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30 September, 2017

UK voters ‘favour socialism over capitalism’

Polls shows support for public ownership of utilities, as Corbyn and May go into battle over the economy

Voters in the UK want the government to take a more socialist approach to economic policy by renationalising railways and utilities, while creating a wage cap for top earners, according to a new survey.

The report, published by the Legatum Institute, a centre-right think tank, shows that the views of the public on the economy are more in tune with Labour's policies than the Conservatives, in what The Times called a “warning” to the Tories on the eve of their party conference in Manchester.

According to the figures, 83% of British voters would prefer public ownership of water companies over privatisation, while 77% want to re-nationalise electricity and gas companies and 76% want the railways back under state control.

The news comes after a week of back-and-forth between Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn regarding economic policy. On Tuesday, the Labour leader attacked Britain’s “failed model of capitalism” and presented the Labour party as a government in waiting. Yesterday May hit back, hailing capitalism as the “greatest agent of collective human progress ever created”.

Although Corbyn remains personally unpopular, opinion appears to be siding with his policies. "The ground is shifting", says The Daily Telegraph, while the New Statesman declares: “After decades in which the market has held sway, voters are ready to summon Leviathan from the depths.

Partly, says City AM, that's because socialism is no longer feared in the way it once was. “Many have disassociated the tragic and disastrous consequences of communist states from the socialist ideology which underpinned them,” it says. “Theresa May has finally spoken up for capitalism, wealth creation, enterprise and competition. But given the state of public opinion, it may too little – too late.



At Labour’s Conference I heard the voices of the poor, the oppressed, the ignored, and the patronised

Labour’s conference may not yet have delivered a fully perfected programme – but hearing working class voices everywhere was a breath of fresh air, despite the media sneers.

Widespread media hostility to Labour was on maximum revs during and in the immediate aftermath of the Party Conference. Labour can expect nothing favourable from the likes of the Daily Mail or the Murdoch press, but the coverage in much of the self-styled ‘liberal’ press and supposedly ‘impartial’ broadcast media was more dispiriting.

The Independent opted for a nasty, distorted interpretation of everything Jeremy Corbyn said in his closing address. The Guardian was at least largely positive with both Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones among the enthusiasts.

But Channel Four’s Jon Snow conducted a belligerent interview with Jeremy Corbyn during the Conference in which he belaboured the Labour leader on Brexit and on Venezuela. And the BBC was more subtly dismissive. Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg completed an on-air report by wondering aloud if the enthusiasm for Corbyn was just a fad. BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith questioned the public’s appetite for Labour’s new radicalism and suggested that the public would baulk at anything other than marginal change. This is opinion, not reporting. Their effect if not their intention is to put doubt into the minds of listeners. I have yet to hear anyone at the BBC describe fans of Boris Johnson as faddists; or the change implied by Brexit as “marginal”.

Full article here:

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US pulls 60% of Cuba embassy staff, halts visa processes

Washington claims its diplomats were "attacked" in Cuban hotels, failing to provide specific examples.

Washington has announced that the United States is removing about 60 percent of government staff out of Cuba, the Associated Press reports, citing “specific attacks” that allegedly harmed U.S. diplomats.

It claims its diplomats were “attacked” in local hotels. Washington, however, has not released specific information about the nature of these so-called “attacks.”

The U.S. government has also indefinitely suspended visa processing in Cuba, warning its citizens that they could be “harmed” in Cuba.

The remaining 40 percent of employees who will remain at the Havana embassy are “emergency personnel.”

The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats,” Cuba said in a statement on Thursday, when rumors of the embassy staff cut began swirling. “The Cuban government has never permitted nor will it ever permit the use of its territory by third parties for this purpose.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is “still reviewing his options on how best to protect American personnel in Cuba,” CBS News reported.


One million cholera likely by year's end in Yemen - Red Cross

With around 750,000 cases already, the unprecedented scale of the epidemic makes it “the worst in history,” according to the Red Cross representative.

In a grim prognosis of what is the “world's largest humanitarian crisis” in current days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Friday that they fear that there could be at least one-million cholera cases registered by the end of the year.

The high civilian casualties and cholera epidemic are caused by the use of “disproportionate force” and destruction of civilian infrastructure, Alexandre Faite, the head of the Yemen ICRC delegation said.

Yemen has been destroyed by a simultaneous blockade and vicious bombing campaign waged by a Saudi Arabian coalition backed by western governments such as the United States and United Kingdom.

According to Faite, there have been 750,000 suspected cases of cholera so far in the battered country, and at least 2,119 have died of the disease, which spreads due to lack of access to clean water and health facilities.

The unprecedented scale of the epidemic makes it “the worst in history,” according to the Red Cross representative.

Famine is also widespread, with as many as 7.3 million “on the brink,” Kate Gilmore, the United Nations deputy high commissioner for human rights said.

According to the United Nations, at least 10,000 people have been killed as a result of the Saudi Coalitions efforts to reinstall a government overthrown by Houthi rebels.


We will need sterling resistance to stop the bosses’ sabotage

Capitalists will try every trick to derail a Labour government. Sarah Bates argues it will take mass resistance and strong counter-measures to give them a run for their money

Part 1

It’s not a paranoid fantasy to argue that parts of the establishment want to derail the left wing Labour leadership’s plans. The prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government seemed like an outside chance earlier this year. It now seems more than possible, with even the bosses’ Economist magazine calling him “The likely lad”.

At The World Transformed festival in Brighton last week, shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke about a “potential assault” by the ruling class. He said the leadership is doing “war game-type scenario planning” for all possibilities following a Labour victory.

One possibility is that bankers could launch a run on the pound. Britain’s currency—the pound sterling—“floats” on the international market. Its value goes up and down as investors buy and sell sterling. When the pound falls, private investors claim Britain may be unable to pay back state debts. So they rapidly sell their stock of sterling at reduced prices before their profits can take a hit.

Bankers and bosses say they withdraw their investments in sterling because they think the market is in trouble. But they are not just moving money from one account another—it can be a calculated method of political influence. If this mass selling happens, it forces the government to devalue the pound. Because the pound would be valued less favourably against other countries’ currencies, the price of imported goods would go up.

