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It used to be comical, but suddenly it is not, anymore. In the past, blind hatred towards China could had been attributed to ignorance, or at least to indoctrination by the Western propaganda and mass media outlets.

But now? China’s tremendous leap forward, its excellent, humane social policies and determined people-oriented scientific research, as well as its march towards a so-called “ecological civilization” are well-documented, to the point that if anyone really wants to know, he or she has plenty of opportunities to learn the truth.

But it appears that very few want to learn. At least very few in the West.

China is seen negatively in almost all Western countries and their satellites. While surveys in places like Africa, where China intensively interacts with the people, helping them to break the chains of dependency on their neo-colonialist masters from Europe and North America, clearly indicate that it is admired and liked.

Last year (2018), a survey by the influential Pew Research Center (“Five Charts on Global Views of China”) established that China is viewed mostly positively in non-Western countries: 67% in Kenya where China is involved in substantial infrastructural and social projects, 61% in the most populous African nation – Nigeria, 70% in the Arab country of Tunisia, 53% in the Philippines, despite the fact that there, the West has been fueling a dispute over the islands in the South China Sea, and 65% in Russia, which is now the closest Chinese ally.

In the U.K., 49% of citizens see China positively, 48% in Australia, but only 39% in Germany and 38% in the United States.

But what is truly shocking, is the attitude of the West towards the leadership of China’s President – Xi Jinping – a determined thinker who is leading China towards true socialism with Chinese characteristics; almost eliminating extreme poverty (by the year 2020, there should be no pockets of misery left, anywhere on the territory of the PRC), and who is putting culture, a high quality of life, ecology and the general wellbeing of the Chinese people above economic indicators.

Conservative, anti-Communist Poland leads the pack: only 9% Poles “have confidence” in the leadership of President Xi. 11% of Greeks, 14% of Italians and 15% of Spaniards. That says something about Europe, as even in Canada, the number is 42%, and in the United States – 39%.

Is it truly just ignorance?

When interviewed by various Chinese media outlets, I am often asked the same question: “Why are we constantly criticized in the West, while we try to play by the rules, and doing our best to improve the planet?”

The answer is obvious: “Precisely for that reason.”

 

Some 20 years ago, China and its socialist project, were still in the ‘unfinished stage’. There were big differences in standards of living, between the urban areas in the east, and the countryside. Transportation was inadequate. Pollution in the industrial cities was very, very bad. Tens of millions of people were trying to migrate from the countryside to the cities, in search of jobs and a better living, putting great strains on the social system of the nation.

Those who did not like China, had plenty of ‘ammunition’, when criticizing it then. The country was moving forward, but the task to make it prosperous, clean, and healthy, appeared to by Sisyphean.

What followed was an absolute miracle, unprecedented in human history. Only the Soviet Union before the WWII registered greater growth and improvement of the standards of living of its people, than China did in the two last decades.

Everything in China changed. Its cities became clean, green, ecological, full of public parks, exercise machines for adults and children. Urban centers are now overflowing with a first class public transportation (all ecological), with impressive museums, concert halls, excellent universities and medical centers. Subsidized super-high trains are connecting all major cities of the country. In Communist China, everything is planned by the government and by the Communist Party, and the private sector is there to serve the nation, not vice versa. It works. It works remarkably well. Citizens have much more say about how their country is governed, than those in the West.

Cities are clean, efficient, built for the people. No beggars and no slums. No misery. Things are getting better and better.

Foreigners who come to China for the first time are shocked: China looks much wealthier than the US or UK. Its streets, its airports, its metro systems, high-speed trains, theatres, sidewalks, parks, easily put those in New York of Paris to shame.

But, it is not rich. Far from it! China’s GDP per capita is still relatively low, but that is precisely what makes “socialism with Chinese characteristics” so impressive and superior to the Western capitalism fueled by imperialism. China does not need to have average incomes of some $50,000+ per capita to prosper, to give its people an increasingly great life, to protect the environment, and to promote great culture.

Could it be, that this is precisely why the West is shaking in fear?

The West, where economic growth is everything, where people live in constant fear, instead of optimistic hope for the future. The West, where trillions of dollars and euros are wasted annually, so the elites can live in bizarre luxury and preside over irrational, unnecessary over-production and arms accumulation, which bring no well-being to the majority.

China and its central planning are offering a much better and logical system, for its citizens and for the world.

Most of its science is geared to the improvement of life on this planet, not for cold profits.

President Xi’s brainchild – BRI – is designed to lift up billions of people world-wide out of poverty, and to connect the world, instead of fragmenting it.

So why is President Xi so much disliked in Europe?

Could it be, that it is precisely because of the gigantic success of China?

 

Back to the previous point: 20 years ago, China had enormous social and environmental problems. The Westerners who did not like Communist Party of any type, would come and point fingers at things: “You see, Shanghai and Shenzhen are now prosperous, but look at other cities on the coast: see the contrast?”

Then the cities on the coast, all, began improving, planting parks, universities, metros, beautiful streets.

Criticism from the West continued: “Now leave the coast, go west, and you will see how unequal China is!”

Eventually, the west of China improved so much, that there was virtually no difference between the quality of life in the cities there, and on the coast.

“It is all so cynical,” the rant went on: “the difference between the cities and the countryside is so huge that peasants are forced to abandon their villages and seek jobs in the big cities.”

Under the leadership of President Xi, the entire countryside received an enormous overhaul. Transportation, medical services, educational facilities and job availability improved so much, that in 2018, for the first time in modern history, people began migrating back from the cities to the countryside.

Now what? What next? “Human rights?” Not much to trash, anymore, if one sees with eyes open.

But the better China becomes, the more it cares about its people, as well as people all over the world, the harder it gets attacked.

Not one “Wow!” from Western regime and its mainstream media. Not one “China is now leader of the world in ecology, social policies, science, and virtually everything public.”

Why?

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, China, Xi Jinping 
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Almost every day we read about the latest outbursts in Europe, targeting pro-immigration policies. There are protests, even riots. Right-wing governments get voted in, allegedly, because the Europeans “have had enough of relaxed immigration regulations”.

That is what we are told. That’s what we are supposed to understand, and even sympathize with. Anti-immigration sentiments are even pitched to the world as something synonymous with the desire of Europeans “to gain independence from Brussels and the elites”. The right-wing, often racist, spoiled and selfish proletariat is portrayed by many as a long-suffering, hard-working group of people, with progressive aspirations.

If seen from a distance, such arguments are outrageous and even insulting; at least to the billions of those who have already lost their lives, throughout history; victims of the European and North American expansionist genocides. And to those individuals who have, until this day, had their motherlands ruined, livelihoods destroyed, political will violated, and in the end, free and unconditional entry denied; entry into those very countries that keep violating all international laws, while spreading terror and devastation to virtually all corners of the world.

 

In this essay, let us be as concrete as possible. Let us be brief.

I declare from the start, that every African person, every Asian, every citizen of the Middle East and every Latin American (how perverse this very name “Latin” and “America” is, anyway) should be able to freely enter both Europe and North America. Furthermore, he or she should be then allowed to stay for as long as desired, enjoying the free benefits and all those goodies that are being relished by Westerners.

