Thursday, December 31, 2009

Richard Falk on Gaza


the Fifth International must be “an instrument for the unification and the articulation of the struggle of the peoples to save this planet”
It calls for an urgent mobilization against the new imperialist offensive in Latin America, by the US administration and the Latin American Right
to oppose the new US bases in Colombia, to support, in particular, the mobilization of the people of Honduras against the new dictatorial regime.
but it is decisive to learn together the lessons from Stalinism and social democracy, so that the tragedies and the errors of the past are not repeated
* An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist programme of emergency demands
* Unity of action of all the organizations
against the attacks of the governments and the capitalist classes
* Independence of the social movements

* Solidarity with all struggles of peoples against all the imperialist powers.
* The fight against oppressions

Is not a step forward


The world has also learned some valuable lessons
that we should already have learned
  • The first lesson is that markets are not self-correcting. Indeed, without adequate regulation
  • The second important lesson involves understanding why markets often do not work the way they are meant to
  • The third lesson is that Keynesian policies do work
  • The fourth lesson is that there is more to monetary policy than just fighting inflation
  • The fifth lesson is that not all innovation leads to a more efficient and productive economy

Regrettably, unless the United States and other advanced industrial countries make much greater progress on financial-sector reforms in 2010 we may find ourselves faced with another opportunity to learn them.


Gaza Freedom March YouTube


smartMeme can be contacted at:

Direct Action as Storytelling

Direct action is a good catch all term for any action where people step out of their scripted roles (be it as consumers, “good citizens” or apathetic spectators) and challenge the dominant expectation of obedience

it shifts power relationships in the moment it is happening, builds lasting movement by leaving an imprint in our imaginations of new possibilities

part of the larger story that people powered movements are collectively (re)telling ourselves about the ability of ordinary people to organize, to govern ourselves, and to create change

Mass actions, an attempt to build a collaborative power for change to confront and transform the coercive power of oppressive systems

reframe possibilities by effectively employing story-based strategies that can shift the assumptions underpinning our political status quo

Narrative Power Analysis
A narrative analysis of power
humans understand the world (and our role in it) through stories
all power relations have a narrative dimension
the power to explain and justify the status quo as well as the power to make change imaginable and necessary
Which stories define the cultural norms?
narrative power can be equally coercive
Powerful interests routinely use propaganda
to de-mobilize social movements
these narratives
acting as filters to our social change
Movements and campaigns
must first
changing the story
applying a narrative power analysis to identify the underlying assumptions that need to shift, and then telling a story that can challenge and change those assumptions.
Direct Action at the Point of Assumption
intervene in the systems of domination and control
hese interventions come at many places
must do more than just temporarily disrupt business as usual


If there's one guy in the Obama administration that I really can't stomach, it has to be Timothy Geithner. What qualifies him to be Secretary of Treasury anyway? Is it because he has spent his life coddling up to the most powerful men on Wall Street?

Today he showed his true stripes again. In what was apparently a private meeting with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board he let his guard down.


historical materialism can be summed up in a sentence: ""it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness."
the old dog, Wellington wanders down to a pool full of crabs. The crabs speculate about the mysterious divinity, the "eyeballs in the sky," which appears to them
if your universe were a pond. Your consciousness is determined by your being. Thought is limited by the range of experience of the specie
We know very little about how primitive people thought, but we know what they couldn't have been thinking about
what the football results were
Industrial towns
where a part of society can be fed by the rest
extensive division of labour must exist
people must be accustomed to working for money and buying the things they want from others
are dependent on the way society makes its daily bread, on people's "social existence
what is mankind?
Hegel said that "man, is a thinking being

slightly more sophisticated form of the usual religious view that man is endowed by his Creator with a brain to admire His handiwork
we are different from dung beetles
But why did humans develop the capacity to think
Engels pointed out, upright posture marked the transition from ape to man, a completely materialist explanation
Upright posture liberated the hands for gripping with an opposable thumb. This enabled tools to be used and developed.
The use of the hands developed the powers of the brain through the medium of the eyes.
Engels was a dialectical materialis
he explained how it aros
Benjamin Franklin
nearer a materialist
defined man as a tool-making animal
struggle for existence
species survive through natural selection
Yet humans came to dominate the planet
take external nature
for granted
mankind progressively masters nature
The process
is labour
Engels stated Marx's
great discovery
"mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing
work before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion

In another dialectical formulation, Engels says that "the hand is not only the organ of labour, it is also the product of labour."
primitive human beings
were thinking most of the time—food
The struggle against want has dominated history ever since.
the appropriate social conditions must exist before our ideas and our activity can be effective.
people "make their own history...but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past"
We need to understand how society is developing in order to intervene in the process. That is what we mean when we say Marxism is a science of perspectives
Language, the currency of thought, is itself the creation of labour
hunting animals that rely upon teamwork
barked commands
the beginnings of language
result of their co-operative labour
labour distinguishes mankind
mankind progressively changes nature through labour
so changes itself
increasing ability
to master nature
increasing productivity of labour
To each stage in the development

of the productive forces corresponds a certain set of production relations
Production relation means the way people organise themselves to gain their
the skeleton
of society
the conditions of social existence that determine human consciousness
the development of the productive forces brings into existence different production relations, and different forms of class society
By a 'class' we mean a group of people in society with the same relationship to the means of production. The class which owns and controls the means of production rules society. This, at the same time, enables it to force the oppressed or labouring class to toil in the rulers' interests. The labouring class is forced to produce a surplus which the ruling class lives off.

Marx explained:

"The specific economic form in which unpaid surplus-labour is pumped out of the direct producers determines the relationship of rulers and ruled, as it grows directly out of production itself and, in turn, reacts upon it as a determining element. Upon this, however, is founded the entire formation of the economic community which grows up out of the production relations themselves; thereby simultaneously its specific political form. It is always the direct relationship of the owners of the conditions of production to the direct producers-a relation always naturally corresponding to a definite stage in the development of the methods of labour and thereby its social productivity-which reveals the innermost secret, the hidden basis of the entire social structure, and with it the political form of the relation of sovereignty and dependence, in short the corresponding specific form of the state. (Capital, Vol III.)


