31 October 2020

Is it okay not to vote?

The purpose of voting is to make your view heard. If your view is not represented because the candidates on offer are all rotten or you don’t believe them, you have no reason to vote. 

Some friend or family member will try to convince you that because your own interests aren’t represented by a party, you should instead cast your vote for their preferred party, at least because that’s nice to them. Don’t. Democracy works on the assumption everyone will vote based on their own self-interest, not someone else’s.

If you vote because of someone else’s plight, you are amplifying the votes of others and disregarding your own right not to vote, making it less likely your interests will ever be taken into account. If your interests are not represented, it makes sense not to vote whatsoever, as the election is fake as far as you are concerned. Abstaining denies oxygen to parties that don’t take your interests into account. It forces them to try harder and offer a real spectrum of choices next time.

More Americans vote for no-one than vote for any party platform, so you are not alone. This suggests the US is an ineffective democracy that struggles to define or represent the interests of its citizens. If we consider the narrow two-party system and legalized bribery of candidates and lawmakers (“lobbying”), the US government can’t even be defined as a republic.

Forced to consider two horrible parties, it is illogical to vote for those who don’t represent your views. And, in such circumstances, it is logical to vote for nothing. In fact, that in itself is very often the radical gesture the state is scared of.

If you were going to vote for the “lesser of two evils”, just imagine for a moment someone uncorking their bottle of champagne to celebrate having tricked you – with no real regard for you or your interests. That is effectively what you are allowing by voting that way.

Not voting sends a message to a rotten regime that its election is fake, and your interests are not represented by anyone taking part.

Yes, it’s okay not to vote. More than that, it is often the right thing to do. – ClubOfInfo
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30 October 2020

What Does Israel Have against Palestinian Singer, Mohammed Assaf?

Why does Israel hate Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf? On October 16, Avi Dichter, Israeli Member of Parliament from the right-wing Likud Party, announced that Assaf’s special permit to enter the occupied Palestinian West Bank would be revoked. Assaf, originally from Gaza, now lives with his family in the United Arab Emirates. He achieved stardom in […] The post What Does Israel Have against Palestinian Singer, Mohammed Assaf? first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Terrorism and French Values

There have been some horrendous, despicable killings by Muslim extremists in France. Such killings must be condemned. French president Emmanuel Macron played the victim card, saying that France “will not give into terrorism.” Yet when 21st century France engages in overseas militarism, otherwise known as state terrorism, in places with large Muslim populations – places […] The post Terrorism and French Values first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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29 October 2020

A Lot More People Elected Jack Dorsey Than Elected Ted Cruz

“[W]ho the hell elected you,” US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at an October 28 Commerce Committee hearing, “and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?”Cruz was exercised over Twitter’s decision to block tweets promoting a series … Continue reading A Lot More People Elected Jack Dorsey Than Elected Ted Cruz → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Yet Another Real-World Example of How Masks Work

Data from Vanderbilt solidify the case for wearing masks Continue reading on BeingWell » - Hesham Hassaballa
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Monthly Review, Thu, 29 Oct 2020 07:15:38

Today, our choice of politically-relevant title is Kevin Carson’s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy” (https://t.co/2FZ1nWu6zK). Studies in Mutualist Political Economy is an independently researched alert non-fiction work, so to give it the praise it deserves we’re keeping it at the top of our list of recommended non-fiction for today. Here we reveal benevolent ideas that are surely illuminating in their insight. Before you leave our site, you ought to appreciate how buyers react. According to an impressed reader, “The book is brilliant. Kevin Carson is definitely an anarchist within the tradition of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Benjamin Tucker. This is probably the best exposition of "left-libertarian” or “mutualist” anarchism that you will ever find. I come from a background in the Austrian School of economics and was surprised to find how thoroughly Carson grasps the Austrian School. He has clearly studied Rothbard, Hayek, and Mises. He’s also familiar with Keynes. He has a knack for recognizing the positive contributions of others while pointing out their errors. He cites all of my favorite writers (Rothbard, SEK III, Thomas Hodgskin, Benjamin Tucker, et al.). The only part of the book that I don’t totally agree with is his defense of the Labour Theory of Value. Yet, I can see his point. This is the kind of book that will turn a typical anarcho-capitalist into a left-libertarian or left-Rothbardian. It is a must read.“ Well, now we’re done you might as well go one small step further and search for your own copy. If not, you’ve upset us, so stay with us for the next book choice by subscribing for email updates.
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28 October 2020

