Friday, November 13, 2009

Are WE our government? Illusions and disillusions of democratic regimes

I have read an article written by Acharya S., What about 9/11?, and although I agree with most of this author's articles and research, I can't do the same with this statement of hers.

Leaving aside the debate of whether the 9/11 was an inside job or a terroristic attack carried out by islamic integralists, what struck me in this article is the phrase "We are the U.S. government". Supporting the official theory of the attack with the explanation "To say that "the American government" committed this crime represents a broadstroke generalization that essentially condemns all Americans - and makes us as unsafe as Muslims feel when people do say, "It's the Muslims," etc." is naive and weak.

First of all, I think the debate around 9/11 needs to be supported by strong evidence and not just with opinions, as it involves massive scientific research and in-depth geopolitical analysis. However, here I don't want to talk about this, but instead would like to investigate the "We are the US Government" statement.

What is the "government"? This word is usually employed to define a political body formed according the results of popular elections. When the author says "We are the government" maybe she means "We are the State."

Is the population "the State"? It would certainly be right for the people to be considered as being "the State," to have the possibility of strongly influencing their government's decisions and to enjoy all civil liberties legal papers such as the Constitutions guarantee. This would be called "direct democracy": it's by all means something worth working for, but unfortunately it's certainly not the case of today's regimes, be them in Europe, America, Africa, or Asia.

There is a large confusion over terms such as "democracy," "freedom," "civil liberties," and this is mainly due to distorted media coverage, controlled education systems and repressive acts aimed at undermining our rights to be informed and safe.

Does implying that the US government is not behind the 9/11 attacks *because* US citizens ARE the government mean that ALL U.S. citizens were responsible for the Chilean coup in 1973 staged by the CIA and the White House? Does that mean that all US citizens were responsible for the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953? Does that mean that all US citizens are responsible for the mass murders in Afghanistan and Iraq ordered by the US government?

Many people work in agencies and institutions related to the US government and, as they are simple employees, they of course have, nor have had, nothing to do with the crimes carried out by the US administrations throughout the last decades since the end of World War II up to now.

Like many countries, the United States has a Constitution, meaning by this, "both the formal constitution, the written document along with its various amendments and legal apparatuses, and the material constitution, that is the continuous formation and re-formation of the composition of social forces." (From Empire, by Antonio Negri and Micheal Hardt). Formal Constitutions are usually very enlightened, but this doesn't mean that such primary codes are followed, nor respected by the countries' ruling powers.

The idea (or better, the hope) that citizens are the State is the system our ruling powers want to make us believe we live in. But there is nothing more false than that. Governments, parliaments, political parties and organizations are bodies aimed at giving the illusion that we, the people, have power over our lives. With the practice of "free" elections, we are led to think that we choose the candidates we actually prefer. However, what is the choice? Two, three or four options to choose from? And who decides what the options have to be?

What actually happens in our "free" elections is that we tick a name belonging to a pre-packed coalition, by no means stemmed from popular choice, but all reflecting the same corporate interests that today have the main power. Whether we choose one coalition or the other, the result doesn't change much: right-wing parties will carry out what are to be considered right-wing policies and left-wing groups will bring about what we have to think are left-wing ideals.

When we read news that apparently criticise the government representatives it can mean that some news has leaked out or that a change in the political scene is necessary, and that particular movement or person is not entitled to popular consent anymore. This is when the mind-control machine of corporate media starts working in a specific direction.

Just to come back to government actions, can we believe politicians always work in order to ensure our safety and well-being? Here are some telling examples that show how governmental insitutions can be disrespectful towards our civil liberties:

Justice Dept. Asked For News Site's Visitor Lists: in this article, journalist Declan McCullagh reports an attempt by the US Department of Justice to literally spy on citizens who read Indymedia website, with clear and shameless violation of those citizens' privacy in order to obtain their details such as the IP address, therefore their location.

A careful observer will immediately notice that this action by the US Department of Justice is in striking contrast with the First Amendment of the American Constitution that aims at defending the freedom of speech.

On the same line, the UK government, rather expert in Big Brother matters, seems to have rebranded national activists "domestic terrorists," since the police "are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases," the Guardian reveals.

The truth is that if in the past it was more difficult to monitor our government's actions, therefore to spot their crimes, now with the spreading of modern technologies available to an always increasing number of people, the news travel quickly, reach all corners of the globe and are able to provoke general indignation.

With the excuse of international terrorism and the need to "protect" our countries, western governments are enhancing security measures to absurd levels. In an enlightening article titled "Her Majesty's Big Brother: Britain's Protesters Rebranded 'Domestic Extremists'" Tom Burghardt notices:

"Why would British police target law-abiding citizens exercising their right to protest the depredations of the capitalist order?

Because they can! With a logic that only a policeman's mother could love, Setchell told The Guardian: 'Just because you have no criminal record does not mean that you are not of interest to the police. Everyone who has got a criminal record did not have one once.'"

Antifascist Calling rightly reminds that this situation is certainly not new:

"Since the 1970s, the federal grand jury system where the prosecutor reigns supreme, has been an instrument wielded by the secret state to target dissent and to ensnare left-wing government critics in open-ended 'investigations' whose sole purpose is to harass if not prosecute alleged 'troublemakers.'"

It's easy to understand here how misleading and populist can be to clear a priori the government of any accusation by saying that WE all are the government.

WE (the people) are certainly NOT the government, nor we live in a direct democracy, as we don't have any possibility to influence the government's decisions in crucial matters such as war, taxes, health system.

We are absolutely the most important element of a State and we must demand to participate in all public matters, as those laws rule our lives and the spaces we share with other human beings. By monitoring and never belittling the governments' crimes we can contribute in making our political leaders (really) work for us in the total respect of our rights.

Highly recommended further reading:

- Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Empire, Harvard University Press, 2001

- Blum William, Killing Hope. US Military & CIA Interventions since World War II, Zed Books, 2003

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Corporate human rights: the joke of our times

The 4th of November in Italy is the Remembrance Day, namely a day when we remember and cry for our men who died at war "for the sake of the country."

For the sake of what?

Ok, so here is the concept our governments want us to buy: "We send our men to oil-reach and strategic Middle East destinations because they also happen to be terrorists' hometown and we have to be proud of our compatriots because they are willing to die for the sake of their own country and to export democracy to those desolate lands."

Here is the same concept but made it real: "We send our men to oil-rich and strategic Middle East countries because they also happen to be so arrogant for wanting to keep their independence, while we (the West) are committed to conquer and impose our greedy ideals all over the planet."

It might sound a bit pessimistic, but come on, what exactly are the benefits we enjoy when our soldiers die in wars aimed at destroying other countries? None.

Islamic terrorism is a big lie, the clash of civilisations, so cherished by brainwshers Samuel Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski, doesn't exist, people do not want to live at war but at peace, wars are not inevitable and are only useful to make the rich richer. Period.