The Center for Public Integrity
Windfalls of War: US Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq

What is Historical Materialism

The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution

The Rise of Neoconservatism

Otto Reich and the Honduran Coup D’Etat:

Trotsky's critique of Popular Frontism

Problems of the Chinese Revolution

The Revolution In Spain

Historical Materialism

The STORY Program: Strategy Training & Organizing Resources for Youth

Changing the Story: Story-Based Strategies for Direct Action Design

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


some of the most resolute activists on the planet—

Bernardine Dohrn, the law professor and former member of the Weather Underground;

Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada; and

Donna Mulhearn, an Australian woman who was a human shield during the beginning of he Iraq war, Mulhearn, she would say so on her blog''

(The message, from Haidar Eid and Omar Barghouti, says, "After a lot of hesitation and deliberation, we are writing to call on you to reject the ‘deal’ reached with the Egyptian authorities. This deal is bad for us and, we deeply feel, terrible for the solidarity movement.")

People turned on one another, the Code Pink leadership was accused of being all hat and no saddle

The Americans, who are so conditioned to living with the Israel lobby, as an abused wife to her battering husband, are being exposed to a more adamant politics—we are having a rendezvous with the Freedom Riders

Helen Schiff told me that the front page

"Mubarak to Netanyahu: Lift the siege and end the suffering of the Palestinian people." We gave him that line! she said. A longtime civil rights activist, Helen told me it’s "fabulous" what happened, we are achieving more in Cairo than we would if we had gotten into Gaza.

I can feel the spirit of the Freedom Riders and of the abolitionists
The international street has come to the Arab street, and everyone is learning.


The Assassination of Fred Hampton is Jeffrey Haas's personal account of how he and People's Law Office partner Flint Taylor pursued Fred Hampton's assassins, ultimately prevailing over unlimited government resources and FBI conspiracy. Not only a story of justice delivered, the book puts Fred Hampton in a new light as a dynamic community leader and an inspiration in the fight against injustice.

praise for the book:

"A riveting account of the assassination, the plot behind it, the attempted cover-up, the denouement and the lessons that we should draw from this shocking tale of government iniquity." —Noam Chomsky, author and political activist

“A remarkable work.” —Studs Terkel

“A true crime story and legal thriller, this powerful account puts together all the pieces, step by step, giving us the anatomy of a despicable episode in recent American history. The writing is clear and straightforward; the overall impact devastating.” —Phillip Lopate, author of Getting Personal

“This is an extremely important book–and a tale well told–for America to read if it wants to become what it says it has always been—the land of the free and the home of the brave.” —Ramsey Clark, lawyer and former United States Attorney General

Jeffrey Haas is an attorney and cofounder of the People's Law Office, whose clients included the Black Panthers, Students for a Democratic Society, community activists, and a large number of those opposed to the Vietnam War. He has handled cases involving prisoners' rights, Puerto Rican nationalists, protestors opposed to human rights violations in Central America, police torture, and the wrongfully accused.


Obama Rejects Visit to Hiroshima, Nagasaki. November 13, 2009

President Obama is in Japan today in the first stop of his inaugural visit to Asia since taking office earlier this year. Obama is set to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, whose party was elected in August on a platform that included revisiting Japanese-US military ties. Hatoyama has suggested he wants to move a US military base off the island of Okinawa, while the US says it wants to relocate to a different location. Before his arrival, Obama rejected an invitation to visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, site of the US atomic bombing sixty-four years ago that killed an estimated 220,000 Japanese. Obama’s call for ending nuclear weapons and his recent Nobel Peace Prize win had raised expectations in Japan that he would become the first sitting US president to visit the two cities. Asked about his refusal earlier today, Obama said he would visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki at a later date.

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As Obama becomes yet another U.S. president not to visit Hiroshima, we come closer to committing ever more violence.

My friend Elisa Salasin (on my suggestion) plugged audio of Truman's claim that Hiroshima was a "military base" into OMD's Enola Gay (Sash remix). She overlaid it with video and stills resulting in the final video:'']

(About the Sash remix: Enola Gay was name of the U.S. plane that dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. It was named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the plane's pilot, Paul Tibbets; Little Boy was the codename of the bomb itself, hence the line "Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today?" This song is from OMD (Orchestral Manuvers in the Dark) and remixed by Sash to include audio such as Robert Oppenheimer saying "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds," quoting the Bhagavad Gita.)


The League for the Fifth International has argued for many years that the assaults on the social and economic gains of the workers, carried out by the capitalist class under the banner of Globalisation, Neoliberalism and the War on Terrorism, urgently required an internationally coordinated fight back
to found a new global party of socialist revolution, a Fifth International.
Revolutionaries however cannot agree to entrust the initiative of founding a new workers’ international to the head of a bourgeois state
that defends capitalist ownership of the means of production and enforces this by a standing army and police force against the workers and poor of Venezuela
Chávez has clashed repeatedly with US imperialism
and has, under mass pressure, carried out important reforms for the popular classes in terms of healthcare and education
Venezuela remains a capitalist country and the state machine a capitalist one
An International tied to such a state would not be a working class International

committed to the socialist revolution, but one run by bourgeois nationalists merely dressed up as socialists
Chávez and his bourgeois regime, then it would never be able to chart a course of class independence
it might even include such overtly pro-imperialist enemies of the working class as the Mexican PRI or the Argentinian Peronists
Chávez recently supported and solidarised with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s brutal repression of the workers, women and youth of Iran who were fighting for democratic rights and with Robert Mugabe’s prolonged attempts to do the same in Zimbabwe
an era of a severe, indeed a historic, crisis of capitalism, strategic alliances with the “progressive” or “anti-imperialist” or national bourgeoisies, not to speak of a common International of workers and such bourgeois nationalists, would tie the working class hand and foot to a section of capital.
It would block the road to the socialist revolution
repeat the errors
crimes of the Communist International under Stalin.

Venezuelan president addressed a real need. A need felt by millions of workers, peasants and poor struggling against capitalist exploitation and imperialist rule. In order to repel the bosses’ offensives, in order to prevent the governments making the workers pay for the crisis and also to prevent reactionary nationalist “solutions” to it, the working class does indeed need a new, fighting, revolutionary International
They need it to repulse the attempts to make them pay the costs of the crisis. They need it to bring an end to the series of imperialist wars of conquest and occupation. They need it to bring succour to the oppressed nationalities like the Palestinians and the Sri Lankan Tamils.
The working class
the oppressed
are threatened by a period of deepening chaos for the capitalist system
massive environmental destruction
new conflicts between the major powers as they try to re-divide the natural resources and the exploitable labour of the world

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election?