The Tories and mainstream media piled criticism on McDonnell for even discussing a run on the pound. That’s a bit rich of the Tories, who presided over an 11 percent drop in the pound after Brexit. In the immediate aftermath of the vote the pound fell to its lowest level since 1985—and £120 billion was wiped off the value of the FTSE 100 share index.

But this isn’t the first time bosses have threatened a run on the pound. In 1974 Harold Wilson’s Labour government was elected on a wave of anger against the Tories and rising trade union militancy. Its manifesto pledged to “bring about a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of wealth and power towards working people”.

The bosses bared their teeth to face down the Labour government. They destabilised the economy through mass selling of sterling, which quickly lost value against the dollar. By 1976 the value of the pound declined by nearly 25 percent in nine months. Terrified of a deepening economic crisis, Labour’s chancellor Denis Healey asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a huge loan. At £2.3 billion, it was the largest amount the IMF had lent at that point. But the money came with strings—the IMF insisted the Labour government impose big public sector cuts.

Source, links:

[2] [3]


Leftists must finally take notice of – and buy stock in – bitcoins

by Ramin Mazaheri

Part 1

I can easily prove the leftist utility of bitcoins by relating one question I commonly hear: “Ramin, can you please take this medicine to my family the next time you visit Iran?”

The US produces more than half of all new medicines, but there is an embargo on Iran (and Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, etc.): With bitcoins, Iranians can circumvent these criminal, terroristic restrictions and get medicines which sick people are being cruelly denied.

So I see that bitcoins can save lives. Today.

Iran needs medicine, Cuba needs concrete, Venezuela needs toilet paper – bitcoins can be used for all these things…IF the left would immediately get involved with them.

One thing is absolutely, undeniably clear about bitcoins: The market is absolutely exploding for them in a way absolutely unseen in any field since the dot-com boom.

This process began in April, and it is fascinating. The mainstream media has only just picked up on this fact.

That means the average person is totally unaware of the technological and philosophical innovation/revolution which supports bitcoins: technically, it’s the Nakamoto consensus (a distributed consensus algorithm), but the marketing phrase is “block chain technology”.

And crucially for the future success of bitcoins: Leftists have no idea what heck is going on.

I think bitcoins could be the biggest financial weapon seen in ages to contest capitalism. Therefore, if the left cedes this current formational period of cryptocurrency to the right, or to individualistic libertarianism, it will be an enormous setback for society, socialism and anti-imperialism.

But you won’t read that in Western mainstream media – you only hear about making money with bitcoins. To be fair, that has been incredibly newsworthy as well.

Source, links:

[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Greece could leave the EU: why the Grexit option deserves consideration

With the Greek psyche itself the victim of a relentless shaming campaign, the idea of Greece “going it alone” begins to seem outlandish and quixotic. It is not. But it is as much tied to a revival of spirit and self-esteem as to the nuts and bolts of economic transformation.

by Michael Nevradakis

Part 5 - The argument for leaving the eurozone and the EU

If we truly support and believe in open and robust public debate, then the discussion as to whether Greece (or any other EU member-state) will be better served by departing from the EU or eurozone must be a part of that dialogue. So far, however, it has largely been excluded from the public sphere and from anything resembling equal footing in public discourse—whether that discussion is occurring in the media, in academia, or in the political arena.

Even if one is not a proponent of leaving the eurozone or the EU, the fiscally and politically prudent thing to do would be to have a plan in place for such a possibility. If, for instance, there is a collapse of the Italian banking system—which is presently teetering on the edge—or some other large-scale economic disaster in the eurozone, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for a domino effect to impact the entirety of Europe, forcing out some eurozone member states or resulting in the collapse of the eurozone system itself.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider the following: there are several examples of currency unions breaking apart, such as that of the Austro-Hungarian empire, or more recently the cases of the breakup of the Czech-Slovak union or Latvia leaving what was essentially a currency union with Russia in 1992.

While not exactly like the eurozone today, in the 19th and early 20th century, the Latin Monetary Union and the Scandinavian Monetary Union attempted to create a currency peg across multiple countries—which also occurred more recently in the lead-up to the launch of the eurozone via the creation of the European Monetary Union. For different reasons, both monetary unions ended up dissolving, with member-states eliminating currency pegs between them.

More recently, the United Kingdom departed the EMU in 1992 amidst doom-and-gloom scenarios highly similar to those heard today about departing the eurozone. Instead, what followed was one of the strongest periods of economic growth in the UK’s history.

Further precedent exists in the well-known examples of Argentina, which repudiated the IMF’s austerity diktats and declared a stoppage of payments on its public debt in 1999. What followed was over a decade of economic growth which exceeded the global average, and indeed even the eventual repayment of much of its previous debt at new terms that it negotiated with most of its creditors.

Iceland, following its banking collapse in 2008 which was, proportionally, the largest collapse sustained by the banking sector in a developed country in history, enacted policies which were in direct opposition to those being recommended by the IMF. Banks were allowed to collapse, foreign creditors were initially not repaid, bankers were jailed. The economy soon boomed, with GDP growth exceeding EU and eurozone averages and Iceland’s GDP eventually eclipsing pre-collapse levels. Meanwhile, a devalued currency led to a tourism and export boom. Eventually, creditors were repaid as well.

While Iceland and Argentina were not a part of a common currency bloc, their examples highlight how a nation can reject the austerity demands of institutions such as the IMF, can declare a stoppage of payments on its debt, roll back austerity, devalue its currency, and swiftly return to economic growth. Moreover, Argentina broke its 1:1 currency peg to the U.S. dollar — which, while not the equivalent to departing a currency union, had the result of restoring the Argentine government’s ability to enact monetary policy instead of being reliant on U.S. policy.

Therefore, even the most vociferous supporter of “remain” would be well advised to support the development of an exit plan in preparation for a worst-case scenario which may well emerge from outside the country’s borders. Unlike the “heroic” Yanis Varoufakis, who negotiated so fiercely as finance minister in 2015 that he openly stated he had no “plan B” and would not place “Grexit” on the table even as a negotiating tool, such a plan would be the most prudent option even for the most enthusiastically pro-EU regime.

