Tuesday, July 28, 2015

China's NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion by Eric Draitser

China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion

China has recently taken an important step in more tightly regulating foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) inside the country. Despite condemnation from so called human rights groups in the West, China’s move should be understood as a critical decision to assert sovereignty over its own political space. Naturally, the shrill cries of “repression” and “hostility toward civil society” from western NGOs have done little to shake the resolve of Beijing as the government has recognized the critical importance of cutting off all avenues for political and social destabilization.

The predictable argument, once again being made against China’s Overseas NGO Management Law, is that it is a restriction on freedom of association and expression, and a means of stifling the burgeoning civil society sector in China. The NGO advocates portray this proposed legislation as another example of the violation of human rights in China, and further evidence of Beijing’s lack of commitment to them. They posit that China is moving to further entrench an authoritarian government by closing off the democratic space which has emerged in recent years.

However, amid all the hand-wringing about human rights and democracy, what is conveniently left out of the narrative is the simple fact that foreign NGOs, and domestic ones funded by foreign money, are, to a large extent, agents of foreign interests, and are quite used as soft power weapons for destabilization. And this is no mere conspiracy theory as the documented record of the role of NGOs in recent political unrest in China is voluminous. It would not be a stretch to say that Beijing has finally recognized, just as Russia has before it, that in order to maintain political stability and true sovereignty, it must be able to control the civil society space otherwise manipulated by the US and its allies.

For full article:

Sunday, July 26, 2015


JULY 25, 2015



Today, Cindy chats with Bruce Gagnon (founder of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and lifelong activist) about the little talked about/reported upon (not including The Soapbox)
subject of the USA backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine against

As Bruce points out, if one is against US/NATO expansion in the region based on principles of peace and justice, we are being "Putinized" as Putin is being "demonized."

It is possible to be against ALL of the US's military crimes against peace without being major supporters of leaders the US says we all must hate and fear.

Bruce is intelligent, very informed, and articulate for a highly interesting Soapbox.

Please listen and share this link far and wide.




Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hiroshima: 70 Years of Lies and Propaganda by Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
July 24, 2015
“It is an atomic bomb. It is the greatest thing in history.”
- President Harry S. Truman (August 6, 1945)

One of the seemingly endless Good (sic) War myths goes a little something like this:
The U.S. had no choice but to drop atomic bombs on Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Had they not done so, the fanatical Japanese never would have surrendered and millions of brave American soldiers would have perished in the ensuing invasion of the Japanese islands.
As we approach the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, I’ll try (yet again) to answer the question: Why was the bomb used?

The enemy was never fascism
Before confronting the unleashing of the bomb, there is lesser-known myth that must be dealt with: the life-and-death race with German scientists. “Working at Los Alamos, New Mexico,” writes historian Kenneth C. Davis, “atomic scientists, many of them refugees from Hitler’s Europe, thought they were racing against Germans developing a ‘Nazi bomb.’”

Surely, if it were possible for the epitome of evil to produce such a weapon, it would be the responsibility of the good guys to beat der F├╝hrer to the plutonium punch. While such a desperate race makes for excellent melodrama, the German bomb effort, it appears, fell far short of success.
Thanks to the declassification of key documents, we now have access to “unassailable proof that the race with the Nazis was a fiction,” says Stewart Udall, who cites the work of McGeorge Bundy and Thomas Powers before adding: “According to the official history of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), those agents maintained ‘contacts with scientists in neutral countries.’” 
These contacts, by mid-1943, provided enough evidence to convince the SIS that the German bomb program simply did not exist. 

Despite such findings, U.S. General Leslie Groves, military commander of the Manhattan Project, got permission in the fall of 1943 to begin a secret espionage mission known as Alsos (Greek for “grove,” get it?). The mission saw Groves’ men following the Allies’ armies throughout Europe with the goal of capturing German scientists involved in the manufacture of atomic weapons.

While the data uncovered by Alsos only served to reinforce the prior reports that the Third Reich was not pursuing a nuclear program, Groves was able to maintain enough of a cover-up to keep his pet project alive. In the no-holds-barred religion of anti-communism, the “Good War” enemy was never fascism. Truman’s daughter, Margaret, remarked about her dad’s early presidential efforts after the death of FDR in April 1945, “My father’s overriding concern in these first weeks was our policy towards Russia.” 

