos y dice las cosas como son. A continuación reproducimos una impecable nota de Manlio Dinucci aparecida esta mañana en Red Voltaire:

Título: El presidente «bueno» y el presidente «malo»

Epígrafe: Electo hace más de 2 meses y sin llegar aún a la Casa Blanca, Donald Trump no ha tenido lo que llaman «estado de gracia» sino más bien todo lo contrario. El presidente electo es blanco de una campaña de estigmatización a escala internacional. Rompiendo lanzas por sus amos estadounidenses, los europeos –en vez de luchar por su propia soberanía– se unen a coro al concierto de críticas –no siempre justificadas– bajo la batuta de las élites de la ribera occidental del Atlántico. Invocando la «democracia», incluso desfilan contra el resultado de las elecciones.

Texto: Barack Obama fue designado «santo subito», o sea “santo de inmediato”: en cuanto entró en la Casa Blanca, en 2009, se le entregó a título preventivo el Premio Nobel de la Paz por «sus extraordinarios esfuerzos por fortalecer la diplomacia internacional y la cooperación entre los pueblos». Eso fue mientras su administración ya preparaba en secreto, a través de la secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton, la guerra que 2 años más tarde destruiría el Estado libio, guerra que se extendería después a Siria e Irak mediante los grupos terroristas, instrumentos de la estrategia de Estados Unidos y la OTAN.

Donald Trump, por el contrario, ha sido demonizado de inmediato, incluso antes de entrar en la Casa Blanca. Lo acusan de usurpar el puesto destinado a Hillary Clinton, gracias a una operación maléfica ordenada por el presidente ruso Vladimir Putin. Las “pruebas” vienen de la CIA, incuestionablemente experta en materia de infiltraciones y golpes de Estado. Basta con recordar sus operaciones destinadas a provocar guerras contra Vietnam, Cambodia, Líbano, Somalia, Irak, Yugoslavia, Afganistán, Libia y Siria; o sus golpes de Estado en Indonesia, Salvador, Brasil, Chile, Argentina y Grecia. Y sus consecuencias: millones de personas encarceladas, torturadas y asesinadas; millones de personas desplazadas de sus tierras, convertidas en refugiados, víctimas de una verdadera trata de esclavos. Y sobre todo las mujeres, adolescentes y niñas sometidas a la esclavitud, violadas, obligadas a ejercer la prostitución.

Habría que recordar todo eso a quienes, en Estados Unidos y en Europa, organizan el 21 de enero la Marcha de las Mujeres para defender precisamente esa paridad de género conquistada en duras luchas y constantemente cuestionada por posiciones sexistas, como las que expresa Trump. Pero no es por esa razón que se apunta con el dedo a Trump en una campaña sin precedente en el proceso de transmisión del poder en la Casa Blanca. El hecho es que, en esta ocasión, los perdedores se niegan a reconocer la legitimidad del presidente electo y están implementando un impeachment preventivo. Donald Trump está siendo presentado como una especie de Manchurian Candidate que, infiltrado en la Casa Blanca, estaría bajo el control de Putin, enemigo de Estados Unidos.

Los estrategas neoconservadores, artífices de esta campaña, tratan de impedir así un cambio de rumbo en la relación de Estados Unidos con Rusia, que la administración Obama ha retrotraído a los tiempos de la guerra fría. Trump es un «trader» que, aunque sigue basando la política estadounidense en la fuerza militar, tiene intenciones de abrir una negociación con Rusia, probablemente para debilitar la alianza entre Moscú y Pekín.

En Europa, quienes temen que se produzca una disminución de la tensión con Rusia son ante todo los dirigentes de la OTAN, que han ganado importancia gracias a la escalada militar de la nueva guerra fría, y los grupos que detentan el poder en los países del este –principalmente en Ucrania, en Polonia y en los países bálticos– que apuestan por la hostilidad anti-rusa para obtener mayor respaldo militar y económico de parte de la OTAN y la Unión Europea.

En ese contexto, no es posible dejar de mencionar, en las manifestaciones del 21 de enero, las responsabilidades de quienes han transformado Europa en la primera línea del enfrentamiento, incluso nuclear, con Rusia.

Tendríamos que salir a la calle, ciertamente, pero no como súbditos estadounidenses que rechazan a un presidente “malo” sino exigiendo uno “bueno”, para liberarnos de lo que nos ata a Estados Unidos, país que –sin importar quién sea su presidente– ejerce su influencia sobre Europa a través de la OTAN. Tendríamos que manifestar, pero para salirnos de esa alianza guerrerista, para exigir la retirada del armamento nuclear que Estados Unidos tiene almacenado en nuestros países.

Tendríamos que manifestar para tener derecho a opinar, como ciudadanas y ciudadanos, sobre las opciones en materia de política exterior que, indisolublemente ligadas a las opciones económicas y políticas internas, determinan nuestras condiciones de vida y nuestro futuro.

sábado, 14 de enero de 2017

Que pase el que sigue

La marioneta corporativa llamada Barack Obama culmina su presidencia en un clima de ignominia e impotencia. Nada de esto debe ser sugerido siquiera a las masas de su país, so pena de que la furia popular despierte ciertas conciencias, por lo que la despedida del susodicho fue emotiva hasta las lágrimas (foto). Que pase el que sigue. Leemos en Strategic Culture Foundation la siguiente nota de Finian Cunningham:

Título: Obama’s ‘Farewell To Arms’ As War Presidency Ends

Texto: Eight straight years of warmongering come to an end as US President Barack Obama bows out with his «farewell to the nation» speech this week, as fawning American media dubbed his valediction.

