Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's February 24, 2020 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.

"February 24, 2020

“Dear Comrades,

“Peace in our time? Not bloody likely. A quick scan through the news makes one reach for a glass of wine or two or three. I still get the Age, mainly for the crosswords, because most of what passes for ‘news’ is syndicated right-wing crap from overseas. The other papers are even worse, especially the ones from the Murdoch stable.

“I spoke at a rally for Julian Assange last Friday outside the State Library, and did my best to be heard among the noisy crowds, Hare Krishnas and Swanston Street trams. There should have been a lot more taking part, but that’s about where we’re at in this country, a mixture of apathy, ignorance and stupidity.

“And where’s the leadership? With all his flaws, Gough Whitlam was a leader with a program who did his best to legislate for it. The one fly in the ointment was his support for State Aid and we’ve seen where that’s got us. And while I’m talking about Gough it’s worth raising the ‘Loans Affair’, part of the conspiracy to oust Labor and still widely misunderstood. We were told that the government was about to sell us to the Arabs in return for massive bribes.

"The facts? OPEC countries had accumulated vast sums following the 1973 leap in oil prices and had invested thousands of millions of dollars in the United States and made loans to the governments of Britain, France, Denmark, Italy and Japan, without raising any fuss. An Executive Council meeting in Canberra on 13 December 1974 authorized Minister for Minerals and Energy Rex Connor to seek loans of up to $400 million ‘… to strengthen our external financial position, to provide immediate protection for Australia in regard to supplies of minerals and energy…’ In other words, to buy back our mineral resources from the multinationals. To buy back the farm. The authority was not given to Treasury, because it wasn’t trusted.

“ ‘Offers’ came from everywhere. One came from Tirath Khemlani, a dodgy Pakistani ‘financier’. Connor authorized Khemlani to scout for funds among OPEC countries, but it turned out that Khemlani was sent by a Hong Kong arms firm, Commerce International, part of a powerful Brussels-based outfit linked to the CIA. A short time later, Federal Treasurer Dr Cairns was approached by George Harris, a dodgy Melbourne ‘businessman’ with a similar offer of money, whose principals were from the New York office of the same crooked firm, Commerce International. Both Connor and Cairns were dudded. Naive? Stupid? Certainly. Corrupt? No.

“Despite screams from the media, not one cent was paid to anyone by the government, nor did any member of the government profit from the affair. The anti-Labor forces, however, profited greatly. As we know from that date in infamy, 11 November 1975 when Whitlam was sacked, a watershed in labour history, which is why I raised it.

“On 24 February, fellow-Australian Julian Assange will front London’s Woolwich Crown Court which will decide whether or not he will be extradited to the United States for publishing the Iraqi and Afghani War Logs and State department cables that exposed massive war crimes and corruption by the US military and intelligence establishment, the first journalist to be charged under the Espionage Act. Especially damning was the video of the American helicopter crew laughing and joking as they machine-gunned and fired rockets at a group of civilians, including children and a Reuters journalist.

“If his last court appearance is anything to go by, he won’t get a fair hearing. A shonky magistrate was virtually told what to do by five US government agents sitting behind the prosecution team. And it has now been disclosed on prime time German TV that while Julian was in the Ecuadoran Embassy, a Spanish private security mob made audio and video recordings of his meetings with lawyers, photographed passports of his visitors and took their phones, all of which were passed on to the CIA.

“The program also showed how allegations against Julian were a pack of lies to keep him in gaol. The one that led many to believe he was a rapist was also shown to be fraudulent in the same way that George W. Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard lied that Saddam had ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ to justify the dreadful Iraq War that killed more a million people and destroyed a nation. And WikiLeaks exposed Hillary Clinton’s corruption and mendacity, getting millions from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two major funders of the Islamic State, and being the main architect of the Libyan War.

“The publication of classified documents is not yet a crime in the US, but if Assange is convicted, it will be, even though he’s not an American citizen and WikiLeaks is not a US-based publication. It would mean the end of investigations into the inner workings of power and cement into place a terrifying, global, corporate tyranny under which borders, nationality and law mean nothing.

“Our federal cops have already raided the homes and offices of the ABC and a commercial paper, with a federal court judge ruling the raids were valid. Community outrage? Nothing.

“But many voices are now speaking out for Julian. Jeremy Corbyn urged Boris Johnson to back the Council of Europe demanding Julian’s release just after Julian was nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowdon. He's also won the 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press award. Did you hear about that in our media?