“Saved millions of lives”
The most commonly evoked justification for the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was to save lives, but was it true? Would such an invasion even have been necessary? Finally, were the actions of the United States motivated by an escalating Cold War with the Soviet Union? Here are the facts that don’t mesh with the long-accepted storyline:

Although hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives were lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the bombings are often explained away as a “life-saving” measure -- American lives. Exactly how many lives saved is, however, up for grabs. (We do know of a few U.S. soldiers who fell between the cracks About a dozen or more American POWs were killed in Hiroshima, a truth that remained hidden for some 30 years.) 

In defense of the U.S. action, it is usually claimed that the bombs saved lives. The hypothetical body count ranges from 20,000 to “millions.” In an August 9, 1945 statement to “the men and women of the Manhattan Project,” President Truman declared the hope that “this new weapon will result in saving thousands of American lives.”

“The president’s initial formulation of ‘thousands,” however, was clearly not his final statement on the matter to say the least,” remarks historian Gar Alperovitz. In his book, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth, Alperovitz documents but a few of Truman’s public estimates throughout the years: 
  • Dec. 15, 1945: “It occurred to me that a quarter of a million of the flower of our young manhood was worth a couple of Japanese cities ...”
  • Late 1946: “A year less of war will mean life for three hundred thousand -- maybe half a million -- of America’s finest youth.”
  • October 1948: “In the long run we could save a quarter of a million young Americans from being killed, and would save an equal number of Japanese young men from being killed.”
  • April 6, 1949: “I thought 200,000 of our young men would be saved.”
  • November 1949: Truman quotes Army Chief of Staff George S. Marshall as estimating the cost of an Allied invasion of Japan to be “half a million casualties.”
  • Jan. 12, 1953: Still quoting Marshall, Truman raises the estimate to “a minimum one quarter of a million” and maybe “as much as a million, on the American side alone, with an equal number of the enemy.”
  • Finally, on April 28, 1959, Truman concluded: “the dropping of the bombs ... saved millions of lives.” 
Fortunately, we are not operating without the benefit of official estimates.

In June 1945, Truman ordered the U.S. military to calculate the cost in American lives for a planned assault on Japan. Consequently, the Joint War Plans Committee prepared a report for the Chiefs of Staff, dated June 15, 1945, thus providing the closest thing anyone has to “accurate”: 40,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 150,000 wounded, and 3,500 missing. 

While the actual casualty count remains unknowable, it was widely known at the time that Japan had been trying to surrender for months prior to the atomic bombing. A May 5, 1945 cable, intercepted and decoded by the United States, “dispelled any possible doubt that the Japanese were eager to sue for peace.” In fact, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported shortly after the war, that Japan “in all probability” would have surrendered before the much-discussed November 1, 1945 Allied invasion of the homeland. 

Truman himself eloquently noted in his diary that Stalin would “be in the Jap War on August 15th. Fini (sic) Japs when that comes about.”

The cold logic of capitalism
Some post-Hiroshima/Nagasaki sentiments questioned the use of the bombs.

“I thought our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives,” said General Dwight D. Eisenhower while, not long after the Japanese surrender, New York Times military analyst Hanson Baldwin wrote, “The enemy, in a military sense, was in a hopeless strategic position ... Such then, was the situation when we wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Need we have done it? No one can, of course, be positive, but the answer is almost certainly negative.” 

So, was it the cold logic of capitalism that motivated the nuking of civilians? 

As far back as May 1945, a Venezuelan diplomat was reporting how Assistant Secretary of State Nelson Rockefeller “communicated to us the anxiety of the United States government about the Russian attitude.”

U.S. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes seemed to agree when he turned the anxiety up a notch by explaining how “our possessing and demonstrating the bomb would make Russia more manageable in the East ... The demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia with America’s military might.”
General Leslie Groves was less cryptic: “There was never, from about two weeks from the time I took charge of this Project, any illusion on my part but that Russia was our enemy, and the Project was conducted on that basis.” 

During the same time period, President Truman noted that Secretary of War Henry Stimson was “at least as much concerned with the role of the atomic bomb in the shaping of history as in its capacity to shorten the war.” What sort of shaping Stimson had in mind might be discerned from his Sept. 11, 1945 comment to the president: “I consider the problem of our satisfactory relations with Russia as not merely connected but as virtually dominated by the problem of the atomic bomb.”