Personally, I find official Presidents' speeches quite offensive: do they really think we are all stupid? Or do they just hope that?

Everytime soldiers come back home inside a coffin the babble begins: high-flown speeches to say how grateful we are they died for us, state funerals, and other rhetorical rubbish. From the exact following day the soldiers' families are alone again to cry for their dead and to make their ends meet. The rest of the population doesn't even have a clue of what the dead soldiers' names are and are busy working to survive, because those wars are bringing more and more poverty and world's instability.

Of course, they never miss mentioning the "human rights" fairy tales: we are dying to defend other people from their dictators. Exactly how the US government did for Chile in 1973: they organised the military coup to protect Chilean people from democratically elected Allende and support criminal Fascist Pinochet. "Democracy" had won then and democracy keeps winning nowadays, when innocent people die under our democratic bombs, or are the victims of our democratic depleted uranium or see their houses destroyed for the sake of our democratic corporations.

I'm reading a very thought-provoking book, "Humanitarian Imperialism. Using Human Rights to Sell War." Its author, Jean Bricmont, quotes Harold Pinter's speech at the Nobel Prize Lecture in 2005, perfectly in line with the hypocrisy of our governments.

I will quote here parts of the same speech as it appears on the official Nobel Prize site, it desperately calls for an in-depth look and analysis and targeted action:
The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution. The Sandinistas weren't perfect. ... But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. ... Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated. The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. ...

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. 'Democracy' had prevailed. ...

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. ...

The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Stefano Cucchi, a case of violence in an Italian police station

"He was well when I put him in the State's hands. They gave him back to me dead. I want the truth." These are the words of Stefano Cucchi's mother. Stefano was 31 and on October 16th was arrested because found with 28g of hashish. He never got back home.

His family was never allowed to see him, and the young man died alone in a prison of the Carabinieri (Italian military police) in Rome. "He fell off": this is the Carabinieri's official explanation. There are many jokes in Italy about the Carabinieri's stupidity, so maybe they think we are all as stupid.

This is Stefano before being arrested

This is one of the images the family has released to the press: Stefano's body after he was murdered in the police station.

Unfortunately, this is not the only case of violence involving the public service of the Italian police. All other cases were dismissed with pathetic excuses, no explanations and the loneliness of the victims' families.

The psycopaths working for the police in Italy are in charge of "protecting" us. From who exactly? Who are the criminals? Police officers are trained and brainwashed to be violent and, as brave as they are, when they have in their hands a young man, unarmed, alone and with no "important" lastname, they take the liberty to do whatever they want, nevermind if humane or not.

Stefano Cucchi's case, as well as Federico Aldrovandi, as well as the massacre carried out by the police in the school Diaz during the G8 of 2001 in Genoa, are some of the darkest pages of Italy's recent history.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Possible effects of the swine flu vaccine

The swine flu shot has been denounced as dangerous by many doctors and experts. We need to take an extra care when it comes to our health, and be aware that the Big Pharma industry is only seeking to make money, not to make us feel better.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why won't the Obamas take the swine flu vaccine?

That's an interesting question, I think. If the swine flu is so dangerous, and apparently it is if national emergency has been declared, why on earth President Obama is so careless when it comes to his daughters' health?

And what's even more unbelievable, why are doctors and nurses all over Europe refusing to get the vaccine? Aren't they afraid? Or they know that the vaccine is way more dangerous than the mild flu it's supposed to prevent? In France they have even launched a lawsuit against the vaccine campaign because it's deemed as a "real attempt to poison the population."

But this flu must be really deadly if the U.S. GAO foresees a congestion on the Internet, to the extent that it will probably be necessary to close the net for a while, to allow broker-dealers to keep working, and to prevent normal people from getting uncensored information, so that governments can control the population much more efficiently through their media, such as TV, or mainstream papers.

Here an extract from the GAO pandemic emergency declaration:

"Concerns exist that a more severe pandemic outbreak than 2009's could cause large numbers of people staying home to increase their Internet use and overwhelm Internet providers' network capacities. Such network congestion could prevent staff from broker-dealers and other securities market participants from teleworking during a pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for ensuring that critical telecommunications infrastructure is protected. GAO was asked to examine a pandemic's impact on Internet congestion and what actions can be and are being taken to address it, the adequacy of securities market organizations' pandemic plans, and the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) oversight of these efforts. GAO reviewed relevant studies, regulatory guidance and examinations, interviewed telecommunications providers and financial market participants, and analyzed pandemic plans for seven critical market organizations."

Well, as long as we have free information, and are not left with the only subservient gazettes such as NY Times or Washington Post, let's enjoy Ron Paul's latest video and let's demand an answer for his questions.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Moulin Rouge!

Or the brothel better known under the name of "mainstream media." To put it mildly. To put it rightly, on the other hand, the compelling question is: WTF are you doing?

The hysterical assaults of the international press against Berlusconi are reaching impressive levels of idiocy, and in my recent article I've tried to explain why the current Premier is not the only one to blame. From the Washington Post to Newsweek, to the Times, much of English and US media are proving very much loving and caring for Italy's destiny. How touching.

Anne Applebaum, in her thoughtful essay for the Washington Post, shows how nothing knows about Italy, but it's ok, because our own Indro Montanelli used to say: "The job of the journalist is to write about things he doesn't know." Apparently Anne Applebaum is his best student. Her masterpiece culminates like this:

"There has to be something appealing about Berlusconi himself as well. Severgnini [nonetheless] has called him a 'mirror' of modern Italy, and one sees what he means: Nouveau rich (like almost everyone in the country) [uhm...who??] and not afraid to show it off (remember that Sardinian villa); a lover of women and soccer (he owns the team A.C. Milan); loyal to his friends (even protecting them from the law); and clearly enjoying himself at those parties on his yacht, Berlusconi leads a kind of caricature version of the ideal Italian life. And precisely because he is a caricature, he gets away with things that other people can't. One hears Italians regale one another with Berlusconi stories and then howl with laughter.

[Hang on, here starts the best part]

Besides, with Berlusconi as your prime minister, you don't have to take yourself too seriously. You don't have to trouble yourself with geopolitics or the state of the planet, or poverty and failed states. You can stay at home, remain unserious and argue about the latest legal scandal. Anda maybe that, too, is part of the Italian prime minister's appeal."

How cool was that? Yes, I couldn't restrain myself, the unorthodox comments are mine. Dear Ms Applebaum, first of all, how dare you speaking about Italian mentality when, among all excellent thinkers Italy has had, the best example you could bring up is Beppe Severgnini? Second, what kind of brass neck do you have to say such a thing like "You don't have to trouble yourself with geopolitics or the state of the planet, or poverty and failed states"? Why? Are you telling me you are concerned for such plagues? Are you at least a little (yes, a little would be enough) aware that your bloody government is directly responsible for poverty, international terrorism, dictatorships, overthrowing democracies, genocides, wars and suffering all over the world?