To back this statement, here are several (but not all) basic moral and logical arguments:

First of all, Europe and North America do not belong to their people. They belong to the people from all corners of the globe. In order to build the so-called West, close to one billion (cumulatively, according to my friends, the UN statisticians) had to die, throughout modern and the not so modern history. Virtually everything, from theatres, schools, hospitals, parks, railroads, factories and museums, have been built, literally, on the bones and blood of the conquered peoples. And nothing much has really changed, to these days. Europe and later North America invaded almost the entire planet; they looted, killed, enslaved and tortured. They robbed the world of everything, and gave back nothing, except religion and a servile and toxic bunch of ‘elites’, who are continuously plundering their countries, on behalf of the West. Therefore, Europe and North America were built on credit, and now this credit is due.

Secondly, the Western culture, without any competition, is the most violent civilization on earth. I repeat, without any competition. It cannot be defeated militarily, without further losses; losses which could be easily counted in billions of human lives. Therefore, the only possibility of how to reduce the scale of further global tragedies, is to ‘dilute’ the West and its fundamentalist culture of racial and cultural superiority. The fact that Westerners are now in minority in such cities like London or New York, has not fully stop the U.K. and U.S.A. from committing monstrous crimes, attacking and pillaging foreign countries. But were Europe and North America still homogeneous, there would hardly be any free, independent country left anywhere in the world. Migration to the West is helping, at least to some extent, to save the world. Migrants, from the first and oldest generations, demand that the voices of non-westerners, would be listened to, at least some extent.

Furthermore, and this is of a course well-known argument: the only reason why people from previously wealthy countries like Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Iran or Syria are forced to emigrate, is because their nations were either bombed back to the Stone Age, or destroyed through sadistic sanctions. Why? So, there would be change of the government, and instead of local citizens, the profits from natural resources would benefit Western corporations. Also, of course, in order to prevent the “Domino Effect”. The West hates the idea of the “Domino Effect”: read, the regional or global influence of Communist, socialist or progressive governments which would be determined to improve the lives of their people. West needs obedient, frightened slaves, not great heroes and bright thinkers! To stop the “Domino Effect”, millions had to die in the 1965 coup in Indonesia, in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, to name just a few unfortunate nations. If you come to a rich, socially-balanced nation, rob it of everything, overthrow its government, and reduce it to a ‘failed state’, in order for your own nation and people to prosper, would you be shocked if some of its people were to decide to try to follow the resources that you have stolen; meaning, moving to your own country?

The reason why people in the West do not follow this train of logic is simply because they are thoroughly ignorant; trying extremely hard, for decades and centuries, to remain blind. If they claim ignorance, they don’t have to act. They can just enjoy the loot, without paying the price. It is simple, isn’t it?

 

Are those right-wing voters in the U.K., in Hungary, in Greece, France and Italy, as well as in other EU countries, really so blind, or so morally corrupt, that they do not see the reality?

Do they expect to have a ‘free ride’ for another century or two?

Do they teach history in European schools? I wonder. And if they do, what kind of history? I was shocked to realize that even some of my Spanish friends who are working for the United Nations, have absolutely no clue about the barbarity their country had committed in Central and South America. Or Portugal, in what is now Brazil or Cape Verde.

Now, the Italians with their Northern League (oh yes, “anti-establishment”, they love to say) firmly in government, are criminalizing people who are helping the ‘boat people’ sailing from Libya and other devastated African countries (mainly ruined by France and other EU nations) to reach Italian shores. Good ‘working people’ would rather if the refugees sank in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, as hundreds and thousands already have. And this anti-immigration rhetoric is actually being glorified as ‘brave’ and ‘anti-establishment’. How beastly, how low, the European culture continues to be. It was always ultra-violent and aggressive, but now it is also shallow, illogical and fanatic. It is not racist, anymore. It is far beyond that. It is turbo-racist, monstrously selfish. I often describe it as ‘fundamentalist’, not unlike what one encounters in the so-called ‘logic’ of movements such as ISIS and al Nusra.

In the U.S.A., the situation is not much better. Wall on the Mexican border? Study your history! The United States robbed half of Mexico, through expansionist wars. Most of migrants who are crossing the border illegally, are actually not Mexicans (Mexico is, with all its social problems, an OECD country), but from impoverished Central American nations. And why are these nations impoverished? Every time they democratically elect their progressive governments which would be ready to work on behalf of the people, the U.S. immediately applies its fascist dictatorial “Monroe Doctrine”, overthrows the government, injects right-wing death-squads, forces privatization, and strips the country of everything, like a locust. Don’t the people from Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras or Dominican Republic, have the full right to follow the loot, too, and settle near it, in the United States?

 

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Immigration 
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The United States believes that it is so invincible, exceptional and so frightening that no one would ever dare to protest, let alone defend its people against constant humiliation, economic embargos and military threats.

It used to be like this for quite some time. In the past, the West used to bully the world before and after each well-planned assault. Also, well-crafted propaganda used to be applied.

It was declared that things are done ‘legally’ and rationally. There were certain stages to colonialist and imperialist attacks: “define your goals”, “identify your victim”, “plan”, “brainwash your own citizens and people all over the world”, and then, only then, “bomb some unfortunate country back to the stone ages”.

Now, things are slightly different. “The leader of the free world” wakes up in the middle of the night, and he tweets. What comes from his computer, tablet or phone, (or whatever he uses), is spontaneous, unpolished and incredibly dangerous. Similar in substance to what made him wake up in the middle of the night, in a first place.

He does not seem to plan; he shoots off from the hip. Today, as I am writing this essay, he has declared that he has “five strategies for Venezuela”. Go figure. Bravo!

Earlier, as he was about to land outside London, he embarked on insulting the Mayor of the British capital, calling him names. A bit like we used to do to each other, when we were five years old, in the neighborhood playground.

He has been regularly offending Mexico, and of course Iran, China and Russia.

He basically tells the leader of the most populous nation on earth – China – to “be there”, at the G20 Summit, or else.

Whenever he and his lieutenants are in the mood, they get busy antagonizing everyone: Cuba and Nicaragua, DPRK and Venezuela, Bolivia and Syria.

Of course, the main “culprits” are always the ‘biggest bad boys’, Russia and China.

Anyone, at any time, could easily land on the proverbial hit list of President Trump, and hawks of his United States of A. It could be India (which, during ‘good submissive times’ is called by the West the “biggest democracy”, or perhaps Turkey (militarily the second mightiest NATO country). The world had been converted into an entity which appears to be run by a bloodthirsty and unpredictable dictatorship. The world is an entity where everyone is terrified of being purged, imprisoned, starved to death, or directly attacked, even liquidated.

It was always like this, at least in the modern history of the planet. Colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism: they have many different faces but one common root. Root that has been often hidden deep under the surface.

But this time it is all in the open, raw and brutally honest.

 

Both George W. Bush and Donald Trump have one thing in common: they are honest.

Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama were both ‘suave’ presidents. They were loved in Europe, as they knew how to speak politely, how to dine elegantly, and how to commit mass murder in a ‘rational, righteous way’; ‘old-fashioned, European-style’.

The brutal, vulgar ways of W. Bush and Donald Trump, have been consistently shocking all those individuals who are pleased when things are done ‘stylishly’ and ‘politically correctly’; be it a coup or the starvation to death of millions through embargos. Or be it invasions or ‘smart’ bombing (practically, ‘smart’ meaning very far from the inquisitive eyes).

But it is not only the ‘offended sensibilities’ of predominantly European population, that matter.

The danger is that someone might take Donald Trump seriously, and respond accordingly.

In the past, verbal insults similar to those unleashed now by the US President, could easily have led to a war, or at least to the breaking up of diplomatic relationships.

And now?