The paragraphs which follow will outline why a country like Greece must consider leaving the eurozone and the EU, the various proposals which have been put forth as to how this could be accomplished, and how a departure could occur.

Source, links:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [6] [7]

Η Αριστερά και η Βενεζουέλα

του Κλάουντιο Κατς

Μέρος 9ο - Οι δυνατότητες της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης

Προφανώς, η καλύτερη ευκαιρία για μια Συντακτική Συνέλευση που θα θέσπιζε σημαντικούς μετασχηματισμούς χάθηκε πριν από μερικά χρόνια. Η παρούσα εκλογή της είναι καθαρά αμυντική, μια προσπάθεια να αντιμετωπιστεί η απελπιστική κατάσταση.

Όμως, είναι άχρηστο να μιλά κανείς μόνο για ό,τι δεν έγινε. Υπάρχει χρόνος για αυτούς τους απολογισμούς. Το σημαντικό σήμερα είναι πώς η Συντακτική Συνέλευση θα ανοίξει ξανά δρόμους για την ανάπτυξη της λαϊκής πρωτοβουλίας.

Πριν από το κάλεσμα για την εκλογή της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης, η κυβέρνηση περιοριζόταν στην καθαρά γραφειοκρατική αντιπαράθεση μεταξύ της μιας και της άλλης κρατικής εξουσίας. Βασιζόταν στην πάλη από τα πάνω μέσω της εκτελεστικής εξουσίας ή του Ανώτατου Δικαστηρίου ενάντια στην Εθνοσυνέλευση. Τώρα συγκαλεί επιτέλους την κοινωνική-κοινοτική εξουσία και απομένει να δούμε εάν αυτή η ιδέα θα μεταφραστεί σε πραγματική κινητοποίηση.

Μέσα στο τσαβίστικο κίνημα υπάρχουν πολλά σημάδια ανησυχίας και σκεπτικισμού. Όμως ουδείς μπορεί να επιλέξει τις συνθήκες μέσα στις οποίες αγωνίζεται και το βασικό δίλημμα είναι αν θα συνεχίσει ή αν θα εγκαταλείψει τον αγώνα. Όσοι έχουν αποφασίσει να μην παραδοθούν καλούν στην αναβίωση του λαϊκού σχεδίου.

Κάποια αριστερά ρεύματα που επικρίνουν έντονα τη διαχείριση του Μαδούρο πιστεύουν ότι η σύγκληση της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης θα μπορούσε να εξαπολύσει και πάλι τη δυναμική των κομμούνων ενάντια στις γραφειοκρατικές λειτουργίες. Βλέπουν τη Συντακτική Συνέλευση ως ατελές εργαλείο για να ελευθερωθούν από τη διαμάχη με τους διεφθαρμένους, αστικοποιημένους παράγοντες και τους μπουρζουάδες που υπάρχουν μέσα στον τσαβισμό.

Η Συντακτική Συνέλευση θα μπορούσε επίσης να βοηθήσει στο ξεπέρασμα του αδιεξόδου των τελευταίων μηνών ανάμεσα στις αιματηρές ταραχές της αντιπολίτευσης και στις κινητοποιήσεις των οπαδών της κυβέρνησης. Αν επιφορτιστεί με τα κατάλληλα καθήκοντα θα μπορούσε να διασπάσει το μέτωπο της αντιπολίτευσης, να διαχωρίσει τους δυσαρεστημένους από τους φασίστες.

Αλλά είναι φανερό ότι χωρίς δραστικά μέτρα στους τομείς της οικονομίας και της κοινωνίας, η Συντακτική Συνέλευση θα είναι άδειο κέλυφος. Εάν η καταστροφή στην παραγωγή δεν αναχαιτιστεί με την εθνικοποίηση των τραπεζών, του εξωτερικού εμπορίου και με την απαλλοτρίωση των σαμποτέρ, δεν θα υπάρξει ανάκαμψη της λαϊκής υποστήριξης.

Τα μέτρα ανακούφισης που επιχειρήθηκαν προκειμένου να αυξηθεί η συμμετοχή των οργανώσεων βάσης στην κατανομή των τροφίμων είναι ανεπαρκή. Δεν μπορούν πλέον να αναβάλλονται τα ριζοσπαστικά μέτρα.

Όποια κι αν είναι η εναλλακτική, δεν θα είναι καθόλου εύκολο να ανακατευθυνθεί η οικονομία μετά από τόσα λάθη που έγιναν όσον αφορά το χρέος, τη δημιουργία των ειδικών οικονομικών ζωνών ή την ανοχή στη φυγή κεφαλαίων.

Ο Τσάβες πέτυχε μια μεγάλη ανακατανομή των προσόδων μέσω νέων μεθόδων λαϊκής πολιτικοποίησης, αλλά δεν κατάφερε να θέσει τα θεμέλια μιας διαδικασίας εκβιομηχάνισης. Συγκρούστηκε με τους καπιταλιστές της αντιπολίτευσης, αλλά όχι με την αστική τάξη που ενδημούσε στην μπολιβαριανή διαδικασία και δεν μπόρεσε να απενεργοποιήσει τη ραντιέρικη κουλτούρα που υπονόμευε όλες τις προσπάθειες να οικοδομηθεί μια παραγωγική οικονομία. Το ότι δεν τολμήθηκε η ρήξη με την καπιταλιστική δομή εξηγεί τα δυσμενή αποτελέσματα.

Το σημερινό πλαίσιο είναι πιο δύσκολο, λόγω της μεγάλης πτώσης των τιμών του πετρελαίου και της παρεμπόδισης των σχεδίων περιφερειακής ολοκλήρωσης μετά την επανάκαμψη των αντιδραστικών δυνάμεων σε άλλες χώρες της περιοχής. Όμως, θα έπρεπε να σημειωθεί επίσης ότι όλες οι επαναστατικές διαδικασίες απογειώνονται μέσα σε δυσμενείς συνθήκες και η Συντακτική Συνέλευση μπορεί να παράσχει ένα πλαίσιο για την ανάκτηση της πρωτοβουλίας.