Let's fly over to Newsweek's land. Another caring outlet, so concerned about Italian democracy that friendly whispers in "Silvio's" ear: "Silvio, it's time to go." And then dishes out advices to Italians on how to dump Berlusconi.

But the real jewel is our own home-made, genuine Beppe Severgnini, the best, the original, the Voice. Guest blogging in the Time, for the occasion. And what's better occasion to faithfully persist with the smear campaign against Berlusconi? At the end of the day, US troops are used to shoot against the Red Cross, why shouldn't their media do the same?

For that matter, Severgnini sports his best idea: Berlusconi mirrors Italian people. So Severgnini himself is included, phew, I was starting to worry. In a desperate effort to say something new about the already widely bad-mouthed Mr President, he lits up our days with an anthropological blurb about Italians' nature and goes deep into the disgraceful flaws of Italian people. I'm puzzled: he's still Italian, right? Does he still work for Corriere della Sera, right? Being the Corriere the main national newspaper in Italy, that in its heyday was completely controlled by former Masonic Lodge P2, very much praised by its own journalists when Licio Gelli was the boss, and very much criticized now that Berlusconi (former P2) is the Premier. How much hypocrisy Italians have to hear, almost the same level US citizens have to bear from their own media, in a time that sees them just out of the dark Bush era and just in the phony Nobel Peace Prize Obama age.

Tell me, Beppe, (can I call you Beppe? We are colleagues, after all) in your article, instead of trivialities such as food, soccer, church and Obama's suntan, why didn't you write about the sack of Italy happened in 1992? Or the relations between Prodi and Goldman Sachs? Or how Italy is a US colony, economically and politically manipulated, let alone militarily occupied? It doesn't pay off to say the truth as it is, right Beppe? So you prefer writing trivialities for the Time, to feed the needs for morbid gossip and promote the increasing mental laziness, in the umpteenth effort to foment the cultural brutalization media and school system are contributing to spread, to keep minds sleepy and elites well-heeled, on our shoulders.

This system is sickening, banks are the real ruling powers, politicians are their waiters and journalists are their prostitutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Moulin Rouge.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama was only a joke

This was actually my first reaction when I read the news that the Scandinavian Committee had awarded Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, but then I realised it was true. Media and governments went on with their empty hackneyed expressions, as boring as hell.

Some, however, didn't quite agree, and on Facebook I've read some of the funniest comments: "Now that Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, will they give Jack the Ripper the Nobel Courtesy Prize?" was one of the many.

Actually no, I don't really see Obama as a pacifist, I don't know, maybe because he hasn't pulled US troops out of Iraq, he has increased US troops in Afghanistan, he's pushing EU governments to increase European troops in Afghanistan, he hasn't closed Guantanamo, he's proving very aggressive towards Iran, unlike Iranian regime, he's never spoken out against nuclear weapons, he hasn't convinced Israel to withdraw from the illegally Occupied Territories. BUT, there is a but, Henry Kissinger, one of the worst war criminals of modern history, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, too, so why not Obama?

Also, to some extent, I can see the positive aspect of this award: it's obviously a propaganda strategy. Since Obama's reputation is plummeting in public surveys, a propaganda booster has become compelling. People are waking up, opening their eyes, New York Times' and Wall Street Journal's propaganda is not enough anymore, the system is shaking and the elite is aware of it.

What will be the next move when everybody will understand that this undeserved prize is just propaganda?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ron Paul explains why the Fed must end

Impressive: a US Congressman sticks his neck out and claims the need to put an end to the Fed. As everybody knows (well, maybe not everybody but certainly many people), money is created out of debt, reason why when Central Banks produce the money and borrow it to governments, make government increase their debt towards banks.

Our monetary system is created in a way that makes public debt natural and impossible to pay off. If governments are in debt, populations are in debt and, as we well know, banks live out of debt, through interests and always higher rates.

I think this video is worth watching and the subject needs to be analysed in greater depth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th, 1973: a day to remember

Today media all over the world are celebrating the anniversary of 9/11. Since 2001 the 11th of September is a day everybody remembers. However, I think it should have been remembered well before the attacks to the Twin Towers, because on 9/11 1973 the United States backed, organized and financed the military coup that established one of the bloodiest dictatorships of modern history.

Democratically elected Salvador Allende was ousted and replaced by General Augusto Pinochet, “for the sake of democracy,” according to one of the world’s worst war criminals, Henry Kissinger (awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, in an amazing show of hypocrisy).

The Chilean coup d’état of 1973 is deemed as one of the most violent military interventions in Latin America. On the 16th of October 1998 Scotland Yard put under arrest Pinochet, who was recovering from back surgery in a private clinic in London, for crimes against humanity. After having indicted and interrogated him, the Chilean courts decided not to put him on trial for the atrocities committed during his dictatorship.

The years between Allende’s involvement in politics and his accession to power are emblematically intertwined with the hottest moments of the Cold War. In this framework, Socialist Salvador Allende became President of Chile, with the ambitious goal, according to the US, to challenge American imperialism and cooperate with the other Socialist and Communist Parties across the continents. The United States could not afford to see their leadership undermined within their same hemisphere and so soon after the Cuban Revolution.

On September the 4th, 1970, Allende received the largest number of votes in the Chilean elections. Since no candidate had reached the absolute majority, the Congress, on the 24th of October, was to vote and choose the President between the two candidates that obtained the highest number of votes. On the 16th of September, US secretary of the State, Henry Kissinger, started pressuring publicly the Chilean Congress to influence its decision: "I have yet to meet somebody who firmly believes that if Allende wins there is likely to be another free election in Chile. […] In a major Latin American country you would have a Communist government, joining, for example, Argentina, which is already deeply divided, along a long frontier, joining Peru, which has already been heading in directions that have been difficult to deal with, and joining Bolivia, which has also gone in a more leftist, anti-U.S. direction."[1]

These comments become more meaningful and sound as a threat if we consider that already in June before the elections the White House was planning to take action in case of Allende’s victory, that the CIA was given 400,000 dollars to be used to oppose Allende candidacy and that in September the 18th Kissinger suggested that other 350,000 dollars would be given to the CIA to corrupt the members of the Congress in favour of Jorge Alessandri, the other candidate running against Allende who got the second highest number of votes. Moreover, after Allende was confirmed President by the Congress, the CIA was officially entitled to dispose of eight million dollars to “destabilize” the Chilean government in the years 1971-1973. [2]

The same Kissinger, in his memoirs, reports how Edward Korry, U.S. Ambassador in Chile at the time, sees the victory of the socialist Allende: ‘It will have the most profound effect on Latin America and beyond; we have suffered a grievous defeat; the consequences will be domestic and international.’[3] In Kissinger’s own terms, “we were persuaded that it would soon be inciting anti-American policies, attacking hemisphere solidarity, making common cause with Cuba, and sooner or later establishing close relations with the Soviet Union.” [4] National interest and containment of communist proliferation were, then as well as now, the usual US imperialist excuses to invade other countries following the Roman principle of divide et impera. The worst case scenario had come: Allende alone got 36.2 percent of the popular vote, leading the US to fear an ‘irreversible’ change in the Chilean politics.

