Manuel E. Yepe. THE RESURGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES

THE RESURGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
By Manuel E. Yepe
https://englishmanuelyepe.wordpress.com/
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

In the West in general, and in Europe in particular, there is a resurgence of political parties. Both old parties such as the British Labour Party and new ones such as Podemos in Spain and Insumiso in France have experienced spectacular increases in recent years, with notable organizational innovations.
Paolo Gerbaudo, a British sociologist at King´s College and a specialist in social movements and parties, attaches great importance to this renaissance. This is because, for many years, sociologists and political scientists have predicted, almost unanimously, that political parties were losing preeminence in highly diversified, globalized digital societies.
Indeed, the current revival of the European left has disproved such forecasts. Digital technology there has not supplanted the party and, rather, party activists have used their advances to develop innovative mechanisms to attract citizens, while still asserting that political struggle is their main working tool.
The revitalization of political parties in the old continent has become evident, in the first place, by an increase in membership. By contrast, many historic European parties have had a decrease in membership since the decade of the eighties of the twentieth century, Gerbaudo says.
In Britain, the Labour Party is close to reaching 600,000 members, having bottomed out with only 176,891 in 2007 at the end of Tony Blair’s leadership. In France. Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Insumise France movement has 580,000 supporters, making it the largest party in France just a year and a half after its founding. In Spain, Podemos, founded in 2014, has more than 500,000 members, more than twice as many as the traditional socialist party.
Even in the United States, a country that for most of its history has lacked socialist parties with mass militancy in the European sense of the term, a somewhat similar trend can be observed in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Today the country’s largest socialist formation, it has grown to 50,000 members following Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
According to Gerbaudo, this spectacular growth in the number of members of “moderate” left parties, many of which are new formations, contrasts with the forecasts made until recently by many political scientists. Between the 1990s and the period immediately prior to the 2008 financial crisis, many academics agreed in predicting the ultimate demise of political parties. Amid growing voter apathy and shrinking membership, political parties were seen by many as a relic of the past, while the postmodern theory of the “end of history” professed that the party’s history – a decisive historical factor in most traditional Marxist theories – was over.
The scholar at King´s College in Britain argues that Nazism and Stalinism demonstrated the extent to which a party could become a machine bent on manipulating its members and imposing unwavering obedience. But as serious and problematic as that was, the way in which this critique was combined with long-standing liberal resentment against political parties, driven by an undemocratic fear of the organized masses and their demands for democratic control and economic redistribution made it worse.
This liberal discourse of criticism of the political party goes back to the origins of modern democracy. They attacked political parties for subjecting the individual to obedience and uniformity, arguing that instead of serving the general interests of society, parties ended up defending the narrow interests of one faction.
In neo-liberal times, this concern for individual freedom has found a new way to express itself in the over-valuation of entrepreneurship and the spontaneity of unregulated market forces. This makes all forms of collective organization seem illegitimate impediments to private property and individual freedom.
Ironically, says Gerbaudo, much of the rejection people feel today of political parties is a product of neo-liberal ideology, and of the way in which, during the 1990s and 2000s, this ideology facilitated the transformation of the old mass parties of the industrial age into new “liquid parties” in the style of American “professional/electoral parties,” whose cynicism has been captured in the public imaginary by series of TV programs.
Ironically, says Gerbaudo, much of the rejection people feel toward political parties today is a product of neoliberal ideology, and the way in which during the 1990s and 2000s this ideology facilitated the transformation of the old mass parties of the industrial era into new “liquid parties” in the style of American “professional/electoral parties. ” Their cynicism has been captured in the public imagination by television series such as HOUSE OF CARDS and THE THICK OF IT, with spin doctors and interviewers and communication consultants who have an advantage replacing the old apparatchiks and party cadres. October 29, 2018.