The Office of Iranian Affairs

In February, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested emergency funding from Congress to the amount of $75 million, on top of a previously allocated $10 million, “to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government”, in the words of The Guardian. The money “would be used to broadcast US radio and television programmes into Iran, help pay for Iranians to study in America and support pro-democracy groups inside the country.” The propaganda effort would include “extending the government-run Voice of America’s Farsi service from a few hours a day to round-the-clock coverage.” In announcing the request, Rice said the U.S. “will work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy in their country.”[20]

World War Two: Lessons and Warnings

World War Two: Lessons and Warnings
Nick Beams delivers lecture in Sydney and Melbourne
It resulted in the deaths of more than 70 million people, including almost 27 million in the Soviet Union and up to 20 million in China. The war saw unspeakable horrors: the mass murder of almost 6 million European Jews, the fire-bombing of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo and the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to name but a few.
prevailing legends
trying to appease Nazi Germany
democracy against fascist
Great Britain stood at the head of the largest empire the world has ever seen, encompassing a quarter of the earth’s surface
The Gulf War
Hitler of the Middle East
Munich in 1938!
Hitler of the Balkans
Middle East Hitler
1930s? The appeasement policy
definite set of calculations
in his book Mein Kampf
launch a war against the Soviet Union
published in 1920
“international Jews,” Churchill wrote
“The adherents of this sinister confederacy

Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx
Trotsky (Russia)
Bela Kun (Hungary)
Rosa Luxemburg (Germany)
Emma Goldman (United States)
world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization
recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution
gripped the Russian people
Hitler’s rantings against the Jew-Bolshevik
Churchill had advanced it
Churchill’s attitude to fascism
delivered on January 20, 1927, during a visit to Italy
“I could not help being charmed,”
by Signor Mussolini’s gentle
a service to the whole world
The Nazis only became an enemy when it was feared that their drive for conquest threatened the position of British imperialism
entry of the United States into the war
another legend
United States did not enter the war to pursue any imperial ambitions or to secure its geopolitical interests
war against Japan was awaited and anticipated
United States imposed an oil embargo against Japan in July 1941, to enforce its demand that Japan withdraw from China
United States had insisted
“open door”

policy in China. It was hostile to the Japanese incursions
Manchuria in 1931
second war
July 1937 with the capture of Beijing
war against Japan
March 1939
Basic War Plan ORANGE. Orange stood for Japan
“to impose the will of the United States upon ORANGE by destroying ORANGE Armed Forces and by disrupting ORANGE economic life, while protecting American interests at home and abroad.”
September 1940, the American naval attaché in Tokyo sent a report to Washington about the state of Japanese cities. “Hoses are old, worn and leaky,” he wrote, “water mains are shut off at night
ncendiary bombs sowed widely
put into deadly effect in March 1945 with the firebombing of Tokyo. More than 100,000 people
An official US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that “probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a 6-hour period than at any time in the history of man.” [5]
let us turn now to the underlying causes of World War II
21 years after the conclusion of World War I
The eruption of the war on

August 4, 1914 came as a tremendous shock
At the end of 1887, Frederick Engels wrote: “And, finally, the only war left for Prussia-Germany to wage will be a world war, a world war

Engels was pointing to the consequences of a war among the bourgeois nation-states whose economies, and therefore military capacities, had rapidly expanded in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
Capitalist finance and industry was developing on an immense scale. This was the beginning of the age of imperialism
capitalist great powers
struggle, on a global scale, for markets, colonies, spheres of influence and raw materials
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815
Pax Britannica existed
end of the nineteenth century, Great Britain was losing its position
being challenged
United States
where industrial development had gone ahead by leaps and bounds in the decades following the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865
Marxist movement
Second International, founded in 1889
pointing to the emerging danger of war

the socialist movement had to oppose the drive to war and, if it could not be prevented, to use the crisis created by the outbreak of war to overthrow the capitalist system. However, when war erupted on August 4, 1914, virtually the entire leadership of the old socialist parties capitulated and supported their own bourgeoisie. Only a handful of socialist leaders, principally among them Lenin, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg, maintained their opposition to the war
Following this betrayal
evolutionary Marxists confronted two interconnected political tasks: to explain what had given rise to the war; the causes and implications of the collapse of the Second International and, on the basis of this analysis, to advance a revolutionary perspective for the working class
In 1915 Trotsky outlined the essential causes of the war in his brilliant pamphlet War and the International
the eruption of war was rooted in the organic and irresolvable contradictions of the capitalist mode of production

By means of the national state, capitalism has revolutionized the whole economic system of the world. It has divided the whole earth among the oligarchies of the great powers
The future development of world economy on the capitalistic basis means a ceaseless struggle for new and ever new fields of capitalist exploitation, which must be obtained from one and the same source, the earth
The economic rivalry under the banner of militarism is accompanied by robbery and destruction which violate the elementary principles of human economy
World production revolts not only against the confusion produced by national and state divisions but also against the capitalist economic organizations, which has now turned into barbarous disorganization and chaos.”
the program for which the international working class now had to fight:
“The only way in which the proletariat can meet the imperialistic perplexity of capitalism is by opposing to it as a practical program of the day the socialist organization

of world economy. War is the method by which capitalism, at the climax of its development, seeks to solve its insoluble contradictions. To this method the proletariat must oppose its own method, the method of the social revolution.”
collapse of the Second International made clear
struggle waged by Lenin against opportunism
Lenin’s perspective was to turn the imperialist war into a civil war
the socialist revolution was not
distant event, but that it had to be actively prepared in the daily struggle of the party
Lenin opposed, above all, the theories of Karl Kautsky
who maintained that the war was not an inevitable outcome of capitalism
no alliance between the capitalist powers could be permanent, because they developed at an uneven rate
Peace arose out of wars
periods of peace prepared the ground for new wars.
Only the socialist revolution and the overthrow of the capitalist system itself could end war and the threat that it posed to human civilization.
The Versailles Treaty and its outcome