The US (rightly) feared that Salvador Allende was willing to “destroy the present system” and start “revolutionary changes” anti-imperialist and anti-America, condemning the Vietnam War and expressing solidarity towards the Cuban Revolution. As usual when it comes to losing ground and territory, the US “exceptional” zeal to protect democracy took over: they had to save Chilean people from Allende dictatorship and give them back their right to live in a democratic country. With Pinochet (sic!).

Nixon and Kissinger were witnessing their worst nightmare come true: Chile was not just an island like Cuba, it was a continental country, geographically and culturally close to Peru, Argentina and Bolivia, with the very realistic risk of a greater communist alliance, not only in South and Central America but also among the Western European Communist parties.

American academic and political mainstream opinionists maintained of course that the fall of Allende’s government was due to his incompetence, arguing that policies of income and resources redistribution and the promotion of rapid but substantial changes were to fail because impracticable. Therefore, the socialist administration itself created the reasons for the coup, making it unavoidable.

James Petras and Morris Morley highlighted how Chile was actually in debt “prior” to Allende’s arrival to power and the debts, mostly contracted to banks directly under the US influence, came due during his administration. The economic pressure carried out by the United States was entirely aimed at undermining the socialist government and the US played an important and direct role in overthrowing Allende’s Government.

To understand the responsibility of the American administration over the coup against the Chilean President, it is important to consider how and to what extent Chilean economic and political system were subject to US influence. The financial dependence of Chile increased substantially during the decade preceding Allende’s election and during his administration remained very high. External debts became therefore political weapons and “the debt-basis of U.S.-Chilean relationships became the cause and consequence of the ‘porous’ nature of Chilean economic, social and military institutions”. [5]

In 2004, Peter Kornbluh, Chile Documentation Project director at the National Security Archive, after collecting all secret dossiers declassified during the Clinton White House, published the controversial book The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier On Atrocity And Accountability. As he reports, just before the confirmation by the Congress of Allende’s victory, the CIA, the State and the Defense Department analysts carried out an investigation about the implications for the United States. The document, known as National Security Study Memorandum 97, drew the conclusions that the U.S. did not have any “vital national interest within Chile” but only economic interests. Despite many officials tried to discourage the Nixon-Kissinger covert actions with arguments such as the danger of instigating a civil war in Chile and the bad reputation of the United States all over South America and the world, the secret operations continued and brought to the military coup. Therefore, American main concern was the good image that Allende could give of himself and his success to the world. [6]

American efforts in providing financial and strategic help to the non-socialist candidates ended in a substantial failure and Allende’s election placed the Chilean case right at the top of the American political agenda. The State Department tried to influence Christian Democrats and parliamentarians to vote against the confirmation of Allende, the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation suggested aggressive actions to be taken by the U.S. government, offered funds to the CIA and pressured the Ambassador in Chile at the time favoring all possible ways towards an actual and urgent overthrow. All attempts to prevent Allende from taking office had failed because, despite the CIA activity, the Chilean military was not well equipped for organizing a coup.

The Nixon administration’s response to Allende's victory was immediately one of hostility, with the organization of the so-called ‘Forty Committee’, to discuss the possible aftermath of the Chilean electoral results in relation to US policy and to plan appropriate reactions. The US Ambassador in Chile at the time, Edward Korry, defined Allende’s election “an irreversible political structure”, [7] with the danger that after the instauration of the socialist regime, the country would have entered a non-democratic phase without the possibility of free elections while Allende was in power.

Once the Congress had confirmed the results of the elections and Allende took office, the CIA started encouraging a military coup within the Chilean armed forces as the only alternative possible. The strategy that would have brought to the overthrow of Allende government consisted in the collaboration between Kissinger, the CIA and ITT, and consisted in increasing external economic pressures, discouraging other countries to invest in Chile and denying further credit. [8] They created a true “economic strangulation and diplomatic isolation”. [9]

Also the National Security Council strictly collaborated with many large US corporations with the same objective to undermine Allende’s presidency. As Petras and Morley put it, “through their combined efforts they determined the closure of vital financial and economic resources necessary to sustain Chile’s dependent economy”. As the socialist administration managed to increase in popularity and its level of competition, the United States felt threatened and thought it was essential to “promote strict and direct political control through a dependent military régime”.[10]

With the coup, the United States eliminated the threat to their hegemony in Latin America and the establishment of a ‘client regime’ made it possible the enhancement of a dialogue between the United States and Chile. Despite the lengthy process of the pressure by the American administrations in influencing Chilean economic and political life, with the election of Salvador Allende Chile became the first Latin American country to have a socialist president nominated after free elections. And, even harder to accept and difficult to explain by Nixon entourage, Allende was the first socialist parliamentarian democratically elected in the Western Hemisphere, where only capitalist societies were seen as free and democratic.

The dramatic end of Allende’s government shocked the world and raised universal humanitarian issues, such as how and to what extent the United States have the right to exercise their power in other countries’ domestic politics. It’s worth considering the Chilean coup for its topicality, as the American people and the international community stared at the launch of the war in Iraq, war that present many similarities with 1973 coup: preemptive strikes, regime change, unilateral aggression, international terrorism, political assassination, sovereignty, and the death of innocents.

[1] As reprinted in Multinational Corporations and United States Foreign Policy, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-Third Congress, Washington, GPO, 1973, Part 2, pp. 542-3, as reported in Fagen, Richard R., ‘The United States and Chile: Roots and Branches’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 53, No. 2, January 1975, p. 297

[2] Fagen, Richard R., ‘The United States and Chile: Roots and Branches’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 53, No. 2, January 1975, p. 298

[3] Kissinger, Henry, White House Years, Phoenix Press, 2000, p. 653

[4] Ibid., p. 654

[5] Petras, James and Morley, Morris, How Allende Fell. A Study in U.S.-Chilean Relations, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation Ltd, 1974, pp. 8-13

[6] Kornbluh, Peter, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier On Atrocity And Accountability, New Press, New York, 2004, p. 79

[7] U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations, Multinational Corporations and United States Foreign Policy, Part I, pp. 291-292, as reported in Petras and Morley, op. cit., 1974, p. 30

[8] Petras and Morley, op. cit., pp. 33-35

[9] Kornbluh, op. cit., p. 87

[10] Petras and Morley, op. cit., pp. 42-57

Monday, August 17, 2009

Italy Clerical State

Among the things I don't understand in life there certainly is the fact that still many people agree, or at least don't complain, that the Pope has the right to speak out in political matters and influence the development of social life.