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THE RESURGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES

THE RESURGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
By Manuel E. Yepe

Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

In the West in general, and in Europe in particular, there is a resurgence of political parties. Both old parties such as the British Labour Party and new ones such as Podemos in Spain and Insumiso in France have experienced spectacular increases in recent years, with notable organizational innovations.
Paolo Gerbaudo, a British sociologist at King´s College and a specialist in social movements and parties, attaches great importance to this renaissance. This is because, for many years, sociologists and political scientists have predicted, almost unanimously, that political parties were losing preeminence in highly diversified, globalized digital societies.
Indeed, the current revival of the European left has disproved such forecasts. Digital technology there has not supplanted the party and, rather, party activists have used their advances to develop innovative mechanisms to attract citizens, while still asserting that political struggle is their main working tool.
The revitalization of political parties in the old continent has become evident, in the first place, by an increase in membership. By contrast, many historic European parties have had a decrease in membership since the decade of the eighties of the twentieth century, Gerbaudo says.
In Britain, the Labour Party is close to reaching 600,000 members, having bottomed out with only 176,891 in 2007 at the end of Tony Blair’s leadership. In France. Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Insumise France movement has 580,000 supporters, making it the largest party in France just a year and a half after its founding. In Spain, Podemos, founded in 2014, has more than 500,000 members, more than twice as many as the traditional socialist party.
Even in the United States, a country that for most of its history has lacked socialist parties with mass militancy in the European sense of the term, a somewhat similar trend can be observed in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Today the country’s largest socialist formation, it has grown to 50,000 members following Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
According to Gerbaudo, this spectacular growth in the number of members of “moderate” left parties, many of which are new formations, contrasts with the forecasts made until recently by many political scientists. Between the 1990s and the period immediately prior to the 2008 financial crisis, many academics agreed in predicting the ultimate demise of political parties. Amid growing voter apathy and shrinking membership, political parties were seen by many as a relic of the past, while the postmodern theory of the “end of history” professed that the party’s history – a decisive historical factor in most traditional Marxist theories – was over.
The scholar at King´s College in Britain argues that Nazism and Stalinism demonstrated the extent to which a party could become a machine bent on manipulating its members and imposing unwavering obedience. But as serious and problematic as that was, the way in which this critique was combined with long-standing liberal resentment against political parties, driven by an undemocratic fear of the organized masses and their demands for democratic control and economic redistribution made it worse.
This liberal discourse of criticism of the political party goes back to the origins of modern democracy. They attacked political parties for subjecting the individual to obedience and uniformity, arguing that instead of serving the general interests of society, parties ended up defending the narrow interests of one faction.
In neo-liberal times, this concern for individual freedom has found a new way to express itself in the over-valuation of entrepreneurship and the spontaneity of unregulated market forces. This makes all forms of collective organization seem illegitimate impediments to private property and individual freedom.
Ironically, says Gerbaudo, much of the rejection people feel today of political parties is a product of neo-liberal ideology, and of the way in which, during the 1990s and 2000s, this ideology facilitated the transformation of the old mass parties of the industrial age into new “liquid parties” in the style of American “professional/electoral parties,” whose cynicism has been captured in the public imaginary by series of TV programs.
Ironically, says Gerbaudo, much of the rejection people feel toward political parties today is a product of neoliberal ideology, and the way in which during the 1990s and 2000s this ideology facilitated the transformation of the old mass parties of the industrial era into new “liquid parties” in the style of American “professional/electoral parties. ” Their cynicism has been captured in the public imagination by television series such as HOUSE OF CARDS and THE THICK OF IT, with spin doctors and interviewers and communication consultants who have an advantage replacing the old apparatchiks and party cadres. October 29, 2018.

Manuel E. Yepe. WHITE HOUSE TERRIFIED BY SOCIALISM’S GROWTH

WHITE HOUSE TERRIFIED BY SOCIALISM’S GROWTH
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.englishwordpress.com/
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