In case Westerners have not realized it, yet – people all over the world are indignant. I talk to Libyans, Afghans, Iraqis, Venezuelans, Cubans, Iranians: they hate what comes from Washington; hate it with passion. They know that what is being done to them is terrorism, thuggery. But for now, they do not know how to defend themselves. Not yet, but they are thinking.

The entire world now resembles a brutal ghetto, or a slum, where a heavily armed gang controls the streets, and in fact every corner and alley.

At least in the past, subjugated people were able to hide behind decorative words and ideological pirouettes. They were able to ‘save their face’. They were sodomized in the name of ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. Now, a horrible reality is flying directly into all directions: “You will do as you are told!” “It is us who will decide.” “Obey, because we said so”. Entire proud nations are being reduced into states of slaves or even worse – lap dogs.

 

As everyone is well aware of, even lackeys and slaves often hold grudges. And abused dogs can bite.

Throughout history, slaves rebelled. True heroes came from rebellious and enslaved nations.

This, what we have now on our planet, is not good, not a healthy situation.

The more countries that are being intimidated, the higher the chances are that somewhere, soon, things will let go; collapse.

Only terrible fear, so far, assures that if a Syrian or a Libyan or an Afghan city is leveled to the ground, there is no real retaliation: urban areas in the USA stay intact.

Only incredible patience of the Russian or Chinese leaders guarantees that, so far, even as their economies are being battered by ridiculous sanctions, the two powerful nations do not retaliate and ruin the US financial system (which is only a paper tiger).

Trump dares. He tortures and humiliates more than half of the world, then looks straight ahead and laughs: “So what are you going to do now?”

So far, the world is doing nothing.

Even the proud and mighty Iran is not ‘crossing the line’. As millions of its people are suffering because of insane sanctions, the Iranian navy is not yet engaging the US battleships that are sailing very near its shores.

Even as more and more US bases are being built right next to both Russia and China’s borders, so far there are no substantial military bases being erected by Moscow or Beijing in places such as Nicaragua, Cuba or Venezuela.

 

All this may change, soon.

And the so much dreaded (by Washington) “domino effect” may actually take place.

Non-Western leaders have also their ‘bad days’ and terrible nights. They also wake up in the middle of the night, and think, want to communicate and to act.

Imagine an Iranian leader, waking up at 2AM, and suddenly feeling overwhelmed by wrath, because Iranian men, women and children are suffering, for no reason, as a result of the perverse sadism being regurgitated by the West. What if he Tweets an insult, too? What if he just orders, on a spur of the moment, to have all those obsolete US aircraft carriers and destroyers that are floating in the vicinity, be sunk? Iran can do it: everyone knows that it can! Technically, militarily, it is easy: those ships are just sitting ducks.

Then what? Will Washington nuke Iran?

Someone may say: The West is killing millions every year, anyway. Better to fight it, in order to stop it, once and for all. Others may join. And then, then what? Will Trump give orders to kill tens of millions, just to maintain control over the world?

What if the US navy vessels bump into a Russian or a Chinese ship, as they almost did in the South China Sea, recently? What if a Russian or Chinese ship sinks, dozens of sailors die. And there is a retaliation? Then what?

 
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Beirut is mad! It is thoroughly insane. And that is not an insult. The inhabitants of this Middle Eastern metropolis are proud of their own lunacy. They wear it as a coat-of-arms, as their identity.

“Do you like Beirut?”

“Yes. But it is mad,” you reply.

“Yes!!!” They grin at you with delight. It means, you understand, and you are part of them.

My life has been connected to this city for exactly five years. I don’t live here always, but at least for a substantial amount of time. Like everyone who resides here, I love Beirut, and I hate it, too. Passionately, how else? I feel intrigued by it, insulted and outraged by it, sometimes enamored, often disgusted.

Of course, Beirut does not give a damn what I feel, what we feel, what anyone feels. It is above all us all, selfish, capricious, outrageous. It suffers from a maddening complex of superiority. It is convinced that it is “Paris of the Middle East” (or perhaps that Paris is the “Beirut of Europe”) and the only city in the region which at least has some brain, style and talent.

It had been invaded, bombed to the ground, battered by wars and conflicts; it had been divided by religions, overwhelmed by immigrants; it collapsed economically and socially, got into unserviceable debt, periodically covered itself with garbage as if it was a duvet, screwed its people by electricity and water shortages, paralyzed its streets with traffic jams, and yet, yet it is still standing here, confident and some would say arrogant, but standing with confidence and beauty, never defeated and always proud. Yes, even when on its knees – proud.

Beirut is like no other city in the Middle East. Like no other city in the world. This is no criticism and no compliment; it is simply a fact.

So, let me try to define this incredible place. Let me pay a tribute to its madness.

 

Apart from the Gulf countries and Indonesia, I don’t know of any other place on earth which is so religiously capitalist, selfish, obsessed with profits and wealth-flashing.

The pretentiousness of Beirut is so extreme that it can even somehow not be taken seriously: it appears grotesque and surreal. Here, some miserable slums can be found rubbing shoulders with Achrafieh or Verdun, neighborhoods so affluent that they put many centers of the European capitals to shame.

In Beirut, a dinner that would cost 14 euros in Paris sells for 50 dollars, while a Lacoste polo can easily set you back $220.

Money does not matter. Those who have it, are hardly working for the salary. Lebanon’s rich thrive on the banking sector, on plundering the natural resources of West Africa, on the production of narcotics in Beqaa Valley, and on remittances. The Lebanese diaspora is tremendous: many more Lebanese people live abroad (in South and North America, Europe, Australia, Gulf and elsewhere) than in Lebanon itself. Just in Brazil alone, 5-7 million Lebanese have made it their new home.

Those who do not have money matter nothing. They simply don’t exist. Nobody talks about them, the media does not write about them, there is hardly any public transportation to move them around the city. They form an invisible minority, or perhaps majority. Nobody knows their precise numbers, as Lebanon does not use censuses (in order not to ‘upset the peace’ between Christians and Muslims).

Only around 60% of the citizens of Lebanon send their children to public schools, and public education is terrible, in terms of infrastructure as well as the quality of teachers.

Driving home my Beetle, I am terrified, trying not to hit Lotuses, Lamborghinis and Porsches, leisurely parked near the curb. The citizens of Beirut would do anything to show off: it is a well-known fact that young people often continue living in their parent’s homes, and save every cent, just in order to buy luxury, and often badly maintained cars. Then, in order to be noticed, they frequently take off mufflers and attach weird stickers on the bumpers, such as: “Louder than your mother last night!”

The Zaitunai Bay luxury marina in the Downtown Beirut has some ultra-luxury vessels. One of them has a telling name painted at the rear: “Thank You Daddy III”. Clearly, there must be “Thank You Daddy I and II” somewhere.

‘Reverse snobbism’ is unknown here. Even the waiters and attendants of valet parking places are dressed in the latest Armani and Hugo Boss outfits. Dressing up is yet another obsession, here.

Every detail matters in Beirut: from where one lives, to where he or she comes from. From nail polish to university degrees, from the car one drives to where one spends summer holidays.

‘Domestic help’ matters a lot, too. Asian and African maids are status symbols. They are being exhibited as jewelry, cars or expensive watches; in malls, restaurants and elegant cafes. No rich person could do without flashing his or her Ethiopian, Philippine, or Kenyan maid. The more of them, the better. Maids do everything for the upper middle class and elites: they take care of their children, walk their dogs, clean, shop, cook and provide other, better not to mention unsavory services. Physical abuse of foreign workers is common, while the regressive kafala system so common in the Gulf is still in place here, too.

