Saturday, 30 June 2012

Propaganda and western populations' complicity in global crimes

By Daniel Renwick

The 20th century was mired by the rise of propaganda, the further the wings of the public relations spread, the more the truth was veiled and human progress was undermined. Infitting with this was the move from modernity to post-modernity, where “grand narratives” and sciences of history were given up, for smaller projects, localised resistances. Paradoxically, as the world became more interconnected, truth got more relative and utterances were accepted on the basis of repetition rather than principles of verification or falsification. Arise the time of Goebells, Bernays, Campbell and Coulson. 

The principles that structure governmental practice, especially in “democratic” societies, have to find ways of including people in decision making procedures, while providing them little to no agency. The most effective way of doing this is distortion and complication. If situations seem inexplicably complex, then trust for a professional class grows.

The tokenistic participation that defines modern democratic mobilisations was not a by-product of democratisation, it was the pre-requisite. From Plato to Hobbes to Mill, the history of orthodox political theory has been based on a fundamental mistrust in the capacity of the ill-informed public to make the “right” decision. So, they must be shepherded. Many a governmental, non-governmental, extra-governmental and public body have been set up throughout recent history to ensure that the public do not have access to the real, thereby following the will of power with the illusion of choice, agency and democracy.

The masses, from the point of view of power, were a “bewildered herd” too prone to emotivism, caprice and self-interest. Therefore, they could not be relied upon to rally in support of distant wars unless an existential threat were presented that broke them from their natural isolationism to a feeling of a mortal choice “us or them”. That is what happened in WWI in the United States, where propagandists working for the State department, masterminded by the likes of Edward Bernays, created the enemy of the Hun – a cannibalistic, sub-human, war driven society hell-bent on the destruction of the world as we know it (before that known merely as Germans). With slight variations to this characterisation, consent has been manufactured for wars to retain the colonies, to stop movements based on challenging the hegemony of imperial forces and even to overthrow democratic regimes who merely reserve to right to say “no” to the bully of the time. From Malaya to Syria – the world has been enchanted by propagandists who manage to make the self-interest of the few, the moral identity of the many.

Propaganda, however, did not simply enter the political sphere without critique. In the twenties, right after WWI a plethora of books challenging the propagandists emerged, challenging their narratives and coming to understand propaganda as a negative term, riddled with social elitism and a will to manipulate. However, after WWII, the systems were refined and the criticality towards Western war agendas were punctured. Only at times of utter barbarity did the people mobilise against the states interest – and even then – most of the time it is merely a way of opting out of mass murder enacting a gesture of “not in my name”. Despite a knowledge of complicity with global imperialism, Western populations have seldom challenged the cornerstone to their civilisation and only do so when it hits too close to home for them to feel comfortable.

Consequently, Western imperial conquests have evolved to relieve the possibility of mass mobilisations and civil disruption, they have developed euphemistic language that actually makes imperial commitment a moral imperative and developed military technology that vastly reduces the potential for the loss of troops lives, therefore curtailing the power of anti-war movements. If British blood is not spilled, very little dissentful ink is penned, as Libya is testament to. We live in times of truly Orwellian systems of power, only without the communist menace he so feared. Instead, we have the “end of history” systems of zombie capitalism advancing with domestic and International justice systems that even Kafka couldn’t have fictionalised. Recent turns in the US indicate a major shift towards assimilation and the eradication of internal dissent. Internationally, through the prism of Obama, imperialism has made vital gains that it could not have achieved under Bush. As John Pilger wonderfully elucidated, Obama is the definition of a post-modern man, Teflon coated, malleable and stylish – personifying how to win through contradiction, with the anti-war candidate battling for a second term with his tough, embattled persona – the killer of Osama, the bomber of Pakistan and the Butcher of Tripoli.

As a leftist, the 20th century saw us lose and gain a lot. One of the greatest losses of the left (other than an alternate economic system and power) in the late 20th century was scepticism towards the words of power. With the fall of the Soviet Union, leftist internationalism found corporate foundations and Western imperialistic states as the torch-bearers of International justice as laid out in the work of Hitchens, Cohen and Berman.

The challenge for the left is to win back the power of scepticism to a point where we can talk about the will of power without being considered conspiratorial and naïve. The only way we can do this is to unify on an understanding of the point of the International press on issues such as Syria.

As Jean-Paul Sartre said, the point of newspapers is to court us, to make us feel like everything is okay and our lives are justifiable. But, as another Arab secular nation is placed under the guillotine of imperial power, we must all ask ourselves: are we doing this for the reasons stated? The answer is clearly no. The real reasons we know only too well: to keep the oil in our cars and maintain our position around the top of the global layer cake. The press exist to deceive and court us, this is made emphatic in the writings of Orwell on Catalonia, Pilger on Vietnam, Sartre and Fanon on Algeria…the list goes on. In all of these writings, the voice of a true leftist Internationalism springs from the page. We must have a fidelity to these words, heed their wisdom and apply their insights to the situation we find ourselves in. So often, we expose the lies retrospectively when the collective wisdom should have meant we were impermeable to them.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Views from Venezuela: The Elite University vs. the Revolutionary University

By June Terpstra, Ph. D. 

June 28th 2012

I visited two universities yesterday in Caracas, Venezuela.  The translator who was assigned introduced the Universidad Central de Venezuela saying: "this university is the good one, the open one, the free one, the other one; Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela is the radical one with the closed minds".   This type of negative commentary has been ongoing everyday.   Thankfully, yesterday, the faculty of Bolivariana put his claim to rest as they explained all that has actually been implemented at Bolivariana compared to centuries of oppression through unfair and elitist systems of higher education.

The UBV, Bolivarian University of Venezuela, is a state university in Venezuela which the government founded in 2003 in the aftermath of the oil strike–indeed locating it in the oil company’s headquarters. Ironically, these buildings became the campuses for the new universities on August 17, 2004; two days after Chavez won the recall referendum the opposition had intended to use to throw him out.  It has locations in 9 other locales around Venezuela. The UBV is a part of the Chávez government's "Mission Sucre" social programs, which aim to provide free higher education to the poor. Consequently, enrollment at the UBV is free and open to all, regardless of academic qualifications, prior education or even nationality. The UBV was created to break the paradigm of the elite universities and almost 70% of the graduates are women. According to Zulia’s largest daily, Panorama, Chavez’ daughter, Maria Gabriela, was among the over one thousand graduates. There are already 21 publicly funded universities in Venezuela, including Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

“This is very significant and I have always said it: capitalism is machista and to a large extent excludes women, that’s why, with the new socialism, girls, you can fly free,” said Chavez at the first graduation ceremony, “I give my life for you, children of the homeland, because you are the standards with which the struggle against academic exclusion in this country began.”