Trump and Bolton’s regime has added a new front of war to its theater of operations against the Third World. They’ve targeted the “troika” of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, charging them with nothing less than the crime of being “socialist”.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) has released a study titled Opportunity Costs of Socialism that warns of the “return” of socialism to U.S. political discourse.
The U.S. government feels threatened by a new rise in socialist ideas in the United States on the eve of the November 6 legislative elections, the report notes.
“Coinciding with the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is experiencing a return to the country’s political discourse.
Self-styled socialist political proposals are gaining support in Congress and a good part of the electorate,” says the White House in the report.
Some think the CEA has reacted like this after recent polls showed Republicans overwhelmingly support the Medicare for All program that the White House has worked so hard to discredit.
The 72-page report used texts from “white papers” by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
The authors of the report argue that socialism is reappearing in American political discourse. And that seriously concerns at least a subset of the Executive Branch, to the point of devoting entire pages to such “pressing” issues as the socialist debates of a century ago and such significant quotations as “to each according to their ability.
The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) also compares vaguely social democratic policies -such as the exclusion of private interests from health care- with Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward. “There are journalists and analysts who openly assert that single-payer programs are more efficient and their objectives are similar in spirit to those of Lenin and Mao,” according to the CEA.
Among the proposals analyzed is universal public health care. Although it’s far from being part of the public opinion debate has begun to gain followers after the momentum given to this by progressive Democrats such as Senator Bernie Sanders, the former Democratic presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.
“Initiatives such as universal public healthcare are very much in line with socialist approaches,” CEA Director Kevin Hassett said at a news conference.
If public health were to be funded by higher taxes, Hassett said, it would lead to “a 9% drop in GDP.”
The document is unusual because the CEA’s job is to offer opinions from an academic and non-partisan point of view.
Hasset links politicians from the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party, such as Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who defend a social-democratic model within a market economy, with icons of socialist historical thought such as Karl Marx and Vladimir I. Lenin.
In several campaign events prior to the mid-term elections of November 6, U.S. President Donald Trump has rampaged against Venezuela and its Bolivarian revolution, warning that “if Democratic candidates like Florida’s gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum and Texas Senator Beto O’Rourke were elected, the United States would run the risk of becoming another Venezuela.”
“Democrats want to raise taxes massively and impose socialism in our country. We will be another Venezuela,” Trump said recently at a rally in Nevada.
The conclusions reached by the CEA report are what one would expect: Venezuela is doing badly and free markets are doing well.
But what the report really shows is that the White House feels threatened by a rise in socialist ideas when its witch-hunt is most intense.
The CEA’s attitude toward Medicare for All shows that what worries them is the idea of a specifically American democratic socialism emerging.
“Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, socialism is reborn in political discourse. The political proposals of socialists gain support in Congress and in a good part of the electorate,” the White House laments in its report.
November 5, 2018.

Manuel E. Yepe. BEWARE OF CHINESE PATIENCE

BEWARE OF CHINESE PATIENCE
By Manuel E. Yepe

Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

For a long time, the United States has been putting pressure on China. Some of Washington’s most influential politicians repeatedly whipped the government of the great Asian power. Meanwhile, the latter, on the other hand, remains calm, with serene moderation in the face of provocations.
“We have noted that senior U.S. officials have issued statements about China with rhetoric resembling a carrot held by a club. We believe the United States is eager to reach an agreement with China as soon as possible. The Chinese side understands the political considerations behind that rhetoric and that these officials seek with these advanced conversations with China, to achieve tactical political advantages of national character that in turn increase the pressure on China, but they are clearly mistaken.
This was stated by the Chinese web magazine Global Times (GT) in an October 18 editorial that referred to a telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the beginning of October, regarding the future of relations between their two countries.
A concrete example of this was also how U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a radio interview, accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property. Pompeo called on China to behave like a “normal trading nation.
China paid $28.6 billion for the use of foreign intellectual property in 2017. The payment of intellectual property to the United States has since grown 14% from year to year. Can there be any theft of intellectual property by a nation that makes such massive payments? Overall, China has maintained a low profile since the US launched the trade war, leading some to believe that increased pressure would force China into concessions. China does not want to escalate bilateral conflicts, but will maintain its principles at any price, so the U.S. better not judge by miscalculations, says the GT editorial.
It is absurd for the US to pretend to end up as the only winner in the de-escalation or end of the trade war. The Chinese people expect the trade war to end, but they are mentally prepared for prolonged tension. We expect Washington to show its sincerity, underlines the Global Times.
It is evident that U.S. President Donald Trump has resorted to unilateralism to change the U.S. strategic position vis-à-vis other major powers when he threatened any nation that continues to buy Iranian oil after November 4 with US sanctions. Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, shocking its European allies.
Trump came to office on the slogans “America First” and “Make America Great Again,” but most countries are finding that Trump’s goal, whether it is achieved or not, will be done at their own expense. The unilateralism imposed by the US on the world trading system has forced the other great powers to adjust to Washington’s inept impositions. India is one of those frustrated powers. There are many reasons to suppose that India is concerned about China’s rapid growth and might be willing to join forces with the US.
All indications are that New Delhi is more concerned about US unilateralism than China’s rise. It is true that India has
strengthened its strategic ties with the United States and has signed defense agreements to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. But India is also re-establishing its ties with China since India learned that it would not be exempt from the increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by Trump.
The Trump administration’s unilateral measures to change the international trading system have affected India, causing the depreciation of the Indian rupee. New Delhi has also suffered a loss of political autonomy when the United States threatened to sanction its arms trade with Russia and warned it to reduce Iran’s oil imports. Japan faces a similar dilemma. Its traditional security ties with the US face challenges, and Tokyo is finding less and less flexibility to adjust relations with the US since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012.
Both India and Japan show gestures of cooperation and a desire to draw closer to China, to protect themselves from uncertainty in their relationship with the United States.
Trump’s unpredictable regime has changed the perception of the threat from the great powers. For countries that are more dependent on the United States, China is an obvious source of threat because they worry that the rise of the Asian giant will change the status quo. What’s more, India and Japan are not the last or the only ones to choose to balance the United States.
November 8, 2018.
This article can be reproduced citing the newspaper Por Esto! as its source.