“Throughout his protracted ordeal, to our shame, not one word of support from the Australian Government or the Labor Party hierarchy. But he was visited by two MPs, Independent Andrew Wilkie and Liberal George Christensen, to their credit.

“While Daniel Ellsberg was treated as a hero for revealing the truth about Vietnam, Assange faces 175 years in prison for disclosing vastly more serious crimes than those in the Pentagon Papers.

"This is a critical moment for press freedom and our right to know. If there is any sense of justice left, this travesty of a case must be thrown out and Julian Assange must be brought home as a free man. If he isn’t, then we’re heading into darker times when the US Empire will continue on its destructive path unchecked and freedom of speech will be a thing of the past. As Julian said: ‘People don’t like wars. They have to be lied into them’.

“Joan Coxsedge”

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

MSAC Sponsors 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum In Cambridge On Feb. 21, 2020

The Cambridge-Somerville chapter of Massachusetts Senior Action Council [MSAC] will be holding a forum for 2020 U.S. Presidential candidates BETWEEN 11:30 A.M AND 1:30 P.M on Friday, Feb. 21. 2020, at the Cambridge Senior Center. The Cambridge Senior Center is located at 806 Mass Ave., across street from City Hall.

Massachusetts voters interested in learning more about 2020 Presidential candidates' views on issues affecting lives of Massachusetts senior citizens are all invited to attend this MSAC-sponsored forum BETWEEN 11:30 A.M. AND 1:30 P.M.. For more information about the 2020 U.S. Presidential Candidates Forum, you can call the MSAC office  at 617-284-1234. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Revisiting Multi-Millionaire Hillary Clinton and Millionaire Bernie Sanders' Post-2016 Election Campaign Books: Part 2

After the November 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, both 2016 and 2020 Democratic Party primaries' presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton apparently received a lot of money from corporate media conglomerate book publishing subsidiaries--for writing post-2016 election campaign books.

The Simon and Schuster book publishing division of the CBS corporate media conglomerate, for example, published a book in 2017, titled What Happened, in which Multi-Millionaire Hillary Clinton wrote the following:

"...I had known Donald Trump for years...In 2005, he invited us to his wedding to Melania in Palm Beach, Florida...I attended the ceremony, then met Bill [Clinton] for the reception at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. We had our photo taken with the bride and groom...

"...I had joined Bill [Clinton] and Chelsea [Clinton] as a new board member of the Clinton Foundation...My opponents spun wild tales as President I would be forever in the pocket of the shadowy bankers who...paid my speaking fees...Dennis Cheng...raised hundreds of millions of dollars for my 2006 Senate re-election campaign and 2008 presidential campaign and later helped build up the Clinton Foundation endowment...

"...Bernie's presence in the race meant that I had less space and credibility to run the kind of...campaign that had helped me win Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2008...Bernie Sanders attacked me for raising money from people who worked in finance. But I reminded him that President Obama had raised more money from Wall Street than anyone in history...I am grateful to everyone who gave money to our campaign...The majority of donors were women...

"...Bernie Sanders, who loved to talk about how `true progressives' never bow to political realities or powerful interests, had long...supported the NRA's key priorities, including voting against the Brady Bill five times in the 1990s. In 2005, he voted for that special immunity law that protects gun makers and sellers from being sued when their weapons are used in deadly attacks...After months of pressure from activists and victims' families, Bernie finally said he would reconsider his vote...

"...As time went on, Bernie routinely portrayed me as a corrupt corporatist who couldn't be trusted. His clear implication was that because I accepted campaign donations from people on Wall Street--just as President Obama had done--I was `bought and paid for.'

"...Bernie couldn't make an argument against me...on policy, so he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character. Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters on line. It got ugly and more than a little sexist...His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's `Crooked Hillary' campaign...Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie's attacks, I was told to restrain myself...I felt like I was in a straitjacket...

"...The Russians made a particular effort to target voters who...supported Bernie Sanders.., including by on pro-Sanders message boards and Facebook groups and amplifying attacks by so-called Bernie Bros. Russian trolls posted stories about how I was a murderer...I don't know why anyone would believe such things, even if you read it on Facebook..."

But in the book that the Thomas Dunne-St.Martin's Press-Macmillan Corporate book publishing subsidiary of the Germany-based Holtzbrinck media conglomerate (which was apparently founded by a German Nazi Party member and publisher of books for the German imperialist army during World War II, named George von Holtzbrinck) published in November 2018, titled Where We Go From Here, Millionaire Bernie Sanders wrote the following:

"On the night of June 14 [2016], with the primary process over, Hillary Clinton and her key advisers John Podesta and Robby Moot sat down in a Washington, D.C. hotel with my campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, my wife, Jane, and me. The purpose of the meeting determine how we could most effectively work together to defeat Trump.