Google meets the Sherman Act

“Ambition is the subtlest Beast of the Intellectual and Moral Field,” wrote John Adams to his son, John Quincy Adams, in January, 1794. “It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner.”  Father Adams was thinking of Thomas Jefferson in penning these words, that sly devil of a man who sought to gain power […] The post Google meets the Sherman Act first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Israel-Palestine Conflict and Muslim Countries

Israel-Palestine Conflict and Muslim Countries By Dr Maqsood Jafri Two days ago, the President of America Donald Trump said that Sudan has agreed to recognizeContinue reading - Voice of East
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Catalyst in detail: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 07:10:35

Predicting the future forces us to check our past. Time to take a look at the following: “Because humans are only a transitory animal, being human at this time might necessitate being transhumanist in one’s hopes for the future – wanting to shape ourselves into something better. Nietzsche teaches that, as humans, we as a society must necessarily be in transit or we will regress to an inferior state of life. If we stop our journey and go against our transitory nature, becoming too comfortable in our shells, we fall. Even if we stumbled on our path, and produced calamity in our efforts to transform ourselves and the world for the sake of humanity’s own power and security, our nature as a changing society shall mean we are still right. Nietzsche’s ideas concerning human destiny and the risks entailed are quite clear. “Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman – a rope over an abyss”, Nietzsche says, drawing an analogy between a fatal stunt and the need for humans to find value in life by striving for perfection and power in the world. Nietzsche’s contention is that humans are transitional creatures. No person or society can claim to be perfect or complete in their current state. At best, they can claim to be pioneers towards a better state.” Humans are no pinnacle, just as modernity is no end. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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27 October 2020

In Five States, the Presidential Race Isn’t the Most Important Thing on the Ballot

Yes, everyone’s caught up in the question of who will win the presidential election next week. Yes, everyone wants to know whether the Democrats will seize control of the US Senate. But those are “horse race” questions, and none of the likely outcomes are, in themselves, likely to result in long-term change from business as … Continue reading In Five States, the Presidential Race Isn’t the Most Important Thing on the Ballot → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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“Democracy” vs. Covid:  A No-Go

Brussels (EU and European NATO Headquarters) – On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations: German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of […] The post “Democracy” vs. Covid:  A No-Go first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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US social media reassure Americans on the regime's dodgy election

Despite a long and sordid history of irregularities and accusations of fraud in US elections, US-based social media are desperately soothing the suspicions of Americans about their country's corrupt system.

This time, it's saying you don't trust mail-in ballots that will get Twitter all over you to hide your tweet behind content warnings and assure American voters there is nothing to worry about. The disturbing idea of "pre-bunks" has been introduced to auto-detect any suspicions about the election and flag them as false before anyone has even investigated the exact claim.

What Twitter doesn't understand is how this backfires:

(1) People who believe Donald Trump will only think this is more evidence he is being unfairly attacked by partisan media, as he claims.

(2) If any substantial fraud does actually take place by either side (which is already established to be at least possible according to politicians from both sides of the debate), Twitter will be hiding it from voters at least until they are corrected and forced to show the information. This could actually lead to legal consequences for them for defrauding the American people.

Similar to previous censorship gaffes, Twitter's latest move will do nothing to ease the suspicions of Americans about their election. Desperately pleading with people to believe in the system, marking information as sensitive, and automatically stamping propaganda on content to assure people, is only going to increase distrust in the US electoral process (which is questionable in the first place).