The war had come to an abrupt end in November 1918
The German High Command took the decision to seek peace through the American president Woodrow Wilson, who had led the US into the war in April 1917
By 1918 a vital new factor had entered the political situation—the Russian Revolution of October 1917 and the rising tide of revolution across Europe. Uppermost in the calculations of all the European bourgeois leaders was the fear that if they did not end the war, it would be brought to a conclusion through socialist revolution
the Treaty that resulted, resolved none of the conflicts that had given rise to the war. In fact it exacerbated them
Plunder by war was replaced by a new system of robbery. France insisted that Germany pay crippling reparations payments with the aim of trying to prevent its economic resurgence. Britain was owed money by Italy and France. But Britain, in turn, owed money to the United States, which insisted that it be repaid. Money was extracted from Germany

in the form of reparations, which were then used to pay France and Britain, which in turn repaid debts to the United States. The United States, in turn, after 1924, issued billions of dollars of loans to maintain German economic stability, so that Germany could continue to pay reparations and keep the circuit of finance going. In the words of British economist John Maynard Keynes, the world had been turned into an economic madhouse
in the wake of the crisis of 2007-2008
In the US, the Fed, the central bank, issues money to the banks at virtually zero interest. The banks use this money to trade in the bond and debt markets, often to organize the financing of government debt that has been incurred to fund the bailout of the banks and financial institutions. As a result, the banks are able to report increased profits and pay out lavish bonuses
Ten years after the Treaty of Versailles
European economies
egained the level of economic output they had attained in 1913
this economic house of cards and the world economy was sent plunging into the Great Depression. The ensuing economic tensions between the capitalist great powers fueled the drive to war

The danger of a new world war
In 1945, the bloody 30-year conflict that had started in Europe in 1914
came to an end with the victory of the United States and its allies, and of the Soviet Union, over Nazi Germany and Japan
The post-war order
rested on two foundations
the economic dominance of the United States over its imperialist rivals, and the Cold War
The division of Europe into East and West solved the “German question”
Both these pillars of what might be called Pax Americana have collapsed
growth, over the past 20 years, of military violence and outright gangsterism
A general peace
cannot be maintained indefinitely
because capitalist development takes place unevenly
economic relationships
will inevitably change
the United States has been steadily eroding since 1945
The economic rise of
Germany and Japan
led to a decline in the relative supremacy of the US
A qualitative turning point
in 1971
steadily growing balance of payments deficit
followed by a trade deficit
gold backing
US dollar

shattered the Bretton Woods monetary system
By the late 1980s, the United States, formerly the world’s leading creditor nation, had become its biggest debtor
internal rot and decay at the heart of the US financial system been revealed
confronted by the rise of new powers, China and India
resurgence of old ones
New relationships
going to be established
through conflict.
already well underway
eruption of imperialist violence over the past two decades
collapse of the Soviet Union
of the 1990s
was seized on by the US
to counter its economic decline through the use of its preponderant military might
“unipolar” moment
the United States has launched a series of wars
Gulf War in 1990
dismantling of Yugoslavia through the decade and then the launching of war against Serbia in 1999
September 11, 2001
set in motion well-developed plans to invade Afghanistan
Iraq war in 2003
under the Obama
stepped up and extended into Pakistan
vast resources of Central Asia,
To illustrate the issues at stake

Imperialism and Global Political Economy by Alex Callinicos
is a leading member of the British Socialist Workers Party and considers himself a Marxist, a Leninist and a revolutionary
After a theoretical and historical review of imperialism, he comes to the following conclusion:
US hegemony
support for Serfati’s conclusion
‘there is no risk that the inter-capitalist economic rivalries
will develop into military confrontations
the factors that make inter-imperialist war “improbable” are the overwhelming military superiority of the US, the inter-dependence of the advanced economies, the political solidarity binding them together and the existence of nuclear weapons as a disincentive
the exception of nuclear weapons, all these factors were cited in the first decade of the twentieth century by
Norman Angell
financial crisis of 2007-2008?
All the major governments rushed to defend their own banking systems and their own corporations
paid lip service
need for a co-ordinated international response.

the US is projecting its military power
is being projected “outwards
beyond the frontiers of advanced capitalism into dangerous border zones
World War I and World War II
began precisely in the “border zones”
Balkans nor Poland, nor Manchuria
Nor is Georgia today
It is in the so-called “border zones”
imperialist powers intersect and collide
Middle East
Central Asia
African continent
Callinicos puts
The remedy is “replacing capitalism with a democratic and progressive alternative” not
with the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of international socialism
be prevented?
intervention of the masses into the historical process.
masses must be armed with an independent program and perspective
sought to
prevent the Iraq war
February 2003
the weakness
no independent program
subordinated to the parties of the imperialist bourgeoisie
Democrats in the US, the Labor Party in Australia
Everything depends on political rearming the working class and imbuing it with the culture of international socialism

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


after September 11 Cubans convicted of terrorist offences were being released from US jails with the consent of the Bush administration

Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana, by Ann Louise Bardach, who has covered Cuban and Miami politics for the New York Times and Vanity Fair

to 1984 when Jeb Bush began a close association with Camilo Padreda, a former intelligence officer with the Batista dictatorship

Jeb Bush, chairman of the Dade county Republican party and Padreda its finance chairman. Padreda had earlier been indicted on a $500,000
embezzlement charge along with Hernandez Cartaya charges were dropped CIA stated that Cartaya had worked for them

Padreda later pleaded guilty to defrauding the housing and urban development department of millions of dollars during the 1980s.

The president's younger brother was also on the payroll in the 80s of the prominent Cuban exile Miguel Recarey, who had earlier assisted the CIA in attempts to assassinate President Castro.

Recarey, who ran International Medical Centres (IMC), employed Jeb Bush as a real estate consultant. Jeb Bush did, however, lobby the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of Recarey and IMC

In 1985, Jeb Bush acted as a conduit on behalf of supporters of the Nicaraguan contras with his father helped arrange for IMC to provide free medical treatment for the contras. Recarey was later charged with massive medicare fraud but fled the US before his trial and is now a fugitive.

Jeb Bush sealed his popularity with the Cuban exile community as campaign manager for another prominent Cuban-American, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

at the request of Jeb, Mr Bush Sr intervened to release the convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch from prison and then granted him US residency. Bosch had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts, 1976 blowing-up of a Cubana plane, Bosch's release result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man

Jeb Bush nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of Batista, as a Florida supreme court judge. Mr Cantero had previously represented Bosch.

Other Cuban exiles, Jose Dionisio Suarez and Virgilio Paz Romero, who carried out the 1976 assassination of the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier have also been released by the current Bush administration.

many hardline Cuban-Americans have received plum jobs, Mel Martinez was made housing secretary, Otto Reich was awarded a one year recess appointment for the western hemisphere in the state department.


(5): The Dalai Lama's CIA Connection

Ironically, Dalai Lama who headed the so-called "Free-Tibet" movement, is himself not so free from the CIA manipulation ever since he fled China in the 50's.

The "Money-Matters" of the Dalai Lama & his Government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama has been on the CIA payroll since the late 1950s. It is important to understand this longer than half-a-century relationship between the Dalai Lama and the US intelligence agency in analyzing the recent turmoil in Tibet.

