Category: political struggle
Bernie Sanders Says ‘Barbaric’ Trumpcare Will Lead To Thousands Of American Deaths

Bernie Sanders Says ‘Barbaric’ Trumpcare Will Lead To Thousands Of American Deaths

The Vermont senator said, “Many thousands of our fellow Americans every single year will die, and many more will suffer and become much sicker than they should” because of Trumpcare.

Bernie Sanders Says ‘Barbaric’ Trumpcare Will Lead To Thousands Of American Deaths

Participating in the Senate Democrats’ protest of the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and kick more than 20 million Americans off their health insurance, Sen. Bernie Sanders stormed the Senate floor and blasted Trumpcare as “barbaric and immoral.”

Sanders didn’t mince words:

I know this is a very sensitive issue, but I’m going to raise it, and that is that the horrible and unspeakable truth is that if this legislation were to pass … many thousands of our fellow Americans every single year will die, and many more will suffer and become much sicker than they should.

The Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate said that the latest Republican plan “is not worthy of a great nation” and it “should not see the light of day.”

Sanders’s comments come as Democrats hold another evening of Senate floor speeches protesting the GOP effort to pass Trumpcare. Republicans are hoping to pass the deeply unpopular and dangerous legislation before the members of the Senate leave town for the July 4th recess.

It also comes hours after the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the latest Senate health bill, finding that 22 million of Americans would lose their insurance under the plan – not to mention nearly $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid and thousands who will lose essential health benefits.

Of the CBO score, Sanders said that it “gives us 22 million reasons” why it should get blocked in Congress.

Some senators, led by Cory Booker, also took their protest outside the walls of the Senate and onto the steps of the Capitol, where they took turns explaining why the legislation is bad for the country.

Luckily, the legislation appears to be on the verge of collapse as at least two Republican senators – Rand Paul and Susan Collins – are firm “no” votes while a handful of others – Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Ron Johnson, among others – have signaled that they could oppose the legislation, too.

While these senators are smart to consider opposing legislation that will hurt millions of Americans and is deeply unpopular, it is unlikely to brighten their political fortunes.

When all is said and done, Republicans all across the country own this effort to take health insurance coverage away from millions of Americans, and they are likely to pay a significant price in next year’s midterm elections.

US-hatched Iran coup of 1953 reveals true colors of ‘indispensable nation’

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
US-hatched Iran coup of 1953 reveals true colors of 'indispensable nation'

The recent release of a tranche of declassified CIA documents, including memos covering the period, are a timely reminder not only of the staggering mendacity of both countries in asserting the right to lecture the world about democracy and human rights, but the extent to which they have wrought so much damage and devastation throughout their respective histories.

Operation Ajax, the name by which the sordid plan to undermine and topple Muhammad Mossadeq’s government is known, was undertaken in response to Mossadeq’s decision to nationalize Iran’s oil resources with a view to husbanding the revenue for the benefit of the Iranian people, rather than allow it to continue to be sucked out of the country by the then British state-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) – forerunner of today’s global oil conglomerate BP.

Britain had been in control of Iran’s oil since 1908 when the country was known as Persia. London set up AIOC specifically with the development and exploitation of this energy bonanza in mind. The UK government taking over a controlling share of the concession that had been granted to English mining entrepreneur William Knox D’Arcy by Persia’s monarchy in 1901. It came at a point when Britain’s large navy was shifting from coal to oil-powered engines, thus making a secure oil supply of critical strategic and military importance for a country whose empire covered almost a quarter of the planet’s land surface.

None other than Britain’s future prime minister Winston Churchill affirmed the importance of control over Persia’s oil, when he wrote, “Fortune brought us a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams. Mastery itself was the prize of the venture.” Note here the colonial grandeur of Churchill’s sentiments – a turgid celebration of the opportunity for enrichment that was so unabashed it would make a low-rent mafia hood blush.

The record shows that throughout the AIOC’s presence and operations in Persia (the country became Iran in 1935), Tehran received a derisory percentage of the huge revenue garnered from the oil extracted from its territory. This triggered a rise in national consciousness over Iran’s independence and dignity vis-à-vis the colonial and imperialist powers, and lifted Mossadeq into the office of prime minister in 1951.