Κάποιοι επικριτές της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης προβάλλουν ενστάσεις για τον τρόπο εκλογής των αντιπροσώπων από εργασιακούς τομείς και κοινότητες. Λένε ότι με αυτή τη μορφή η «συνέλευση θα είναι επισφαλής, κορπορατιστική ή μη νομιμοποιημένη». Και σ’ αυτή την περίπτωση επαναλαμβάνεται η υιοθέτηση του συμβατικού συνταγματισμού που προβάλλει η Δεξιά (όταν τη συμφέρει). Η απαίτηση αυτή δεν εκπλήσσει όταν προέρχεται από σχολιαστές του κατεστημένου, αλλά είναι ενοχλητική όταν προέρχεται από ενθουσιώδεις της ρωσικής επανάστασης.

Ύστερα από τρεις δεκαετίες μεταδικτατορικών καθεστώτων, πολλοί έχουν ξεχάσει την υποκριτικότητα της αστικής δημοκρατίας. Θα πρέπει να υπενθυμιστεί πώς ο Λένιν και ο Τρότσκι υπερασπίστηκαν το 1917 τη νομιμότητα των σοβιέτ και απέσυραν την αναγνώριση της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης που είχε έλθει σε αντίθεση με την επαναστατική εξουσία.

Βεβαίως, το πλαίσιο της Βενεζουέλας σήμερα είναι πολύ διαφορετικό. Ωστόσο, η μπολσεβίκικη επανάσταση δεν μας δίδαξε μόνο πώς να λαμβάνουμε υπόψη το κοινωνικό υπόβαθρο, τις ταξικές συγκρούσεις και τα συμφέροντα που διακυβεύονται, αλλά μας έδειξε επίσης έναν δρόμο για να αφήσουμε πίσω την υποκρισία του αστικού φιλελευθερισμού και επιβεβαίωσε ότι πράξεις ισχύος εναντίον της αντίδρασης αποτελούν μέρος της αντιπαράθεσης με τη δεξιά βαρβαρότητα.

Η Αριστερά οφείλει να πει εάν συγκλίνει με την αντιπολίτευση στο μποϊκοτάζ ή αν θα συμμετάσχει στη Συντακτική Συνέλευση. Επίσης, υπάρχει μια τρίτη επιλογή με πολύ μικρό ακροατήριο: “ναι, όχι και εντελώς αντίθετα».

Στην υπόλοιπη περιοχή της Ν. Αμερικής υπάρχει ανάγκη για επίδειξη αλληλεγγύης προς τη Βενεζουέλα. Όπως κατά την ειδική περίοδο στην Κούβα, πρέπει να βάλουμε πλάτη για να γυρίσει ο τροχός σε δύσκολες καταστάσεις. Ας ελπίσουμε ότι πολλοί compañeros θα υιοθετήσουν αυτή την προσέγγιση προτού είναι πολύ αργά.

Πηγή, παραπομπές:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [10]

29 September, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn should prepare the Labour Party for a fierce battle with the neoliberal regime

Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the end of the recent Labor Party conference was on the right direction. Corbyn mentioned all the necessary steps that need to be taken so that one of the motherlands of ruthless neoliberalism change course, away from the destructive policies dictated by the neoliberal doctrine.

Leo Panitch, scholar and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at York University spoke to Sharmini Peries and The Real News, pointing that Corbyn's speech was "full of confidence":

           It was a great speech. full of confidence. When he was first surprisingly elected leader just over two years ago, he wasn't used to being in the limelight in that way, and his speech was often halting. But he's a conviction politician and now that he has the wind behind him and he has strong evidence that his message is in fact shifting the ground of British politics, he is full of confidence. It was a brilliant speech. He made a number of speeches like that, which were televised, at the beginning of the election campaign and that had an electrifying effect on the campaign.

           He only mentioned in passing what had been stressed earlier in the week by other shadow ministers. But the most important of which is a public investment bank, a national one, supplemented by regional investment banks where the public sector, the government, would take the lead in investment. Addressing the fact that everywhere since the 2008 crisis, there's been a recovery of profits but not a recovery of investment. He says that a Labor government will take the lead in that. He also says that they will re-nationalize some key industries: railway, water. energy. Moreover, that many public services that were expanded through the public sector, through what is known as Private Finance Initiatives, the equivalent of PPPs in North America, will be clawed back. They've been inefficiently developed. This is hospitals, this is the NHS, this is schools, etc.

Yet, Panitch warned:

           That's the centerpiece of it, it's not socialism. Those of us who wish Corbyn the best should not put ourselves in the position of imagining it's going to be easy. The reaction, even though it's not socialism, from the Confederation of British Industry, from the City, from the banks, have already been, "Oh my god. This is going to undermine private enterprise," It's far from that, but they will face enormous opposition. We shouldn't put the kind of emphasis on what they can immediately achieve that would lead us to then be disappointed in a way we were when SYRIZA was elected in Greece. We need to realize their limitations, and when he says, "We're ready", you just had him quoted as saying, "We're ready for government", they're not ready. Who could be ready to take on the kind of powers that be? They haven't built yet, although they, as he said, massively shifted the center ground of British politics. That was the most important element of his speech. He isn't yet ready. They haven't built the base in the labor party, branches in the trade unions, to win the kind of support from people when, if I can use the expression,” the crap will hit the fan,” when all of the opposition to even these relatively moderate attempts to increase the state's public sector role in the economy, will be opposed by both foreign and domestic capital.

Indeed, Corbyn should take a lesson of what happened in Greece with Tsipras and SYRIZA. They went with good will to the negotiations with Greece's creditors and suffered a heavy defeat. Greece paid a huge price as became a debt colony in the hands of the corporate neo-colonialists.

For four decades, the neoliberal regime has taken over governments, institutions, minds. It is a powerful establishment that seeks to drive Europe into the new Feudalism. To overthrow such a powerful regime one needs a good strategy and determination.

Angela Merkel is now the main carrier of the neoliberal mission in Europe. Although she lost significant power in the latest elections, she has the opportunity to build the necessary coalitions in order to finish the job in her last term in power.