BEWARE OF CHINESE PATIENCE

BEWARE OF CHINESE PATIENCE
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

For a long time, the United States has been putting pressure on China. Some of Washington’s most influential politicians repeatedly whipped the government of the great Asian power. Meanwhile, the latter, on the other hand, remains calm, with serene moderation in the face of provocations.
“We have noted that senior U.S. officials have issued statements about China with rhetoric resembling a carrot held by a club. We believe the United States is eager to reach an agreement with China as soon as possible. The Chinese side understands the political considerations behind that rhetoric and that these officials seek with these advanced conversations with China, to achieve tactical political advantages of national character that in turn increase the pressure on China, but they are clearly mistaken.
This was stated by the Chinese web magazine Global Times (GT) in an October 18 editorial that referred to a telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the beginning of October, regarding the future of relations between their two countries.
A concrete example of this was also how U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a radio interview, accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property. Pompeo called on China to behave like a “normal trading nation.
China paid $28.6 billion for the use of foreign intellectual property in 2017. The payment of intellectual property to the United States has since grown 14% from year to year. Can there be any theft of intellectual property by a nation that makes such massive payments? Overall, China has maintained a low profile since the US launched the trade war, leading some to believe that increased pressure would force China into concessions. China does not want to escalate bilateral conflicts, but will maintain its principles at any price, so the U.S. better not judge by miscalculations, says the GT editorial.
It is absurd for the US to pretend to end up as the only winner in the de-escalation or end of the trade war. The Chinese people expect the trade war to end, but they are mentally prepared for prolonged tension. We expect Washington to show its sincerity, underlines the Global Times.
It is evident that U.S. President Donald Trump has resorted to unilateralism to change the U.S. strategic position vis-à-vis other major powers when he threatened any nation that continues to buy Iranian oil after November 4 with US sanctions. Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, shocking its European allies.
Trump came to office on the slogans “America First” and “Make America Great Again,” but most countries are finding that Trump’s goal, whether it is achieved or not, will be done at their own expense. The unilateralism imposed by the US on the world trading system has forced the other great powers to adjust to Washington’s inept impositions. India is one of those frustrated powers. There are many reasons to suppose that India is concerned about China’s rapid growth and might be willing to join forces with the US.
All indications are that New Delhi is more concerned about US unilateralism than China’s rise. It is true that India has
strengthened its strategic ties with the United States and has signed defense agreements to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. But India is also re-establishing its ties with China since India learned that it would not be exempt from the increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by Trump.
The Trump administration’s unilateral measures to change the international trading system have affected India, causing the depreciation of the Indian rupee. New Delhi has also suffered a loss of political autonomy when the United States threatened to sanction its arms trade with Russia and warned it to reduce Iran’s oil imports. Japan faces a similar dilemma. Its traditional security ties with the US face challenges, and Tokyo is finding less and less flexibility to adjust relations with the US since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012.
Both India and Japan show gestures of cooperation and a desire to draw closer to China, to protect themselves from uncertainty in their relationship with the United States.
Trump’s unpredictable regime has changed the perception of the threat from the great powers. For countries that are more dependent on the United States, China is an obvious source of threat because they worry that the rise of the Asian giant will change the status quo. What’s more, India and Japan are not the last or the only ones to choose to balance the United States.
November 8, 2018.
This article can be reproduced citing the newspaper Por Esto! as its source.