"...Clinton, legitimately enough, had...immediate interests. She wanted to know what kind of ROLE I WAS PREPARED TO PLAY...When and should I endorse her? What states would be best for me to focus on? How could we best WORK TOGETHER at the [2016] convention in Philadelphia?

"...After reaching a general agreement at the meeting as to the best path forward, we trusted our staffs to work out the particulars...I...appreciated the willingness of the Clinton team and the DNC to WORK WITH US...

"On July 26, 2016, in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, I ENDORSED HILLARY CLINTON and URGED MY SUPPORTERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO ELECT HER AS PRESIDENT.

"A few weeks earlier, appearing with Secretary Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I said, `Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process...I intend to DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO MAKE CERTAIN SHE WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES'...

"...We had to defeat Trump and ELECT HILLARY CLINTON. This to me was a no-brainer...I was, perhaps, more aware than any one of Secretary Clinton's political deficiencies...But I was also aware that, on her worst day, she would be a better president than Trump...Unlike many other presidential candidates who had lost their elections, I did not intend to fade away into the sunset.

"In terms of supporting Clinton, not all the Sanders delegates agreed with me...I was booed by some for URGING THEM TO VOTE FOR HER. My response was to speak to as many state delegations as possible...As Sam Frizell of Time magazine reported: `...The Vermont senator visited with state delegations in Philadelphia TO CORRAL THEM INTO SUPPORTING HILLARY CLINTON...Sanders' effort was part of A FULL-COURT PRESS'...I visited delegations from New York, California, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Alaska, among others...I went to point out that OUR `FIRST TASK' WAS TO ELECT CLINTON...The chair of the Vermont delegation allowed me to NOMINATE HILLARY CLINTON BY ACCLIMATION...

"Here is the speech that I gave at the Democratic National Convention on July 26, 2016, endorsing Hillary Clinton for president:

"...`Any objective observer will conclude that--based on her ideas and her leadership--Hillary Clinton MUST BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES...I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as A GREAT FIRST LADY...I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as A FIERCE ADVOCATE FOR THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN.


"In terms of HELPING HILLARY CLINTON...and bringing unity to THE PARTY for the 2016 election, I WAS ALL IN. I didn't need much encouragement to tell Clinton THAT I INTENDED TO DO EVERYTHING I COULD TO HELP HER BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES...

"Throughout September, October, and November 2016, I held 39 RALLIES IN 13 STATES ON BEHALF OF HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN. In September, I was in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Kent, Ohio; and Akron, Ohio. In October, I was in Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin; 4 cities in Michigan: Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Grand Rapids;...Scranton and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...In November, I was in...Kalamazoo and Traverre City, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Youngstown and Cincinnati, Ohio...I...generated a whole lot of positive media for Clinton...

"When asked...whether or not I was `selling out' by SUPPORTING CLINTON, I stated,`...It is absolutely imperative we do everything we can to defeat Donald Trump'...Election night I was tired...During the last week alone, I had done 17 EVENTS FOR CLINTON IN 11 STATES...My political gut gave Clinton a 3-1 chance of winning. In other words, I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO WIN...Following the election, Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate leader asked me TO BE PART OF THE 10-MEMBER SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP TEAM..."

Yet most politically independent antiwar and anti-imperialist left socialist Movement grassroots activists in the United States--unlike Democratic Party Loyalist and Millionaire Sanders--did not believe in 2016 that their "`first task' was to elect Clinton;" and that Hawk Democratic Party Leader and Multi-Millionaire Hillary Clinton (who voted in support of the U.S. war machine's attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq as a U.S. Senator, supported Democratic President Obama's policy of waging drone warfare in Pakistan, attacking Libya with cruise missiles and initiating a covert war for regime change in Syria as U.S. Secretary of State and, as a 2016 U.S. presidential nominee, proposed using the U.S. war machine to create a "no-fly zone" in Syria in support of regime change in Syria) "must become the next president of the United States."
And although Millionaire Democratic Party Loyalist Sanders "throughout September, October, and November 2016 held rallies...on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign" in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Hawk Democrat Clinton still lost the November 2016 popular vote to Trump in Ohio by over 450,000 votes, in Wisconsin by over 27,000 votes, in Michigan by over 14,000 votes, and in Pennsylvania by over 67,000 votes..