From the late 50's until 1974, the Dalai Lama had been on the CIA's payroll, reportedly receiving 180,000 USD a year. Besides that, his government set up in exile in Northern India had also received US$1.7 million a year from the CIA. The money was paid for guerrilla operations against the Chinese.

Today, his government-in-exile's funding comprises seven departments and several other special offices including charitable trusts, a publishing company, hotels in India and Nepal and a handicrafts distribution company in the US and in Australia.

The government was involved in running 24 businesses in all, but decided in 2003 that it would withdraw from these because such commercial involvement was not appropriate.

Many donations are channeled through the New York-based Tibet Fund, set up in 1981 by Tibetan refugees and US citizens. It has grown into a multi-million-dollar organization that disburses $US3 million each year to its various programs.

Part of its funding comes from the US State Department's Bureau for Refugee Programs


The State Department said previously that he was working as a subcontractor for the Maryland-based economic development organization Development Alternatives Inc.

Jim Boomgard, the company's president and chief executive, said he was part of a new USAID program intended to "strengthen civil society in support of just and democratic governance in Cuba."

After two weeks of silence, Raul Castro first acknowledged the detention in an address to Parliament on Dec. 20, saying the American was arrested for distributing illegal satellite communications equipment.

Development Alternatives Inc.

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Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) is a development consulting company based in Bethesda, MD, USA.

DAI acted as a conduit for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (through the Office of Transition Initiatives) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED} funds to the Venezuelan opposition to president Hugo Chavez. Furthermore, it was instrumental along with NED affiliated organizations for financing black propaganda on Venezuelan private network TV during the general strike in 2002. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that DAI was required to keep certain personnel in Venezuela and had to consult with USAID about staff changes. Philip Agee, a former CIA officer, suggests that this is merely a cover for what passed for CIA operations in the past [Agee, op. cit. (transcript here)].

In 1990, Experience International Inc. was purchased by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) and operated as that company's Agriculture and Agribusiness Division. [1]


How to scare the shit out of America and make them do anything

by Mr. Charrington on January 10, 2008

The Rise of Neoconservatism to power in America is documented in the BBC’s series “The Power of Nightmares”. All the NeoCon myths exposed and the obvious exploitation of American values in to twisted patriotism. Great information on the Fathers and minions of Neoconservatism, Strauss, Wolfowitz and Kristol. Basing their entire theory on failing liberalism and personal independence being the cause for the people’s negative reaction to Government policies. Deducing that the only way to give America it’s “True” course was to “Invent” good and evil so the country would unite in a common cause — a fabricated War against evil.


During a time of economic decline, persistent cultural strife, deepening American involvement in far-off military conflicts, and rapid environmental deterioration
salvation fantasies promising them both a transcendent, everlasting future and violent retribution against perceived evildoers?
2002 CNN poll found that 59% of Americans believed that the prophecies in the Book of Revelations would come true
mainstream American culture is permeated by apocalyptic beliefs and the yearning for messianic deliverance
The Obama phenomenon is impossible to analyze or understand without considering the deep levels of anxiety and desperation that progressives suffered during the radical presidency of George W. Bush
a secular version of the Christian right's salvation fantasy
The Audacity of Hope, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."
Oprah Winfrey referred to Obama as "The One," a fusion of Jesus and Neo from The Matrix

when Obama defeated Clinton in Iowa, he quoted from a Hopi Indian End Times prophecy
"We are the ones we've been waiting for."
Ezra Klein declared the candidate, "not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of the word over flesh... Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our higher selves."
Louis Farrakhan, who had consistently ordered his followers to boycott elections and who attacked black politicians from Harold Washington to Jesse Jackson as tools of the white power structure, declared in a dramatic address to his followers that Obama was the Messiah
Many of Obama's harshest progressive critics embraced a secular salvation fantasy that Obama cleverly channeled and cultivated to excite them and distract from his lack of progressive accomplishments. In the end, Obama's messianization created false expectations while establishing political space for the right to undermine and delegitimize him.
the salvation fantasy Obama offered stood in stark contrast to the dualistic

malignant Rapture visions of the Christian right
he repudiated partisan rancor, declaring that there was no "conservative America" where people rejected science, demonized gays and assailed minority and women's rights.
words of Andrew Sullivan
Obama was destined to be "a liberal Reagan who can reunite America."
experiments by a group of political psychologists
profound fear of death inspired extreme conservative beliefs
cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker
"The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity -- designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man."
John Judis' excellent article, "Death Grip" on the studies for more).
Obama attempted to provide a blank screen
conservatives projected their most fearsome inner demons onto him instead.
Sarah Palin
Joe the Plumber began to attack Obama as a nebulous Other
a strange outsider who did not share

mainstream American values. Their intention was to make him as unfamiliar and frightening as possible
to scare off wavering independent
it was too late
so it extended into this year and peaked with the Fall Teabagger rallies and town hall disruptions
The Teabagger propaganda bore
right-wing Jewish settlers during rallies against Yitzhak Rabin
Obama was a Muslim; Obama was a commie pinko; Obama was a cosmopolitan globalist; Obama was a black nationalist. It did not matter who Obama really was. The right simply wanted to portray him as culturally alien and insidious
he had offered himself up as "a blank screen
and therefore not establishing a very clear identity
the liberal left's messianization of Obama enabled and even encouraged his otherization by the radical right
with false rumors
most damaging rumor
from the cult of Lyndon LaRouche
refined by former New York State Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey
mainstreamed by Palin
"death panels
Obama never recovered
his plan to escalate

the war in Afghanistan
as the public option and Medicare buy-in proposals were scrapped to mollify Joseph Lieberman, the progressive left went into contortions
attack him as everything from a warmonger to a tool of Wall Streeters like Rahm Emanuel and Robert Rubin. "Kill the bill!" has become the battle cry
those former Obama fanatics experiencing a crisis in faith should look in the mirror
hey demanded a secular salvation fantasy and participated in the messianization of the candidate who delivered it to them
They now know that Obama is just a politician

The Real Road Map: Violent Reactions to the Struggle for Equal Rights

*Abdullah Abu Rahmah (center) flanked by mourners, following the death of his relative Bessam Abu Rahmah, who was killed by an Israeli gas canister shot into his chest