TRUMP COULD BRING DOWN THE US EMPIRE

TRUMP COULD BRING DOWN THE US EMPIRE
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
More than any other presidency in the modern history of the United States, Donald Trump’s has been a permanent threat of socio-political shipwreck. He has deliberately excited and fuelled conflicts, involving xenophobic and racist currents in society, with an always nasty political discourse. Trump’s eccentricities have been widely highlighted by the press, but his attacks on the U.S. military presence in the world and its commitments to that end have received far less attention.
Such is the essence of an essay by journalist and historian Gareth Porter, published on the website TRUTHDIG.
Trump had come to the White House with a commitment to end U.S. military interventions. This was based on a worldview in which wars for military domination have no place. In the last speech of his victory tour in December 2016, Trump promised: “Let’s stop tearing down foreign regimes that we shouldn’t have been involved with. Instead of investing in wars, we will invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure…”.
At a meeting in the summer of 2017, where Defense Secretary James Mattis defended new military measures against the Islamic State in North Africa, Trump expressed his displeasure at the endless wars and Mattis claimed that “we are doing it to prevent a bomb from exploding in Times Square,” to which Trump replied, furiously, that the same could be said about anything that happened in any country on the planet.
Trump’s national security team was so alarmed by his questioning of military commitments and troop deployments that they invited him to the Pentagon. They were hoping to make him better understand their arguments with the usual rhetoric of the international democratic order based on the rules of globalism.
Ignoring decades of wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Mattis and other high-ranking officials argued that “this order is what has kept the peace for 70 years.” Trump shook his head in disagreement and diverted the discussion to a subject he found particularly irritating: economic and military relations with South Korea. “We spend $3.5 billion a year there to keep troops in South Korea,” complained Trump. “I don’t know why they’re there. Let’s bring them all home!” In September 2017, while Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in tweets, he privately held an opinion against the presence of troops in South Korea and his determination was to eliminate it, according to Bob Woodward.
Political-diplomatic events with the two Koreas in early 2018 reinforced Trump’s view that U.S. troops should withdraw from there, so he accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to hold a summit.
Trump ordered the Pentagon to study options for the withdrawal of these U.S. troops. That idea was viewed by the media and most of the U.S. national security elite as completely unacceptable. But the Pentagon’s military and intelligence specialists long knew that U.S. troops were not needed to deter North Korea or defend against an attack through the demilitarized zone.
Trump’s willingness to practice personal diplomacy with Kim was driven by his ego, but also by the idea that it would contribute to ending or attenuating the deployment of troops in South Korea. Obviously, such a thing could not happen without a clear rejection of the national security ideology that had dominated Washington’s elites for generations.
Bob Woodward tells in his book “Fear in the White House” that Trump was eager to put an end to the three great wars inherited from Barack Obama: in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, about which he said in July 2017 that he was very tired.
“We should proclaim victory, end wars and bring our troops home,” he said, repeating the political tactic with which Washington covered up its defeat in Vietnam in 1966.
Trump feared he would be held responsible for the consequences of defeat in a war. This was the same fear that had led Lyndon Johnson to abandon his strong resistance to large-scale intervention in Vietnam in mid-1965 and Barack Obama to accept a major escalation in Afghanistan that he had been objecting to.
Trump’s mercantilist worldview poses economic dangers for the United States that may lead him to reject the tactics of multiple permanent wars. But his unorthodox approach has encouraged him to challenge the essential logic of the U.S. military empire more than any previous president. And the final years of his administration will surely bring him more struggles over these issues with those in charge of the empire, predicts Gareth Porter in Truthdig.
October 22, 2018.

VOYAGE TO THE ISRAELI HELL OF YAMAM

VOYAGE TO THE ISRAELI HELL OF YAMAM
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