Corbyn should take advantage of Brexit to drive the UK to the opposite direction. While the Brussels-Berlin axis will seek to implement all the conditions of the Greek experiment inside the EU, the Labour party under Corbyn could become an example against this dark future. While Tsipras suffered a heavy defeat as went unprepared in the battle with the ruthless neoliberal priesthood, Corbyn should go to the battle with the neoliberal regime after a good preparation and a well-constructed plan.

This means that the Labour Party should build strong alliances inside the UK, especially with workers' unions and small-medium businesses. The Party should start a well-organized campaign across the country to make all the workers unite against the neoliberal agenda of the Tories. Corbyn should speak to the small-medium business owners to make them realize that the neoliberal model is their enemy as it only benefits the big multinational monsters against the small-medium sector.

However, one of the first and most important moves that Corbyn should do after his election is to nationalize central bank. The global financial mafia inside and outside the UK will find very difficult to fight any government that fully controls the central bank, and therefore, the money supply and circulation. A public investment bank that would lead public investments, as Corbyn mentioned, is very important, but not enough.

Of course, you never announce openly that you are planning to make such a crucial move because the criminal financial syndicate will finish you before you even start. In any case, Jeremy Corbyn should prepare the Labour Party for a fierce battle with the neoliberal regime.

Read also:

Bloomberg: Έλληνες «μην ανοίγετε σαμπάνιες» για την απομάκρυνση Σόιμπλε

Πολύ πιο σκληρός απέναντι στην Ελλάδα αναμένεται να είναι ο νέος υπουργός οικονομικών της Γερμανίας μετά την απομάκρυνση του Σόιμπλε, αναφέρει το Bloomberg σε άρθρο που υπογράφει ο Leonid Bershidsky.

Το άρθρο επισημαίνει ότι ο Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε υπήρξε πάντα οπαδός του ορθολογικού φιλελευθερισμού (Ordoliberalism), ο οποίος προβλέπει παρεμβάσεις του κράτους για τη διατήρηση της κοινωνικής ειρήνης.

Αντίθετα ο επόμενος υπουργός οικονομικών, που θα προέρχεται πιθανότατα από τις τάξεις των Φιλελεύθερων, θα είναι «ανερυθρίαστα» νεοφιλελεύθερος και θα επιτεθεί σε κάθε σχέδιο διαγραφής χρέους και αύξησης των κρατικών δαπανών – με επακόλουθα δημοσιονομικά ελλείμματα, που θα μπορούσαν να ενισχύσουν την ανάπτυξη.

Αν δεν καταλάβατε δηλαδή, μέχρι τώρα ζούσαμε το κοινωνικό πρόσωπο της Γερμανίας και με τον ανασχηματισμό της Μέρκελ έρχονται οι σκληροί νεοφιλελεύθεροι σε θέσεις-κλειδιά της κυβέρνησης.

«Πολύ σύντομα οι νοτιο-Ευρωπαίοι θα νοσταλγήσουν τον Σόιμπλε» καταλήγει το άρθρο.

Το ερώτημα είναι εάν η Ελλάδα θα νοσταλγήσει και την πρόταση που φέρεται να είχε καταθέσει ο Σόιμπλε για συναινετική έξοδο της χώρας από την ζώνη του ευρώ – την οποία είχε απορρίψει το δίδυμο Τσίπρας – Βαρουφάκης κατ’ εντολή προφανώς της ελληνικής οικονομικής ελίτ.


In allowing women to drive, Saudi Arabia looks to cover its war tracks

It’s hard to go negative on such a positive and long overdue reform, but that seems to be precisely the point, as Saudi Arabia times its lifting of ban on women driving to drown a critical UN vote and ongoing financial and diplomatic woes in flood of glowing media coverage.

by Whitney Webb

On Tuesday, international corporate media outlets were abuzz with the news that the hyper-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia had finally lifted its ban on women drivers. A royal decree credited to King Salman was responsible for the sudden change in policy, which Prince Khaled bin Salman, the king’s son and the country’s ambassador to the U.S., called a “huge step forward.” Prior to Tuesday’s decree, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to have such a ban, which was often cited by critics of the regime’s human rights record.

Much of the coverage regarding the decision spoke positively of the kingdom’s human rights trajectory, asserting that “women’s rights have steadily and slowly gained ground over the years” in the kingdom and that the move was “a significant expansion of women’s rights.” The U.S. State Department and White House also spoke of the policy change in glowing terms and commended Saudi leaders for their decision. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declined to comment on whether the Saudi kingdom needed to do more to ensure full rights for women.

In their glowing coverage, many media outlets failed to highlight that the policy change would not take immediate effect. While these outlets implied that the change would be immediate, the Saudi decree actually called for the formation of a committee that would offer recommendations within the next 30 days regarding how to potentially implement the offering of drivers licenses to women. Although the schedule may vary depending upon the recommendations of the committee, women are not expected to be able to obtain licenses until June of 2018. As policy analyst Yousef Munayyer noted, this is “far from letting women drive.”

It also remains to be seen what hurdles may be added to the granting of drivers licenses to women. For example, the committee could decide that women cannot drive alone — as women in Saudi Arabia must often be accompanied by a male relative in public, in keeping with the country’s “guardianship laws.” It could also choose to restrict licenses to women of certain socio-economic status, or restrict the licenses’ use to specific purposes. In other words, until the committee makes public its recommendations, it will be hard to know if Saudi Arabia actually lifted its blanket ban on women drivers.

Prince Salman told reporters that such limitations would not come to pass. However, his assurances were not included in the decree and his words lack the authority that has been wholly delegated to the committee.

Why suddenly “the right time”?

When Khaled bin Salman told reporters on Tuesday, regarding the recent decree, “this is the right time to do the right thing,” he certainly wasn’t kidding. Indeed, the timing of the decree could not have been more convenient for the Saudi kingdom, though the Saudi royal family made no mention of why it really was the “right time” to end its ban on women drivers.

Between now and this Friday, when the United Nation’s Human Rights Council concludes its ongoing session, the international body will vote on a resolution to decide whether or not to establish an independent, international probe into war crimes committed in Yemen.