*Abdallah Abu Rahmah (right) with Ela Bhatt, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Fernando H Cardoso, Mary Robinson and Gro Brundtland of the Elders during their visit to Bil'in

yet find yourself delegitimized in the international arena, unable to impose control over either your perceived enemies, or your internal settler-anarchist “brothers”. You are desperately arresting nonviolent leaders that resist your military occupation while also fearing for the travel plans of your leaders implicated in war crimes.
A hint was provided Saturday morning when a joint Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Shin Bet raid killed three alleged members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade
According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, two of the three shooting deaths by the IDF were carried out like executions

This act was widely regarded as a “grave escalation”
Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, whose security organizations had recently done so much of the IDF’s bidding, having arrested over 120 Palestinians in the wake of the attack on the settler

Why would Israel act to escalate the violence in the West Bank after enjoying two of the quietest years since 2000?
The answer is written in the events of the first weeks of the second intifada
a massive Palestinian uprising had exploded in the wake of Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa compound
Top Israeli security officials
argued that Israel deliberately fanned the flames of Palestinian discontent and violence
We needed to move—during the war itself—from retreat and delay to attack
Today Israel faces a similar ‘broad context’characterized by forces it does not know how to control
Many factors
unsettles Israel’s leaders
war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Gaza one year ago
the ongoing, illegal siege of Gaza’s imprisoned population

ethnic cleansing of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, in front of the world’s cameras
the rabid response to universal jurisdiction for war crimes and arrest warrants against its increasingly fearful leaders
the waking giant that is the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (including Israel’s hysterical call to boycott UK products in response to the UK’s efforts to simply label West Bank produce as being produced by Jews or Palestinians
More important
the manner in which Palestinian nonviolence is crystallizing and growing in exposure by tapping into the international credibility provided by these events, merging with them, expanding, and thereby revolutionizing the nature of the conflict.
does not know what to do with the power of nonviolence to silence its weapons, to open new spaces of debate about apartheid
continuous ethnic cleansing
42 years of occupation with no end in sight
different thing to confront Bil’in’s Santa Claus-clad demonstrators
simply calling for Israel

to comply with the International Court of Justice’s decision to not steal Palestinian land for the segregation wall

Israel’s fear is palpable, proved by its recent assault on a nonviolent protest by Palestinians, Jews, and internationals. For two consecutive weeks Israeli forces have beaten and arrested dozens of Jewish and international activists who were non-violently demonstrating against the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.
Israel has now arrested 31 members of Bil’in’s Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
one in particular provides all the evidence required for the case of Israel’s desperation.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher and coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, was arrested on December 10th, 2009
he was finally charged with arms possession for collecting the spent tear gas canisters that were used to stifle his — and Bil’in’s — increasingly successful demonstrations

Ten days ago, the imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti

wrote the following in an op-ed in The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune:

A new generation of Palestinian leaders is attempting to speak to the world in the language of a nonviolent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions, precisely as Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of African-Americans did with the Montgomery bus boycott in the mid-1950s.
Barghouti’s statement is a watershed
Israel can only attack militants, not rights
We are now on a one-way street to justice to Israel/Palestine
There are too many television cameras, too much awareness of the settlers’ colonization project, too much disapproval of the segregation wall, too much disgust at recent Israeli massacres of Gazan and Lebanese civilians.
defenders of the status quo of apartheid,
ethnic cleansing and religious fundamentalism will struggle vehemently against all progressive movemen
to prevent the language of equal rights from reframing the debate
expanded violence against nonviolent resistance

to recast the discussion into the frame
military action against military resistance
it needs to spark a new round of violence which will be instigated along the model provided by the recent attacks on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, from the pattern of escalation in the first and second intifadas, and from the military raids into Gaza on November 4, 2008 which killed six Hamas people and effectively ended the successful ceasefire that Hamas had been enforcing in the strip.
the resumption of widespread terrorist activity, against which Israel could respond with its typical, mighty force of warplanes, tanks, and fluent English-speakers from the Foreign Ministry on the airwaves of every mainstream media outlet.
new attempt by Israel to fan the flames of violence
the real road map suggests new violence in the imminent future

The most potent action available to shorten the length of that arc is to expand the exemplary efforts of the Bil’in and Ni’lin villagers to regain access to the land that was stolen from them, coupled with the most effective tool available to the nonviolent strategist: a comprehensive boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign until Palestinians know — and live with — the same rights as the Jews in Israel/Palestine.


The aid convoy, stranded in Aqaba, Jordan, for five days, on its way to the Gaza Strip, turns back to Syria after Cairo's refusal to let it cross through its territory.
were hoping to reach a solution through Turkish mediation and enter Gaza through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, the most direct route.
On Thursday over 250 trucks laden with European, Turkish and Arab aid,
arrived in Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba hoping to catch a ferry across to Nuweiba.

But Egypt has said the convoy can only enter through al-Arish, on the Mediterranean coast, which would mean going around the Sinai Peninsula and through the Suez Canal.
"The aid convoy will leave Aqaba for (the Mediterranean port of) Latakia in Syria before going to El-Arish, in line with Cairo's decision," said Maysara Malas, of Jordan's powerful trade union federation, which helped organizing the aid convoy.

Birawi also said 15 members of the convoy "have started a hunger strike, while a rally will be held later Sunday."


Victor John Ostrovsky is an author and former case officer for the Israeli Mossad (foreign intelligence service). He authored two non-fiction books about his service with the Mossad: By Way of Deception (a New York Times No. 1 bestseller in 1990), and The Other Side of Deception several years later. He also authored two novels, Lion of Judah and Black Ghosts, as well as several screenplays.

In 1982, Ostrovsky was recruited by the Mossad and trained at the Mossad Academy north of Tel Aviv as a katsa (case officer). He claims that as a Mossad cadet he experienced more action, terror and physical assault in two and a half years of training than many Special Forces soldiers will have in a career

In 1990, he published By Way of Deception to draw attention to the corruption and shortcomings he witnessed in the Mossad. Ostrovsky has repeatedly argued that intelligence-gathering agencies must be permitted certain operational freedoms, but that significantly increased governmental oversight of espionage activities is necessary. Without effective oversight, he has said, the Mossad cannot achieve its full potential and value.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Gaza Freedom March, Jan. 1, 2010

Norman Finkelstein On His Trip to Gaza, and the Upcoming Demonstration 6/13/09 (4/5)

The Gaza Freedom March

The Egyptian authorities have told the organizers of the Gaza Freedom March once, twice, three times and four that we can’t go to Gaza, but the organizers will go back a fifth, sixth and seventh time, Medea Benjamin promised outside the U.N. offices in Cario here today
an international conversation over the issue is taking place here among the most diverse collection of people
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is saying that she came here to march, and she will march. Borders have fallen away here, and the American frame is gone.
the French. They are most inspired delegation. 300 of them are camped on the sidewalk outside the French embassy