The treatment of Palestinian refugees is horrific. For decades, they have been living in monstrous camps; ghettos, with limited rights and very limited numbers of professions legally available to them.

 

So far, sounds like a hell on earth? But it actually is not. And the fact that it is not is actually a mystery, and not only to this writer, but also to many citizens of Lebanon.

What saves Lebanon is its people’s passion for life. Here, individuals from all social classes, from all religions (as well as those who despise religions), are living full throttle, enjoying every moment and every opportunity that comes their way. Life is often lived in a manic way, but it is lived to the fullest.

It is also the city’s humor, that helps to get-by: dark, irreverent humor; politically incorrect, self-depreciative and at the same time, extremely sophisticated.

While suffering from countless social ailments, this is easily the classiest, the most educated city in the entire Arab world. The best films are made here, and the best books published. The left-wing Al-Mayadeen television channel which is closely related to the Venezuelan Telesur broadcasts to the entire Arab world from here. The daring, Pan-Arab Al-Akhbar newspaper comes from Beirut, too.

The most celebrated Pan-Arab singer, Fairuz, is from here.

The best university in the Arab region – the American University of Beirut (AUB), where, for instance, one of the greatest modern architects, Iraqi Ms. Zaha Hadid, studied – is right here – near the Corniche. Despite its name, it is now only loosely related to the United States.

Lebanese art is playing a huge role in keeping this country together and afloat.

Local filmmakers and artists are not sitting on their backsides: the creative vibes in Beirut are somehow similar to those great intellectual outbursts in Europe and Japan in the 1950’s and 1960’s, in Latin America in 1970’s and in China and Iran now.

Everything bad, everything controversial that is happening in the city is never swept under the carpet. On the contrary, it is exposed, shouted out from the film screens and pages of books.

Almost all the negative issues that I mentioned above, are described and filmed, candidly and determinedly.

Perhaps the two most ‘iconic’ Lebanese contemporary films – “The Insult” (2017, Director: Ziad Doueiri) and “Capernaum’’ (2018, Director: Nadine Labaki) –deal with issues that could never be frankly addressed almost anywhere else in the world.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Lebanon 
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No one is talking about it openly, but, let us face it: those U.S.-made planes are crashing; the performance of Apple phones and computers is falling far behind those made by Huawei and other Chinese companies. Lenovo took over IBM and is doing extremely well. NASA is absolutely incapable of building decent rockets that would be able to deliver people or even satellites to space, cheaply and safely.

In the field of electric automobiles, China is far, far ahead. In fact, anyone who visits a major or secondary Chinese city, would be shocked to see that the implementation of ‘zero emission’ vehicles there is not something that is in the planning stage, it has for several years been a dream come true, reality: dozens of Chinese cities already have an excellent network of metro trains, of ecological electric buses, and of enormous public sidewalks that encourage people to stroll and remain healthy. Even police cars in China are electric.

Russia is doing extremely well, in several fields. In fact, it is at the vanguard, when it comes to such grounds as science and culture. Those days of ‘humiliation’ of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin era are far back, when Moscow naively believed Thatcherites and Reaganites! Russia is rolling: now producing and exporting excellent, often organic food. Its icebreakers are opening new paths for both people and goods. Russian space rockets are second to none, and its passenger airplanes are back in the skies. Nuclear and other power plants are helping to supply energy to many countries, all over the world.

You name it; China and Russia are producing it, developing it, helping to create it! Both nations are cooperating, scientifically, working for people, not just for business.

Citizens in both countries are enthusiastic, optimistic, full of hope. Their lives are improving, and there is so much to look forward to! They are building their nations, and helping the world to survive, to move forward. It can be called Communism or socialism with Chinese characteristics. Or it can be called nothing in particular in Russia (according to surveys, most of the citizens there want both the Soviet Union and Communism back, and the government is attentively listening, steering the country into the right direction). Perhaps, soon, the definition will be ‘socialism Russian-style’, without huge posters, but with plenty to show, and to celebrate.

But whatever it really is, it is working; working very well. Standards of living are growing. Health is improving. The environment is improving. Culture is everywhere. People are ecstatic.

 

And the West? The United States of A?

No, really! Honestly. Recently I spoke at several universities in Canada and Europe; I worked on two books in California. What a depressing experience!

Everyone bitching about everything; no optimism, and no spirit of building the motherland or improving the world. Cynicism, nihilism, bad moods on every corner. Nothing is ‘sacred’.

People shackled by debts and loans, scared of leaving the insane rat race.

In the US of A, there is horror of getting sick and ending up on the street. And those bizarre, truly repulsive student loans: the regime forces you to study in order to get brainwashed, becoming a reliable lackey, and then slams you with tens of thousands of dollars in basically unserviceable debts. And where does it all lead to? To some tremendous scientific breakthroughs? To groundbreaking works of art? To pushing the boundaries with new, magnificent works of philosophy? No way! It only leads to the printing of new and newer diplomas, of PhD. certificates, each costing tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And those desperate research labs in the USA (most of them private, anyway) are importing scientists from India and China, trying to brain-drain the nations who are educating their people for free or cheaply. While concert halls in New York and London are begging the Chinese, Korean, Argentinian, Russian and Japanese pianists to come and play, even Western classical music.

What is it, President Trump? ‘Making America great again’ is somehow not working, is it?

Your country tried to ruin Soviet and Chinese communism for decades, telling the East Europeans through propaganda media outlets how great, how glorious the Western market system was, and how pathetic the command economy was, central planning and internationalism.

Look at them now – those who ate your lies: in Bulgaria and Romania, both EU countries, people are living in misery, industry ruined or eaten by German and French multi-nationals. Look at Ukraine: a country with a standard of living approaching that of the poorest Southeast Asian countries. Even in the rich Czechia, I recently saw people eating from garbage bins, while once mighty factories like Skoda have been totally cannibalized by West European businesses. That’s what you used to tell them – East Europeans: “Come back to Europe. Come to the West!” So, they did. Talk to them now: nobody seems to be happy.

Western nihilism ate all basic, healthy human instincts, alive. Look at the West European citizens. Most of them shout at their television sets from bar stools or sofas; no internationalist principles left. Human beings reduced to only desiring more money, more food, more booze, more privileges – “benefits”. At the expense of others. A finished ‘culture’. Nothing great is being produced – literature, films, music. A total collapse of basic values. Putting people who are trying to help refugees on the high seas into prison; refugees who are escaping from countries ruined and destabilized by Western terror, aggression and greed. Disgusting. “New Europe”.

At least Europe is still producing some decent watches, shoes, cars and fragrances. Nothing that could justify the outrageously high standard of living of its citizens. Not much, really; no major breakthroughs from which humanity could benefit, but at least something, still.

 

But what is it that could “Make America “Great Again?” in the US of A?

If it is not loot and naked imperialism, what makes the country so rich? And rich it is. Not necessarily its people, but the country, definitely.

Once again, others are producing better planes, better cars, better computers, communication systems, phones, audio devices. Others are building better cities with a much higher quality of life. Others have created incomparably greater high-speed rail networks, public transportation, better pharmaceutical research institutions. Others are making much better films (not that horror and violent crap of Hollywood), write much better books, think and dream about much better societies.