The United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has consistently pushed the Human Rights Council to create an independent investigation into the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, which began in March 2015. Since then, over ten thousand civilians have been killed and the Saudi’s blockade of Yemeni ports and its bombing of civilian infrastructure have led to 17 million Yemenis lacking access to clean water and food, as well as to the worst cholera epidemic in history.

The Saudi regime is clearly uncomfortable with the resolution. They have vowed to “not accept” the findings of the probe, were the resolution to pass, and have also threatened any nation that votes in favor of the probe with economic and political retaliation. Yet, now, with the international media fawning over the Saudi government’s human rights “progress,” international pressure against the kingdom may be reduced as its role in the destruction of Yemen again fades into the background.

Reform as misdirection: MBS puts on his makeup

However, the upcoming UN vote was not the only factor in prompting the headline-grabbing policy reversal. International media outlets, though they stated that the decree was signed by King Salman, consistently noted that the reform was the work of the newly-minted Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, often referred to by the acronym MBS.

The coverage of MBS’ role in bringing about the reform – as well as his role in Saudi politics – was overwhelmingly positive. For instance, CNN stated that the lifting of the driving ban was “just the latest in a series of changes that have been rippling through Saudi Arabia since the rise of [the] 32-year-old crown prince.”

Other outlets, such as Forbes, also credited MBS with the decree as part of his “ambitious” plan to overhaul the Saudi economy by 2030, noting that the decree would ostensibly allow more women to join the workforce. The Associated Press further credited MBS for having “opened the country to more entertainment and fun.”

None of these outlets mentioned the rise of domestic dissent in Saudi Arabia, its ethnic cleansing of minorities within its borders, or its major economic woes – all of which have also occurred alongside MBS’ rise to power.

Given King Salman’s ailing health and all but confirmed senility, MBS has been calling the shots in the Saudi kingdom since he ousted the former crown prince in what some spectators likened to an internal coup. He is expected to replace his father any month now, as the corporate media has noted, meaning that he is eager to improve how he is perceived abroad and cultivate his image as a “reformer.”

However, MBS is hardly the reformer he purports to be. In fact, his past actions show him to be a dangerous warhawk prone to impulsivity and rash judgements. Prior to becoming crown prince, he was the nation’s defense minister and was largely responsible for the Saudi war in Yemen, which has drained the country’s finances, as well as for the collapse in diplomatic relations with neighboring Qatar.

He has also pushed for war with Iran. MBS has argued, for example, that diplomatic dialogue with Iran was “impossible” and even hinted at a Saudi pre-emptive strike against Iran, stating that “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran.” Furthermore, according to other members of the Saudi royal family, MBS was allowed to ascend to the position of crown prince after accepting conditions that included “absolute obedience to the U.S. and Israel and carrying out whatever they ask him to do.”

Thus, the sudden lifting of the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia is likely part of a larger public relations campaign, a “dramatic” but fundamentally cosmetic gesture meant to hide the more displeasing facets of MBS’ political record as he prepares to become king. Annually, the Saudis spend millions on public relations efforts, particularly in the West, as their greatest allies are the United States and the United Kingdom.

Clearly, Prince bin Salman would much rather be viewed by the international community as the Saudi leader who championed women’s rights as opposed to the Saudi leader who started – and continues – the country’s genocidal and disastrous war against its southern neighbor, Yemen.

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Israel refuses to end arm sales to Myanmar despite state crackdown on Rohingya

The Israeli High Court ruled on the petition Wednesday, however the judges hearing the case had issued a gag order a day earlier.

Israel has refused to stop selling arms to Myanmar even though the state has been accused by the United Nations of "textbook ethnic cleansing" of the minority Muslim Rohingya population.

A group of activists in Israel filed a petition in the country’s High Court of Justice demanding an end to the sales but a senior Israeli official Shosh Shmueli said that the court should not interfere in Israel's foreign relations.

While the Israeli High Court is set to rule on the petition Wednesday, the judges hearing the case had issued a gag order a day earlier at the request of Israeli government officials, preventing the case from being discussed in public.

In recent years, Israeli arms companies have sold more than 100 battle tanks, as well as patrol boats and light weapons to Myanmar’s military.

The Israeli company, TAR Ideal Concepts has also trained trained Burmese forces in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, where the military has used excessive force and violence against the Rohingyas.

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28 September, 2017

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia

In on of his most interesting films, The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom, Adam Curtis describes how the free market fundamentalists attempted to apply what has been called 'Shock Therapy' in Russia, right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 'Shock Therapy' not only ruined the Russian economy, but even led to the rise of Vladimir Putin in power.

As Curtis says:

In 1992, the American government had passed the Freedom Support Act. Its aim was to help Russia reconstruct itself. Along with millions of dollars of aid, came a group of young American advisers, economists and political theorists, that had a radical vision of what was necessary. They called it 'Shock therapy'. The aim was to remove all State control over the Russian economy as a stroke. All price subsidies will be removed, and all State industries privatized overnight. Their leader was a Harvard economist called Jeffrey Sachs.

The Americans allied themselves with a group of young radical free marketeers around Yeltsin, and together they drew up a plan. Underlying it there was a theory of how to transform society by creating new human beings. It was the same theory that laid behind the rise of what was called market democracy in Britain and America in the 1980s.

The theory said that if one destroyed all the elite institutions that in the past had told people what to do, and instead allowed individuals to become independent in the market place, then they would become new kinds of rational beings, choosing what they wanted. Out of this, would come a new form of order, and a new kind of democracy, in which the market, not politics, gave people what they wanted.

But things didn't work out as the theory predicted. On the first day of the plan, all price controls in Russia were removed, and the cost of all goods soared. Millions of people found themselves unable to afford even the most basic of goods, and with no one to help them. The only solution for millions of Russians, was to come out on to the streets and sell their belongings for anything they could get.

The chaos began to spread, as the currency no longer had any value. Factories began to pay their workers in the products they made, which the people then had to sell wherever they could in order to live. Then, the privatization plan kicked in. Every Russian was given vouchers to buy shares in the privatized companies, but desperate for cash, they simply sold their vouchers to ruthless businessmen for a fraction of their worth. And a new elite began to emerge who snapped off vast sections of Russian industry. They became known as the 'oligarchs'.