“Reminds me a lot of the J Street conference, “Antony Loewenstein joked
It was a good joke because it was about the limiting American frame
No one here is talking about the two-state solution or land swaps.
Goldstone report says–those missiles aimed at houses with sleeping children
an international consensus
end of patience for war crimes
ethnic cleansing
an ideology

of Jewish exceptionalism supported by western governments
we are speaking out as civil society
We held a protest at the U.N. plaza here today
Medea Benjamin called up the hunger strikers
it did not matter that Hedy Epstein, the oldest of the strikers at 85, is a Holocaust survivor. In the U.S. that is her principal license to speak
Here it means little; her ultimate status is, She is from St. Louis, USA
the court of world opinion
global activists have embraced the cause
European and American left has accepted the issue
when we left we sang We Shall Overcome, mingling the American civil rights anthem with this international cause
No it doesn’t look like we will be getting into Gaza, still we are doing important work in Cairo, to transform ourselves and our presence on the world stage.

End the Occupation


Norman Finkelstein


Winter Soldier Mike Prysner testimony, Pt2

Iraq Veterans Against the War


an instrument of analysis and criticism
approaches the revolution as a revolutionist
only a revolutionist
equipped with the scientific method – is capable of laying bare the objective dynamics of the revolution
The element of will is indispensable for penetrating the secrets of nature and society
a revolutionist, if he has a serious attitude toward his task, is obliged with strict conscientiousness to analyse the structure of society, its functions and reflexes.
To understand the present war between Japan and China one must take the Second Chinese Revolution as a point of departure
we meet not only identical social forces
the same personalities
Chiang Kai-Shek occupies the central place
the real task of the second world war
to divide the planet anew in accord with the new relationship of imperialist forces
The principal arena
the basin of the Pacific
most important object
will be China
the world war will not produce the final decision:
it will be followed
by a new series
of revolutions

not only the decisions of the war but all those property conditions which give rise to war.
it is impossible not to see that the laws of revolutions are least understood precisely in the Anglo-Saxon countries
English Revolution
French Revolution
subjecting it to the laws of free competition
seemed to be the laws of “common sense.”
the Puritan revolution draped itself in Biblical dress
incapacity to understand its own significance
French Revolution
influence on progressive thought in the United States
guided by formulas of pure rationalism
Common sense, which
esorts to the mask of Biblical prophets, or secularized common sense, which
as the product of a rational “contract,”
real society of history has not been constructed, following Rousseau, upon a rational “contract,”
the “greatest good,” but has unfolded “irrationally
on the basis of contradictions and antagonisms.
For revolution to become inevitable class contradictions have to be strained to the breaking point

“Irrational” does not, however, mean arbitrary
have a logic of their own
not the logic of Aristotle
less the pragmatic demi-logic of “common sense
It is the higher function of thought: the logic of development and its contradictions, i.e., the dialectic.
a well-to-do society, unused to convulsions and habituated to uninterrupted “progress,” is incapable of understanding the dialectic of its own development
History is preparing to give Great Britain as well as the United States serious lessons in the dialectic.
deduce the character of the Chinese Revolution
from the living structure of Chinese society and from the dynamics of its inner forces
the march of events
their social mainsprings
the uncompleted Chinese Revolution is “bourgeois
it is necessary to check it in the light of a concrete sociological analysis
What are the classes which are struggling in China?
Colonial and semi-colonial – and therefore backward – countries
differ extraordinarily
from one another
in their degree


December 16th in the town of Cuernavaca
Arturo Beltran Leyva
one of the top three capos of the trade
He had more power than Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the drug cartel boss who was listed as Fobes’ #701 richest man of 2009
born on September 21, 1961 in
Badiraguato, Sinaloa
bribing the highest ranking military officials. Many anti-drug czars in the PGR (which is Mexico’s version of the FBI), the SSP (our Department of Defense) and even the SIEDO (an anti-narco intelligence service of sorts)
Most of Sinaloa, Sonora and Durango—the tri-state region known as the Golden Triangle—was his
So was the entire state of Guerrero, especially the tourist-friendly zone of Acapulco
top stairs of La Indepe here in Monterrey, where junkies swarm
last year
he became convinced that his brother’s arrest was a result of the betrayal of his one-time friend and apprentice, “El Chapo,”
rail of blood and bullet casings to Morelos, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Mexico State (Edomex) and Mexico City.

he would be attending a three-day Christmas party thrown by his sicarios in Tepoztlan, Morelos (close to Cuernavaca
he evaded them
located Don Arturo in a luxury apartment/upscale shopping mall complex
but the real question is WHO benefits from his death?
The Beltran cartel will restructure itself
Edgar Valdes Villarreal “La Barbie”, a Laredo Texan with talent for the killing; Mario Beltran Leyva “El General”, most likely the next in line
Sergio Villarreal “El Grande,
the two biggest beneficiaries of Don Arturo’s demise are a) his allies, the Zetas; and b) his enemy “El Chapo.”
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Gulf Cartel territory
the Zetas, a paramilitary organization trained by the Yankees and hired by the Gulf Cartel to keep things civilized and business booming.


The opposition Social democrat governor of Sao Paulo, Jose Serra

Dilma Rousseff whom President Lula da Silva is strongly promoting as the candidate for the ruling coalition.

Ciro Gomes from the Brazilian Socialist Party

Marina Silva running for the Greens

The ruling Workers Party of President Lula da Silva

the ruling coalition’s senior member and the largest political force in the Brazilian congress, PMDB Brazilian Democratic Movements Party

lost the first time in 2002 to then union leader and now President Lula da Silva.


Documents are misleading. If Talleyrand (or whoever it was) was right in saying that words were invented in order to hide thoughts, this is even more true for documents. Documents falsify facts, hide facts, invent facts – all according to the interests of the writer. They disclose a little to hide the rest. Anyone who has been involved in public affairs knows this.

The Eighteenth Brumaire

On December 2 1851, followers of President Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon's nephew) broke up the Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. A year later, Louis Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III.

Marx wrote The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon between December 1851 and March 1852. The "Eighteenth Brumaire" refers to November 9, 1799 in the French Revolutionary Calendar — the day the first Napoleon Bonaparte had made himself dictator by a coup d'etat.

