12/17/13

Backlash to Pro-Mandela Coverage

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

British comedian Rowan Atkinson makes people laugh as the humorous “Mr. Bean.” But his brother, Rodney Atkinson, a political writer and commentator, isn’t laughing about the attempt by the media to make Nelson Mandela into a savior of South Africa.

He is quoted in the London Daily Telegraph as saying, “Mandela and his ANC [African National Congress] were about to turn South Africa into a Marxist, communist country when they were bought off by the American Democratic Party and big multi-national business who showered the new black rulers with wealth and power, and, above all, with favorable international media coverage, in the lead on which was, of course, the BBC, despite its treatment by that other genocidal racist Marxist, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.”

It’s true that leading Democrats, such as former President Bill Clinton, have been raising money for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Meanwhile, Jim Allister, who represents a unionist political party in Northern Ireland, said, “I think the uncritical hysteria following the death is verging on propaganda.” He added, “Mandela had been blessed with a long life, drawn to a close only by natural causes—something brutally denied to the victims of his ANC and the victims of the IRA, which his ANC so avidly supported!”

On December 6, he posted this comment: “When Baroness Thatcher died the BBC fell over itself to show balance; Mandela dies and BBC eschews anything approaching balance.”

The British Daily Mail reports that that the BBC aired more than 100 programs about Mandela in one week, and that a total of 1,834 viewers and listeners had complained “as the airwaves continue to be flooded with tributes disrupting radio and TV schedules.”

The BBC responded, “Nelson Mandela was one of the most important world leaders of the 20th century whose long and complex life story represents a moment of historical change for people in South Africa and around the world. His death was something we regarded as sufficiently significant both to break into our scheduled coverage and extend our news programs. His political and cultural influence was global and as both a UK and international broadcaster it is important that we reflected that, and the range of reactions to his death, to all our audiences.”

Some complaints are being directed against U.S. media coverage of Mandela, who was depicted even by some conservative commentators as a George Washington-type figure or a freedom fighter.

Going beyond this fawning coverage, NBC’s usually reliable foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, turned in a strangely positive story about a rising South African political figure by the name of Julius Malema, who has singled out white people for racist treatment and confiscation of their property.

Engel reported, “When Julius Malema was a teenager he was in the crowd cheering for Nelson Mandela. Now he’s running for president as champion of the have-nots. His plan is a radical redistribution. White South Africans, just 10% of the population, own most of the land.” Malema told Engel, “They [the whites] must give a portion of their land to black people.”

Malema is the head of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which Engel forgot to mention is openly Marxist-Leninist. He used to run the Youth League of Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC). The group is a self-declared “radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles.”

The EFF manifesto includes “Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.”

A recent EFF event featured banners declaring the “Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa,” and, “To be a revolutionary you have to be inspired by hatred and bloodshed.”

Rather than portray Malema as a serious threat to the white population, Engel depicted the whites in charge of the “white-owned farms” as backward thinking and fanatical in their determination to protect their land through force. Some were labeled as “white extremists” for training with weapons for self-defense.

The EFF also has a foreign policy that declares, “…we call on the Apartheid state of Israel to end its racist occupation of Palestinian lands, and join on the call for the international isolation of the Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions until they end the occupation. Furthermore, we join the international call on the release of the Cuban Five and lifting of the trade embargo on the Cuba and its people. We also believe that all economic sanctions on Zimbabwe must be lifted and the people of Zimbabwe must be given a chance to enjoy in the wealth of nations.”

The Cuban Five are Castro’s spies imprisoned in the U.S.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under fire for human rights violations and even accused of genocide, received “thunderous applause” from thousands of black people who turned out for the Mandela memorial service.

Instead, however, media attention has focused on a sign-language interpreter who was a fraud, and a “selfie” photograph joined in by Obama.

The prospect of “white genocide” in South Africa, however, is a non-story.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]org. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/17/13

Russia Ups the Ante

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

As America disarms, war with Russia and their Chinese, Iranian, communist and Islamic allies gets closer by the day.

russia

From MSNNZ:

Poland and three Baltic states have voiced their alarm over plans by Russia to move nuclear-capable missiles close to their borders.

“Plans to deploy Iskander-M missiles in the Kaliningrad district are disturbing and Poland has said so many times,” its foreign ministry said in a statement.

Warsaw said it had received no official word from Moscow about the deployment, which a Russian defence ministry spokesman confirmed on Monday.

“This is a matter for NATO and we can expect possible consultations and action (…) at the NATO and EU level,” it added.

Relations with Russia have been frosty since Poland shed communism in 1989 and went on to join NATO a decade later.

Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also had difficult ties with Moscow since they broke free from the Soviet Union in 1990-91 and joined the EU and NATO in 2004.

“It is clear that it is alarming news as it is one of the arguments changing balance of powers in our region,” Latvia’s Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said Monday, quoted by the Baltic News Service (BNS).