So, what is it, President Trump, that America (let’s actually call it the United States, as your country does not own America, which, despite its idiotic name derived from that greedy ‘discoverer’ Amerigo Vespucci, spreads all the way down to Fire Land and was ‘the greatest’ before it got invaded and plundered by that Western imperialist scum) could still offer to this scarred but increasingly alert planet?

Should we celebrate subjugation? Should we climax from being coerced into slavery?

Your weapons, which are murdering millions, annually, in all corners of the globe? Should your weapons which are produced from an unbridled military budget, which not even your own government could calculate properly, make America great again?

Because if not your weapons, then what?

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: American Media, American Military 
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Former President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, had finished his 15-minute discourse in a courtroom, while being locked inside a sound-proofed cage. He read a poem about his love for Egypt, and then collapsed, and died.

His demise sent shock-waves all over Egypt, the region and the Muslim world.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to accept the official story, claiming that the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi “did not die, he was murdered”.

More came from different corners of the world. According to Reuters:

“A British member of Parliament, Crispin Blunt, who had led a delegation of UK lawmakers and lawyers last year in putting out a report on Mursi’s detention, slammed the conditions of Mursi’s incarceration.

We want to understand whether there was any change in his conditions since we reported in March 2018, and if he continued to be held in the conditions we found, then I’m afraid the Egyptian government are likely to be responsible for his premature death,” he said in remarks to the BBC.”

Human rights organizations, heads of state, as well as the common citizens of Egypt, were outraged by the demise of Mohamed Morsi (also spelt as Mursi), a former Egyptian leader who governed the nation after winning the first democratic elections in the modern history of the country in 2012, just a year after the brutal pro-Western dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was deposed in 2011.

Mr. Morsi was overthrown in 2013, in a violent military coup just one year after he was sworn into the highest office.

 

Let’s be clear: Mohamed Morsi was not a ‘good president’. In fact, he was not supposed to be a president at all: the original candidate from his party was disqualified from the elections on a technicality, and Mr. Morsi was asked to take his place. And he won, by a small margin.

He made some serious errors, politically, economically and socially.

He flooded tunnels between Gaza and Sinai.

And under his leadership, more than 40 people died during the violence in Port Said.

When he felt threatened, he used to give orders to fire poisonous gasses at the protesters.

But he was not a murderer. And in ‘modern’ Egypt, that was quite an achievement.

He tried to improve the dire situation in his country, but he kept failing.

On the other hand, he separated his government from the gangrenous military embrace. The western-sponsored Egyptian military has been managing to infiltrate everything (under Mubarak’s rule as well as now), fully controlling all aspects of the Egyptian state.

Mr. Morsi tried to please everyone in the terribly divided Egyptian society. But in the end, nobody was satisfied.

Hard-liners in his Muslim Brotherhood hated him for not being radical enough. The anti-religious Left despised him for not pushing harder for social reforms, and for a secular state. He was both obeying the US and the IMF, while at the same time alienating them.

In the end, he appeared like an uncertain, confused and weak man.

 

In 2012 and 2013, my friends, my left-wing comrades, were battling police in front of the Presidential Palace in Cairo. I was there, with them, filming, face covered with water-soaked rags in order to at least somehow protect myself from the highly poisonous teargas.

In those days, no one seemed to like Morsi.

The rallying cry during the anti-Morsi protests was:

“We sing to those who deserve to die;

Morsi-Morsi-Morsi!”

Protesters could not have known that 7 years later, their prophecy would come through.

After the military overthrew the democratically elected government (on 3 July 2013), massacres began. Officially hundreds, but most likely thousands of people lost their lives. Tens of thousands were arrested, disappeared, tortured, raped, and exiled.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood were liquidated (soon after the coup it became a banned organization), but also various left-wing organizations and individuals, as well as all those people who were against the corrupt right-wing military and its dictatorship.

Several of my friends had to leave the country. Others are still in prison. Or in hiding.

Former dictator, Western puppet and assassin Hosni Mubarak, is now a free man again. He is 91 years old.

67-year-old Mohamed Morsi is dead.

 

During the Morsi era, as well as during and after the 2013 coup, I was working in Egypt, making a documentary film for the Venezuelan television channel Telesur (“Egipto – El Fin de Una Revolucion” – “Egypt, End of the Revolution”).

First, I investigated and wrote about the crimes committed during the reign of President Morsi in the city of Port Said: “Notes from a Besieged City”.

And then, I was right there, in the middle of the battles, when the Egyptian military overthrew Morsi’s government and began liquidating both the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian left wing. I described the events in my essays “Egypt End of Hope” and “Egypt in the Eye of the Storm”. Many more essays from Egypt were then compiled in my book “Exposing Lies of The Empire”.

Once, while filming after the coup, I found myself facing 5 talks, all pointing their cannons at me. How I survived, I am not sure. Others did not. By the time I finished collecting footage for my film, my body was covered by scars and bruises.

From among those individuals who used to work with me on the film, and from those who used to protest against then President Morsi, there is hardly anyone now who would support the current rule of pro-Western military junta.

Rallies in 2012 and 2013 were all about improving Egypt; about forcing Morsi to deliver what millions of mostly young Egyptians hoped would be a just, secular and socialist society. Morsi was expected to deliver, or to resign, giving way to a better, more ‘progressive’ leader.

What came instead was a coup, a return of the fascist clique of Mubarak, supported by the US, Europe and Israel.

Looking back, I believe that Mohamed Morsi was a decent human being, but at the same time a bad, untalented, naive and confused ruler. That was still much, much better than what was before and after him.

 

In her opinion piece for the New York Times, the Egyptian author Mona Eltahawy wrote about the demise of Mohamad Morsi:

“…He always looked like a man caught up in something much bigger than him. That he died in an Egyptian courtroom inside a soundproof cage designed to silence him, almost exactly six years to the day he took office and almost completely forgotten by all but his family and human rights activists, is a reminder of the bathos that surrounded him.”

Then, Ms. Eltahawy put his death into the context of the present-day Egypt:

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Egypt, Mohamed Morsi 
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You will never read about it, but Dayak people, the “First Nation” of the enormous island of Borneo, are broken, robbed and brainwashed.

“Unity in diversity” it says; the motto of Indonesia. But it could be argued that the opposite is true. There is very little unity, and less and less diversity, as the country is controlled from Jakarta, an enormous, overpopulated stinky and sinking megapolis which is located on the island of Java.

Jakarta does not want to allow any dissent. For half a century it has made sure that everyone on this huge and unfortunate archipelago thinks the same, while desiring no improvement. Here, everyone is religious, everyone anti-Communist and fanatically pro-capitalist. The result is: the country collapsed, a long time ago, but ‘no one noticed’. While the Western media is paid ‘not to notice’.

“It is a modern-time colonialism”, I heard thousands of times. Java is perceived by many who are living on those proverbial thousands of islands (the Indonesian archipelago has over 17 thousand isles which are spread over a great area), as a colonialist, aggressive and morally corrupt entity. No wonder: after independence from Netherlands, the country was formed, generally, along the old colonial boundaries.

During the era of the progressive anti-imperialist President Ahmed Sukarno, Indonesia was at least a co-founder of the Non-aligned Movement. It nationalized its natural resources, while building an enlightened socialist motherland.

That did not last very long. Following the West-sponsored brutal military coup of 1965, socialism was destroyed, Communists and atheists murdered, and the US-style neo-colonialist rule managed to smash all hopes for a better future.

Ever since, most of the islands have been run as colonies: pillaged, and oppressed. The ‘transmigration’ policy has been turning local people into a minority, at least in the various ‘strategic’ areas. Those have literally been flooded with state-sponsored immigrants from Java, Southern Sumatra, and other densely-populated Sunni Muslim parts of the country.