In reality, Obama’s outgoing address should have been billed as a «farewell to arms» made by arguably one of the most belligerent presidents to ever have occupied the White House.

Only in exceptionally delusional America could such a pernicious paradox be presented as something honorable and sentimental.

Obama, the 44th US president, may have been the first black president and winner of a Nobel peace prize during his first year in office in 2009. But apart from those dubious accolades – championed by supposedly liberal Hollywood celebrities and media pundits – his actual record in office is one of blood-soaked disgrace.

Instead of ending American overseas wars as he had promised back in 2008, Obama expanded on his predecessor George W Bush’s criminal foreign interventions. At least seven countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia – have been routinely bombed under Obama’s watch as the US Commander-in-Chief. That’s one repugnant record.

Last year alone, the US military reportedly dropped over 26,000 bombs around the world killing countless thousands of people, the exact number buried under official secrecy and American mainstream media indifference. At that rate, American anti-war campaigner Medea Benjamin estimates that US forces deployed three bombs every hour of every day for the whole of 2016. This death from the skies included Obama’s personal ordering of drone assassinations during his weekly Terror Tuesday briefings from Pentagon chiefs, the use of which increased 10-fold under his command, killing thousands of innocent civilians as «collateral damage».

In Yemen, one of the poorest countries on Earth, where Obama fully backs an ongoing Saudi air war, it is reckoned that a child dies every 10 minutes from the American-supplied bombing campaign and blockade. Hardly a word about this US-backed genocide is permitted to intrude into public awareness by the Western corporate-controlled media.

Under the supposed Nobel peace laureate, the United States has sold an all-time record of $115 billion-worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia – one of the most repressive regimes in the world – which has in turn fueled jihadist terrorism across the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Europe.

In Syria, just one of the countries to be afflicted by Obama’s policy of covert collusion with jihadist terrorism for regime-change machinations, the death toll is estimated to be around 400,000, with millions more displaced by the US-led proxy war that began in March 2011.

That war unleashed by the Obama administration to oust President Bashar al-Assad has only been arrested because of Russia’s military intervention at the end of 2015. At every step, Obama and his top diplomat John Kerry have sought to thwart Russia’s efforts to salvage the country from jihadist terror proxies. With warped logic, Obama and his British and French allies – all sponsors of the regime change war in Syria – have tried to paint Russia as a war criminal.

In his final year in office, Obama has overseen a massive escalation in US military special operations around the world. These covert forces are now reported to be operating in 138 countries – 70% of the world – a military deployment that represents a 130% increase on that under George W Bush. Self-declared liberal Americans consider Bush to be a warmongering disaster, yet somehow they hail Obama as some kind of progressive «peace president».

The Nobel prize awarded to Obama surely stands as an egregious offense to humankind’s intelligence and decency. With his typical rhetorical sophistry, Obama talked about abolishing nuclear weapons during his early days in the White House, only to subsequently commit his nation to a trillion-dollar upgrade of its nuclear arsenal. In stark violation of international obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Under his watch, the «peace president» has pursued a bellicose collision course with nuclear-armed Russia that threatens a global conflagration. Relations between the US and Russia have sunk to new dangerous depths – never seen since the former Cold War – led largely by the Obama administration’s demonizing of Moscow with a litany of fraudulent charges. Charges amplified by the servile Western mass media of course instead of being debunked as they surely should be.

Rather than dialogue and diplomacy, Obama’s presidency has used subterfuge and relentless propaganda to antagonize Russia. From personal insults against Russian President Vladimir Putin being a «Hitler figure» to vilifying Moscow for regional conflicts that the Western powers have actually stoked, Obama has tempted all-out war through reckless sanctions and expansion of NATO forces on Russia’s borders. The last power to have menaced Russia with such flagrant aggression was Nazi Germany. Yet, Putin is caricatured as Hitler, while Obama is lauded in the Western media as a standard-bearer for world peace.

This week as Obama gave his self-preening farewell to the nation speech, thousands of new US troops and tanks were dispatched to buttress NATO forces already at unprecedented levels in Germany, Poland and the Baltic states. While his country endures economic austerity and social collapse from poverty, the White House has ordered $3.4 billion in extra military spend in Europe to bolster NATO aggression towards Russian. Part of that warmongering extravagance involves supporting a neo-Nazi junta in Kiev to continue its onslaught against the ethnic Russian people of eastern Ukraine, where the death toll has reached at least 10,000 since 2014.

Only in America, the «exceptional nation» as Obama repeatedly proclaims, is a warmongering president feted as a «peace leader». Whereas his successor, Donald Trump who will be inaugurated next week, is pilloried as a traitor because he has dared to call for restoring better relations with Russia.

Trump is by no means perfect. His reactionary and at times foul-mouthed populism may be deserving of mockery as it was this week at the Golden Globes film-awards ceremony held in Hollywood. Award-winning actress Meryl Streep won plaudits from the supposed liberal media for her rebuke of Trump over his alleged bigoted and bullying behavior.

But where is the appropriate condemnation of Obama for displaying far worse failings – as perhaps the most blood-soaked president to have sat in the «highest office of the nation»?

What makes the US the most dangerous nation on Earth to world peace is that so many of its so-called liberal intellectuals, artists and media evidently view Barack Obama as a man of peace and progress. When in reality, the 44th president should be prosecuted for multiple war crimes. Instead of being free to earn millions of dollars in future years giving sonorous speeches on «international relations» to sundry audiences, Obama should be earning time behind bars. (In the ignoble company of other US ex-presidents, it should be added.)