The UBV seeks not only an education for all, but an education that challenges traditional frameworks in non-exclusionary and non-selective enrollment.  Students are encouraged to be critical, reflective, and to participate in and lead classroom activities using the methods of popular education taught by Paolo Freire.

The university has a responsibility to provide services and work for the wider community’s benefit. Thus, students of Architecture design projects to meet the huge housing needs for those who live in precarious barrios. The health centre, library and cultural spaces at the UBV are open to the community. In addition, students conduct a project which will benefit their local community, rather than simply writing a dissertation. In an interview, Maria Ejilda Castellano, the rector of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela said:

“We have always said that education is not just to create professionals.  Education is much more than that.  Knowledge is power, and more people with knowledge empower the whole population.  Educating women empowers not only the women educated, but the whole population.  Creating critical thinkers, a population of intellectuals, is a much more profound project than just preparing people for jobs. 

This country, this world, is changing and will continue to change.  Your counterargument about 'jobs' assumes a static world.  We have a model of development in this country that demands a new kind of professional.  If the government is trying to diversify the economy, these new professionals will have a place in the development of the country.  And I am willing to bet that there will be plenty of work for the professionals we create.  I am not talking about jobs.  I am talking about work.  Those are two different things.” 

Contrary to the revolutionary methods and service model of the Bolivariana, faculty at the Universidad Central de Venezuela school of Social Work asked us to investigate the fact that Bolivarian socialism, promoted by the government, did not promote critical thinking such as the Central U does. The Central U has been abandoned by the government. One facultyexpressed disdain for the general policies of the government saying “why should one bother to get an education if a professor makes the same as one without education?”  This comment said it all and represents the real goal of elitist education, making money in the capitalist system while remaining exclusive so to sequester knowledge for the benefit of the intelligentsia and the upper classes which support them. 

Conversely UBV challenges the hegemony of the globally accepted market-driven research-oriented elite model of higher education. The UBV is key to the revolutionary commitment of “constructing a Venezuela for all Venezuelans, in which social justice and equality rules”. The democratization of higher education is envisaged as being achieved through the strategy of municipalisation, which means that the state-funded university is operating in all 335 municipalities, as well as in prisons and factories, to facilitate equal access opportunities.

Indeed, there appears to be some reason to share the Venezuelan optimism. Even data obtained from the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), cannot deny that under Chávez, participation at all educational levels has substantially increased. 

“The UBV also signifies social inclusion and solidarity. Our students are committed, from the very first day, to work with love for their neighbor, for the community, for the neediest, all through socio-community action. This is an important aspect which differentiates us from other educational institutions. The UBV constitutes a pedagogical point of reference for social transformation,” states Angel Moros, Chancellor of the UBV.

Students are also provided with scholarships and food and transport vouchers in an attempt to address “social injustice” as a barrier to educational access.

So far the government’s efforts to create an inclusionary university education system can boast some significant achievements. Since 1998 the number of Venezuelan citizens possessing university level qualifications has risen from 785,000 to over 2,480,000. Venezuela also has the second highest university enrolment in Latin America and the fifth highest in the world after Cuba, South Korea, Finland and Greece, according to figures released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009.

There have been too many times on this visit to Venezuela that the anti-Chavez rhetoric breaks my revolutionary heart as I see how difficult it is to transform a country from the capitalist greed model to a new model of socialism for social justice. Bless Chavez for caring about the poor and oppressed.  He has even worked with the indigenous people through the Bolivariana Indigenous Studies program to frame their own constitutions in their own lands, the pueblos. 


Freire, P. (1974) Education as the Practice of Freedom. (14 th Edition), Mexico: Siglo XXI

Bolivarian University of Venezuela (2003). Guiding document. Caracas

Bolivarian University of Venezuela (2008). Popular education, strategic planning and community participation

Extradition to Libya – extradition to torture

The reports that the former Libyan prime minister who was extradited by Tunisia to Libya was tortured highlight the lack of justice and proper institutions in post-Gaddafi Libya, believes journalist Lizzie Phelan. The French lawyer for Al Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi said on Wednesday that her client had his ribs broken and a lung punctured after prison guards seriously beat him. "According to the information I have, it seems that he has been beaten," said lawyer Marcel Ceccaldi as quoted by The Guardian. 

"He is in hospital, under guard." The Libyan authorities however denied the report as rumors. "We would like to say it's wrong, a naked lie that he was attacked and is in a sort of coma. Al-Bagdadi al-Mahmoudi is in good health and he is in need of nothing, God willing," said a NTC spokesman. 

Tunisia extradited the former Libyan prime minister back to his home country on Sunday despite concerns by human rights groups and the Tunisian president himself that al-Mahmoudi could face torture and an unfair trial there. 

Tunisian leader Moncef Marzouki denounced the extradition as “illegal” saying it was done without his consent. There are no signs that a fair trial can take at the moment in Libya, Press TV correspondent Lizzie Phelan said in an interview with RT. 

“There is no such thing as institutions in Libya anymore; there is indeed no such thing as government.” 

Anybody who does not agree with the NTC and the different militias running different parts of the country are subjected to systematic persecution, imprisonment and torture, she says, stressing that this concerns those who supported the former Gaddafi regime. 

The ability by right-wing Islamists to bypass the Tunisian constitution and extradite al-Mahmoudi raises concerns that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood could also strike a deal with the NTC and make similar moves against the many thousands of Libyans who fled to Egypt. “To do so would be to subject those Libyans almost certainly to a fate of torture,” she said. 

She believes that cooperating with the NTC is in fact serving the interests of the West, which is very keen to see perpetual instability in Libya and in the wider region. “Like in Iraq NATO’s corporate elites can win contracts to supposedly pick up the pieces, which of course they will never do.” 

Phelan also explains that it is in the West’s interests to continue the trials against the members of the former regime. “Amongst those members and hundreds of thousands of Libyans who have now fled the country are the people who know how to build a stable Libya with strong and well-functioning institutions necessary for society to function. But the West doesn’t want strong institutions or a well-functioning society in Libya,” she believes. “It wants eternal anarchy and chaos like that which we are seeing today.”

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

toni solo on western population's complicity in their governments' crimes

toni solo from Nicaragua’s reply to my comment that western populations are complicit in their government’s crimes in Africa, Latin America and Asia (original comment in full below):

The issue of the complicity of the general population of the imperialist countries in the crimes of their governments is in one sense very clear and beyond argument.
People in Europe and North America - at least since universal suffrage - have accepted the external transfer of the worst latent or potential domestic social costs of their countries' prosperity onto the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Lenin only pointed out what was already well known when he noted the argument of Cecil Rhodes that aggressive colonial policies would minimize acute social conflict in Britain.
That also explains why, as the Christian philosopher Simone Weil wrote in one of her essays, Europeans were so shocked at the application of colonial savagery to themselves by Nazi Germany.
What Western apologists/moralists meant when, after the revelations of the death camps, they said "it must never happen again" was in fact "this must never happen again to us in Europe".
That BBC report and the complacent response to it is in effect a footnote confirming the profound complicity of European populations in general in the crimes of their governments.
It seems to me totally improbable that any correction to the criminal policies of the NATO countries will occur until they suffer a strategic setback either militarily or economically.

My original comment:

So the BBC are actually admitting that theirs and their NATO country media counterparts could have actually brought about TWO illegal aggressions both in Libya and Iraq. And no-one bats an eyelid.  The role of the media is to be the eyes and ears of the public, not a war tool. That the BBC are admitting that they have been the latter and not the former shows to me how the western capitalist elite know so very well that the populations in their home countries have absolutely no interest in resisting their criminality, a criminality which they are very very very open about.
This further confirms my dreaded feeling that not only will we not see any real change brought about by peoples in the NATO countries (US and western Europe) but they will continue to be part of their elites efforts to sabotage genuine progressive and revolutionary change in the South.

BBC quote regarding its Libya coverage: "No doubt these reports, along with similar and in some cases more directly partisan ones in other media, helped stimulate empathy for the rebel cause among the British public, and thereby to facilitate, if not actually bring about, the NATO intervention – as similar reports had done in northern Iraq as long ago as 1991."

Full BBC report here

BBC's unimpartial report on its "impartiality" in regards to war on Libya

Some running commentary on the BBC's report on their "impartiality and accuracy" regarding their coverage of events in Libya:

* BBC report on its coverage of events in Libya says: "The BBC did well in maintaining a presence on both sides throughout. It gave Gaddafi and his family and officials many opportunities to express their views, and did interrogate the rebel leaders (as well as British ministers) about their strategy and war aims. It was slow however (*my addition: about 9 months slow*) to shine a spotlight on human rights abuses committed by rebel forces, particularly against sub-Saharan Africans and dark skinned Libyans."

So the BBC thinks that both sides equals a bunch of mercenaries on one side and Gaddafi's family on the other, it had reporters present at the 1.7million march in Green Square on July 1st (of which there is photographic evidence)...why didn't they broadcast any footage of that demonstration or one interview with any of those millions? Is that how they show "both sides"?

They put as a little convenient addition that they didn't cover human rights abuses by the rebels. But they don't mention the scale of those abuses and that in fact this omission meant that the BBC did not seek out the voices of thousands of pro-Gaddafi people who were being persecuted in rebel held areas.

Why didn't the BBC reporters who were in the Rixos in August, interview any of the hundreds of people (including injured children) who came to the hotel to tell such reporters about the RAF attack on their town in Zlitan that martyred 85?

Entirely omitting the voices of millions of people who supported Gaddafi (and not just interviewing a few people from the government), while the rest of the time your flooding you network with mercenary voices, is hardly covering "both sides".

* So the BBC are actually admitting that theirs and their NATO country media counterparts could have actually brought about TWO illegal aggressions both in Libya and Iraq. And no-one bats an eyelid. 

The role of the media is to be the eyes and ears of the public, not a war tool. That the BBC are admitting that they have been the latter and not the former shows to me how the western capitalist elite know so very well that the populations in their home countries have absolutely no interest in resisting their criminality, a criminality which they are very very very open about. This further confirms my dreaded feeling that not only will we not see any real change brought about by peoples in the NATO countries (US and western Europe) but they will continue to be part of their elites efforts to sabotage genuine progressive and revolutionary change in the South.

BBC quote regarding its Libya coverage: "No doubt these reports, along with similar and in some cases more directly partisan ones in other media, helped stimulate empathy for the rebel cause among the British public, and thereby to facilitate, if not actually bring about, the NATO intervention – as similar reports had done in northern Iraq as long ago as 1991."

* The BBC report on Libya makes an issue of Jeremy Bowen being allowed to film a bombed university cafeteria but not a bombed military base in Libya and says that this is because the Jamahiriyah government only wanted to show that civilians were being targeted.

The Libyan government never hid that military and civilian targets were being hit, and it is quite clear to any logical thinking or honest person that in a time of war when your country is being obliterated, you will not want to share with the world and your enemy's intelligence, details of what parts of your military infrastructure have been destroyed and what parts have not (because then NATO will want to finish off the job).

* The report is also laced with racist language, and says that the choice of Saadi Gaddafi to be interviewed by BBC in front of a lion's cage was "bizarre" betraying their complete ignorance about the symbolic importance of the lion in Libya.

* BBC report adds "Nor is it clear how easy it would have been for the BBC to find "ordinary" Libyans who would have expressed unfeigned and unscripted enthusiasm for [Gaddafi's] cause"

How about the streets of Tripoli, or 1.7 million such Libyans in Green Square on July 1st (where BBC reporters were) or the Libyans who would protest outside the Rixos against coverage of networks like the BBC, or the numerous and frequent other demonstrations for Gaddafi in Tripoli's neighbourhoods?

* And the BBC report that is meant to be dealing with the BBC's crap produces an entirely new piece of crap: "Meanwhile, many civilian migrant workers from sub-Saharan countries, and some dark-skinned indigenous Libyans, were the object of serious human rights violations, probably on both sides of the line, but certainly in rebel held areas."

Probably on both sides of the line? According to who? What sources? What evidence?

This is the first time I am aware of that it has been suggested that supporters of the Jamahiriyah or the Jamahiriyah government itself committed abuses against Black people. Of course there is absolutely zero evidence for this, and I have never heard it even alleged.

* There were thousands of refugees that had fled from rebel held areas on Tripoli, many of them black and I met a great number. That the BBC suggest it was impossible for them to investigate the persecution of Black people, implying that it could only be investigated in rebel held areas, is another total nonsense.

Jorge Capelán, Lizzie Phelan and toni solo discuss USAID and western NGOs in Latin America

Friday, 22 June 2012

From Nicaragua to Syria - Journalism is dead, long live psy-warfare ...

by Jorge Capelan and toni solo, June 21st 2012

SOURCE: tortilla con sal

Journalism has been rendered obsolete by the reporting practice of media in NATO countries and their allies.  Recent wars from the Ivory Coast to Libya  and now Syria only confirm what was already clear after the chain of wars in the 1990s, in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Rwanda, the Congo and many other places. NATO country information media across the political spectrum are, one way or another, a vital component of NATO war planning and practice in terms of psy-warfare. The same is also true of the aid, development and human rights non-governmental sector of those NATO countries.

The conflicts in Libya and Syria demonstrated that most progressive and radical currents of political opinion will readily collaborate with NATO psy-warfare campaigns against target countries. In general almost all progressive opinion is intimidated by the completely bogus rhetoric of human rights and democracy deployed by the NATO country psy-warfare machinery. The most common expression of this is for the representatives of progressive opinion to try and seek a neutral position that in practice facilitates NATO aggression against its target countries.

Latin America

This in turn means that even political systems and movements enjoying mass support can be readily demonized as has happened in the cases of the Libyan Jamahiriya or of the Syrian Ba'ath party. Similar tactics are being used today against all countries in Latin America that do not conform to NATO’s desires, as well as against the solidarity between those countries and towards them. Always focusing on a different nation depending on the specific conjuncture. Apart from the constant campaign against Venezuela, one can think of the so-called Cuban “Black Spring” in 2003, the weeks and months prior to the failed coup against Correa in Ecuador in 2010, or today’s protests against Evo Morales in Bolivia or those against Cristina Fernandez in Argentina and now the coup attempt in Paraguay against Fernando Lugo.

These demonization campaigns always imply some element of differentiation among the Latin American rebels. Whereas sometimes the CNN and other imperial outlets focus on Lula’s “realism” vis-á-vis Chávez’ “unpredictability”, other times they may choose to underline Correa’s willingness to talk with, say, Hilary Clinton against Daniel Ortega’s “shrewdness” and so on. The roles of angels and foes can change overnight and has, off course, nothing to do with reality but with the needs and logic of information psy-warfare.

As a chorus to the corporate media’s demonizing cacophony, a parallel world of debates is carried out in the so-called alternative media – a diverse universe in which Western voices nevertheless wield disproportionate influence in terms of their actual political relevance. These voices, often very influential in the circles of Western progressive opinion, hand out tiny revolutionary stars of legitimacy to movements or processes. The stars are awarded according to various criteria - democratic credentials, treatment of various minorities, ecological footprint, economic policy and so on.

This supposedly alternative arena complements mainstream Western corporate media psy-warfare against NATO's target countries by reinforcing differences and sharpening contradictions.  As in the corporate media, little or no attention is paid to the real situation and debates of the subjects and political instruments building and shaping processes and movements for change. The final result of all this is functional to the aims of NATO’s planners: division, isolation of the targets, confusion among those who could organize an effective resistance to imperialism and, finally, paralysis in facing the interventions.

The “neither (…) nor (…) syndrome”, formerly known as the “two daemons’ syndrome”, historically has yielded catastrophic results in fighting imperialism. It is only a question of time before these campaigns of psychological warfare against the region intensify at unprecedented levels as the voice of Latin America’s most radical democracies, especially that of the ALBA countries, becomes more prominent in the creation of a new multipolar world order, as well as in the practical achievement of social models that transcend capitalism in the real world. A recent article in Le Monde Diplomatique,  flagship monthly of Western progressive elites, suggests that the psywarfare machinery is being greased up and shifted into higher gear against Nicaragua.

The structure and content of the article, “Why Nicaragua chose Ortega?”, by Maurice Lemoine, published in the June 2012 edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, show how readily NATO's psy-warfare strategy can co-opt ostensibly progressive media. It is worth looking at the nuts and bolts of the machinery to see how it works. The parallels with the current psy-warfare campaign against Syria offer little comfort for those who believe the US and its allies will find it harder to co-opt the neocolonial Left to attack Latin America than targets like Syria.


Before looking closely at Lemoine's exercise in disinformation, it may be helpful to consider the immediate context with regard to the continuing aggression against Syria by the terrorist NATO governments and their regional allies. As in the case of Libya, most liberal and progressive opinion refuses to express solidarity with the Syrian government. The suggestion is that, as in the case of Libya in 2011, there is some kind of third position, distinct both from that of NATO's genocidal governments and from that of the Syrian government.

Lebanese writer Amal Saad Ghorayeb has written acutely in Al-Akhbar on that phenomenon and for her pains experienced a predictable wave of indignant responses from people across the progressive end of the political spectrum. The tenets upheld as indisputable by Ghorayeb's critics are that Syria is a uniquely evil government and that the rebellion against it is legitimated by overwhelming popular support. But neither of those assertions are in the least true.

Syria's human rights record is better than that of Israel, Turkey or Saudi Arabia or any of the feudal monarchies that comprise the Gulf States. The Syrian government's response to the armed insurgency against it has been demonstrably more restrained than the practice of the US, France and Britain or their allies Israel and Turkey, for example, anywhere those countries have been faced with armed rebellion. Furthermore, the Syrian government clearly enjoys majority support across the greater part of its territory. 

What is remarkable for people in Nicaragua are the striking parallels between the kind of arguments used in the case of Syria and those deployed to smear and denigrate  the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. More remarkable still are the completely unselfcritical terms in which those arguments are made. The usual keywords are constant: “democracy” “democratic institutions” “human rights” “freedom of expression”.

The underlying assumption is invariably that people in the US and Europe understand and enjoy democracy, human rights and freedom of expression while people in countries like Syria and Nicaragua do not. The arguments deliberately deny or obscure the fact that majorities in both those countries support their governments. In the case of Syria, that support has held fast against vicious NATO-supported terrorist onslaught, and in the case of Nicaragua, against constant slander and economic intimidation, the latest instance being the cutting of US development cooperation.

The human rights records of the US and Europe with regard to immigrants and ethnic minorities is universally abysmal. The record of severe human rights abuses by the UK in Northern Ireland or by Spain in the Basque country hardly needs rehearsing yet again. The appalling domestic human rights record of the US government  has few rivals running the whole gamut from political prisoners and routine administrative disappearance of illegal immigrants via regular police and prison brutality to the routine use of torture and other blatant and complete abandonment of international judicial norms.

Apart from their complacency about their own countries' human rights records, self-righteous NATO-country critics of target countries like Syria and Nicaragua are completely silent about the most massive anti-democratic transfer of wealth in history that has taken place in the United States and Europe. Trillions of dollars have been shifted from those countries' majorities to support the plutocrat corporate and financial oligarchies. A fraction of those amounts would suffice to eradicate hunger worldwide. Yet still we are expected to believe in the benign “humanism” of the West.

The ruling elites that control NATO country economies ensure their populations are constantly intimidated by threats and fear-mongering against concerted resistance to the area's completely corrupt financial system. Furthermore, the reality of human rights and democracy in the NATO countries is little different to that anywhere else in the world, elite cronyism, corruption and impunity for the powerful are the norm. Outlets of progressive opinion in those countries for the most part completely fail to compare and contrast that undeniable reality with the reality in countries like Syria and Nicaragua.

On almost all foreign affairs issues, both corporate and alternative Western media tend to string along with fake reality created by corporate psy-warfare media. The Houla massacre in Syria is the latest and clearest example. Across the political spectrum facts are distorted and rumours exaggerated precisely because any true and fair account of the facts would render absolutely ridiculous the alleged pretexts for targeting potential NATO victim-countries.

That is the overall context in which Le Monde Diplomatique has published Maurice Lemoine's dishonest account of the current situation in Nicaragua and its recent history. In effect, that context renders supposedly progressive outlets like Le Monde Diplomatique little more than post-modern echo chambers for NATO's insane neoconservative globalization project. Consciously or unconsciously, they continue to believe in the West's non-existent moral superiority. In doing so, they reinforce the psy-warfare component of NATO's ruthless war on humanity.


Lemoine's article is a classic exercise in neo-colonial Left disinformation. The article's disingenuous, tendentious content and its egregious omissions follow the standard format of NATO country media psy-warfare against governments that obstruct Western geostrategic interests. For Le Monde Diplomatique this is nothing new. Few people familiar with the reality of NATO target countries like Nicaragua could reasonably  regard Le Monde Diplomatique as a trustworthy source of reliable information on international affairs.

The arguments in this Le Monde Diplomatique article rehash yet again the discredited anti-Sandinista propaganda of Nicaragua's political opposition, emphatically aligned with the imperialist policies of the governments of Canada, the United States and the European Union. Lemoine and his editors try to save Le Monde Diplomatique's progressive credentials by citing ex-Sandinistas in the misnamed Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS) from the NATO-aligned Nicaraguan opposition. Among the article's most dishonest gambits, it quotes those individuals while failing to mention that they and their organizations have been directly funded by Western governments or by those governments' proxy non-governmental organizations.

Lemoine's article begins with two outright lies in a single sentence : President Daniel Ortega's “Sandinista government has abandoned many of its principles, especially on women's rights, to stay in power.” But the historic programme of the Frente Sandinista  has always been based on political pluralism, international non-alignment and a mixed economy. That was true in the 1980s and it remains true now. Those unchanging principles have been thoroughly vindicated by the practice of Daniel Ortega and his colleagues since the FSLN's return to government in January 2007.

Maurice Lemoine and his editors have merely recycled a hostile gloss from ex-Sandinista sources who themselves long ago abandoned the most minimal vestige of anti-imperialism, a fundamental Sandinista tenet. Le Monde Diplomatique cites people who have profoundly betrayed their own Sandinista past to try and smear Nicaragua's FSLN government as unprincipled. The article then compounds  that self-evident dishonesty with the absurd claim that the FSLN government has abandoned its support for women's rights in Nicaragua.

The reverse is self-evidently true, since the position of women has changed radically for the better in Nicaragua since January 2007. Nicaragua is now among the leading countries in the world in the number of its women legislators and in women's representation in senior government posts. The FSLN government's social programmes deliberately  prioritize hundreds of thousands of previously economically excluded women and have brought them into active economic participation. In April 2012, the FSLN sponsored the passage of a law ensuring that 50% of candidates in all national and local elections must be women.

In June 2012 another FSLN sponsored law, passed in April 2012, came into effect, criminalizing a wide range of misogynist behaviour, making femicide a crime distinct from homicide and mandating a national campaign against violence against women. Despite this unprecedented range of policies and legislation in favour of women, Lemoine's article supinely retails standard NATO psy-warfare anti-FSLN untruths in their liberal/social democrat variety.

Similarly, Lemoine gives a pro-MRS summary of the vicious power struggle within the FSLN in the years after the 1990 election. He omits the ruthless cynicism with which Sergio Ramirez and his partners tried to railroad Sandinista rank and file into accepting a social democrat coup in the party. Nor does the article mention the disgraceful role played by Ramirez's colleague Rosa Marina Zelaya as president of the Supreme Electoral Council in the blatantly rigged elections of 1996.

Lemoine couples these kinds of omissions with the use of contemptuous descriptions in relation to the FSLN to soften up his readers' receptivity to his version of events. Thus, Lemoine talks about an Ortega “clique”. He repeats opposition accusations against Daniel Ortega and the FSLN  making no attempt to appraise them. The accusations are left unanswered, but the reader is then immediately confronted with “This (widespread) view of events suggests the FSLN had lost its way.”

Certainly, Lemoine is correct to note these untruths are widespread, precisely among the liberal and social democrat intellectual-managerial classes of the NATO countries - the natural audience, in fact, of Le Monde Diplomatique. Here we are dealing with the infinite disinformation feedback loop that is NATO's fundamental propaganda mechanism. A small, unrepresentative opposition in a NATO target country emits venomous falsehoods against its government. NATO country psy-warfare media recycle the untruths. Those lies  then become “widespread” orthodoxy fed back to their point of origin in an effort to broaden local opposition support.

In that strategic context, Lemoine's article also follows standard NATO psy-warfare media tactics in deploying its text. Firstly, the article frames the context of the readers' approach to its content in terms that implicitly deprecate the moral calibre of the  FSLN government in Nicaragua, at the same time severely criticizing its concrete policies. Secondly, the rest of the article offers occasional mild qualifications of the extremely negative image created so as to give a false impression of “balance”.

So in the first half of his article, Lemoine uncritically quotes opposition figures and offers a very crude summary of the huge political challenge facing the FSLN through the late 1990s and early 2000s. He dismisses the FSLN's profound efforts at overcoming the deep hostility and division inherited from the war of the 1980s as playing “the reconciliation game”. He picks quotes from Orlando Nuñez Soto to make it sound as if the FSLN acknowledges that in some sense it needs to apologize for its policy of alliances prior to the 2001 and 2006 elections, something which is quite untrue.

Implicit, but concealed, in Lemoine's text is the fact that the direct consequence of the FSLN's policy of alliances from 1998 to the present has been the apparently irreparable break up of the right-wing that had dominated Nicaraguan politics from 1990 to 2006. That result vindicates the deep and sharp political acumen of an FSLN leadership composed of different currents not by any means always in harmonious agreement. It renders a complete non sequitur Lemoine's observation that the FSLN lost sympathy among the Western Left, none of whom vote in Nicaragua.

This last point is highly relevant in relation to the issue of abortion in Nicaragua which was completely banned in October 2006 just weeks prior to the national elections of that year won by Daniel Ortega. Lemoine attempts to put the issue in context but neglects to note that for the vast majority of women in Nicaragua, abortion rights are not a priority. Nor does Lemoine note that maternal mortality has dropped significantly since the FSLN took office in January 2007. Only the most bitter of the FSLN government's enemies reject the clear drop in maternal mortality apparent in government statistics, currently down to around 70 deaths per 100,000 births.

Lemoine quotes Sergio Ramirez saying “The rank-and-file Sandinistas did not abandon their leader, though following him called for courage.” This self-serving nonsense gives the impression that some large number of FSLN supporters went along with Ramirez and his fellow social democrat opportunists. They never did. The overwhelming majority of FSLN supporters have always rallied to Daniel Ortega because he is Nicaragua's only political leader who truly represents the interests of Nicaragua's impoverished majority.

Another example of Lemoine's cynical deployment of unanswered accusations displays the blatant misogynist hatred of the Nicaraguan opposition for Daniel Ortega's wife Rosario Murillo. Lemoine quotes centre-right feminist Sofia Montenegro. Montenegro is a director of the USAID funded CINCO media organization  and was revealed by a Wikileaks cable to have directly asked the US ambassador in Managua for US$100,000. This is the source Lemoine quotes describing Rosario Murillo as “a superstitious opportunist who talks about nothing but God and the Virgin Mary all day long.” No wonder Montenegro hates Rosario Murillo – Murillo has been the driving force behind Nicaragua's revolution in women's rights since January 2007.

The revolution for women in Nicaragua itself has made the FSLN the most dynamic force for revolutionary change in Central America. Murillo's role in enforcing that change has been truly decisive. Likewise her self-evident partnership with Daniel Ortega in terms of formulating and executing policy is an inspiring model for women and young people in Nicaragua whose impact is impossible to overestimate. Lemoine's report wilfully ignores that reality, preferring to recycle long-discredited social democrat feminist lies only people ignorant of Nicaragua could possibly take seriously.

The ideologically paid-on-both-sides character of LeMonde Diplomatique and writers like Maurice Lemoine becomes clear in the final paragraphs of this article on Nicaragua. Lemoine notes “Nobody mentioned socialism”, referring to the comments of ordinary people supportive of the FSLN government's policies. He then jumps from vox populi reporting to macro-economic policy, falsely juxtaposing and confusing two completely different kinds of reality.

That obscurantist manoeuvre allows Lemoine to insert a banal and ignorant comment about ALBA in Nicaragua, “Huge amounts of aid from Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela — the 'orthodox, sterile, reactionary and authoritarian pseudo-left' that makes the MRS’s blood boil — have boosted the FSLN’s social programmes.” That sentence on its own gives a damning summary of the whole article.

In Nicaragua,  the MRS party is taken seriously only by its allies, right wing leaders like corrupt banker Eduardo Montealegre, right-wing gerontocrat Fabio Gadea and the Chamorro family's oligarch-poodle Edmundo Jarquin. Lemoine gives further currency to NATO country media distortion in relation to Nicaragua's ALBA development cooperation funding and concessionary oil transactions with PDVSA, summing up that complex trade and development relationship in the caricature “Huge amounts of aid from Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.”

Lemoine ends his article with an self-exculpatory admission from  Maria López Vigil of the Envío magazine collective: “The ILP-MRS alliance is not based on a shared social project, programme or ideology. Its sole purpose is to stop the dictatorial tendencies of the FSLN and Ortega.” Here López Vigil is trying to distance herself and her MRS accomplices from the dirty reality of their cynical self-serving deal with Nicaragua's right-wing. But she is hopelessly entangled in the facts of her complicity in seven years of determined collaboration with the imperialist agenda of the United States, Canada and the European Union.

Back in 2007 she wrote this “I think and write this from Nicaragua, from Central America, from the societies of the Christian West that have still not overcome the traumas of the Conquest of 500 years ago nor the hierarchical framework of the Colonial centuries that followed. Daily we find this. We are countries that achieved formal independence little more than 150 years ago but continue being home to millions of people, the majority, who lack personal autonomy, who have never tasted it. We are societies with the institutionality – and also the theatricality – of democracy (separation of powers, periodic elections, institutions, posts, delegates in international bodies, costly processes of State modernization) but are strangers to everything or almost everything in democratic culture.”

For López Vigil, nothing has changed. She and her fellow MRS sympathizers continue to talk as if there is some universal common agreement about what constitutes “democratic culture”. She obviously continues to think that she and her colleagues know and understand what that culture is while the vast majority of people in Central America do not. This absurd attempt to monopolize the terminology of democracy is entirely consonant with NATO country psy-warfare in general and anti-FSLN propaganda in particular.

It is natural that Le Monde Diplomatique offers a platform to journalism blatantly sympathetic to liberal elitists and intellectual frauds like Maria López Vigil, Sofia Montenegro, Sergio Ramirez and their colleagues.  Since the war against Libya it has become clear that the role of fake-progressive media like Le Monde Diplomatique has been to obscure inconvenient realities and to confuse and censor genuine debate. Under the government of President Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua has made truly dramatic progress in every sphere of national life, experiencing grass roots change that is truly revolutionary. Writers and media outlets that conceal that undeniable truth have self-evidently taken sides with the enemies of humanity.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

ALBA defends Paraguayan President Lugo against coup attempt by oligarchy


Translated by Lizzie Phelan

The member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA-TCP, reject the manoeuvre of sectors of Paraguay's political right to initiate impeachment proceedings against the constitutional President of the sister Republic, Fernando Lugo.

These proceedings seek the removal of President Lugo, and the installation of an illegitimate government to take Paraguay backwards to the old obsolete political practices.

We in ALBA-TCP reiterate our support for the democratic government of President Lugo, who can only be changed by a vote of the Paraguayan people that elected him.

We call the Paraguayan people to defend democracy, reiterating that they have the support of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Finally, we urge all democratic nations of the world to support the sovereignty of the Paraguayan people and the peaceful and democratic development of this sister nation.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21, 2012

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Assad Foreign Policy (I): A History of Consistence


Published Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chief among Third-Wayers’ denunciations against the Assad regime’s foreign policy record are accusations that relate to its alleged history of defeat, and later quietism, vis-à-vis Israel, as well as its persecution and cynical use of Lebanese and Palestine groups resisting the Zionist state. For these detractors, the Assad leadership’s anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist stances amount to little more than public posturing intended to preserve its popular legitimacy and is therefore of negligible strategic value to the resistance axis. While many of those making this argument are merely engaging in ex-post facto rationalization – that is, formulating retrospective explanations to justify their current position – this depiction of the Syrian regime as having “colluded” with imperialism in the past, warrants a comprehensive response, if only to underline the centrality of Assad’s Syria to the resistance project and the Palestinian cause generally.

Realism Versus Constructivism

The core problem with the Third Way historical meta-narrative is that it rests on political Realism, a school of thought which dominates the American tradition of the International Relations discipline. The Realist school views states as essentially self-interested actors, who pursue their security and the same predefined economic, political and military interests at the expense of ideological values and principles. While Realism is a useful theoretical tool for explaining some aspects of Syrian foreign policy, by no means does it account for it in its entirety, and even less so in the case of Bashar al-Assad’s regional policy. However, most Third Way intellectuals who study Syria adopt the Realist approach and consequently, reduce all Syrian foreign policy to power politics, while viewing the regime – a view which invariable conflates Hafez al-Assad’s with Bashar’s rule – as governed by considerations of crude realpolitik and regime/state interests, which it would readily sacrifice its ideological principles for.

The usurpation of Palestine and creation of Israel in its place, added a staunch anti-Zionism to Syria’s pan-Arab, anti-imperialist identity, an identity which was only reinforced by the loss of the Golan in the 1967 war.
A more discerning examination of Syrian foreign policy requires a paradigm shift from Realism to Constructivism. The latter approach is based on the ontological premise that reality isn’t only material but also ideational; both the social world and knowledge are socially constructed, and as such, “a state’s interests are not just out there waiting to be discovered,” but are shaped by identities which define political actors. These identities are constructed through foreign policy discourses which “shape the identity of the state, its ‘rationality’, the ‘reality’ it defines, and its interests and preferences in its interactions with the world.”

In short, interests are defined by identities and are hence, not predefined universal givens. Hafez al-Assad said as much in this excerpt from 1994 : “There has been much talk about interests in this historic stage of international development...We say that when we talk about interests we mean...not just economic interests, but...[national] sentiments and common culture and heritage.”

Syria’s Political Identity

Only by interrogating the Syrian state’s identity, can we make meaningful sense of what its foreign policy interests are and how it pursues them. As Hussein Agha and Ahmad S. Khalidi have observed in their book “Syria and Iran: Rivalry and Co-Operation”, published by Chatham House, both national identity and the definition of the “national interest” in Assad’s Syria, can best be described as “Syrio-centric Arabism”, that is, a confluence of pan-Arabism and Syrian nationalism.

Syria has one of the strictest anti-normalization [with Israel] policies in the region, despite its participation in the so-called “peace negotiations”.
In turn, this identity has been shaped by an irredentist and revisionist drive following western colonialism’s dismemberment of historic Syria, “Bilad al-Sham”, into 4 mini-states – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The usurpation of Palestine and creation of Israel in its place, added a staunch anti-Zionism to Syria’s pan-Arab, anti-imperialist identity, an identity which was only reinforced by the loss of the Golan in the 1967 war.

Beyond preserving its physical security, the Assad leadership’s mumanaa has also become a principal source of its ontological security. That is, security of its identity as a resistant state and champion of Arab rights. According to Constructivism, ontological security is a defining feature of all foreign policy; like humans, states are social actors which have both physical needs and social drives. Thus, in addition to the need for physical security, states also strive for a security of their identity. This characteristic of states is often lost on Third Wayers who oversimplify Syria’s national security policy as a pursuit of physical [regime] security, or its mere survival as an institutional entity, to the exclusion of the security of its identity or being as a particular kind of actor.

Anti-zionism and anti-imperialist Syrio-centric Arabism were the founding principles of the Assad regime. As depicted by the scholars Anoushiravan Ehteshami and Raymond A. Hinnebusch: “Hafez al-Assad’s seizure of power in 1970 aimed to unify [the] regime and country for the struggle to recover lost Arab territories from Israel; he designed his regime to carry on this struggle.” The ensuing military and economic costs wrought by the 1973 and 1982 wars with Israel (20,000 reported military casualties and military spending that reached over 50% of Syria’s GNP by the end of the 1980s) routinized the conflict as a stable fixture of the Syrian national identity.