Modern-day Indonesia has lived through three cruel genocides in its modern history: one triggered during and after the fascist coup (1965/66), then one that was perpetrated in (formerly) occupied East Timor, and the one, on-going one, in the conquered West Papua. But that is not all: terrible inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts have been shaking Indonesia for decades: from Aceh to Sulawesi, Ambon, Kalimantan (Borneo), to name just a few. Anti-Chinese pogroms have been common for centuries.

If there was to be a referendum, most of the islands, including the tourist island of Bali, would opt for independence. But that is a hushed fact, as it would never be allowed. The unproductive and depressingly over-populated island of Java virtually lives off the plundering of the riches of the entire archipelago. Indonesia’s ‘wealth’ mainly comes from commodities; from unbridled plundering of the outer islands.

That of course is true about one of the biggest booty – the enormous Kalimantan.

Many of the filthy rich Javanese families are connected to the plunder. Their wealth comes directly from destruction of the archipelago. The five-star hotels surrounded by Jakarta’s slums, malls with overpriced European brand names, and tasteless villas in gated communities, are built on blood and robbery.

 

The island of Borneo is the third largest island on earth, after Greenland and Papua. It is shared by Indonesia (where it is known as Kalimantan), and also by Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. And it has, or more precisely, it used to count on all kinds of imaginable treasures, from oil to coal, gold, uranium and timber.

It also used to be one of the most pristine and stunning parts of the world, covered by plush native forests, which grew all along the mighty and clean tropical waterways.

Borneo’s native people, the Dayaks, used to live in true symbiosis with nature. Whatever their internal problems were, they never tried to conquer other islands.

But this self-contained paradise had been brutally penetrated and eventually destroyed; first by the Dutch colonialists, and later by the legendary Javanese greed united with Western multi-national companies.

Today, Borneo, or at least its Indonesian part, is almost entirely ruined. Most of its forests have been cut down, giving way to the endless and toxic oil palm plantations. Rivers where gold is being mined both legally and illegally, are poisoned by mercury, while entire mountains are levelled by local and foreign mining companies. Coal mines are of tremendous proportions, and expanding.

The wisdom of the local people is still alive, but only deep in what is left of the native forests. Most of the ‘modern-day’ Dayak people have been cannily incorporated by the regime into the system which thrives on plundering of the land and of all that nature holds above and below the surface.

Krisusandi
Krisusandi

Mr. Krisusandi, the chief of “Dayakology Institute” located in the city of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, does not hide his frustration, when he sits across the table from us, in his office:

West Kalimantan has more than 150 ethnic groups of Dayaks. Each has its own language and culture… and that’s only in the area of West Kalimantan! To call them all by the same name – Dayak – is derogatory, inaccurate.”

“Local people used to inhabit some of the richest lands on earth, in terms of natural resources,” I suggest. Mr. Krisusandi agrees:

Precisely. And this is precisely the curse; the key to understanding why, compared to other indigenous societies, the oppression of Dayaks is the worst.”

During Suharto’s ‘New Order’, the regime developed stigmas and stereotypes, belittling and humiliating Dayaks; like that they are ‘backward’, ‘primitive’ and ‘uncivilized’. The military, the fascists, got used to judging Dayaks as forest dwellers and destroyers. The result: Dayak society got discriminated against, losing its culture, independence, and even began feeling shame for being what it is.”

Because of that shame, Dayaks have been lulled into converting to Islam, or to Christianity. And after that, they were not Dayaks, anymore! Consequently, they were forced to accept the centralized education system, which has been totally ignoring the local knowledge.”

That was, of course, not all. The so-called ‘New Order’ of Suharto’s pro-Western cronies and collaborators, was determined to liquidate all left-wing beliefs. That’s what it was ordered to do by Washington. And Indonesian culture before 1965 was at least ‘communitarian’, if not out rightly Communist. The cultures of Dayak people were no exception.

Mr. Krisusandi confirmed, readily:

“’New Order’ believed that it had hegemony on ‘modernization’. And they saw even traditional ‘longhouses’ as something ‘Communist’. They used to call them ‘filthy’, or even ‘fire hazards’. The regime was totally anti-Communist, and it branded all Dayaks as ‘Communists’. Actually, it went to such an absurd extreme that each and every person who refused to abandon his or her longhouse and traditional way of living, was branded as a Communist.”

To be a ‘Communist’ was, for decades, synonymous with the highest crime, punishable by death.

It was terrible suffering to be a Dayak then, and in many ways, it still is now. On top of it, all this was accompanied by the theft of land.”

As I mentioned before, most of the Dayaks were forcibly converted to Islam, or Christianized. For some, it was the only way how to get ahead. Those who accepted Islam were registered as ‘Malays’, and as a ‘reward’, some were even allowed to became government officials.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Indonesia 
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While the United States has been intimidating dozens of countries all over the world, two cuddly Chinese giant pandas – a three year old male called Ru Yi, and a female one year younger, named Ding Ding – were settling down in their new home, inside the legendary Moscow Zoo. Chewing bamboo shoots, and obviously enjoying the unprecedented attention, two specimens of iconic Chinese bears, were ‘just there’, in a good mood, making the entire world around them kinder and more secure.

As was reported by the RT:

“Following the official talks at the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping went to the Moscow Zoo to meet the two giant pandas that have been handed to Russia by China as a “sign of respect and trust.”

“When we talk about pandas, a smile appears on our faces,” Putin told the journalists during a press-conference…”

While the pandas are well taken care of, two great countries – China and Russia – are now standing next to each other, united, and cooperating on countless fronts.

Both states and their leaders seem to come to many similar conclusions, identifying analogous goals: from scientific research that will bring benefits to our entire planet, to “ecological civilization” and the protection of the environment, from the energy sector, to the effective and wise extraction of commodities. From defense against the increasingly aggressive West, to meaningful cultural and educational programs and exchanges.

There seems to be no field in which the two nations could not compliment and cooperate with each other, finding great ways forward, for the benefit of their citizens and the world: communication technology, media, airplane industry, automotive industry, but also huge global projects like the Chinese BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and Russian “Arctic road”.

Both enormous countries – the most populous nation on Earth (China), and geographically the biggest one (Russia) – are constantly coming up with brilliant innovations that could improve, or even save, life on our planet – from organic farming to zero emission vehicles, ecological high-speed trains and new types of cities designed and built for a healthy, meaningful and cultural life of the citizens.

Some projects are ‘profitable’, but others are created simply in order to improve the quality of life, “Business is not everything”, at least not in China and Russia.

The dollar is being ditched – China and Russia will be signing new contracts in their own currencies.

 

And what is the West doing?

Instead of building railroads, hospitals, schools and ecological farming, at home and in their present and former colonies, both North America and Europe are pushing entire countries against the wall: be they DPRK, Syria, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, to mention just a few.

Instead of joining great optimistic attempts to build a new and better world, the West is smearing and antagonizing both Russia and China.

Every year, more money is allocated for propaganda against ‘the enemies of the West’. Instead of creating and building, the West is spoiling all attempts to move our planet forward.

Entire religions as well as previously dormant ethnic conflicts are now being resurrected, funded and then used for one sole purpose: to destabilize two giant optimistic countries and their allies.

Yet, while ready to defend themselves if directly attacked, both Russia and China are using diplomacy, for as long as it is possible. The insanity of Western provocations is met with cool heads and admirable rationality.