Stimson called the bomb a “diplomatic weapon,” and duly explained that “American statesmen were eager for their country to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip.”
“The psychological effect [of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] on Stalin was twofold,” proposes historian Charles L. Mee, Jr. “The Americans had not only used a doomsday machine; they had used it when, as Stalin knew, it was not militarily necessary. It was this last chilling fact that doubtless made the greatest impression on the Russians.”

It also made an impression on J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director at Los Alamos. After learning of the carnage wrought upon Japan, he began to harbor second thoughts and he resigned in October 1945. In March of the following year, Oppenheimer told Truman: 
“Mr. President, I have blood on my hands.” 
Truman’s reply? 
“It’ll come out in the wash.” 

Later, the president told an aide, “Don’t bring that fellow around again.”
“They’ll spit in your eye”
“Why did we drop (the bomb)?” pondered Studs Terkel, two decades ago. “So little Harry could show Molotov and Stalin we’ve got the cards,” he explained. “That was the phrase Truman used. We showed the goddamned Russians we’ve got something and they’d better behave themselves in Europe. That’s why it was dropped. The evidence is overwhelming. And yet you tell that to 99 percent of Americans and they’ll spit in your eye.”
Let the spitting begin.

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on ActivismUntil the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here and hereAnyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.

Whoops! by Anthony Freda

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's a J. Edgar World by Anthony Freda (iRants)

It's not that power corrupts, it is that power attracts the corruptible.

The J. Edgar Hoover model of surveillance, intimidation, blackmail, character assassination, actual assassination

And using corrupt media to spread disinformation is still very much alive in the 21st century.
Technological and psychological advances have turned his most demented, dystopian wet dreams into reality.
We are All in his files now.

He was also trans before it was cool and possibly a self-hating black man.
What a great American trailblazer!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Speaking Truth to Empire with Dan Yaseen

July 20, 2015

On “Speaking Truth to Empire” Dan Yaseen interviews Jeff Brown, an author and blogger who currently lives in China. Jeff grew up in Oklahoma and has also lived in Brazil, Middle East, Africa and France. In 2012, he took a solo trip through China for 44 days and wrote a book, 44Days: Backpacking in China.  His website is http://44days.net 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Birthing a New Labor Movement (Soapbox PODCAST 7/19/15)

JULY 19, 2015

TOPIC: Org Labor MUST MAKE a Clean Break from the DNC






The Soapbox Calls for the Internment of "Radical" Politicians and War Profiteers and Generals

They Hate our Freedumb by Anthony Freda (iRants)

Isn't the purpose of journalism to provide alternatives to official propaganda?
What is the point of having a free press if it serves the needs of those in power who already have a global pulpit?
The establishment narrative (especially regarding foreign policy) should never be taken at face value, always questioned and investigated.
The controlled press, our military leadership and our intelligence agencies have earned our skepticism by way of their history of mis-informing the public and their instinct for deception.

"The origins of the Iran nuclear "crisis" lay not in an Iranian urge to obtain nuclear weapons but, rather, in a sustained effort by the United States and its allies to deny Iran its right, as guaranteed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to have any nuclear program at all. The book highlights the impact that the United States' alliance with Israel had on Washington's pursuit of its Iran policy and sheds new light on the US strategy of turning the International Atomic Energy Agency into a tool of its anti-Iran policy." Gareth Porter
"People in Iran think this agreement keeps them from having their children bombed by us. Unfortunately for them all it does is give us an excuse to bomb them easier when they fail to comply with weapons inspection protocols. This is the same playbook we used to kill 600,000 people in Iraq: claims that they had WMDs. The fact that Iraq had no such weapons didn't stop us. This deal is smoke and mirrors. An ideal deal would normalize relations and allow peaceful trade between our nations. If Iran was an imminent threat or attacked us, and only then we would respond with force. 

The whole subject of nuclear weapons is a distraction. There are many other weapons today which can be more deadly than many nuclear weapons. As with Iraq, we are changing the topic of the debate and not asking simple questions like

theonion.comIran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon: thought provoking

Every. Four. Years. (But What About Bernie?) | Mickey Z.

July 19, 2015

Every four years, relatively rational comrades willingly surrender their ability to think critically.

Every four years, I promise myself I won’t write about it.

Every four years, I break that promise.

Every four years, I remind people about the primary difference between Republicans and Democrats: they tell different lies to get elected.