Soon after coming to power, he nationalized Iran’s oil and confiscated the assets of the AIOC. In a speech explaining his motives, Mossadeq said, “Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries…have yielded no results thus far. With the oil revenues, we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.”

Britain responded by making it impossible for Iran to sell its newly nationalized oil on the world market. However, this wasn’t enough and, having persuaded the Americans that Iran was ‘in danger’ of turning communist – given the popularity of the country’s Tudeh (Communist) Party – a plan to remove Mossadeq was hatched with the CIA playing the lead role.

In London, the plan was signed off by the aforementioned Winston Churchill, now Britain’s prime minister. Meanwhile, in Washington, Dwight D Eisenhower was the man in the White House who authorized the notorious Dulles brothers, Allen and John Foster, to proceed with Operation Ajax.

When Mossadeq got wind of the plan, he closed the British Embassy in Tehran and expelled its staff. He also discovered the country’s monarch, the Shah, was in cahoots with the plan and forced him to flee the country. However, by now the CIA had succeeded in bribing various army and police officers, along with key journalists and clerics, and members of the Iranian parliament, who helped to whip up an anti-Mossadeq atmosphere in the country, accusing him of being a communist, thus playing to the religiosity of a large sector of the Iranian population.

On August 19, 1953, Mossadeq was arrested along with thousands of his supporters. Upon his arrest, the Shah returned from exile to become Washington’s placeman, ruling the country with extreme brutality and corruption until he was ousted in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

It is impossible while contemplating this despicable episode not to be filled with indignation at the hypocrisy and contemptible violation of Iran’s sovereignty and independence.

Compounding the sense of injustice is the knowledge that it is just one of many such crimes committed against governments and countries around the world in a pattern of international banditry, subversion and aggression against sovereign states which has continued all the way up to the present day under successive administrations. It proves that instead of the ‘indispensable nation’ the US arrogantly considers itself, we are dealing with a country that has long evinced the characteristics of a rogue state.

Ultimately, then, no region has suffered more at the hands of US imperialism than the Middle East. Indeed it is still suffering to this day, with Iran currently in the crosshairs of the same Washington establishment for daring to assert its independence, dignity and resistance to hegemony.

As for Muhammad Mossadeq, he goes down in history as a leader with the courage to defy the empire. His legacy lives on in the obdurate refusal of the Iranian people to submit to Washington’s writ in our time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

WATCH: Liberal CNN Pundit Admits Trump-Russia-Gate Is a ‘Nothing Burger’
| June 28, 2017 | 8:36 pm | Donald Trump, political struggle, Russia | No comments

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WATCH: Liberal CNN Pundit Admits Trump-Russia-Gate Is a ‘Nothing Burger’

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CNN pundit Van Jones admitted that this year’s hottest scoop, that Russian spies colluded with US President Donald Trump, is a “nothing burger,” just months after he blasted Moscow for a so-called attack on America.

“What do you think is going to happen this week, I mean, with the whole Russia thing?” a Project Veritas reporter asked acclaimed left-leaning political analyst Van Jones.

“This Russia thing is just a big nothing burger,” Jones replied.

Van Jones attends the 21st Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, May 15, 2017, in New York
© AP Photo/ Andy Kropa
Van Jones attends the 21st Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, May 15, 2017, in New York

“Really?” the reporter asked for confirmation. “Yeah,” Jones said, shrugging.

To his credit, Jones has been a frequent critic of US Democrats throwing around the Russian boogeyman. “Until there’s a smoking gun, which there is probably not, it’s just a big old mess,” he said last week, adding that Democrats are “fooling themselves” to think the probe into ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government will get anywhere.

The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign suffered under a delusion that the campaign could only concentrate on “people of color, racial justice … or the white working class,” Jones said on June 10. “That is the stupidest false choice I have ever heard.”

Jones served in the Obama administration as a special adviser on green jobs.

“LOL,” CNN said in a three-letter statement on Tuesday’s revelation.

On Monday, PV published footage of a senior CNN producer declaring the Russia narrative “bullsh*t,” citing lack of proof, though it has nonetheless helped boost CNN’s ratings.