The assumption of US elections being normally secure is very poorly founded, according to all experts. Based on concerns of US politicians themselves (both Republican and Democrat, including those who are most respected), there are almost limitless ways to interfere in the elections. They have no integrity whatsoever, and the efforts of third parties and media to try and achieve integrity look like yet more interference (a kind of counter-interference or destructive interference, effectively ruining the elections even more in an attempt to fix them). The clubof.info Blog believes this applies to Twitter's newest gaffe. - ClubOfInfo

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COVID 19 is the disease. SARS CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease

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26 October 2020

October 27th: The Tyranny Continues in Kashmir

October 27th: The Tyranny Continues in Kashmir By Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai October 27 marks the beginning of Indian Occupation of the disputed territory ofContinue reading - Voice of East
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70 Years after China and the DPRK Defeated the United States in Korea

There is a piece of news on an important anniversary missing from western state and corporate news. This year, 2020, is the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) army entering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help in, what the Chinese call, the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. […] The post 70 Years after China and the DPRK Defeated the United States in Korea first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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The Menace of the Dreaded “Second Wave”

It ever looms, and the tension won’t go away. But we can’t cower in fear Continue reading on BeingWell » - Hesham Hassaballa
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The Mont Order on the US 2020 election

Mont Order group: Mont Order authors and members have express a lot of strong views on the divisive US 2020 election. Views have been consistently critical mainly of Trump, and sometimes both candidates. Nevertheless, the Mont Order Code of 2015 held that elections are often of no consequence.* This may be especially true for Mont because Mont members have been so far selected and encouraged based on their foreign policy views rather than domestic policy views, and the foreign policy ideas of Biden and Trump appear to be equally hawkish (although Biden is to be more predictable and more organised). For the individual, it is often a different matter and a lot can be at stake in such an election due to issues of domestic policy. Issues like the environment are important to many dissidents of the Mont Order sphere (such individuals may find it urgent to vote for Biden due to Trump's disregard for both ecological preservation and for carbon reduction targets), while issues of the "deep state" and neoliberalism are important to others (who may be dissuaded from supporting Biden, but unlikely to be convinced to vote for Trump in any case).* you can see more on the originally agreed 7-point code at: http://www.lordre.net/2015/11/mont-order-decides-on-7-principles.html?m=1 - LOrdreNet - Mont Order society
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Killing Unknown

It’s hard to talk about the myriad issues piled in our society in a cohesive way, and when we try, we often get the same response:  “What is your solution?”  People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, […] The post Killing Unknown first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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25 October 2020

Election 2020: The Up Side of Undivided Government

As of late October, the political modelers at FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a 72% chance of pulling off the trifecta — winning the White House and majorities in both Houses of Congress — on November 3. My visceral response to that possibility is negative. Excluding outlier possibilities like a Libertarian landslide, I’ve always considered divided government … Continue reading Election 2020: The Up Side of Undivided Government → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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US government-affiliated account goes unlabelled on Twitter

Twitter account "@Twitter" isn't labelled as US government-affiliated, even while directly advancing US foreign policy by filtering out foreign news networks critical of the US government.

Despite forcefully labelling and concealing the foreign news network accounts "@RT_com" and "@CCTV" from users, on behalf of the US regime, Twitter is hestitant to admit its relationship with the regime. An obvious clue about the company's state loyalty might be the location of Twitter, which is in the United States.

Twitter is compliant with the wishes of a regime guilty of vast global military aggression, torture, and espionage against its own population. It isn't hard to blame them, as they are at this regime's mercy, but they should at least admit it. Interrupting the free flow of information and refusing to acknowledge it, they work as authoritarian sycophants and model citizens of a freedom-restricting tyranny.

Filtering out critical information is censorship, designed to degrade the public's access to accurate information on world events, and an attack on Twitter's users. If you use Twitter, you really need make sure you use this opportunity to directly follow the accounts they don't want you to follow.

- ClubOfInfo

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Catalyst in detail: Sun, 25 Oct 2020 07:07:43

Focus for a moment on the following: “Globalization’s migratory effects and unprecedented mixing of cultures have had at least one major benefit carried forward. This is the erosion of communication barriers, in language and transport. Such barriers correspond with huge historic power inequalities among states. The overall democratic potential of emerging technologies already discussed, the spread and acceptance of the internet, and the world’s transition to an alternative with a much weaker nation-state system certainly deserve to be brought together for consideration. There are anti-state implications in the arrival of new media and new technology.” WE HAVE SEEN POWER IN THE DNA OF OUR TECHNOLOGY. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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24 October 2020

The case for voting for a third party

The purpose of voting is to make your view heard. It is not simply about voting for someone who then comes to power. Such a course of action is guaranteed to elect someone who doesn’t represent you, and it is better not to elect anyone at all than someone who doesn’t represent you.

