The UK’s Decision to Extradite Assange Shows Why The US/UK’s Freedom Lectures Are a Farce

The Assange persecution is the greatest threat to Western press freedoms in years. It is also a shining monument to the fraud of American and British self-depictions.

Glenn Greenwald | June 17, 2022

People protest with t-shirts and easter eggs at Largo di Torre Argentina to demand Julian Assange’s freedom against extradition, on April 11, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assange was extended and escalated on Friday morning. The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the U.S.’s extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.

This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the U.S. and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet it nonetheless further highlights the utter sham of American and British sermons about freedom, democracy and a free press. Those performative self-glorifying spectacles are constantly deployed to justify these two countries’ interference in and attacks on other nations, and to allow their citizens to feel a sense of superiority about the nature of their governments. After all, if the U.S. and UK stand for freedom and against tyranny, who could possibly oppose their wars and interventions in the name of advancing such lofty goals and noble values?

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West at inflection point in Ukraine war

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | June 19, 2022

(L-R) Romanian President Iohannis, Italian PM Draghi, Ukrainian President Zelensky, French President Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 16 June 2022.

Henry Kissinger predicted some three weeks ago that the Ukraine war was dangerously close to becoming a war against Russia. That was a prescient remark. The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a weekend interview told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper that in the alliance’s estimation, the Ukraine war could wage for years. 

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices,” Stoltenberg said. He added that the supply of state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would increase the chance of liberating the Donbass region from Russian control.

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Ukraine Update: Ukraine-fatigue Is Setting In Around The World, Says British PM

Countercurrents | June 19, 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday stressed that the public needs to keep up its support of Ukraine after nearly four months of war.

Media reports said:

“The worry that we have is that a bit of Ukraine-fatigue is starting to set in around the world,” Johnson told reporters on the back of a trip to Kyiv. “It is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and we are giving them that strategic resilience that they need.”

Johnson on Friday made his second surprise trip to the Ukrainian capital. The British government, in a show of support, offered Ukraine a military training program that could train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days. Johnson’s office said it would “fundamentally change the equation of the war.”

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Russian Sanctions Are Hurting U.S. WAY MORE Than Russia

The contempt US intelligentsia and politicians have for Russia’s accomplishments has rendered them blind to Moscow’ true economic strengths

U.S.-led sanctions were supposed to cripple Russia’s economy and force Putin to pull out of Ukraine, but it turns out that the suffering from these sanctions in an interdependent global economy are spread around, as American consumers are discovering with record-high gas prices. So what happened? According to one French economist, Americans fundamentally failed to understand the importance of Russia’s productive output and talk of Russia’s economy being “the same size as Spain’s” reflected a similar misunderstanding of the modern global economy. Jimmy and The Dive’s Jackson Hinkle tackle the consequences of the west’s underestimating Russian economic power.

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Biden Funnels MORE Money To His Donors By Hiking Medicare Prices To Record Level

Even The Young Turks—a Democrat-backed outlet— is denouncing this outrageous premium hike, falling on poorer people living on fixed incomes

The Young Turks | June 14, 2022

The Biden Administration stealthily hiked Medicare premiums to their highest prices ever while simultaneously pushing to funnel even more money into the private health insurance industry, further privatizing the government insurance program. It’s also important to note that Biden took around $47 million on legalized bribes from health care executives during his 2020 presidential campaign. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss on The Young Turks.

“Last week, the Biden administration quietly reaffirmed its decision to enact the highest Medicare premium hikes in history right before this year’s midterm elections. At the same time, President Joe Biden is endorsing a plan to funnel significantly more Medicare money to insurance companies and further privatize the government insurance program for older Americans and those with disabilities. In effect, the higher premium increases will subsidize the larger payments to — and profits for — private insurance corporations. This comes after Biden raked in roughly $47 million from health care industry executives during his 2020 campaign. The Biden administration announced on May 27 that due to “legal and operational hurdles,” Medicare recipients won’t see their premiums lowered this year, even though that rate was originally hiked last November in large part due to the projected costs of paying for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug that Medicare now says it generally will not cover. The administration’s announcement comes as Biden officials move forward with a jolting 8.5 percent hike in payments made to private insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans next year.”

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Libya: Imperialism and the Left

The US imperialist ruling class is the world’s most dangerous predator. Immoral and opportunistic, it can prey on anyone, including “class allies”

Stephen Gowans

Gaddafi murdered, after being assassinated by the Western press. The imperial signature. Put it on Clinton, Sarkozy, and Obama’s tab—and a zillion accomplices.

While the class character of regimes under siege by Western powers is often explored in analyses of imperialist interventions and is frequently invoked to justify them, it neither explains why capitalist imperialist powers intervene nor stands as a justification for their actions.

The relevant consideration in explaining why interventions occur is not the political orientation of the government under siege, nor its relations with its citizens, but whether it accommodates the profit-making interests of the dominant class in the intervening countries. Does it welcome foreign investment, allow repatriation of profits, demand little in the way of corporate income tax, open its markets, and offer abundant supplies of cheap labor and raw materials? Or does it impose high tariffs on imports, subsidize domestic production, operate state-owned enterprises (displacing opportunities for foreign-private-owned ones), force investors to take on local partners, and insist that workers be protected from desperation wages and intolerable working conditions?

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Ukraine Update: Kiev’s Allies Divided

Countercurrents | June 15, 2022

Ukraine’s allies are in disagreement on the question of the war.

On June 14, a New York Times report — A Link to Besieged Ukrainians Is Cut, as Allies Question Strategy — said:

“The last bridge to the city of Sievierodonetsk fell as battles raged, and some Western officials questioned Ukraine’s ability to keep resisting Russia.”

The report said:

“Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, insists that his country may yet prevail if it is given more powerful weaponry, but as Western military leaders prepared to meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, some officials sounded dubious, with talk again turning to what an end to the war might look like — and how to bring it about.”

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Ukraine Update: Momentum Of War Favors Russia

Countercurrents | June 13, 2022

Momentum in the Ukraine War has begun favoring Russia, and as a clear signal, the NATO Secretary-General has told Ukraine to decide how much territory it likes to concede in exchange of peace.

A New York Times report — “Momentum in Ukraine Is Shifting in Russia’s Favor” (June 11, 2022) — said:

Ukraine lacking the weaponry it needs, and Western support for the war effort fraying in the face of rising gas prices and galloping inflation.

The report said:

Russian forces did appear to be making slow, methodical and bloody progress toward control of eastern Ukraine.

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Ukraine Update: Kiev Forces Facing Growing Desertion, Significant Losses And Depleting Ammunition

Countercurrents | June 12, 2022

Cases of desertion are growing among Ukrainian force, which is suffering significant losses, says report. It is also almost out of ammunition.

Media reports said:

There has been a rise in desertion as morale declines, says an intelligence report seen by The Independent.

Ukraine is now dependent on Western donations of supplies, Ukrainian officials say.

Reports are emerging that the Ukrainian military is experiencing “massive losses,” and cases of desertion are growing, an intelligence report says.

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NO WAY OUT BUT WAR

Chris Hedges

MintPress News | May 23, 2022

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.

The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

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