On October 7, the American magazine Vanity Fair was awarded by the Tel Aviv regime with the exclusive right to a story about the Israeli special police force YAMAM. Today it one of the most sinister anti-terrorist units in the world because its repressive tactics have given it an unarguable prestige.
Under the signature of Adam Ciralsky, the publication included on October 7 a report entitled “From inside the most secret antiterrorist operation…”. The author relates his arrival at a fortified complex in the Ayalon Valley, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where YAMAM is headquartered.
That’ where a gang of anti-terrorist operatives, whose work for four decades has been shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. The journalist crossed through a uniformed Israeli border police combat post and entered an explosion-proof shed where his credentials were scanned, his electronic devices locked up, and a counterintelligence officer gave them a warning sermon.
“Don’t reveal our location,” “don’t remember our faces,” “forget our names,” and “try to forget everything you see,” were the basic instructions.
YAMAM is part of Israel’s national police. It is not subordinate to the Israeli army or Mossad (Israel’s CIA) or Shin Bet (Israel’s FBI). Its situation in Israel’s organization chart is more like Britain’s M.I.5, although recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has blurred some of the dividing lines between the tasks of these agencies. YAMAM’s main task, according to the hosts, is to thwart terrorist plans, engage with opposing militants during attacks, combat so-called crime syndicates and prevent border incursions
YAMAM is considered the most qualified agency of its kind in the West to confront a war of espionage. The organization has devised new methodologies to respond to terrorist incidents and mass shootings, which, until now, it only shared with a few of its politically-related counterparts around the world.
At a time when veterans of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS are attacking Western targets outside their strongholds in the Middle East, their expertise is in high demand. Increasingly, the world’s top intelligence and police chiefs are turning to YAMAM (the Hebrew acronym for “special police unit”).
Yet Israel, which, as an occupying power, faces international condemnation for its unequal war against the Palestinians, boasts that some senior government officials who are very critical of Israel on the world stage have begun to ask them for help with their most intractable security problems.
And now the Israeli regime has evidently felt that the time has come to share its experiences with other countries, for its own benefit of course.
The main objective assigned to YAMAM is to thwart terrorist plans against the government before they occur, to involve the military during attacks, to combat “crime syndicates” and to prevent border incursions. In contrast, the military forces are often called upon to confront protest demonstrations in the West Bank, using what human rights activists call exaggerated force.
But protests along the fence separating Israel from Gaza, said to be organized by Hamas, are met only by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outside YAMAM. It is these IDF forces that are generally accused of killing unarmed Palestinians, according to Ciralsky,
When Hamas sends rockets or balloons carrying weapons to Israel, or when it launches rockets, it is the IDF that responds with devastating air strikes. Occasionally, members of YAMAM participate in these attacks, although to a large extent they play a secondary role. For a year, the author and his team traveled to train and exchange tactics with their U.S., French and German counterparts in areas such as the retaking of passenger trains, frustrating suicide attacks, and disarming men armed with grenades or bombs.
YAMAM’s technology includes robots and drones, and dazzles the uninitiated. But so do the statistics: YAMAM performs an average of about 300 missions a year in which its commandos have prevented the explosion of no less than 50 “time bombs” carried by suicide bombers en route to their targets and hundreds of other attacks in early stages.
YAMAM is a lamentable manifestation of the most modern technology designed as part of the Israeli genocide against Palestine, a nation whose people legitimately aspire to their sovereign space.
October 25, 2018.

