Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trump’s UN tirade and the logic of imperialism – SEP newsletter

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Trump’s UN tirade and the logic of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken
In 1938 Leon Trotsky warned that imperialism “toboggans with closed eyes toward an economic and military catastrophe.” Within just a year of these remarks, Hitler unleashed his army against a largely defenseless Poland and set into motion the cataclysm of the second imperialist world war.
Trotsky’s words acquire renewed relevance in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s tirade at the United Nations, where the US president openly threatened the launching of a genocidal war, using language that has not been heard since the days of the Third Reich.
If nothing more was involved than the ranting of a madman, Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea would have been met with a chorus of denunciations in the mass media and throughout the political establishment. But nothing of the sort has taken place. What is most striking is the mildness of the response, particularly within the American political establishment and its major media outlets. To the extent that the speech has encountered criticism, it has taken the form of quibbling with some of Trump’s more grotesque rhetorical excesses or questioning the tactical expediency of his intervention. Read more »

Obama adviser Samantha Power calls for crackdown on social media

Internet censorship and government war plans
By Andre Damon
In the US, the drive for Internet censorship has been spearheaded by the so-called “liberal” wing of the political establishment, concentrated in the Democratic Party, whose chief media organ is the New York Times. On the eve of the UN assembly, the Times published an unambiguous brief for censorship of the Internet in the form of an op-ed column by the ambassador to the UN under Barack Obama, Samantha Power.
Under the headline “Why Foreign Propaganda Is More Dangerous Now,” and on the pretext of combating Russian disinformation and subversion, Power calls for the use of “professional gatekeepers” to police public discourse on the Internet. Read more »
Fears of nuclear war grow after Trump’s threat to annihilate North Korea
By Alex Lantier
US President Donald Trump’s fascistic tirade at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, in which he declared Washington “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy North Korea,” shocked and horrified people around the world yesterday.
The North Korean regime’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned that it might now attack US targets if it detects that US forces are preparing to destroy it. The KCNA said Pyongyang would prepare a “resolute and pre-emptive strike if they show any slight sign of provocation. In case the US opts for confrontation and war at last... it will meet horrible nuclear strike and miserable and final ruin.” Read more »
Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria
By Rafael Azul
A clearer picture of the massive damage in Puerto Rico began to emerge Thursday, a day after Hurricane Maria smashed through the island, knocking out power for its 3.4 million residents and leaving a path of destruction through small towns, cities and the capital of San Juan. Homes and buildings were destroyed, power lines downed and trees uprooted and thrown across roads. The hurricane cut a 120-mile swath through the US colonial territory Wednesday. Read more »
St. Louis Police declare “We’re in control” as crackdown on protests enters fifth day
By Genevieve Leigh
“We’re in control,” announced the head of the St. Louis, Missouri Police Department, Lawrence O’Toole, at a press conference Monday after a weekend of unrest in the city over the acquittal of a white cop who shot a black man to death in 2011.
“This is our city and we’re going to protect it,” O’Toole declared. The escalation of the brutal police crackdown in St. Louis came as the demonstrations entered their fifth day Tuesday.
In sharp contrast to the largely peaceful character of the protests, police have displayed alarming levels of belligerence and arrogance in their repression of protesters. Groups of police officers in riot gear were heard early Monday morning marching through areas forcibly cleared of demonstrators chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” mocking protesters with a slogan commonly used at rallies. Read more »
Hillary Clinton’s What Happened: A conspiracy theory of the 2016 election
By Andre Damon
Hillary Clinton’s What Happened, released September 13, is the former presidential candidate’s first-person account of the 2016 election.
With all the hallmarks of a volume carefully constructed by a team of ghostwriters, Clinton’s book is not so much a political memoir as the Democratic Party’s semi-official narrative of its electoral defeat. Those sections of the book regarding Clinton’s personal life and thoughts are largely fictional, penned with a view to their impact on various constituencies.
Clinton’s theory of the election, drawn from articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, the proclamations of state intelligence agencies, and the statements of high-level Democratic Party functionaries, amounts to a grand conspiracy theory in which the movement of great masses of people is reduced to the actions of individual conspirators out to do in Clinton because she is a powerful woman who loves freedom and democracy. Read more »
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