At the same time, both Beijing and Moscow are increasingly determined to defend their allies, against direct attacks and ‘regime change’ lunacy. Syria, Venezuela and DPRK were high on the agenda, during the encounter of Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. It is clear that the good friends of China and Russia will not be allowed to fall.

 

Despite long centuries of looting, the West is in irreversible decay. It is because its political, imperialist and economic system is obsolete, selfish and thoroughly depressing. It does not inspire people to work, to create, to sacrifice for the greater good, to invent and build a better world.

Western rulers are aware of this. Unwilling to change the regime, which serves the ‘elites’ in Europe and North America so well, they are spending huge resources on trying to ‘deter’ Russia, China and their allies.They are trying to pervert the message. They are also digging dirt, wherever they can find it, bombarding the world with every tiny unsavory detail about both Russia and China.

Entire armies of propagandists, psychologists, ‘educators’ and ‘journalists’ are being deployed, for the one and only goal: to smear, discredit and belittle the enthusiastic and positive efforts being made by Moscow and Beijing. Or in brief: in order to guarantee that our planet will continue to be plundered and exploited, with only a tiny minority benefiting.

The better the societies being built by China and Russia are, the louder the screams of those who are paid by the Western regime to uphold the repellent status quo.

 

Both Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are deeply concerned with the state of the world. It is obvious. Their governments are not being controlled by corporations – businesses have to obey the Communist Party of China, and the government of Russia.

“Democracy” is not when people can stick pieces of paper into big boxes, choosing between various political parties, if all of them are representing the same sclerotic system controlled by the elites and their lackeys. Democracy is the “rule of people”, a system when countries are being built for the good of the citizens.

Chinese pandas are a powerful symbol; a promise of a kind and caring society. They are a symbol of a world built on emotions and decency, not on constant attempts to accumulate profit, to cheat, loot and murder.

Pandas are known to sit on their backsides, leisurely chewing bamboo shoots. They radiate a good mood, safety and kindheartedness.

And Pandas are what the Chinese government awards its friends with.

The presidents of China and Russia went together to the Opera House. And to the zoo. And they discussed the future; new roads, ecology and great future scientific achievements.

I like this kind of world. I like it very much. Don’t you?

Enough of the bombing, and raping of entire nations and continents. Enough of “I will break your legs if you disobey”.

I think most people on this planet want organic farming, an ecological civilization, exciting cities, fast trains, beautiful theatres and yes, gentle and good-natured bears.

 

[First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook]

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, New Silk Road, Russia 
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Year after year, month after month, I see two sides of the world; two extremes which are getting more and more disconnected:

I see great cities like Homs in Syria, reduced to horrifying ruins. I see Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan, fragmented by enormous concrete walls intended to protect NATO occupation armies and their local puppets. I see monstrous environmental devastation in places such as Indonesian Borneo, Peruvian gold mining towns, or the by now almost uninhabitable atoll island-nations of Oceania: Tuvalu, Kiribati or Marshall Islands.

I see slums, a lack of sanitation and clean drinking water, where the boots of Western empires have been smashing local cultures, enslaving people and looting natural resources.

I work on all the continents. I never stop, even when exhaustion tries to smash me against the wall, even when there are hardly any reserves left. I cannot stop; I have no right to stop, because I can finally see the pattern; the way this world operates, the way the West has been managing to usurp it, indoctrinate, and enslave most of the countries of the world. I combine my knowledge, and publish it as a ‘warning to the world’.

I write books about this ‘pattern’. My most complete, so far, being the 1,000 pages long Exposing Lies of The Empire”.

Then, I see the West itself.

I come to ‘speak’, to Canada and the United States, as well as Europe. Once in a while I am invited to address Australian audiences, too.

The West is so outrageously rich, compared to the ruined and plundered continents, that it often appears that it does not belong to the Planet Earth.

A lazy Sunday afternoon stroll in Villa Borghese in Rome, and a horror walk through Mathare slum in Nairobi could easily exist in two distinct realities, or in two different galaxies.

Even now, after I slightly misspelled “Villa Borghese”, my Mac immediately offered a correction. It is because Villa Borghese does exist. On the other hand, “Mathare”, which I spelled correctly, was underlined red. Mathare ‘is an error’. Because it does not exist. It does not exist, despite the fact that around one million men, women and children lives there. It is not recognized by my MacBook Pro, nor by the great majority of my relatively well-educated readers in the West.

In fact, almost entire world appears to be one big error, non-entity, if observed from New York, Berlin or Paris.

 

I come and speak in front of the Western public. Yes, I do it from time to time, although with decreasing frequency.

Frankly, to face European or North American crowds feels depressing, even humiliating.

It goes like this: you are invited to ‘tell the truth’; to present what you are witnessing all over the world.

You stand there, facing men and women who have just arrived in their comfortable cars, after having good dinners in their well-heated or air-conditioned homes. You may be a famous writer and a filmmaker, but somehow, they make you feel like a beggar. Because you came to speak on behalf of “beggars”.

Everything is well-polished, and choreographed. It is expected that you do not show any ‘gore’. That you do not call your public ‘names’. That you do not swear, do not get drunk on the stage, do not start insulting everyone in sight.

What you usually face is quite a hard, or at least ‘hardened’, crowd.

Recently, in Southern California, when I was asked, by a fellow philosopher and a friend of mine, to address a small gathering of his colleagues, some people were banging on their mobile phones, as I was describing the situation at the Syrian frontline, near Idlib. I felt that my account was nothing more than a ‘background, an elevator music’ to most of them. At least when I am addressing millions through my television interviews, I do not have to see the public.

When you ‘speak’ in the West, you are actually addressing men and women who are responsible, at least partially, for the mass murders and genocides that are being committed by their countries. Men and women whose standards of living are outrageously high, because The Others are being robbed, humiliated, and often raped. But their eyes are not humble; they are drilling them into you, waiting for some mistake that you might make, so they can conclude: “He is fake news”. For them, you are not a bridge between those who ‘exist’ and those who don’t. For them, you are an entertainer, a showman, or more often than not: a nuisance.

To learn about war, about the terror that the West is spreading, is, for many in my audience yet another type of luxury, high-level entertainment, not unlike an opera performance or a symphony concert. If necessary, they can even pay, although mostly they’d rather not. After a titillating experience, it is back to the routine, back to a sheltered, elegant life. While you, the next day, are often catching a plane back to the reality of the others; to the frontline, to dust and misery.

They, your public (but face it, also most of your readers) came to show how ‘open-minded’ they are. They came ‘to learn’ from you, ‘to get educated’, while keeping their lifestyles intact. Most of them think that they know it all, even without your first-hand experience, they are benevolently doing you a favor by inviting you, and by dragging themselves all the way to some university or a theatre or wherever the hell you are standing in front of them. They did not come to offer any support to your struggle. They are not part of any struggle. They are good, peace-loving, hardworking people; that’s all.

You know, like those Germans, in the late 1930’s; self-righteous, hard-working folks. Most of them love their pets, and recycle their garbage. And clean after themselves at Starbucks.

 

A few days ago, we stopped the coup in Venezuela. I say we, because, although deep in devastated Borneo Island, I had been giving interviews to RT, Press TV, addressing millions. Even here, I never stopped writing, tweeting, always ready to drop everything just fly to Caracas, if I were to be needed there.

To defend Venezuela, to defend the Revolution there, is essential. As it is essential to defend Syria, Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Bolivia, South Africa and other revolutionary and brave nations that are refusing to surrender to the Western diktat.