Faced with this, the deputies in the Russian Parliament, began to protest against what they called 'economic genocide', would led to chaos and violence inside Parliament. And in the face of this the group of reformers around Yeltsin persuaded him he had to suspend Parliament. In protest, the deputies occupied Parliament. Yeltsin's response was brutal. He ordered the army to attack, the deputies were arrested, and Yeltsin announced that he would now rule by decree.

Shock Therapy continued, but in the future, people were going to be made free, through force and dictatorship. But what actually happened was that Yeltsin became the creature of those with the real power in the new Russia, the oligarchs. In return for loans, Yeltsin gave oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky, the rest of Russian industry. Sometimes at less than 2% of its real value. And then, in 1998, the experiment came dramatically to an end.

The days of economic reforms seem to be well and truly over here. Out of this economic catastrophe, a new order emerged, but it wasn't a spontaneous order dreamt of by the free market utopians. It was the very opposite, a harsh, tough nationalism, imposed by the new president Vladimir Putin. Putin arrested or exiled the major oligarchs, and set about dismantling many of the democratic freedoms in the new Russia. But this was welcomed by the majority of Russians, who now wanted order, not freedom. What president Putin could offer Russians were other things, security, dignity, and above all, a meaning that went beyond their own individual lives.

Curtis presents ideas originated from the neoconservatives, first appeared in the US in the early 70s. This coincides with the neoliberalism era that dominated the West for about four decades until today. Since then, the neocon/neoliberal establishment of the West has spread chaos in various regions through military or economic intervention.

Russia was on its knees after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it is obvious that the neocons not only failed to fulfill their ultimate target which was the definite occupation of Russia from inside through an economic war, but, instead, they helped Putin to rise in power. Now, they want desperately to return to Russia with the same target. With Putin in power, things now are much more difficult. The US deep state has only one option: provoke an open and direct conflict.

As already described, what we see in Ukraine is probably another failure of various think tanks, mostly from Washington, which they are funded, of course, by the international capital. It seems that, apart from the fact that they have underestimated Putin's abilities, they have also wrongly estimated that Russia had passed permanently in the neoliberal phase and would be ready to become an easy victim to promote their plans. According to these plans, the ultimate goal would be probably to dissolve the vast Russian territory in future and bring in power Western-friendly puppet regimes, in order not only to conquer the valuable resources, but also to impose permanently the neoliberal doctrine on "unexplored" regions and populations.

The sloppy and obsolete propaganda has started, yet people don't buy it that easily, anymore ...

Οι Γερμανικές εκλογές και ο τρόπος που το κατεστημένο εκμεταλλεύεται την άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς

του system failure

Οι πρώτες αντιδράσεις για τα αποτελέσματα των πρόσφατων Γερμανικών εκλογών έδειξαν πόσο αποτελεσματικά το νεοφιλελεύθερο καθεστώς στη Γερμανία και την Ευρώπη εκμεταλλεύεται την άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς.
Δεν υποτιμούμε την επικίνδυνη άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς στη Γερμανία (και αλλού), αλλά θα ήταν χρήσιμο να εντοπίσουμε τον βασικό σκοπό πίσω από τους βαρύγδουπους τίτλους στα περισσότερα από τα κυρίαρχα ΜΜΕ σχετικά με αυτό το γεγονός στην Ευρώπη.

Η συντριπτική πλειονότητα των κυριοτέρων ΜΜΕ (αλλά και ανεξάρτητων μέσων) επικεντρώθηκε στην επικίνδυνη άνοδο του ακροδεξιού κόμματος 'Εναλλακτική για τη Γερμανία' (AfD). Πράγματι, η άνοδός του είναι εντυπωσιακή και δεν μπορεί να υποτιμηθεί δεδομένου ότι στις προηγούμενες εκλογές το AfD με ποσοστό μόλις 4,7% δεν κατάφερε να πάρει ούτε μία έδρα.

Ωστόσο, αυτή είναι μια μεγάλη ευκαιρία για το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο να εκμεταλλευτεί αυτή την τρομακτική άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς τουλάχιστον με δύο τρόπους:

  • Πρώτον, το φριχτό τέρας της άκρας δεξιάς θα χρησιμοποιηθεί για τον αποπροσανατολισμό των πολιτών από αυτό που πρόκειται να έρθει και να γίνει το νέο κατεστημένο: μια νεοφιλελεύθερη ομοσπονδιακή Ευρώπη υπό τον αυστηρό έλεγχο του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου, όπου θα κυριαρχούν οι τράπεζες και οι μεγάλες εταιρίες και όπου τα εργασιακά δικαιώματα, το κράτος πρόνοιας, η κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη, οι πολιτικές ελευθερίες θα γίνουν μνήμες του παρελθόντος. Όλα στο όνομα της ανάπτυξης, του ανταγωνισμού και της ασφάλειας. Ήδη, η Μέρκελ σε πρόσφατη ομιλία της προανήγγειλε ουσιαστικά το τέλος του κράτους πρόνοιας, ακόμη και εντός της Γερμανίας.

  • Δεύτερον, η ακροδεξιά θα χρησιμοποιηθεί από το νεοφιλελεύθερο καθεστώς ως πολιτικό όπλο για να ξεκινήσει μια σκληρή αντεπίθεση εναντίον όλων εκείνων που τολμούν να επικρίνουν τις βίαια επιβαλλόμενες πολιτικές. Από δω και στο εξής, οποιοσδήποτε τολμά να διαμαρτυρηθεί ενάντια στη νεοφιλελεύθερη βαρβαρότητα και δεν ευθυγραμμίζεται με τις νέες συνθήκες που επιβάλει το κατεστημένο με βάση το ελληνικό πείραμα, θα θεωρείται υπεύθυνος για την «τροφοδότηση» της ακροδεξιάς. Έχουμε δει κάτι παρόμοιο στις τελευταίες εκλογές στις ΗΠΑ, όπου η καθεστωτική προπαγάνδα στοχοποίησε τους προοδευτικούς ψηφοφόρους - οι οποίοι υποστήριξαν τον Μπέρνι Σάντερς ενάντια στη Χίλαρι Κλίντον για τα προκριματικά των Δημοκρατικών - ως έναν από τους κύριους λόγους για την άνοδο του Ντόναλντ Τραμπ στην εξουσία.