Tsipras’ government dismisses 10,000 workers, promotes privatization in garbage collection

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tsipras’ government dismisses 10,000 workers, promotes privatization in garbage collection
Sanitary workers protesting near the Acropolis
in Athens.

Why there are tones of garbage in the streets of Athens and other Greek major cities these days? The answer is because the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government- within the framework of its anti-people, anti-workers policy and following the demands of the EU strategy- moves towards the dismissal of 10,000 sanitary workers, while it promotes the privatization of the garbage collection sector in municipalities. 

Greece’s local authority staff union federation POE-OTA launched a protest last week, after a court ruled against the new extension to late 2017 of the short- term contracts of more than 10,000 people working in trash collection in municipalities throughout Greece.
POE-OTA responded with work stoppages, strikes, and sit-in protests at landfills, rightfully demanding permanent employment of workers to replace the fixed-term contracts, which put workers in risk of being fired in a country suffering chronic unemployment of about 25% of the working force.
In a communication trick, Interior Minister Panos Skourletis submitted to the parliament on Monday a proposal for hiring 2,500 permanent municipal sanitation workers. The proposal was immediately rejected by POE-OTA as insufficient. The government’s mockery towards the sanitary workers is more than clear: It proposes the hiring of 2,500 municipal sanitation workers, while it prepares the dismissal of more than 6,500 of them! 
“Given that sanitation services are a daily operation in urban centers, we request permanent personnel earning salaries allowing them to make a living with dignity. There is no need for short-term workers which are recycled by governments and mayors under the formula ‘You leave, you are hired’. As a result, each time people are offered fewer workers’ rights and smaller wages,” Christos Panagiotopoulos, a protesting worker was quoted by the Chinese news network Xinhua on Monday.
In this anti-workers strategy, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is actually supported by the opposition party of New Democracy and all the bourgeois political forces, including many of the municipal authorities. In Thessaloniki, mayor Yannis Boutaris– known for his animosity towards the labor movement- unleashed a fierce attack against the striking workers and threatened them by signing an emergency tender awaiting a relevant short-term contract to the private sector. Such a move by Boutaris would cost to the city’s taxpayers approximately 192,000 euros for three days! The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) slammed the anti-worker delirium of mayor Boutaris thus accusing him of promoting the governmental strategy and the interests of private contractors.

“Fraud- hostage- dismissal- unemployment… This is the course of the government’s policy in the case of the municipal sanitation workers, the policy followed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government during the last 2.5 years” writes the Sunday edition of “Rizospastis” on 25th June. 

“In particular, the sector of sanitation and waste management consists a very promising “investment” sector for monopoly groups” points out the article of “Rizospastis” and continues: “Many are those who are lurking to strench their hands, since in this case “garbage is treasure”. What nowadays appears to be a “gordian knot” in the labor relation of the contract workers, consists a first-class opportunity to promote privatization projects. It is also no coincidence that many media, according to their favorite method, rushed to zoom at the “piles of garbage” in Athens, in order to connect the issue with the tourist season and pass the “message” about the need for privatization. After all, specific mayors are already moving towards this direction openly”.

KKE: “The people must support the struggle of the sanitation workers – The waste collection and management is state’s responsibility.”

In a statement, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed its support to the struggle of the workers and denounced the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the role of New Democracy and part of the mayors who promote the privatization plans. The KKE states that the waste collection and management is state’s responsibility and must be financed from the government’s budget. “Today”, the KKE statement points out, “the SYRIZA-ANEL government dismisses thousands of contract workers, hiding behild the constitution’s provisions. Instead of ensuring the right to stable and permanent labor of all these workers, (the government) is mocking them, promising supposed solutions which perpetuate labor insecurity and lead to dismissals”.

Full support to the struggle of the sanitation workers was expressed by the five communist mayors – of the cities of Patras, Chaidari, Petroupolis, Kesariani and Ikaria – who denounced the governmental mockery. The five mayors asked from the government to transform the temporary contracts of the municipal sanitation workers into permanent ones.  

And a 24-hour strike and a new rally in Athens was called for Thursday.