While the ideological battle for Caracas was raging, I was thinking: is there anything that could still move the Western public into action?

Have they – Europeans and North Americans – become totally indifferent to their own crimes? Have they developed some sort of emotional immunity? Is their condition ideological, or simply clinical?

Here we were, in the middle of a totally open coup; an attempt by the West to overthrow one of the most democratic countries on our planet. And they did almost nothing to stop the terrorism performed by their regimes in Washington or Madrid! At least in Indonesia in 1965 or in Chile in 1973, the Western regime tried to hide behind thin fig leaves. At least, while destroying socialist Afghanistan and the Communist Soviet Union by creating the Mujahedin, the West used Pakistan as a proxy, trying to conceal, at least partially, its true role. At least, while killing more than 1 million people in Iraq, there was this charade and bunch of lies about the ‘weapons of mass destruction’. At least, at least…

Now, it is all transparent. In Syria, Venezuela; and against North Korea, Cuba, Iran, China, Russia.

As if propaganda was not even needed, anymore, it as if the Western public has become totally obedient, posing no threat to the plans of the Western regime.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, American Military 
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It truly looked grand, impressive – the fourth most populous country on earth voted in general elections, which were held on 17 April 2019. Hundreds of positions were for grab: that of the president, the vice president, members of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), and members of local legislative bodies. There were 190 million eligible voters in the country, and sixteen parties, including four new ones.

The only “tiny” spoiler of this magnificence was that, as always in post-1965 Indonesia, not one single political party was really representing the people. All of them were pro-business, all controlled by the oligarchy. Almost all the candidates were ‘competing’ with each other, trying to prove to the increasingly fundamentalist Muslim majority of the country, how Islamic they really were.

In Indonesia, Communism is banned. Atheism is forbidden as well. Belief in market fundamentalism and religious zeal are the two ‘norms’, expected from any individual who is aiming at any important political office.

On 17 April 2019, people voted. Or more precisely, they came to put pieces of paper into boxes, as they were told by their Western handlers.

In the end, it was down to two main choices: an incumbent President “Jokowi” (Joko Widodo by his real name), and the retired General Prabowo.

Jokowi, originally a humble furniture-maker and later a mayor of the city of Solo in Central Java, could be defined as ‘progressive’, but only in the Indonesian or Southeast Asian political context. He looks so attractive because his challengers have mainly been mass murderers and outright kleptocrats.

However, during the first term in the highest office, Jokowi did almost nothing to stop the genocide and plunder in West Papua, or the alarming surge in the influence of Wahhabism (Saudi-style Islam, supported by the West), which is blocking Indonesia from any intellectual (scientific, artistic, philosophical) achievements.

Whenever accused of being a ‘Communist’, Jokowi bent, going out of his way to prove that he has nothing to do with the real Left. When attacked for ‘not being Muslim enough’, he immediately began ‘leading public prayers’, bringing Muslim politicians into his team, and acting religiously. He failed to defend his former allies who were destroyed by the Islamists, including highly-popular former governor of Jakarta – Ahok – who recently spent time in prison for ‘defaming Islam’. Periodically, often at the request of the United States, Jokowi antagonized China. That’s when his critics from the extreme right were attacking him for getting ‘too chummy’ with Beijing. Indonesia is racist, and many Chinese (as well as members of other ‘non-mainstream groups’) here died during the countless pogroms committed throughout past centuries.

“Don’t pay attention, all this is just a political maneuvering,” it was said by his supporters. But if that was so, it was a terribly ugly maneuvering, to be frank! Just an example: One lady teacher, who exposed her sexual harasser and as a result was thrown into jail, got zero protection from President Jokowi. The increasing Islamisation of Indonesian society, often unconstitutional, goes unchallenged. Compared to the era of the progressive Muslim cleric and past President, Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia is regressing, increasingly resembling the oppressive Gulf States.

The correct argument of many (at least relatively secular) Indonesian citizens, is that, were the other main candidate – the retired General Prabowo – to win these elections, the country would basically collapse; go back to Suharto-style fascist, military dictatorship. Prabowo is actually married to one of Suharto’s daughters. And he has a record, almost a ‘career’ of being a mass murders: from East Timor to Java itself. He surrounded himself by the most conservative Muslim cadres, as well as by the anti-leftists and the oligarchs.

Once before, during the previous elections, Prabowo lost to Jokowi. Most likely, this – 2019 elections – was his last chance.

Joko Widodo and his PDI-P won, with 55.5% votes, while Prabowo Subianto ended up with the support of only 44.5%.

On 21 May 2019, the General Elections Commission declared “Jokowi” and his running-mate Amin as the winners.

Prabowo and his team disputed the election results, and protested against Jokowi’s victory.

One day after the results were announced, deadly riots erupted.

Around the time election results were released, Reuters reported:

Indonesian police arrested a man on Friday accused of creating an anti-Chinese disinformation campaign to incite racial hatred, amid a proliferation of rumours alleging Chinese involvement in post-election unrest that has raised fears of ethnic violence.

Police say the suspect created a viral hoax using a photo of three Indonesian police officers at protests this week with a caption describing them as secret Chinese soldiers based on their “slanted eyes”.

 

Of course, we all knew that it was coming. One week before the disturbances, I was still in the Indonesian capital, filming a group of insane-looking women, gathering in front of the Sarinah shopping center. Their hair covered, maniacal expressions on their faces, they were shouting into my camera:

We love Prabowo! He is good; he is so smart, he is our President!”

Almost the entire extreme Islamist apparatus stood by the former genocidal General. Many housewives obsessed with military uniforms, were ready to support him, unconditionally, until the bitter end.

Life in Indonesia is empty and monotonous. The 1965 US-orchestrated coup destroyed much of the culture and spirituality. Intellectualism had been wiped out, and so were the arts. Political diversity eliminated. Only cheap pop is now available. Pop, as well as the most fundamentalist forms of religion.

No wonder that in such a ‘climate’, elections as well as the World Cup (to which Indonesia never qualifies, but which it follows with maniacal loyalty), manage to fully mesmerize the society.

And in a nation which since 1965 has perpetrated 3 genocides and various deadly unrests, an excessive obsession with anything, is never constructive, in fact is often devastating.

To some of Prabowo’s ‘obsessive supporters’, he impersonates power, machismo, righteousness and “Muslim values”. The people he killed or gave orders to kill? Who cares – they were all some ‘separatists’, commies, atheists. That’s how the majority sees them.

 

On 22 May, 2019, the pro-Prabowo camp rioted in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities. 6 people were murdered and 200 injured. That has been a very ‘conservative’ estimate, although both sides were accused of manipulating numbers (Jokowi’s camp downwards, Prabowo’s upwards).

Muslim jihadi cadres were apparently involved, too, accused of stabbing and intimidating.

Armed forces crushed the riots. It had to be done, as the rioters were mainly paid thugs and Islamic fundamentalists.

Earlier, some 600 died, during “the lengthy voting and counting process”. The official numbers were 569, while the unofficial spoke of 700, even 800. Yes, the counting process was very taxing, but perhaps no other elections in the world (in peacetime) registered such a high mortality rate among officials and volunteers. But then again, Indonesia is a very poor country, and many of its citizens are suffering from various undiagnosed diseases. Long hours and difficult conditions during the elections put great pressure on the volunteers. Still, such a mortality rate is unprecedented.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Indonesia, Islam 
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