"Pete Buttigieg says he worked on “war zone economic development” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and operated out of an Iraqi “safe house.” Beyond that, his work for McKinsey in both countries remains secret." max blumenthal (Is Mayor Pete CIA?)
Efforts to stabilise the situation in line with the Russian-Turkish Memorandum of October 22, 2019 continue in the country’s northeast. Russia and Turkey jointly patrol the Syrian-Turkish border on a regular basis. In addition, efforts are taken to reduce tensions along the perimeter of the zone of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.
However, the situation to the east of the Euphrates has become much more complicated due to the revival of the ISIS sleeping cells and the growth of terrorist attacks against Kurdish units. The actions of the United States, which decided to remain at the oil fields and rob Syria of its national wealth, are not conducive to firm stability and security in northeast Syria, either....
We consistently advocate the restoration of Syria’s unity and territorial integrity on the basis of dialogue between Damascus and the Kurds, as well as other ethnic groups to the east of the Euphrates (Arab tribes, Assyrians, Armenians and others). The goal is to overcome internal differences and ensure reliable consolidation of Syrian society. We proceed from the need for fair account and protection of the interests of all ethnic and religious groups in Syria, without any discrimination or suppression of rights.
In addition, we note that the Syrian Constitutional Committee continues its work. The second session of the Committee’s drafting commission opened in Geneva on November 25. The commission consists of 45 representatives of the Government, the opposition and civic society.
We consider it necessary to support the process of political settlement of the Syrian crisis by invigorating comprehensive international humanitarian assistance to that country without any politicisation or discrimination. In particular, this will facilitate voluntary and safe return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes. Over 476,000 refugees and 1.3 million IDPs have already returned home since the launch of the relevant Russian initiative in July 2018...
On December 10-11, Nur-Sultan will host the 14th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format. It will be attended by representatives of the guarantor countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey), delegations of the Syrian Government and the Syrian opposition, observers (UN, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon) and experts of the UNHCR and the ICRC. By tradition, the agenda of the meeting covers a broad range of issues, including the discussion of the situation on the ground, ways to improve the humanitarian situation, assistance in the return of Syrians, steps to promote the political process and confidence measures, including the release of persons held by force
Entitled the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”—and passed by the US Congress with only one dissenting voice in the House of Representatives, making it veto-proof—the legislation has nothing to do with either....
Its chief significance lies in creating the political climate, under the banner of “human rights” and “democracy,” for additional US economic measures against China, and possibly military action in the future.
The signing of the legislation was hailed by leaders on both sides of the aisle.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said she was “pleased” that Trump had signed off on the legislation. She claimed that the US was sending a message that it stands in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, invoking the bogus “human rights” rhetoric that forms the basis for US interventions around the world....
The editorial asserted that competition with China was over not only the South China Sea or trade, but was between “China’s illiberal, authoritarian system and the values of democracy and a rules-based order for which the United States must be a leading exponent and guardian.”
What is meant by “democracy and a rules-based order” is a global geo-economic and political system under the hegemony of the US. Under this system, any potential challenges to American dominance, such as economic and technological advances by China, are to be crushed by whatever means are considered necessary, with expressions of concern over “democracy and human rights” providing the ideological gloss.
The November 2019 report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution titled Meet the Low-Wage Workforce,
co-authored by Nicole Bateman and Martha Ross, paints a devastating
picture of the reality of working class life in the world’s wealthiest
country. The study concentrates on the years following the so-called
“economic recovery” championed by former US Democratic President Barack
Obama after the Great recession of 2009-2011
29 November 2019
The report opens by stating, “As globalization and automation reshape the labor market, workers today must navigate a changing economic landscape...Low-wage workers risk becoming collateral damage, struggling to find their footing in the labor market and an educational system riddled with inequities.”
The study defines low-wage workers as those earning less than $16.03 per hour on average across the US. The study found that low-wage workers comprise a shocking 44 percent of US workforce aged 18-64...
According to the study, the largest metropolitan areas have the highest numbers of low-wage workers: 3.5 million in the New York City area, 2.7 million in the Los Angeles region, 1.6 million in Chicago, and about 1.2 million each in Dallas, Miami, and Houston. In less populous areas, low-wage workers make up a larger percentage of the workforce, particularly in the southern and western US. Areas with some of the highest concentrations of low-wage workers are located near the US southern borders and coastlines.
Data was gathered from the US Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Public Use Microdata Sample for workers aged 18-64 who worked at any point during the year and did not exclude part-time or seasonal workers. It excluded graduate and professional students, high school students living at home, college students living in dormitories, and those who received self-employment income. Workers with “very low” wages were also excluded, as were those who worked more than 98 hours per week. Had these groups been included there is a possibility that the number of workers considered low wage in the US is actually higher..
the findings of the study taken as a whole demonstrate that in capitalist society, the fundamental divisions between the classes are widening and the standard of living for the working class as a whole is rapidly declining. This only underscores the need to unify workers across racial lines in opposition to the promotion of race-based proposals by the Democratic Party, which serve to divide the working class and prevent any challenge to monopolization of society’s resources by the corporate and financial elite....
The United States has the highest level of income inequality of any advanced country in the world. With inflation taken into account, real wages for the working class in the US remain below pre-recession levels. Furthermore, while worker productivity sharply increased, total income for working class families has been falling since 1979 as corporate profits have inversely shot up.