“It does not change the balance of power between NATO and Russia, but it changes balance of power in the region. It threatens several Baltic cities,” he added.

He was echoed by Estonia and Lithuania whose defence ministers termed the move both “alarming” and “cause for concern”.

The Russian deployment comes in response to the planned US-led deployment of a disputed air defence shield.

The advanced version of the Russian missile has a range of 500km and could potentially be used to take out ground-based radar and interceptors of the new NATO shield.

The Kremlin warned in 2011 that it could station the short- and medium-range ballistic missiles along the European Union’s eastern frontier in response to NATO’s missile defence programme.

War with Russia is inevitable – unless (a) America surrenders pre-emptively, or (b) America returns to sanity and the Reagan doctrine of “peace through security.”

Repeat after me: “Russia is our friend… Russia is our friend… Russia is our friend….”

12/17/13

One Step Closer to a $63 Billion Spending Increase

By: Katherine Rosario
The Forge

Our nation is one step closer to a $63 billion spending increase, thanks to a group of Republican Senators who joined Senate Democrats to invoke cloture, or end debate, on the budget deal. The Washington Post reports:

A bipartisan deal to roll back sharp spending cuts known as the sequester easily cleared a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, ensuring that the agreement will be passed and sent to President Obama in the coming days.

Senators voted 67 to 33 to end debate and proceed to final passage on the budget agreement. A final vote could come as soon as Tuesday evening if Senate Republicans agree to speed things up. Otherwise, the chamber is likely to send the measure to the White House late Wednesday.

Passage of the budget measure was secured Monday when Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) joined fellow Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Ronald H. Johnson (Wis.) in announcing they would help the Senate’s 55 Democrats assemble the 60 votes needed to clear a critical procedural vote and end debate on the budget measure.

This is a huge mistake, as we’ve explained here and here. Proponents of the budget deal say it will help prevent another government shutdown, but it will actually reduce conservatives’ leverage to prevent further spending increases:

According to the Washington Post, “After more than two years of constant crisis, the emerging agreement amounts to little more than a cease fire. Republicans and Democrats are abandoning their debt-reduction goals, laying down arms and, for the moment, trying to avoid another…standoff.” In short, this agreement is an effort to limit the number of fiscal standoffs over the next two years. Each of these standoffs have led to sustained public attention on the $17 trillion national debt and a seemingly bipartisan inability to get the country’s fiscal house in order. This public attention has been good for the country, and these standoffs have provided leverage points necessary to control spending with a liberal Senate and White House.

12/17/13

Must Read!!! Mandela’s Strategy Inspires US Communist Revolution

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

mandela

Marxist-Leninist revolution is a subtle and often slow process.

While most people focus on the often spectacular and bloody finale, they fail to see the years, or even decades, of disciplined subversion that has gone before.

Real communists understand they are part of history. They see their mission as long term, stretching well beyond their own life time.

They understand that to move humanity “forward,” it will often be necessary to work with and manipulate unfriendly or even opposing social forces to achieve some incremental change towards their ultimate goal.

Here, senior Ohio Communist Party USA leader Rick Nagin explains that Nelson Mandela never abandoned communism, but was a disciplined revolutionary who used business and other social forces to move South Africa towards socialism.

Obama CPUSA

He makes the point that US communists need to be equally subtle and disciplined – to work even with segments of business and of course their “friend” Barack Obama and the Democrats to bring about a socialist America.

This is the point that fools most modern observers. They see countries like South Africa, Brazil, China or Vietnam – ruled by communists, but open to working with and even encouraging capitalism. They see this as evidence that the leaders are communists in name only.

They think that capitalists are using the communists.

In fact, the opposite is occurring – as time will eventually tell. The communist movement has abandoned the adventurism and impatience of its early days. Now the modus operandi is to build up wealth, or cooperate with capitalism when it suits them.

Only when the West is taken down and the United States is disarmed or destroyed, will gullible capitalists all over the world feel the Leninist lash. Only then will the old style communism reemerge. When opposition is futile.

That day is much closer than most Westerners think.

From the People’s World:

The world celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela and reveres him for one thing more than any other – his determination in the face of every provocation to establish a democratic “rainbow nation” where all people, white and black, were equal citizens… But how did Mandela achieve this, how did he overcome the temptation and strong pressure to exact revenge? The answer is given in a remarkable article in the Dec. 8 New York Times by the highly respected journalist, Bill Keller. Entitled “Nelson Mandela, Communist,” it analyzes the long and close alliance of the African National Congress with the South African Communist Party

The article also points out that after the overthrow of apartheid, when the ANC held a parliamentary majority, it was the SACP that “was the most ardent advocate of sharing power with the white regime” and resisted those who demanded immediate nationalization of the mines and other industries and other measures of retribution contained in the South African Freedom Charter.