For example, recently in the public Italian tv, journalist Roberto Balducci, whose task was to cover Vatican affairs (I hardly imagine a more boring duty), has committed the terrible sin to say the truth regarding the attendance to one of the weekly meetings the Pope holds in St. Peter's Square: he acknowledged, in fact, that there were very few people (well, he used a typical Italian expression "quattro gatti" that translates literally "only four cats were there").

I suddenly pictured the Pope wishing we were back to the Middle Age, with the laws of the Inquisition still in force, illiterate people buying Vatican's absurdities and secret prisons used to torture who didn't want to confess their deliberate disobedience to the will of God.

But no, we are in 2009, in Italy, a country that, Vatican's presence notwithstanding, is struggling to be considered a civilised country, so no torture for Balducci, just the dismissal from his boring task.

As it usually happens in a Clerical State, criticisms to the only legal representative of God on earth (sic!), awaken the sleeping MPs who cry out for justice, respect, fairness.
I guess Balducci quickly understood he wasn't going to walk out unpunished and was relieved to learn that no torture was planned: the tv director deemed it was a fair resolution to remove him and replace him with someone who has the guts to tell that St. Peter's Square is always full of pilgrims, and if this is not enough to please God, that the Pope is tall, blonde and blue-eyed!

Alas, such absurdity, as is the papal authority, still exists and, what's worse, it has a political weight, and what's even worse is that many people still believe that the Pope believes in God and speaks for the good.

I wish I could plagiarise now, but Voltaire (1694-1778) is way too popular to pretend this perle is my creation, so I humbly bow to his genius: "For seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Italian-style dictatorship

The favorite statement of the anti-Berlusconi swarm is that he is a dictator. Although I think Italy (not only Italy actually) is living in a dictatorship, I don’t think Berlusconi is the only tyrant we can boast, of course he’s one of the main characters in this grotesque b-movie, but I’m convinced he’s in a very good company.

As Judge Roberto Scarpinato explains very clearly in his book “Il Ritorno del Principe,” the power is “obscene,” word coming from the latin “ob-scenus” and meaning “behind the scenes.” In fact, the real decisions are all made behind the scenes, the official speeches Presidents made are meaningless and all arguments and fights between centre-right and centre-left parties have the only purpose to entertain the public, keep the press busy and give a veneer of right-left bipolarism.

The truth is that centre-left and centre-right in Italy have the same interests and need the same laws to carry them on. Now, to keep giving this veneer of bipolarism and democracy, parties belonging to different coalitions must also have different tasks. The main task of the centre-right coalition is to carry on with anti-immigration laws (with a twist of racism given the pathetic presence of the Northern League), or to destroy the judiciary system making unlawful laws such as the (in)famous Lodo Alfano, according to which the four highest offices of state are granted with total immunity.

This is the stint of the centre-right parties, all things that need to be done now, that's why now is the time the centre-right coalition stays on power. Once all these nasty jobs are done, democratic media will fête the next centre-left winners, relieved that we are finally back in democracy, the time of modern-age Mussolini is over and we can finally breath, unless suffocated by the always heavier condition of colony we are living in.

As it usually happens in these cases, the centre-left coalition that will succeed to Mr. Berlusconi’s team will forget to change the unlawful laws approved by its predecessor and will start enjoying them: the four highest offices of the state will still be granted with total immunity, anti-immigration laws will stay the same and the conflict of interest that made Berlusconi renowned all over the world will stay as legal as it is now.

Of course, when Mr. Prodi & co. were in charge of the executive didn’t do it on purpose, they simply were too busy to cancel Berlsconi’s harmful bills, because they had to save Italy, so this time too, they might be faithful to their tradition and keep selling all Italian national agencies and major companies (or what’s left of them after the fraud of the early 1990s) to anglo-american banks for a song.

The next centre-left parties won’t need to re-make uncostitutional laws (the centre-right did it, remember?) so, since people have a very short memory, everybody will forget and we will go back to live in a happy democracy (sic).

So, as a distraction from the real problems, so-called “leftist” media in Italy only talks about Berlusconi’s little friends and parties in his villa in Sardinia. The same leftist media that praise American imperialism and every time forget to mention that Italy is sucking up all obligations that its condition of anglo-american colony imposes.

But it’s ok, let’s continue with gossip, this is the way a democratic country solves its problems, staying at the surface of things, never going in-depth, to avoid to shock the self-righteous by undermining their blissful ignorance.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Interview with Ilan Pappe, historian from Israel

An interesting interview with Ilan Pappe, Israelian historian author of the book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," where he clearly explains how the Israelian government has been humiliating the Palestinian people, illegally occupying their territories and carefully planning their genocide. Not surprisingly, he doesn't teach in Haifa University anymore, but in Exeter, UK.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran, US and regime-change

As usual when something important happens, I delve into history, facts and all media I manage to get access to. The event that is holding today's front pages is the so-called Iranian revolution and the whole bunch of European and US media are busy like never before protecting "human rights". I was so moved and wondered: since when on earth the West gives a damn about human rights? And then the spectre of the bloody profit came along.

Let's face it, Dr Ahmadinejad is a pain in the neck. He could just agree to let our home-bred loan-sharks in Iran and I'm pretty sure that corporate western media wouldn't have doubted his overwhelming re-election. Can he really not see how free we are with our "free market" and "free usury" values?

Another mistake Dr Ahmadinejad keeps making is bringing up Palestinian people's rights against the Zionist regime. If he had done his homework, the Iranian President would know by now that corporate western media are controlled by Zionists, and that in our free nations supporting human rights never pays off.

Are the rights of Palestinians important to western governments? Zionist regime is carrying out a genocide, with Gaza being a huge concentration camp where people are kept in by Israel's illegal and arbitrary blockade and bombed in Israeli airstrikes, ignoring the protests of the international civil society. What do western governments do? Nothing.

The fact that the president of a nation openly condemns the Zionist regime and is not afraid to face Israel and the US and denounce their crimes is seen by our media as a sign of dictatorship. If that was a dictatorship I truly doubt Mousavi could have done an electoral campaign and demonstrators would have been free to demonstrate.

Never mind that the poorest classes of the Iranian population are with Ahmadinejad, they can't twitter or facebook their opinions so we can't share them. The important is that the US-backed candidate will go to power, ensuring that foreign capitals are welcome and that Iran becomes the umpteenth US colony to support Israel's crimes in the Middle East and loses all its independency.

Our media today report the violent demonstrations taking place in Tehran and what bothers me is that when people in London and all over Europe demonstrate against the various G8, G20 or Nato, if there are a couple of troublemakers, automatically all demonstrators are pictured as violent. Now that in Iran demonstrators have actually burnt cars and buildings, it's not their fault, because the government's police is violent.

Amazingly, people who demonstrate against the wars that our administrations wage are violent. If, instead, people demonstrate against what our governments arbitrarily consider "rogue" governments, they are peaceful.

The practice of regime change is routine in US foreign policy, we can say it's their speciality, they've had plenty of time to improve during the Cold War all over the world and Iran this time was even an easy job if we consider that in 1953 the US intelligence had done what is doing now. History repeats itself but it seems like it never teaches anything.

I refuse to believe that every journalist in Europe and the US is uneducated and with no knowledge whatsoever of the Iranian politics, but unfortunately, reading what they write, this is exactly what it looks like.

As Paul Craig Roberts has written, "Every Iranian knows that the president of Iran is a public figure with limited powers. His main role is to take the heat from the governing grand Ayatollah. No Iranian, and no informed Westerner, could possibly believe that Ahmadinejad is a dictator. Even Ahmadinejad’s superior, Khamenei, is not a dictator, as he is appointed by a government body that can remove him.

The demonstrations, like those in 1953, are intended to discredit the Iranian government and to establish for Western opinion that the government is a repressive regime that does not have the support of the Iranian people. This manipulation of opinion sets up Iran as another Iraq ruled by a dictator who must be overthrown by sanctions or an invasion."

Invasion? I somehow recall Hillary Clinton making not long ago some scary forecast on Iran. But of course, she's the secretary of a state that has the power to teach democratic values with bombs so she only wants to stay in line with her predecessors. The US have been doing this since the end of World War II, different ways depending on which country they were destroying. They have already provoked demonstrations and so-called "revolutions" to place their favourite candidates. What do we need to wake up?

My hope is that they won't export the same democracy they have brought to Iraq, otherwise who is demonstrating in Iran today will regret it for the rest of their lives.

Small memo for who accuses Ahmadinejad to be anti-Semite

Letter from Neturei Karta Anti-Zionist Jews to President Ahmadinejad
Written by
Saturday, 20 June 2009 01:41

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

To the Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Mahmoud Ahmedinajad

As Orthodox Jews who oppose the diabolic Zionist state we wish to express our
very best wishes for your success in your next term as the elected President of the
Islamic Republic of Iran.

A number of Orthodox Jews from outside of Iran have had the great pleasure and honor of meeting you and other honorable governmental and religious leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as many ordinary people in your wonderful country, both Jewish and non-Jewish Iranians.

Mr. President, your wonderful leadership in courageously revealing the truth about

the evils of Zionism and condemning it is of immense and immeasurable value,
especially in the face of the campaigns launched against Iran by world Zionism and its
media machine, and with the help of G-d can bring closer the day when that vile
terrorist Zionist regime is dismantled, all the rights of the Palestinian People are
restored throughout historic Palestine, and a Republic of Palestine replaces the
ethnocratic and racist State of “Israel,” which always violates all laws and values of
the international community and all laws and values of the authentic Jewish religion.
Indeed, Jews who oppose Zionism and who live with the borders of the Zionist state
also look forward to being liberated from Zionist control.

We wish to extend our warmest greetings to all the people and leaders of the
Islamic Republic of Iran and our very best wishes for prosperity and success in all

Rabbi Meir Hirsh

Original link here

Sunday, May 31, 2009

On Berlusconi's decline, the Mafia and the Bilderberg Group

It's already crystal clear how much I dislike the current Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi, and in this blog I have written a few posts expressing my contempt.

That's why, the last thing I would have thought myself, was that one day I would have written something in the opposite direction. Not a proper defence, that would be too daring, but at least some interrogation marks, to try to understand what is going on in Italy and worldwide.

The persisting hammering of the international media against him, the odd case of "Noemi" and the fact that Berlusconi might be a clown but he's not stupid, got me thinking. As for the English press, it's well-known that they usually make fun of important things when they are told to carry out a political agenda, so their mock-chic jokes aimed at the middle-class bankers count nothing or almost nothing.

The latest scandal of the premier involves Noemi Letizia, 18-year-old girl who, according to the media, was first seen at a lunch with the Premier as his official company when she was still under age. Of course Berlusconi has denied any private or sexual involvement with this girl and said she's just his friend's daughter.

What's very weird is how Berlusconi has served himself up on a silver platter to photographers and journalists. He's a media tycoon after all, he does know how the media market works. And he also knew the press, especially his competitors' one, was waiting for some of his ill-considered moves.

This media campaign, both in Italy and abroad, around the Italian premier's clumsiness is becoming boring and somehow uninteresting, the attacks are always the same, and concentrating the whole evil in the world around only one person is ridicolous and misleading.

In fact, what can be found behind the "Noemi" scandal? Noemi's father, Elio Benedetto Letizia, could be close to the infamous Camorra clan of the "Casalesi", operating in Casal del Principe, in the southern province of Caserta. This
hypothesis stems from the fact that Benedetto Letizia could be related to two exponents of this clan, Franco and Giovanni Letizia, close to the boss Giuseppe Setola. This possibility, however, is still under investigation of Naples' magistrates.

According to this scenario, Benedetto Letizia (Noemi's father) could be the link between the Camorra and the institutions, represented in this case by Berlusconi. The Italian prime minister could have been forced to appear at that official lunch at Villa Madama with Noemi, when the girl was still under age and completely unaware of the fact that she was used as the sign to publicly show that a representative of national institutions was still in terms with that particular family.

It's well known, in fact, how the Mafia (and its local versions, such as the Naples' Camorra) uses signs, meaningless for most people, to communicate, and in this case the physical presence of a national politician might have meant more than any official declaration.
Many allegations of a possible involvement of Berlusconi in the affairs of Cosa Nostra (Sicilian Mafia) and Camorra have been made, but they still are allegations and under the secrecy of ongoing investigations.

In this regard, although Noemi's family refuses to clarify the terms of their relationship with Berlusconi, Italian newspaper
Europa believes that the premier got close to the Letizias after the tragic car accident that caused the death of Yuri, Noemi's 19-year-old brother.

The wall of silence around the whole case, carefully protected by both the Letizias and Berlusconi, who preferred to make it appear as a morbid sexual affair, makes at least wonder why the mainstream media don't want to move away from their first account that has proved too simplistic. Berlusconi might be
sleazy, as the Daily Mail likes defining him, but he's certainly not a fool, and this story stays wrapped up in a mystery.

As it was predictable in a country like Italy, where newspapers are at direct service of political parties, the media reporting to centre-left coalitions, whose job is to constantly and mindlessly attack right-wing parties, started complying with their duties: give the kiss of death to Berlusconi's already tottering reputation.

To be honest, here they had a very easy job since the premier himself was not offering any exhaustive explanation about his alleged steamy relationship with an underage Noemi.

So, as it happens, media and people all over Italy and abroad were swift to judge him and treat him as an old paedophile. Actually, the international media campaign against Berlusconi, especially in the UK, has been going on for a very longtime so this seems the occasion they couldn't miss for anything in the world.

But why do English media hate Berlusconi? Do they really care that much about Italy's destiny? If that were the case, I would be truly moved. However, Italian newspaper
Libero, whose director is openly pro-Berlusconi, suggests a theory to explain the over-mentioned conspiracy against Italian prime minister. I've always laughed out loud at this theory suggesting an "international conspiracy" against him, but today I laugh much less, if nothing at all.

Why do I take it seriously? A couple of days ago Fausto Carioti from the pages of Libero
mentioned a possible connection with the Bilderberg Group, and when it comes to this "club" there really is nothing to laugh about.

The Bilderberg Group takes its name from the Hotel de Bilderberg in The Netherlands, where its first meeting took place in 1954. These invitation-only reunions gather highly influential representatives of the major corporations and political groups, more or less known by the main public, coming from all wealthiest nations.

Some of the Italian attendees to these unofficial meetings are (or have been), among the others, Rodolfo De Benedetti (son of Carlo's, and currently in the Board of Directors of
Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso, publisher of daily paper La Repubblica, that has recently addressed the famous "10 questions" to Berlusconi, immediately backed by the English Guardian), Walter Veltroni (former leader of the centre-left coalition and former mayor of Rome) and economists Mario Draghi and Giulio Tremonti, the latter being the current minister of the economy.

Recently there has been an argument between Giulio Tremonti and Mario Draghi over the long-awaited reforms, with
Tremonti pointing out that it's the government's task to carry out economic policies, not of other bodies', because "sovereignty belongs to the people and, for better or for worse, the political responsibility belongs to the government that works for the people." If these intentions are followed by an honest defence of people's interests against banks' and corporations' profits, three cheers for Tremonti.

As for Mario Draghi,
his past actions don't really seem to be aimed at protecting Italian people's interests: he would have started in the early 1990s the process of letting Anglo-American major banks take control over big Italian firms, such as Buitoni, Locatelli, Galbani, Negroni, Ferrarelle, Perugina. When, in 1992, the centre-left coalition led by Giuliano Amato came to power, its first move was to privatise national agencies. How this government can be defined "left" is still a mystery to me.

I'm not implying that the centre-right coalition wouldn't have done the same, but in the records this was a policy adopted by the so-called Left. And, in a more recent past, one of the harshest criticisms to the Berlusconi's government has been for its lack of enthusiasm towards liberalising reforms.

After the G20 summit, held in London on April 2nd, all newspapers cheerfully reported on the front page the solution the twenty leaders had come up with: a new world order. Solution that, by the way, hasn't shown its benefits as yet.

I was reminded of the outcome of the G20 by a recent announcement made by
Mario Draghi, yes the same Draghi who boasts striking connections with Anglo-American banks: we are on the way towards "a world government of the economy". This, said in the wake of the last Bilderberg Group meeting, is not very reassuring.

Libero has mentioned the possibility that the US administration doesn't particularly appreciate the good relationship between Putin and Berlusconi, being Russia's prime minister in not very good terms with the United States, even after Obama (the change we can believe in) took office.

Why is Berlusconi doomed? Because he's already too exposed to the public opinion and his business irregularities are already extensively described in articles and books? After all, Italy, differently from other European countries, is the nation where secrets don't manage to be kept for longtime.

Or because of his closeness with Russia and the dangerous possibility of a good relationship with other "rogue states"? This risk cannot be taken, being Italy a strategic US colony since the end of World War II.

All these possible scenarios, apparently coming from completely different environments, if considered somehow intertwined will open a scary situation.

Berlusconi's political career is at the end, he knows and finds himself having to deal with the choices he has made, very likely quite dodgy ones, and now is probably regretting some of them. Entering the system of corruption can bring only short-lived benefits.
What appears from Berlusconi's latest public declarations is an already former prime minister, attacked from every front and ridiculed by the international press, who's trying to keep afloat despite the apparent commitment of not breaking the wall of silence built around him.

Many are enjoying this moment, I'm not. First of all because things look too fuzzy to draw rushed and final conclusions and especially because I'm afraid of who the financial élite will put in office as Berlusconi's replacement.
The media that keep shooting against this too easy target, without considering the bigger picture, might risk to mislead the public opinion and divert the general focus from something potentially crucial for Italy's destiny, and sake.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Faith, myths and mind control

Issues on religion, faith and myths are always very sensitive, and this is because every personal belief comes from very human emotions, such as hope, fear and the need of some sort of protection.

However, it's very important to distinguish between personal faith and religion, being the latter a propaganda tool that exploits the most private human sentiments of trusting people.

One of the easiest examples to understand the difference between faith and religion, is the heinous behaviour of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries and in current times, too. Not only have its highest representatives always hindered scientific and social progress, but very often clerics have been involved in shameful crimes such as paedophilia and in dodgy economic-financial affairs.

Someone might think that it's impossible that those clerics really believe in the Almighty God they go preaching about.

Apart from the fact that there is no historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ, I think that if someone needs to believe there is some kind of spirit protecting them, it's no harm as long as they don't impose their views to other people. Differently from what religious leaders have done so far.

Human beings should come into possession of
human feelings all over again, releasing themselves from the chains of artificial myths created with the sole purpose of mind control and used to wage strategic wars, inciting peoples against each other.

As stated by historian and expert of religions D.M. Murdock, "We are one family, and we share a small sphere - let us unify as found in the best of futuristic scenarios, not destroy ourselves as in the worst".

Monday, May 25, 2009

Italy's psychosis

The level of disinformation in Italy has reached so high levels that has become surreal.

Italian media have, in fact, overcome the phase of "hidden agendas": now they shamelessly deny the obvious.

Let's take
Studio Aperto for example, a TV information show that sistematically provides false and distorted news.

Their latest pearl is that Mr Berlusconi, who just by chance happens to be its owner, has been found not guilty in the trial involving English lawyer David Mills.

Of course this is not true, as David Mills was sentenced guilty and the judgement on Mr Berlusconi was stopped thanks to the so-called
Lodo Alfano, according to which the four highest offices of state are untouchable.

Scornful of the fact that the Italian Supreme Court has defined this bill "uncostitutional" (we know, Italian judges are just a bunch of communists, except for the ones he managed to bribe), the Premier is still free to further damage the country, present showgirls as candidate at the European elections and entertain foreign Presidents in his
Villa Certosa in Sardinia with a flock of young girls.

This is the freak Italy has as a Premier, the whole world is laughing out loud, the country has been in a deep crisis for so long that this latest worldwide recession has been perceived as tickling and, despite all that, a bold 78-year-old Mr Berlusconi has recently announced: "I will react to this libelling accusations and I will have all Italian people with me again."

Sadly true.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From 9/11 to the decline of the Anglo-american empire

In the wake of the ruthless and immoral exploitation of human suffering (both American and not) carried out by the Bush/Cheney administration, it might be a good occasion for Obama to bring the "change we can believe in" he's been talking for ages and open a proper, independent investigation on 9/11.

Why not? The official version has proved inconsistent and false and there is always a thinner part of the world population that believes it, so what's the harm in saying the truth? Ok, 3,000 American lives "expendable" for the greater good, more than a million Iraqi lives "expendable" for democracy, thousands of American kids sent to die in Afghanistan and Iraq to build a much better world, world that unfortunately they won't have the possibility to enjoy.

Let alone the once-democratic countries being slowly (or not so slowly) transformed in police states, with a rampant fascism spreading all over Europe: English police beating up people just for the sake of it, Italian government banning cartoonists and journalists just because they are not aligned with their totalitarianism.

Recently, I enjoyed a querelle in the travel blogosphere about an article appeared in the Independent about Dubai: all travel writers, who happen to know Dubai very well, from Lara Dunston to Terence Carter to Susan Macaulay agree in saying that the article is unbalanced, with no research behind, full of common places and racism-nuanced. I haven't read that specific article, but honestly, knowing English press, I do believe what the travel writers say. After all, the only purpose of English press is governmental mind-control and brainwash trusting subjects.

Not long ago I laughed out loud reading an article on the Economist about how Lula ruined Brasil. Of course Mr Economist knows that Brasil has grown 5% last year and that is expected to grow "only" 3% this year, and he also knows that "Great" Britain is not really growing, especially thanks to the artists of the creative finance populating the sacred spot of the City of London. Sorry, Mr Economist, your articles reek of desperation.

It's not the end of the world, just of an empire, one of the many in human history, it's lasted even longer than the American, kind of losing ground too. We know, it's an inescapable process, all empires have gone through their heyday and their decline. Accept it with grace and go back to do some good information, as now you look pathetic.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama, "let's start again"

I've listened astonished to the video in which God-instructed Barack Obama opens at Iran's leaders, and I understood why Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed it.

It seems that with Obama, the United States of America have provided the world with a new Messiah who, differently from the first one (Jesus, not Bush), doesn't need to travel on foot or on a horse to reach his audiences. In fact, modern-age world's Saviour has TV, videos, Internet and (last but not least) democratic facebook at his disposal. Good for him, and apparently for all of us.

The problem, I think, is that Obama's politics is way too populistic to be used in semi-official communications with any leader of any country (except for Berlusconi, with him the best bet is to use very easy words and possibly a sketch, as he's likely not to understand anything about politics). Obviously, the recipients of this video were not Iran's leaders, but the population of Western Hemisphere, so that in the next invasion we all are already convinced that our wars are "just." (I can hear already mainstream European gazettes shouting: "Remember the video of Obama!")

Now, at everybody's eyes, Obama has made a massive change in the US approach towards Middle Eastern countries, has offered a clear overture to Iran's leaders, asking candidly "Let's start again," and they dismissed it. Why? Because they are jealous, yes, jealous of our civilisation (sigh), of our values (sigh) and our freedom (sigh!). And, for most Western public mind, because they are warmongers. Because let's face it, we know that Middle Eastern countries are fundamentally warmongers, and that the United States have always sacrificed themselves to protect the world against evil.

Since the end of the Second World War, US administrations (all of them) have invaded, bombed, organised covert actions all over the world, toppling democratic regimes and replacing them with the most heinous dictatorships, in the name of democracy. But the warmongers are the Iranians, how can they dismiss a so whole-hearted video?

Now that Obama is here, fret not, he wants peace as much as we do, he's offering a change in the most populistic of the options, so that everybody can see it, so that nobody has the least doubt that a real revolution is in the air.

And if there won't be any change, the public mind will be already shaped and led to think that it's not Obama's fault, because Obama is not Bush, because since January 2009 the US policy has completely changed direction, and the economic and financial interests no longer exist.

Never mind providing arms to Israel to keep carrying out the genocide of Palestinian people, this is another story.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The desperate show of death

Zygmunt Bauman has defined London as the "dustbin" of globalisation. Never like now could I agree more with him.

As if the circus of Big Brother was not sad enough, now that one of the stars of its latest editions is dying from cancer, a freakish voyeurism seems obsessing the majority of UK population.

From radio and TV shows to the main national tabloids and newspapers, the odyssey of 27-year-old Jade has become everybody's business.

This young woman was diagnosed cancer and the results of the biopsy were immediately of public domain as her UK doctor chose to let her know in the middle of a chat from the Diary Room of the Indian version of Big Brother. As for the share market, the choice couldn't be wiser.

Since she, and everybody in this country, learnt she had cancer, the marathon of common places has started. She is obviously shocked and desperately clings to every little piece of life she has left, but the sleazy pleasure that mediocre people are drawing from witnessing every moment of this girl's death, is degrading and offensive.

What kind of society makes a show out of someone's ultimate suffering? What kind of business enjoys cashing in from someone's death?

Apparently, the arguments, fights and gossip of the Big Brother were not enough entertaining anymore, the public wants more, wants to overcome all taboos, seize the most intimate moment of someone's life.

Nothing is left to intimacy, secret, mystery. Every aspect of life has become a potential subject for circus where the main characters are not tigers anymore but ordinary people.

The lame excuse of entertaining the public hides the constant and ruthless search of profit, where nothing but money has value, and where the limit between public and private is always more elusive.

This is only the latest example of how pathetically poor we are becoming, losing even that small bit of humanity we thought we had left.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The BBC and their idea of impartiality

The BBC has a very confused conception of what "impartiality" means. It is recent news that it refused to broadcast the DEC's fundraising appeal for Gaza. The BBC's reason is "to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story."

In today's mainstream media the accent is always in the component of the "fear" and in the maddening quest of a "public enemy" we have to be afraid of. The "fear" is today one of the most powerful instrument in governments' hands, as we inevitably seek their help to protect us from an unidentified enemy and we delegate all responsibilities, accepting to give up on our most basic civil liberties.

If we weren't afraid, we wouldn't trust people and institutions that are doing all but working for everybody's interest. The fear is becoming the main energy that is driving our system.

Mainstream media are governed by the financial and political class and used as a propaganda tool, and citizens who don't widen their sources of knowledge will have their fear of this public enemy increased every time they watch or read national news.

In the mainstream media, criminals and terrorists are always poor people. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the popular mass movement that desperately seek to react against the illegal occupation of the rich and powerful State of Israel, is seen as a terrorist movement, while the continuous mass murders carried out by the Israeli authorities are seen as self-defence.

In a system where fear is used as a powerful tool to control citizens making them believe they live in a free and democratic world but that, in reality, are afraid only because they feel powerless, the positive aspects of humanity, such as solidarity and help to the weak are sometimes neglected and distorted.

This is the case of the latest BBC's choice in regard to the fundraising appeal for Gaza. Impartiality has nothing to do with humanitarian aid and BBC's directors know it very well. They also know that every man, just for the fact of being born and raised in a society and surrounded by other people is never completely "impartial."

But one thing is being "partial" because of our personal opinions that come from studying and interacting with the different elements of a society, another thing is being "impartial" because we need to protect the interests of who is financing us and telling us what decisions we can or cannot take.

In this specific case, the BBC's decision can be defined "inhuman" instead of "impartial."
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