Πράγματι, αρκετοί προοδευτικοί, προερχόμενοι από αυτό που το κατεστημένο χαρακτηρίζει ως «άκρα αριστερά», ακόμη και από διάφορα ανεξάρτητα μέσα ενημέρωσης, έχουν ήδη πέσει σ'αυτή την πολιτική παγίδα. Κάποιοι μίλησαν ακόμα και για τους εφιάλτες του παρελθόντος, υποστηρίζοντας ότι τώρα το πολιτικό τοπίο στη Γερμανία μοιάζει επικίνδυνα με την κατάσταση στη Γερμανίας λίγο πριν το ξέσπασμα του Β 'Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου.

Φαίνεται ότι οι μηχανισμοί του κατεστημένου έχουν μελετήσει λεπτομερώς την «ψυχοσύνθεση» της σύγχρονης αριστεράς και, ως εκ τούτου, ξέρουν πώς να παίξουν το παιχνίδι. Ο χειρότερος εφιάλτης των σημερινών προοδευτικών, είναι να κατηγορηθούν ότι υποβοηθούν την άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς στην Ευρώπη. Αναπόφευκτα, ευθυγραμμίστηκαν αμέσως με τους τίτλους των κυρίαρχων ΜΜΕ και ως εκ τούτου, δεν τόλμησαν να αναφέρουν τι θα σήμαινε για τη Γερμανία και την Ευρώπη άλλη μια κυβέρνηση συνασπισμού υπό την ηγεσία της Μέρκελ.

Ιδού λοιπόν, η φρικτή αλήθεια: η Μέρκελ βρίσκεται ένα βήμα από το να εφαρμόσει όλες τις νεοφιλελεύθερες συνθήκες υπέρ των ελίτ. Καθώς το πείραμα στην Ελλάδα έχει σχεδόν ολοκληρωθεί, θα έχει όλο το χρόνο να το εφαρμόσει σε όλη την Ευρώπη και ακόμη και στη Γερμανία. Στη συνέχεια, το κόμμα της θα υποστεί μια πρωτοφανή ήττα και θα φύγει, γιατί απλά, η πραγματική της αποστολή θα έχει ολοκληρωθεί. Και τότε, οι νέοι ολιγάρχες της Ευρώπης θα απελευθερώσουν τα αιμοδιψή σκυλιά της ακροδεξιάς ως ένα από τα πιο χρήσιμα εργαλεία τους, προκειμένου να καταστείλουν οποιαδήποτε λαϊκή αντίσταση.

Ιστορικά, σε περιόδους μεγάλων κοινωνικών αναταραχών, το μεγάλο κεφάλαιο χρησιμοποιεί πάντα τις δυνάμεις της ακροδεξιάς προκειμένου να διατηρήσει τη δύναμη και την κυριαρχία του απέναντι στην πλειοψηφία. Η αριστερά, για άλλη μια φορά, δεν τόλμησε να αντιμετωπίσει το κατεστημένο κατά μέτωπο. Οι αριστερές πολιτικές ηγεσίες στην Ευρώπη θα πρέπει επιτέλους να συνειδητοποιήσουν ότι, όσο δεν τολμούν να ηγηθούν μιας πραγματικής μάχης ενάντια στο νεοφιλελεύθερο καθεστώς, όλο και περισσότεροι πολίτες από τις στρατιές των εξαθλιωμένων θα προσελκύονται από την άκρα δεξιά.

Και όταν το ακροδεξιό τέρας γίνει αρκετά ισχυρό, θα είναι εξαιρετικά δύσκολο να αντιμετωπιστεί ...

Bolivia holds debate on corporate and community media in Latin America

Participants will analyze corporate media and revolutionary alternatives to them in the region

Bolivia has begun hosting a two-day seminar to discuss the future of alternative media and attacks by corporate conglomerates against socialist governments in Latin America.

The debate will begin by analyzing media attacks against Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Scholars and journalists from the region will also participate, including Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron and Bolivian lawyer and journalist Hugo Moldiz.

It will also include presentations by teleSUR director Patricia Villegas and CubaDebate director Randy Alonso.

"Our objective is to contribute to rethinking the communication issue from our progressive processes, aware of its importance for the construction of a leftist, popular and revolutionary political project," the organizers said in a statement.

The meeting is organized by the Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity and local social organizations, such as as Generacion Evo, Azules del Oriente and Columna Sur.

The seminar, the second of its kind in Bolivia, will be held for two days. The first session will be held in the capital city of La Paz and the second in the city of Santa Cruz.

Last year, Santa Cruz held a similar event called "Latin America in Dispute: Challenges for the Left."

The panelists will also refer to the role of alternative media, public broadcasters and community radios in the region.


US H-Bomb testing forgotten in media frenzy over North Korea threat

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s bellicose United Nations speech – where he threatened to “totally destroy” the 25 million inhabitants of North Korea – Trump’s own use of provocative and unprecedented language was largely ignored.

Instead, frenzied coverage focused primarily on North Korea’s response to his shocking UN address. North Korea’s answer came courtesy of foreign minister Ri Yong-ho, who told reporters that North Korean leadership may consider testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific in response to Trump’s UN threats.

The latest counter from North Korea prompted a frantic response from corporate media pundits. Fox News interviewed retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters who argued that such a test would be “close to an act of war.” Reuters quoted David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, who argued that such a test would be a “tipping point” for China and might prompt many other countries to call for an “end to the [North Korean] regime.”

Most reports gave a scant and highly selective history of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean. Reuters, for example, stated that the United States’ only test of an operational ballistic missile with a live warhead was fired from a submarine in the Pacific Ocean in 1962. Others made no mention of the previous nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific, or merely stated that the last above-ground test of a nuclear device was conducted by China in 1980 – suggesting to their readers that a potential test by North Korea would be among the first conducted in the Pacific.

In reality, the history of nuclear bomb testing in the Pacific is as long as it is tragic. Such tests in the region were conducted exclusively by the only country in the world to have used a nuclear bomb against another nation – the United States.

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