Stolen Police Helicopter Attacks Venezuela Supreme Court

Stolen Police Helicopter Attacks Venezuela Supreme Court

  • Oscar Alberto Perez has been identified as pilot who stole helicopter.

    Oscar Alberto Perez has been identified as pilot who stole helicopter.

Published 27 June 2017 (3 hours 31 minutes ago)

The top court’s building in northern Caracas was sealed off after the national guard repelled the attack, avoiding civilian deaths.

A helicopter from the Venezuela’s Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations agency was stolen Tuesday evening, circled around the Supreme Court building, firing shots toward the building, followed by two explosions which were said to be grenades, according to official sources.

Diplomatic War Against Venezuela

The top court’s building in northern Caracas was sealed off after the national guard repelled the attack, which occurred around 5 p.m. local time.

A banner was unfurled from the helicopter that read, “350 Libertad,” in reference to article 350 of the Bolivarian Constitution that opposition forces are attempting to invoke to stop the National Constituent Assembly.

The Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas denounced the armed attack, identifying Oscar Alberto Perez as the pilot who shot 15 times at the Interior Ministry, where 80 people were still at work. He then headed to the TSJ, throwing four grenades in total, where a session of the Constitutional Court was taking place. Perez is said to be an inspector with the CICPC and took off from the La Carlota airbase with the stolen helicopter.

Villegas reiterated that “these types of terrorist attacks will not detain the Constituent Assembly due on July 30.”

Despite rumors to the contrary, all was calm in the capital area after the attacks, according to media reports from teleSUR.

President Nicolas Maduro said that because of the rapid reaction to the coup attempt by Venezuelan forces, many civilian lives were saved as grenades and shots rang out near the Supreme Court building as well as the Interior Ministry building.

Venezuela Ombudsman Slams ‘Dangerous’ Rise in Politically Motivated Hate Crimes

“The entire air defense and detection plan was immediately activated to guarantee the people’s right to peace against an armed attack,” he added.

“I condemn this terrorist attack and demand that the MUD condemn this attack,” he said.

“We are going to capture the person responsible for this terrorist act,” Maduro said, indicating that the pilot works for Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who is being investigated for confessed ties to the DEA and CIA.

Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno said that damages to the building were being assessed and said the court would release a statement tomorrow.

Maduro: Helicopter threw grenades at Venezuela’s Supreme Court

Maduro: Helicopter threw grenades at Venezuela’s Supreme Court

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says a chopper has fired on the country’s Supreme Court in Caracas, describing it as a “terror attack.” Earlier, he threatened war against any US-backed coup attempt by his opponents.

Hours after warning that he was prepared to enter a full-scale conflict to resolve the country’s months-long political crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday a police helicopter had attacked the Supreme Court building in Caracas.

Speaking on state TV, the 54-year-old president said the chopper fired on the offices and launched grenades in a “terror attack”. He said one of the grenades didn’t explode.

Maduro appeared to claim that the incident was part of a conspiracy to destabilize his socialist government and said he had activated the country’s air defense in response.

The Venezuelan news site CarotaDigital tweeted a video that purported to show a helicopter flying over the city, followed by the sound of several shots.

DW correspondent in Caracas, Oscar Schlenker, confirmed the attack and described seeing a chopper flown by what he said were the police and military, opening fire on the Supreme Court building.

Maduro warns of war

Earlier in the day, Maduro gave a speech to supporters warning that he was prepared to take up arms to defend his country from any US-backed coup attempt from his political opponents.

“If Venezuela were to be plunged into chaos and violence … we would go to combat. We would never give up, and what couldn’t be done with votes, we would do with weapons, we would liberate the fatherland with weapons,” he said.

Read more: US calls for international action on Venezuela’s ‘tragic situation’

Read more: South American nations divided on Venezuela crisis

Maduro’s comments were aimed partly at his political opponents, who have taken to the streets over the past three months to protest his leadership. But they also targeted US President Donald Trump, who Maduro claims is backing the oil-rich country’s opposition to oust him.

Refugee crisis

Addressing Trump, he warned of a massive refugee crisis for the US in the event of the “destruction” of Venezuela.