TRUMP COULD BRING DOWN THE US EMPIRE

TRUMP COULD BRING DOWN THE US EMPIRE
By Manuel E. Yepe
https://englishmanuelyepe.wordpress.com/
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
More than any other presidency in the modern history of the United States, Donald Trump’s has been a permanent threat of socio-political shipwreck. He has deliberately excited and fuelled conflicts, involving xenophobic and racist currents in society, with an always nasty political discourse. Trump’s eccentricities have been widely highlighted by the press, but his attacks on the U.S. military presence in the world and its commitments to that end have received far less attention.
Such is the essence of an essay by journalist and historian Gareth Porter, published on the website TRUTHDIG.
Trump had come to the White House with a commitment to end U.S. military interventions. This was based on a worldview in which wars for military domination have no place. In the last speech of his victory tour in December 2016, Trump promised: “Let’s stop tearing down foreign regimes that we shouldn’t have been involved with. Instead of investing in wars, we will invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure…”.
At a meeting in the summer of 2017, where Defense Secretary James Mattis defended new military measures against the Islamic State in North Africa, Trump expressed his displeasure at the endless wars and Mattis claimed that “we are doing it to prevent a bomb from exploding in Times Square,” to which Trump replied, furiously, that the same could be said about anything that happened in any country on the planet.
Trump’s national security team was so alarmed by his questioning of military commitments and troop deployments that they invited him to the Pentagon. They were hoping to make him better understand their arguments with the usual rhetoric of the international democratic order based on the rules of globalism.
Ignoring decades of wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Mattis and other high-ranking officials argued that “this order is what has kept the peace for 70 years.” Trump shook his head in disagreement and diverted the discussion to a subject he found particularly irritating: economic and military relations with South Korea. “We spend $3.5 billion a year there to keep troops in South Korea,” complained Trump. “I don’t know why they’re there. Let’s bring them all home!” In September 2017, while Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in tweets, he privately held an opinion against the presence of troops in South Korea and his determination was to eliminate it, according to Bob Woodward.
Political-diplomatic events with the two Koreas in early 2018 reinforced Trump’s view that U.S. troops should withdraw from there, so he accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to hold a summit.
Trump ordered the Pentagon to study options for the withdrawal of these U.S. troops. That idea was viewed by the media and most of the U.S. national security elite as completely unacceptable. But the Pentagon’s military and intelligence specialists long knew that U.S. troops were not needed to deter North Korea or defend against an attack through the demilitarized zone.
Trump’s willingness to practice personal diplomacy with Kim was driven by his ego, but also by the idea that it would contribute to ending or attenuating the deployment of troops in South Korea. Obviously, such a thing could not happen without a clear rejection of the national security ideology that had dominated Washington’s elites for generations.
Bob Woodward tells in his book “Fear in the White House” that Trump was eager to put an end to the three great wars inherited from Barack Obama: in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, about which he said in July 2017 that he was very tired.
“We should proclaim victory, end wars and bring our troops home,” he said, repeating the political tactic with which Washington covered up its defeat in Vietnam in 1966.
Trump feared he would be held responsible for the consequences of defeat in a war. This was the same fear that had led Lyndon Johnson to abandon his strong resistance to large-scale intervention in Vietnam in mid-1965 and Barack Obama to accept a major escalation in Afghanistan that he had been objecting to.
Trump’s mercantilist worldview poses economic dangers for the United States that may lead him to reject the tactics of multiple permanent wars. But his unorthodox approach has encouraged him to challenge the essential logic of the U.S. military empire more than any previous president. And the final years of his administration will surely bring him more struggles over these issues with those in charge of the empire, predicts Gareth Porter in Truthdig.
October 22, 2018.

COLD WAR II MIGHT JUST HAVE BEGUN.docx

COLD WAR II MIGHT JUST HAVE BEGUN
By Manuel E. Yepe

Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced what could already be described as the beginning of World Cold War II, with Washington and Beijing as the first belligerents but soon the stage will be global. Pence spoke at the Hudson Institute, a think tank specializing in interdisciplinary issues related to international relations, culture, defense, economics, technology, and other strategic issues. Like most NGOs in the U.S., the Hudson is funded by tax-deductible contributions from large taxpayers.
There Pence formulated what many observers compared to Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech. The U.S. Vice President, recognizing, in fact, Washington’s defeat in the current trade confrontation with China, proclaimed what amounts to a declaration of cold war:
“China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined and has prioritized capabilities that erode U.S. military advantages on land, sea, air, and space. China wants to drive the United States out of the Western Pacific and prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies. We hoped that economic liberalization would lead China to greater partnership with us and the world. But it opted for economic aggression, which in turn encourages its growing army. (…) Beijing is conducting a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President, his agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals. (…) China is also applying this power more proactively than ever before to influence and interfere in this country’s domestic politics and politics. Worst of all, China has embarked on an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading up to the 2020 presidential election. To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working and China wants a different American president. (…) There can be no doubt: China is meddling in America’s democracy.
“But should China endure the insult and retreat? Of course not,” says an editorial in the Global Times, the English-language Chinese newspaper sponsored by the People’s Daily, which is itself an organ of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. “If China were to respond belligerently to recent US provocations and define Pence’s speech as a declaration of Cold War, it would become a reality. “China must firmly safeguard its rights and legitimate interests, from trade to defense, and take its own measures against American provocations. We must refrain from increasing friction with the U.S. and not increase the atmosphere of strategic confrontation. Do not allow the conflict with the U.S. to dominate China’s foreign relations or determine the path to be taken by the Chinese government. “In fact, U.S. efforts to contain China is limited and a trade war will inevitably harm the United States. It would be a stupid choice. It is not realistic to establish a NATO-style organization to attack China. It is impossible to isolate and contain China, given the expansion of its business abroad and in domestic markets.
“It will be difficult for the White House and Congress to mobilize a campaign against China in U.S. society. Gone are the days when the public was willing to step forward in the so-called national interest. As long as China remains calm in the face of hysterical U.S. political elites, the so-called Cold War will not take shape,” the Global Times editorial explains.
“At that point, China should play tai chi with the United States. This is the unique strategic wisdom of the Chinese nation. We must make America feel the pain of trade war and not allow unscrupulous action in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits. But we must act calmly. China will continue to open up. A deteriorating outside world will not change that picture. China is not the Soviet Union, and the United States cannot deal with China the way it did with the Soviet Union,” the GlobalTimes editorial concludes.
It has been a reprehensible practice in the United States, during many election campaigns, for the ruling party to manipulate some kind of threat of war from abroad in order to obtain public support for the government through subliminal stimulus. No one should be surprised if, on the occasion of the mid-term elections to be held on November 6, something just like this in North America.
October 17, 2018.