Every four years, I lose more friends.

Here. We. Go. Again. 

Liberal countdown begins: 3... 2... 1... but what about Bernie?!?

For decades, I’ve made all the reasoned, well-documented arguments to explain the two-party lie to allegedly open-minded readers (check your trusty search engine to find the tens of thousands of words I’ve already shared in vain).

 This time around, however, I won’t waste my time.

This time around, I’ll skip the stats, the evidence, the history, the proof

This time around, I’ll just keep naming the problem.

Name the Problem
The Democratic Party is but one component of a vast criminal enterprise, an enterprise responsible for threatening all life on Earth. An enterprise commonly referred to as “our way of life.” 
Our way of life means 93 percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone. It means 78 percent of the old growth forests are gone. It means the breast milk of every mother on Earth contains dioxins. It means every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. It means each day, 13 million tons of toxic chemicals are released across the globe; 200,000 acres of rain forest are destroyed; 150 to 200 plant and animal species go extinct.

I could, unfortunately, go on and on and on… but let’s sum up for the Bernie fans: Our way of life means white supremacy, male supremacy, and class supremacy. It means ecocide.
Reminder: You can’t vote away white supremacy, male supremacy, class supremacy, or ecocide.

When the most recent “good cop” -- the Pope of Hope, with his drones and his Nobel Peace Prize -- was first inaugurated in 2009, he openly announced to the world: “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.”
Reminder: Our way of life has us at the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse. 

Supporting the next good cop doesn’t change any of this and doesn’t make you progressive. To support someone like Sanders is to support the Democrats which is to support the two-party lie which is to support an omnicidal system and all the destruction it creates.

Questions and Answers
"I think voting is the opium of the masses in this country. Every four years you deaden the pain." (Emma Goldman said that.)

“I think it is dangerous to confuse the idea of democracy with elections. Just because you have elections doesn’t mean you’re a democratic country.” (Arundhati Roy said that.)

“The next time someone tells you America has a two-party system, I suggest you demand a recount.” (I said that.)

If you plan to vote for yet another lesser (sic) evil in 2016, go ahead. Kid yourself. Delude yourself. Feel superior. Engage in three-hour social media flame wars to defend your choice. Hold your nose and pull the damn lever. Whatever… 

As I said, we are on the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse. Therefore, vote or no vote, all I care to know is what you’re doing the other 364.99 days. 

Are you making the big connections? How are you working to challenge deeply entrenched privilege and hierarchy to create new coalitions? Are you willing to do the work it’ll take to end male supremacy, white supremacy, and class supremacy? What are you doing -- each and every day -- to help bring down this global system of oppression and exploitation before there’s nothing left? How much time do you believe we have?
Reminder: If you think Bernie Sanders is the answer, you’re asking the wrong questions… 

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on ActivismUntil the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here and hereAnyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yoga's Pose: White Supremacy by Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
July 15, 2015

One of the greatest victories of white supremacy is conditioning white people to think it only refers to slavery, segregation, skinheads, and the KKK. 

One of the most important steps towards becoming a more aware and effective ally is recognizing how white supremacy (like male supremacy) is everywhere, maliciously interwoven into every aspect of our daily lives. Even those trendy yoga classes.

Of course, with its elitist pricing and resident rapists, yoga does not lack for capitalist and patriarchal elements, but this specific article began when I happened across a white male face smiling at me from the cover of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health catalog.

Three pages in, Kripalu CEO, David Lipsius writes: “One of our core beliefs is that personal growth and development is a never a one-size-fits-all endeavor” and “Kripalu celebrates these differences and welcomes all seekers in a way that meets each individual exactly where they are.”

As I thumbed through the catalog on a crowded M train, I decided to see how this commitment to diversity played out. My informal count of the programs offered and how many of the teachers and/or presenters were people of color:

Programs: 241
PoC: 19

How is this meeting people “exactly where they are”? Which people? 

Just being able to get oneself to Kripalu’s location in the Berkshires involves a fair amount of class privilege -- never mind the actual fees and costs of the facility -- but once there, how does roughly 92 percent of the teachers being white not qualify as “a one-size-fits-all endeavor”?

Consider the subliminal conditioning of such numbers. Yoga is created by a non-white culture which is then conquered, occupied, and colonized. Fast forward a few centuries and now rich white people are the “experts” -- sanitizing, commodifying, and selling yoga back to other rich white people as self-improvement.

Self-improvement? It’s long overdue to start thinking beyond our privileged selves and recognizing the reality that white supremacy is not always about overt violence or the use of racial slurs. It is with us, in the most insidious of ways, all the time. Therefore, challenging white supremacy is a 24/7 commitment. Are you up to the task?

If so, I’d like to close by sharing one of the most crucial lessons I’ve ever learned as an activist: The most fundamental white privilege is choosing to remain unaware of white privilege. 
Stops posing and join the struggle.

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on ActivismUntil the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here and hereAnyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.

The "Left" Has Left the Building (Soapbox Podcast Week of July 12)

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
July 15, 2015

Soapbox Podcast



(special thanks to our friend Jon Gold for putting the show together this week). 



Dear Friends,

What passes for the so-called left in the USA is mostly a pitiful lot of unprincipled party hacks leading a flock of willing sheep.

At this point, I think the only difference between Obama and a Republican (remember, Obama admires Reagan), is that if there were a Republican president for the last 6 1/2 years, there would be more support for antiwar and pro-justice movements. As it is, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox has struggled along--we have not only been "on the air" but "in the streets" never forgetting our principles or the struggle.

This week, The Soapbox has been trying to work around technical problems and I have been trying to present the show even with being Dede Miller's (production assistant, and my only sister) prime caregiver in our battle against cancer: but we have a GREAT show

We are in the middle of a summer fundraiser that is not going too well, but if you'd like to contribute please click the image below for more info on how to do that.

Thanks to everyone who has already donated to our summer fundraiser!

¡Hasta la victoria, siempre!

Love & Peace


A Truly Monumental Event by Anthony Freda


A Truly Monumental Event

"Monumental" is the word that has been chosen for us to define the Iran nuclear deal that ostensibly protects the West from yet another non-existing, existential threat.
The word is everywhere in the mainstream media, and people are dutifully parroting the adjective as if it were an original thought.

To me, a truly 'monumental' event would be a presidential speech outlining how the idea of Iran as a military threat to the US or Israel is an absurd, discredited notion
promoted by the Saudis, Israeli hawks and the NeoConservatives via western media propaganda channels to portray the country as an agent of evil.
Iran has no intention of starting a suicidal nuclear war. They pose exactly the same existential threat to the US as Vietnam or Iraq did. Zero.
Fabricated evidence, false intelligence and fear mongering brought us to war with those countries. The same sort of manipulation of tribal, xenophobic instincts with a concerted, decades long demonization campaign has been used to support hostility towards Iran. What will it take for us to learn the perennial tricks of the war makers?
The US has tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and Israel has hundreds. Iran is surrounded by dozens of US military bases equipped with the most sophisticated military hardware in human history and thousands of soldiers.
A trillion dollar war machine supplies technologically advanced surveillance and spyware systems to monitor literally every inch of the country and every click in cyberspace.

As Hillary stated in a rare moment of truth telling
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran,
In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,"

While the purported goal of fighting this imaginary foe with diplomacy instead of warfare is laudable, the underlying, paranoid premise that Iran is part of some Axis of Evil intent on destruction of the US remains intact. We are told all military options remain "On the table" to destroy the boogieman if he breaks free from his chains.

In light of the fact that US media, intelligence agencies and pols have been discredited by fabricating casus belli in the past, here are
some questions worth consideration:

Is the US cloaking it's true intentions with Iran in this fabricated nuclear issue?

Is the "nuclear deal," itself a ruse?
The 2013 article, "Nuclear Deal With Iran Prelude to War, Not 'Breakthrough,'" in its entirety, explains:
...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

- Brookings Institution's 2009 "Which Path to Persia?" report, page 52
Does one 'monumental' event exonerate the Obama administration from it's legacy of impeachable offenses, war crimes and extrajudicial executions?
A truly unprecedented, Monumental act of courage would involve a person of immense power using their position to expose the lies that keep us in a state of perpetual, consensual paranoia.
True power is the ability to empower others, not keep us in a state of constant division and hostility by exploiting our common human fears.
A true hero is a person of private conscience who is able to inspire and create a public conscience and awareness that rises above the fear-based narratives that currently drive US foreign policy.

Anthony Freda
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Sunday, July 5, 2015


JULY 6, 2015



This week, Cindy chats with activist-extraordinaire Kevin Zeese about mobilization against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.