“You would have to build 20 walls in the sea, a wall from Mississippi to Florida, from Florida to New York, it would be crazy …” before reminding the US leader that “you are responsible for restraining the madness of the Venezuelan right-wing.”

Venezuela Proteste gegen Maduro in Caracas (Reuters/I. Alvarado) Almost daily protests against Maduro’s government have forced a tough response from security forces

Maduro has called a national election for July 30 to win support for the appointment of a new super-body to rewrite the country’s constitution without interference from the opposition-controlled congress.

His opponents have described the poll as a sham and are instead calling for the next presidential election, due in late 2018, to be brought forward.

They say Maduro, who became president in 2013 following the death of longtime leader Hugo Chavez, is a dictator, who has presided over a deep economic crisis. Despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela has recently seen triple digit inflation that has caused food and medicine shortages.

Protests leave scores dead

Daily street protests against Maduro’s leadership have regularly turned violent, leaving some 75 people dead, according to figures from the chief prosecutor’s office.

The latest standoff on Tuesday saw clashes had take place inside and outside the national assembly building in Caracas, a few hundred meters from the Supreme Court.

DW’s Oscar Schlenker reported that small improvised explosives and fireworks had been detonated as some demonstrators tried to enter the building. Some politicians were trapped inside.

Another journalist, Alberto Rodriquez tweeted footage of the National Guard bursting into the national assembly building, resulting in a confrontation with lawmakers.

Elsewhere, almost 70 stores looted and several government offices set alight in the city of Maracay, west of the capital. Some 216 people were arrested.

Read more: Protester set on fire dies amid Venezuela unrest

Read more: Venezuelan attorney general faces charges for defying President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s worsening crisis has led to the intervention of the chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega and the country’s former intelligence service boss Miguel Rodriguez.

Ortega has filed legal challenges against Maduro’s plan for constitutional reform, alleging it is a threat to democracy and human rights.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Rodriguez criticized Maduro for not holding a referendum on changing the constitution first.

On the dangerous and provocative remarks by New Democracy’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the dangerous and provocative remarks by New Democracy’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Adopting the “arguments” of Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazis, the president of the centre-right New Democracy (ND) party Kyriakos Mitsotakis made some dangerous and provocative remarks blaming the “Left” as the one responsible for “terrorism” in Greece. 

In an article published on ‘’ under the title “Greece fears revival of far-left violence”, Mitsotakis fully adopts the rhetoric of Golden Dawn’s fascist thugs: “We are the only country [in Europe] that has domestic terrorism of the extreme left” said Mitsotakis who tried to downgrade the criminal activity of the Nazi Golden Dawn. 
More specifically, ‘Politico’ points out: However, Mitsotakis played down the impact of Golden Dawn on Greek society, saying it was “so extreme and so vulgar” that it was marginalized. “It’s as if they don’t exist” he said. “The violence has been almost exclusively from the left in recent years”.
With the above statements, Kyriakos Mitsotakis shamelessly “exonerates” the criminal role of Golden Dawn, a Nazi-fascist organization which is responsible for numerous murderous attacks on immigrants and workers. 
Apparently, Mitsotakis’ interview and his anti-left remarks consist another episode in the bourgeois bipartite “dogfight” between SYRIZA and New Democracy. However, it becomes clear that his effort to blame the “Left” as the womb of terrorism goes far beyond than the SYRIZA-New Democracy political rivalry: In fact, with his hideous and unacceptable remarks, Mitsotakis puts in target the workers-people’s movement, equating it with the activity of provocative groups (e.g. November 17).
Of course, Mitsotakis’ remarks on ‘Politico’ were hailed by the Golden Dawn Nazis who congratulated him for his statements: “Here is the big truth Mitsotakis said- well done to him” the neo-Nazis wrote in their website.  
Comment by the KKE regarding Mitsotakis’ remarks:
Commenting on Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ interview and his remarks on “terrorism”, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) pointed out:
“The effort of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to create dangerous associations, by actually connecting the activity of provocative groups with the workers-people’s movement, on the one hand strengthens the environment of repression and on the other hand adopts the arguments of Golden Dawn, the criminal activity of which he totally silences”.