US JUSTIFIES INTERFERING IN OTHERS’ ELECTIONS

US JUSTIFIES INTERFERING IN OTHERS’ ELECTIONS

Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

“When we have wanted to overthrow other governments, we have done so in the best interests of the people of those countries.” Such a tender philosophy was the one that James Robert Clapper Jr, former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), declared before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C. Clapper did this on May 8, 2018, with all naturalness, trying to justify Washington’s electoral interference in more than eighty countries.
In the same way, this gentleman expressed himself when he promoted his book Facts and Fears, where he tackles issues such as alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and in the Syrian conflict. In Syria, the United States has been the main support for terrorists seeking to overthrow the legitimate government of that Middle Eastern country.
The interference in the electoral processes of more than eighty countries throughout history was done thinking “in the best interests of the people” of these nations, Clapper reiterated in an interview granted to Bloomberg, when speaking of the American history of interference in the elections of other nations.
Clapper is remembered in his country for hiding the truth about the massive surveillance program developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) before it was brought to light by Edward Snowden.
Certainly, intervention in other people’s electoral processes has long been a recurring component of Washington’s foreign policy.
In Latin America, the expulsion from power of a legitimately-elected president is considered the most condemnable intervention, although they abound, practically, in the history of all the countries in the region. Jacobo Arbenz, in Guatemala; Salvador Allende, in Chile, or Joao Goulart, in Brazil, are just some examples that have preceded in time the recent Manuel Zelaya in Honduras; Fernando Lugo in Paraguay and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil.
On a global scale, it is known that, in 1947, the U.S. forced the Italian government to exclude all communists and socialists in the first post-war cabinet in exchange for U.S. economic aid to rebuild Europe destroyed by the World War.
Thereafter, the CIA (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) did everything in its power, legally or illegally, to prevent the participation of Communists in the Italian government, while covertly financing Christian Democratic candidates there and elsewhere in Western Europe. The Italian elections of April 1948 were the first in which the CIA’s intervention in the affairs of another country was felt. Without the CIA, the Italian Communist Party would have won those 1948 elections broadly.
From then on, for decades, whenever the Communists, either in alliance with the Socialists or on their own, threatened an electoral triumph, the United States raised the threat of exclusion from the Marshall Plan to prevent it.
The now-retired intelligence official explains that he wrote the book to inform the public of the “both internal and external” threats facing the United States, and to explain that President Donald Trump is not the problem of the American country, but only the symbol of a broader problem because “the truth is relative.
On February 13, U.S. intelligence directors warned the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that “Russia appears to be preparing to repeat the tricks it unleashed in 2016 as the 2018 midterm elections approach: cyberattacking, filtering, manipulating social networks, and perhaps others.
Days later, special prosecutor Robert Mueller used social networks to formulate accusations against 13 Russians and 3 companies run by a businessman linked to the Kremlin in order to attack Hillary Clinton, support Donald Trump and sow discord.
Most Americans were understandably impacted by what they saw as an unprecedented attack on their political system. However, intelligence veterans and academics who have studied covert operations have a different and rather revealing view.
If any government in the world totally lacks the authority and moral standing to condemn the interference of any nation, powerful or weak, large or small, rich or poor, in the internal affairs of another, that nation is the United States because of its long history of abuses against its enemies as well as its allies.
But for Washington to go out and denounce or protest the interference of any nation in its electoral affairs is simply an insult to the collective intelligence of humanity; an unacceptable shame from any point of view.
October 11, 2018.