But that is not to say that Syrian anti-Zionism is purely reactive and the result of the perception of Israel’s threat to Syria’s security. According to Agha and Khalidi: “Assad has never severed himself from his basic ideological roots. From this perspective the struggle with Israel, although undeniably aggravated by the occupation of Syrian soil on the Golan since 1967, is not to be seen as a purely territorial issue.... this hostility also has other elements, primary among them the Syrian commitment to the Palestinian cause. From a Baathist pan-Arab perspective, the creation of Israel is not only morally unjust and a trespass against the Palestinians but a transgression against the Arab people and the greater Arab homeland.”

It is for this reason that Syria has one of the strictest anti-normalization [with Israel] policies in the region, despite its participation in the so-called “peace negotiations”. As the Israeli professor Hillel Frisch observes in his discourse analysis of over 80 issues of the Syrian military journal Jaish al-Shaab: “The basic theme is that Zionism is incorrigibly evil, whether under a right-wing Likud government or under a Labor government. Implacable hatred of the ‘Zionist enemy’ continued to prevail, and even intensify, after the Madrid peace conference in 1991”. Frisch further corroborates the main thesis of this essay when he asserts that: “even realism cannot explain the persistence of the portrayal of demonic images of the enemy (as the above quotations demonstrate) long after these talks ensued. That would require recognition of the importance of ideology, as the idealists and constructivists argue.”

As decades of Syrian history have testified, the Assad regime’s identification of Arab and Palestinian rights with its national identity, also extends to its national security and foreign policy behavior.
Not only is the Syrian army’s military doctrine a staunchly anti-Zionist one, but its media and public diplomacy are governed by a similar legitimacy-withholding ethos. As a matter of policy, Syrian officials do not meet with their Israeli counterparts, even in the context of peace negotiations, prompting former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to complain that “Syria’s president has not done even one per cent of what President Sadat did to convince the people of Israel and in Syria that he wants peace.” Nor do they give interviews to Israeli media. A recent Times of Israel article compares the Syrian opposition’s openness to talking with Israeli media outlets with the Assad regime’s “taboo” of talking to Israeli journalists or even granting them visas to enter Syria. Moreover, Syrian censorship authorities ban all access to Israeli websites.

As decades of Syrian history have testified, the Assad regime’s identification of Arab and Palestinian rights with its national identity, also extends to its national security and foreign policy behavior. Ehteshami and Hinnebsch note that “The identification of Syrian interests with the Arab cause was no mere fiction and a purely Syrian-centred policy never took form: had it done so Asad could long ago have pursued a Sadat-like settlement with Israel over the Golan instead of mortgaging Syria’s welfare and future to a struggle chiefly in Arabist irredentism, not narrowly defined Syrian raison d’etat.”

Threats to Syria’s Physical Security

Such seemingly self-defeating behavior is typical of states pursuing ontological security. Although many of the policies chosen by them lead to outcomes which threaten their physical security, this remains secondary to the perceived stability of their self-identity. Thus, states can become “attached” to confrontational and dangerous routines as well as safe ones; ontological security is “perfectly compatible with physical insecurity”.
Despite the sustained campaign of pressure by the US on the Assad regime, the Syrian leadership has not succumbed to any of Washington’s demands.
Therefore, despite the sustained campaign of pressure by the US on the Assad regime, the Syrian leadership has not succumbed to any of Washington’s demands – a resolve which has clearly cost the regime its physical security, as the current western-GCC-Israeli backed insurrection against Assad’s rule attests. Since 1979, Syria has been placed on the US State Department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” on account of its support for resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon, and included in the Bush administration’s infamous “axis of evil” list in 2002, on that account as well.

Two months after the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented Assad with a list of demands that included cutting off support to resistance forces in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as closing down Hamas and Islamic Jihad operations in their Damascus base – policies, Powell claimed which “no longer have the same relevance” in “a changing Middle East”. The price for Syria’s refusal to capitulate to this ultimatum was the imposition of a harsh sanctions regime, known as the Syria Accountability and Lebanon Sovereignty Act which was approved by Congress and signed by President Bush in May 2004. As reported by Eyal Zisser, “the US sanctions damaged and even blocked Syrian efforts to integrate into the world economy”. The US then spearheaded UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, and a year later, engineered the UN inquiry into the assassination of Lebanese Premier Rafik al-Hariri (UNIIIC) which – based on the flimsiest of evidence – accused the Syrian regime of the assassination.

Aside from these political and diplomatic pressures, Washington has overtly harbored regime-change designs for Syria as far back as 1996 when the “Clean Break” document was drafted by former Assistant Secretary for Defence, Richard Perle for Netahyahu who was running for Prime Minister at the time. The report [2] advises:

Washington has overtly harbored regime-change designs for Syria as far back as 1996 when the “Clean Break” document was drafted by former Assistant Secretary for Defence, Richard Perle for Netahyahu who was running for Prime Minister at the time.
“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

According to The Nation [3] magazine, the Syria Accountability Act itself was a product of the Clean Break document. Further attesting to the US strategy of regime-change for Syria was General Wesley Clarke’s admission in a 2007 interview [4] that he had been informed by a general in 2001 that the Pentagon was planning on “taking out 7 countries in 5 years starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon. Then Libya, Somalia and Sudan. Then finishing off Iran.”

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb is a Lebanese academic and political analyst. She is author of the book, “Hizbullah: Politics and Religion”, and blogger at ASG’s Counter-Hegemony Unit [5].

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner shows up British PM David Cameron over Las Malvinas, again

Monday, 18 June 2012

Nicaragua's Father Miguel D'Escoto: Colonialist David Cameron should not be taken seriously

Father Miguel D'Escoto, advisor to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, former Foreign Minister and President of the UN General Assembly, was also appointed last year by martyred leader Muammar Gaddafi, to represent the Libyan Arab Socialist Jamahiriyah in the United Nations after their Ambassador to the UN was criminally denied a visa by the US to attend the General Assembly in New York. Father Miguel D'Escoto was also subsequently denied the appropriate visa, in a clear display of imperialism's refusal to allow the sovereign nation of Libya representation through diplomatic channels.

Here Telesur interviews Father Miguel D'Escoto about Las Malvinas which Argentina and the Latin American continent is still struggling to liberate from British colonialism.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Libyan doctor confirms use of chemical weapons

Dr Moussa Elrgeg from Gheryan Hospital, Libya, confirms victims suffering injuries from chemical weapons following days of bombardment by the Zintan tribe against the pro-Gaddafi Mashashia tribe.