In this work Marx traces how the conflict of different social interests manifest themselves in the complex web of political struggles, and in particular the contradictory relationships between the outer form of a struggle and its real social content. The proletariat of Paris was at this time too inexperienced to win power, but the experiences of 1848-51 would prove invaluable for the successful workers' revolution of 1871.

See Chapter 6 for a succinct time line of the

The Paris Commune.Lenin, V.

Bernard Kouchner’s prescription for war

The history of neoconservatism has been well documented as a trajectory from Left to Right and specifically from anti-Stalinist Left to pro-war and anti-conservative Right.

Kouchner was appointed to one of France’s highest offices of state in 2007 by the newly elected president, Nicolas Sarkozy

Kouchner is a self-styled progressive who has systematically supported war, supposedly for humanitarian purposes, ever since the late 1960s.

came under attack after Pierre Pean, a leading French investigative journalist, published an expose entitled Le Monde Selon K. Firing back, Kouchner rallied important friends to his defense including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Fashionable neocon litterateur Bernard Henri Levy called Péan “a dwarf.”

Kouchner cut his medico-political teeth in Biafra, the province of Nigeria where a vicious war of secession broke out in 1967. to Biafra under the auspices of the Red Cross. He was there by the beginning of September, and this was to prove his baptism of fire.

Kouchner and his colleagues did good work, but their sympathy for the victims of war quickly turned into active military support for the Biafran cause
An embargo on flights having been broken by Caritas and the Red Cross, planes carrying arms duly flew in from neighboring Gabon alongside the ones carrying medical supplies

In a highly unethical confusion of medicine and politics he and his Red Cross colleagues looked the other way used the military planes themselves called for their hospital staff to be armed so they could better fight for Biafran independence.

for Kouchner, neutral humanitarianism was rubbish. “Dr. K.” denounced the very concept of neutrality on which the Red Cross called for the Geneva Conventions to be changed so that medics could take sides in war

At the end of 1968, he created the Committee for the Fight Against the Genocide in Biafra He denounced “the horrors of this conflict perpetrated by Lagos in league with imperialist powers.”

When Biafra fell to Nigerian forces in January 1970, Kouchner saying that the Biafran “genocide” was the worst massacre in the world since the Holocaust. He was to reuse this simple formula on many occasions
his battle for Biafra coincided exactly with the geopolitical support de Gaulle’s government was then giving to the Biafrans (against the support given to Nigeria by Britain and America)
both sides were fighting for control of the oil reserves off the Nigerian coast.
admired de Gaulle’s minister of culture, Andre Malraux,
because he had fought with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War
attacked the Left for having abandoned the concept of “a people’s war” (la guerre populaire) and adopting what he denounced as a smug and morally disgraceful pacifism.
the political militancy of those doctors
that led to the creation of “Medecins Sans Frontieres” (Doctors Without Borders) in 1972
a “commando” of doctors who could travel at short notice to conflict zones.

What mattered to him was the media. Kouchner loved nothing more than promoting a cause
He eventually stormed out of MSF in 1979 and created a new association, Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World
Demographer Emmanuel Todd nicknamed Kouchner’s new group “Soldiers Without Borders” in 2007, in an article wondering what sort of a physician systematically prefers war to peace.
In 2008
said that French NGO’s were keeping him informed about the situation in the Gaza Strip and affording him a channel of contact with Hamas
The president of MSF issued a furious denial
Kouchner was rewarded for his politico-humanitarian activism by being appointed secretary of state for humanitarian action in the government
Socialist president Francois Mitterrand.
He vocally supported the first Gulf War in 1991
the Coalition bombed Iraq into a humanitarian catastrophe
He called for French foreign policy to be based on “morality”
formulate the “right of intervention” in the war’s aftermath
organized an airdrop

of food and aid to the Iraqi Kurds
this one was bitterly attacked
president of MSF, Xavier Emmanuelli
transformed by Kouchner into a spectacle for domestic television consumption
In 1992, Kouchner took up the cause of Somalia
When the rice was delivered to East Africa, Kouchner made sure the TV cameras were there
he rolled up his trousers and waded into the water to carry bags of rice
the “humanitarian” curtain-raiser
the disastrous U.S. expedition to Somalia, “Operation Restore Hope,” which started the very day of the broadcast, Dec. 5, 1992.
Kouchner also took a high-profile position on the Bosnian war,
fashionable opinion were swinging behind the Muslim cause
In June 1992, three months into the war
Kouchner and Mitterrand flew to Sarajevo,
When the story about Serbian “concentration camps” broke in August
In early 1993, Medecins du Monde spent an estimated $2 million on a publicity campaign demonizing the Serbs
Kouchner was later to admit that the campaign he sponsored had been based on a lie

the dying Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, who admitted in 2003 that the camps had not been “extermination camps” at all and that he had pretended otherwise in order to curry sympathy and military support from the West.
But it was over the Rwanda genocide in 1994 that Kouchner started to make serious enemies in France. One of them was Pierre Péan.
A veteran journalist who has written books
including an excellent account of François Mitterrand’s youthful work for the Vichy government, Péan disagreed violently with the popular view of Rwanda. He did not deny that Hutus had killed Tutsis
but he insisted that the reverse was also true. He further resented
the political instrumentalization of the genocide to blacken France’s name.
Pean produced a book on Rwanda and became an implacable opponent of the RPF regime in Kigali under President Paul Kagame.
Pean branded Kagame a dictator and a mass murderer
the Rwandan government
formally accused France of complicity in the genocide

Diplomatic relations with France were broken off in 2006 when a French judge issued arrest warrants for members of Kagame’s entourage on the basis that the president ordered the assassination of the two Hutu presidents (of Rwanda and Burundi) in April 1994, the event that all agree sparked the conflict.
Following his close study of the Rwanda story, Pean turned his ire directly on Kouchner to produce Le Monde Selon K
His chapter on Kouchner and Rwanda is particularly effective
He dwells at length on Kouchner’s influence trafficking,
Kouchner is in fact one half of France’s most powerful power couple: Christine Ockrent, his wife, is one of the most influential TV journalists in France and head of the holding company that owns all the radio and TV channels that France broadcasts abroad.
She is also a regular invitee to the meetings of the Bilderberg Group and the European Council on Foreign Relations
the great campaigner’s company, B.K. Consulting
was paid
by the French oil company

to produce a report supporting its construction projects in Burma
Kouchner has for the last 40 years consistently supported war as the means to solve humanitarian problems. He is a virulent interventionist who denounces his opponents as accomplices of dictators
John Laughland is director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris,