US ‘Plundering’ Syrian Oil to ‘Send to Israel’

24 January 2021 — Internationalist 360°

Syria’s state-run media earlier reported that 200 troops had been flown to US bases in al-Shaddadi on 21 January for future deployment at Omar oil field and Koniko gas field in neighbouring Deir ez-Zor province. It was also reported that the US-led military coalition had dispatched 40 truckloads of weapons and logistical equipment to Hasakah.

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Is There An American ‘Deep State’?

23 January 2021 — Global Justice in the 21st Century

Richard Falk

When a society is deeply troubled, and governed in ways that seem under the influenceof dark forces and disinformation becomes part of everyday life, it seems natural that all sorts of explanations will flourish. Few of us can handle uncertainty, and so many affirm falsehoods for thesake of achieving a specious clarity about the unknowable, or at least convert uncertainty into congenial forms of certainty, a dynamic that explains the rise of cultic thinking in our time and the spread of extremist versions of religious teachings. One variant of this phenomenon that has gained salience during the Trump presidency was supposedly pernicious role of the American ‘deep state.’ Trumpists complaining that unelected bureaucrats were subverting the great leader’s agenda while anti-Trumpists were disappointed that this source of influence didn’t find ways to remove such a political imposter given the damage he was doing national self-confidence and to the international rendering of the previously high end American brand. Some asked in exasperated tones ‘why is the deep state asleep?’

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How Much Did “The Culture of Narcissism” Get Right?

17 January 2021 — TK News

Forty years ago, Christopher Lasch described a soulless society headed toward a “war of all against all.” Are we there? A look back at the book TK readers chose for review

Matt Taibbi

It is symptomatic of the underlying tenor of American life that vulgar terms for sexual intercourse also convey the sense of getting the better of someone, working him over, taking him in, imposing your will through guile, deception, or superior force. — Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism

Back in 1979, social critic Christopher Lasch wasn’t buying the idea that Americans in the sex-drugs-and-disco era were actually having fun.

“This hedonism is a fraud,” he wrote. “The pursuit of pleasure disguises a struggle for power. Americans have not really become more sociable and cooperative… they have merely become more adept at exploiting the conventions of interpersonal relations for their own benefit.”

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Raskolnikov’s Dream Come True

12 January 2021 — Edward Curtin

by Edward Curtin

Something is happening here,
But you don’t know what it is,
Do you, Mr. Jones?
— Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man, 1965

It’s hard.

Life today seems like a dream, doesn’t it?  Surreal to the point where everything seems haunted and betwixt and between, or this against that, or that and this against us.

Something.

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9/11 Was the Prelude. 1/6 Is the Holy Grail

13 January, 2021 — Strategic Culture FoundationAsia Times
Pepe Escobar
Whether civil war is coming will depend on the degree of stoicism prevalent among the Deplorable multitudes.

I hear the sons of the city and dispossessed
Get down, get undressed
Get pretty but you and me
We got the kingdom, we got the key
We got the empire, now as then
We don’t doubt, we don’t take direction
Lucretia, my reflection, dance the ghost with me

Sisters of Mercy, Lucretia my Reflection

9/11 was the prelude. 1/6 is the Holy Grail.

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War of the (Financial) Worlds

10 January, 2021 — TomDispatch

Or Let the Markets Go Wild While the People Go Down

Sometimes things only make sense when seen through a magnifying lens. As it happens, I’m thinking about reality, the very American and global reality clearly repeating itself as 2021 begins.

We all know, of course, that we’re living through a once-in-a-century-style pandemic; that millions of people have lost their jobs, a portion of which will never return; that the poorest among us, who can withstand such acute economic hardship the least, have been slammed the hardest; and that the global economy has been kneecapped, thanks to a battery of lockdowns, shutdowns, restrictions of various sorts, and health-related concerns. More sobering than all of this: more than 360,000 Americans (and counting) have already lost their lives as a result of Covid-19 with, according to public health experts, far more to come.

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ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers

8 January 2021 — Michael Roberts Blog

by michael roberts

At the annual conference of the American Economics Association (ASSA), there are sessions hosted by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) for Marxist and other heterodox economists to present papers.

At this year’s ASSA 2021, many of the URPE sessions were concerned with the economic impact of COVID-19 and climate change, as did the mainstream sessions, but, of course, from a different perspective. But before I look at those sessions, let me start with the annual David Gordon lecture presented by a different radical economist each year.

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“The Storming of the Capitol”: America’s Reichstag Fire?

8 January 2021 — Off Guardian

The four big lies underpinning this story show it was likely a staged event.

Kit Knightly

The media are already spinning a narrative around the events in Washington DC. One that bears no resemblance to reality, does not hold up to any kind of scrutiny and will have massive, far-reaching consequences for all of us.

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State Terrorism: Remembering General Soleimani

8 January 2021 — Global Justice in the 21st Century

by Richard Falk

[Prefatory Note: 2020 hardly began when the news reported the shocking MQ9 Reaper Drone assassination of General Qassim Soleimani on Januarary 3rd shortly after he landed at the Baghdad Airport to begin a discreet diplomatic mission to reduce tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. At the time, I felt this was provocative and self-defeating, as well as unlawful and criminal, as to deed and precedent. After a year those initial reactions seem even more appropriate than they did at the time. If the United States is setting the operative rules of world politics it is doing itself no positive service by such behavior, and with drones proliferating at a rapid rate, encouraging forces of disorder, whether governments or political movements. Published below are two efforts of mine to comprehend the many facets of this most unfortunate and humanly tragic incident, which was reinforced by the apparent Mossad murder by remotely controlled explosives of the senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27th while driving in a suburb of Tehran. The first selection is a short essay entitled ‘Remembering General Soleimani,’ and the second is an interview titled Responses Questions of Tasnim News Agency on the 1st anniversary of General Qassim Soleimani’s Assassination by U.S. drone on 3 Jan 2020.]

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It Wasn’t 2020, It Was The Ruling Class Trying to Kill You

6 January 2021 — Hood Communist

Capitalism during COVID-19: colonizer/founding father Ben Franklin on the 100 dollar bill wearing a mask

By Ready for Revolution

Reflections on COVID-19, capitalism, empire, and the worst year ever from the Hood Communist editorial staff.

They Are Letting Us Die

The sick reality underlying the present situation of poor, working-class, African, and colonized people around the world is that the people who currently have the most power to address our circumstances also happen to be the least interested in our long term survival.  A decision was made in the spring that the interests of capital should supersede all consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic – that the machine should not be allowed to stop. That the trains were to run, the planes were to fly, the shelves were to be stocked, and the people were to work.

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