Quoting British historian Stephen Ellis, the article states,” Today, the ANC officially claims still to be at the first stage … of a two-stage revolution. This is a theory obtained directly from Soviet thinking.” The official line in the our mass media is that while the U.S. sided with the apartheid regime for Cold War reasons, Mandela is now acceptable and can be honored because he allegedly changed while in prison and moved away from revolutionary forces in the ANC.

The truth is the exact opposite. When the apartheid regime offered to release him if he would renounce violence and break ties with the SACP, Mandela, recognizing that this would shatter the ANC, displayed extraordinary moral courage and refused. As Mandela himself insisted, he never stopped being a revolutionary. It’s just that revolutionary theory is far more subtle and sophisticated than the media is willing to recognize. When it comes to communism, the media prefers crude stereotypes.

All revolutions go through stages, including the revolution that established capitalism in our country. The first anti-colonial stage was led by George Washington, but the completion, the second stage, required elimination of slavery, and was led by Abraham Lincoln. Many of the northern leaders of the first stage, including Franklin, Paine and John Adams, opposed slavery, but the necessary political coalition – broadly based and black and white – to abolish slavery would not materialize for another 70 years.

Today we in the U.S. face the challenge of defeating right-wing extremism. There are some who would like to skip this stage and put attacking President Obama and the Democrats on an equal footing. This tactic is both divisive and counter-productive. If labor and its allies do not yet have the strength to defeat the extremist section of corporate power how can they hope to defeat corporate power altogether?

The extremists are growing more isolated and the progressive forces are gaining strength but the support of the Democratic parts of the ruling class is still very much needed. The newly formed Wall Street-based “Third Way” group could be an effort to split the Obama coalition. To prevent this and win at this stage we need to emulate the steadfastness and political maturity shown by Mandela and the South African Communist Party.

Mandelannn

If you want to really understand the unfolding American revolution, please read and re-read comrade Nagin’s essay.

He gets it just right.

12/17/13

What the Budget Deal, Obamacare, and the Nuclear Option Have in Common

By: Katherine Rosario
The Forge

This week the Senate may pass the Ryan-Murray budget, which the House passed last week by a vote of 332 – 94. Apart from the fact that it is terrible policy and constitutes a $63 billion spending increase over the next two years, there is reason to be concerned with how the deal affects Senate procedure. Bad policy often becomes law because lawmakers break the rules, pass legislation that changes rules in a dangerous way for the minority, or use procedural changes as leverage to negotiate bad policy.

While that may sound boring or insignificant, procedure can make or break good (and bad) legislation. As Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI) once said, “If you let me write the procedure and I let you write the substance, I’ll beat you every time.”

Rather than enacting good policy (i.e. policy that would fly back home with constituents) lawmakers often just change the rules or procedure to get their way. Liberals have provided us two important examples of this: the passage of Obamacare and the invocation of the nuclear option in the Senate. Passing the Ryan-Murray budget would perpetuate this negative practice.

Senate Democrats used procedures normally reserved for other types of legislation to pass Obamacare — most notably, “the budget reconciliation process that avoided a filibuster while moving the final legislation through the Senate.” Budget reconciliation is normally only used for more limited fiscal legislation, not a healthcare law remaking one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Obamacare was also released in the middle of the night, passed before lawmakers had a chance to read it, and passed on strictly partisan lines.

Then there was the nuclear option, which may seem less significant than Obamacare, but it was invoked so that liberals could advance the liberal agenda via the courts. It’s certainly no small matter.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) broke the Senate rules to change the Senate rules, all in order to get rid of the filibuster for presidential nominations and weaken the rights of the minority. Under previous Senate rules, Senators were able to debate whether to confirm presidential nominations until 60 members voted to invoke cloture and end debate. After Reid changed the rules, that threshold was lowered to a simple majority of 51 votes, effectively ending the filibuster for nominations.

When Reid was the minority leader in 2005, he was adamantly opposed to changing the filibuster rules. Moreover, as majority leader, he created a false sense of urgency and fabricated a narrative in which Republicans were obstructing a significant number of President Obama’s nominations from being confirmed — which the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky easily disproved.

In light of this egregious power grab by Democrats, and with the reckless passage of Obamacare in our recent past memory, this is no time to further erode the rights of the minority with this budget deal.

According to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Ryan-Murray budget would change Senate procedure to make it easier to increase spending. Specifically, language in the budget deal would remove the budget point of order, which Sen. Sessions and others have used in the past to prevent new spending.

Our senior legislative strategist Tripp Baird said:

It’s never a good idea for House leaders to negotiate away Senate procedure that would stop tax and spending messaging amendments. Republicans post-nuclear fallout should not give any procedural advantage to Democrats. Period.

Unfortunately, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement does give Democrats further procedural advantages. Where does this Democrat trend end? Just hours after the filibuster rules were changed, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) called for further changes:

This has been escalating for a long period of time and it was time to stop it and that’s what we did this morning. Now we need to take it a step farther and change the filibuster rules on legislation.

It seems liberals are always willing to do more to advance their agenda.