This includes wages for college graduates, whose hourly wages have dropped significantly since 2000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The study itself does not challenge the capitalist system of exploitation in any way. But the transformation of the American Dream into a nightmare for the working class, is driving more and more workers and young people to turn towards a socialist alternative to the profit system. Seventy percent of young people in the US now say that they are likely to vote for socialists
27 November 2019The extraordinary and repeated interventions by President Donald Trump in the case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, culminating in Sunday’s firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, has further laid bare the deep-going crisis at the heart of the US capitalist state and its massive military apparatus.
Gallagher was charged by his fellow SEALs with war crimes and acts of sadistic violence that stood out as egregious even in the bloodbath unleashed against the Iraqi city of Mosul, where, according to one estimate, as many as 40,000 people were killed. He was accused of picking off civilians, including a young girl, with a sniper rifle and stabbing to death a wounded teenaged Iraqi fighter, even as a SEAL medic was treating him. He then texted out a photo of himself with the corpse, along with the caption, “Got him with my hunting knife.” Not coincidentally, Gallagher’s nickname among fellow SEALs was “Blade.”..
After he was convicted only on the lesser charge of posing with the corpse of his victim—thanks to the change in testimony of the SEAL medic, who now faces perjury charges—Trump pardoned him and ordered the Navy to withdraw its minimal penalty of reducing him by one rank and cutting his pay accordingly.
Finally, in the action that led to the Navy secretary’s firing, Trump demanded that a routine review board to determine whether Gallagher should be removed from the SEALs be called off. With the president as his champion and a defense team made up of close associates of the Trump Organization and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Gallagher, who is to retire before the end of the month, felt free to publicly berate his senior officers.
Trump’s unprecedented micro-managing and overruling of the military justice system has escalated tensions between the White House and the Pentagon command, which were already strained by his abrupt and abortive order for a partial troop withdrawal from Syria.
Gallagher is one of four members of the US military charged with war crimes whom Trump has pardoned over the last few months, two of them for summarily executing unarmed prisoners and then trying to cover up their crimes by burning the bodies, and one for ordering troops to fire upon and kill Afghans who he knew were unarmed.
Speaking to the White House press corps on Monday, Trump hailed Gallagher as “one of our ultimate fighters” and insisted, “I have to protect my warfighters.” He declared that he was “sticking up for our armed forces.”
With the case of Gallagher and the other pardoned war criminals, he is feeding a narrative that the “warfighters” have been held back by a “politically correct” political establishment and even an insufficiently bloodthirsty Pentagon command.
It is a variation on the stab-in-the-back myth propagated by the right wing in Germany in the wake of World War I, blaming the country’s defeat on the betrayal of the army by civilians, particularly socialists and Jews. This myth became a central ideological pillar of the so-called Freikorps, armed militias comprised of ex-soldiers, which were unleashed against the German working class, killing thousands in order to crush revolutions. It likewise was an essential component of Nazi ideology.
Trump has reportedly told his closest advisers that he wants the war criminals he has pardoned to join him on the campaign trail in 2020 and even play a starring role in the Republican convention. Clearly, the aim of these pardons is not only to encourage war crimes abroad, but to build up right-wing forces to be used against the working class at home. He is encouraging the creation of a Freikorps, American style.
5--‘Evo Morales Is Like a Father to Us’ (Evil NYTs feigns support for Morales)
In the coca-growing region where the former Bolivian president got his political start, farmers are loyal to him — and demanding his return
For the 50,000 local coca farming families, the ousting of Mr. Morales represents more than the end of a government that gave them a political voice and vast improvements in infrastructure, education and health. It is a threat to the peace that Mr. Morales, called Evo by everyone here, brought to this stigmatized and violent region.
“It’s tough being here, while our crops rot in the fields,” said Serafino Oliveros, a coca farmer, while perched under a six-foot wet tarp with four union companions. “But we understand that this is a necessary sacrifice so that our children have the same rights we had under Evo.”
NYT celebrates the sabotaging of Trump's "withdrawal" policy.
"The military is scrambling to save a mission that Trump has thrown into chaos."
(Revealing NYTs video suggesting the Military tricked Trump into keeping troops in syria by saying they must protect the oil "The plan worked", according to the Times
"Clearly the plan's message (Trump) "We are getting out of the endless wars", is being reinterpreted on the ground. (General) "The mission still continues. We will be in bases from Deir Ezzor to Qamisili to derik, and all thru that expansive area."
"What we saw was not a military in retreat. What we saw was a military displaying its beefed up arsenal. ...evidence that for the US, the war is going to last a little longer here".
department's list of terrorist organisations should be defended against long-time NATO ally, Turkey
"Turkey defends its incursion by saying these fighters are terrorists (YPG) They are in fact linked to a Kurdish guerilla group that has launched attacks within Turkey. But in the last 5 years, they have been the footsoldiers in the fight against ISIS." NYT video
8--Yes, There Were FBI Informants, But They Were Paid by the CIA by Larry C Johnson
The F.B.I. never tried to place undercover agents or informants inside the Trump campaign, a highly anticipated inspector general’s report is expected to find.
The F.B.I. did have an undercover agent who posed as Mr. Halper’s assistant during a London meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in August 2016. And indeed, another Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, reportedly pushed Mr. Halper for an ambassadorship in the Trump administration.
My previous piece on the secret CIA Task Force set up by John Brennan was mistaken in citing "early 2016" as the date it was started. I have now learned that Brennan's Task Force began in the late summer/early fall of 2015. It is worth noting that the Washington Post, not exactly a pro-Trump outlet, also reported that Brenna set up a secret task force comprised of CIA, FBI and NSA personnel. The Post simply failed to provide a date when the Task Force started operating:
John Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.
The unit functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community. Those brought in signed new non-disclosure agreements to be granted access to intelligence from all three participating agencies.