There are many simpletons who fancy themselves as political campaigners, and they get a disproportionate say on social media (especially Twitter). Their message is often to vote for whoever will most likely win. Such sentiments can be dismissed as simple idiocy, but they are in fact more insidious. The vote-grubbing is an attempt to manipulate electors to vote for representatives who don’t represent them; a clear violation of democracy.

Having voted already by mail for the Libertarian Party’s candidate, Garrison Center director Thomas Knapp wrote, “So does it really matter whether I vote or not? Absent some earth-shaking development that I can neither predict nor bring about by force of will, more than nine of every 10 voters will choose “business as usual” by casting their ballots for Donald Trump or Joe Biden. They’ll vote against freedom and for an ever more authoritarian state. And yes, they’ll almost certainly win.”

If asked why voting for a candidate with no chance of success matters, Knapp will respond:

Because it matters to ME, that’s why. I have an opinion, voting is a way of expressing that opinion, and the vote total my preferred candidate gets, however small, will remain a matter of public record long after you’ve forgotten this column.

If one or two of a hundred voters choose freedom, they — WE — light a flame of hope in the deep dark night of fear and loathing that is 21st century American politics. A tiny, guttering flame, perhaps, but a flame I’d not want to see go out entirely.

Your vote is your voice. I won’t join my voice to the voices of the party of hate or the party of fear. Will you?

People whose views aren’t represented by either candidate should be actively encouraged to vote for a candidate who does represent them, even if there is no hope of such a candidate achieving office. If people are bullied into voting for one of two candidates, especially because this is patriotic or ideologically upstanding, it is no different than being forced or shamed into voting for a single dictator “candidate” and offered no alternative. – ClubOfInfo
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23 October 2020

Inside a Debate Between Scientists on Facial Masking for Covid-19

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22 October 2020

Early Voting, Long Lines, and Voter Suppression

November 3rd, Election Day in America, is rapidly approaching. However, early in-person voting has started in several states across the country and there are some concerning issues already coming to light this election year. Videos by voters have been circulating on social media sites such as Twitter, showing extremely long lines and long waiting periods. […] The post Early Voting, Long Lines, and Voter Suppression first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Kashmiri Youth Delegate at UN asks international community to play its role

United Nations, Third Committee Informal Debate of Youth Delegates By News Desk Office of the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy of Youth organized Third CommitteeContinue reading - Voice of East
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21 October 2020

“The Guardian’s Silence has let the UK trample on Assange’s Rights in Effective Darkness”

WISE Up, a solidarity group for Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, is due to stage a demonstration outside the Guardian offices on October 22 to protest the paper’s failure to support Assange as the US seeks his extradition in an unprecedented assault on press freedom. The date chosen for the protest marks the tenth anniversary of the […] The post "The Guardian’s Silence has let the UK trample on Assange’s Rights in Effective Darkness" first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Catalyst in detail: Wed, 21 Oct 2020 07:15:20

Let’s take another look at this selection from the 2013 Catalyst Thesis: “On the discussion of how techno-liberation can enhance welfare immediately, the possibility of hacking the real world rather than the information world opens up. The most important techno-liberation mission is incumbent on the people who are privileged enough, by accident of birth and education, to be involved in high-tech production processes. Their charity for the impoverished section of the world should be undertaken, much as people who value freedom of information can become whistle-blowers and leakers if they have access to secretive material. While this often has involved unlawful actions, it has also been repeatedly pointed out that moral obligations can ultimately take priority over the law in some cases. If one has access to a very definite industrial secret or technology that could easily be circulated to improve living in deprived parts of the world, then some part of the blame for sustaining gross inequality rests with such a worker and it ought to be gnawing at him or her. Although items of technology may not yet be futuristic enough to be “compact” sufficiently to be leaked and reproduced by people as information can be reproduced on the internet, we can still await a window in which they will be sufficiently “compact.” It is possible that certain machines will be able to replicate themselves, or that synthetic life-forms could replicate on their own and so only be “leaked” once. The high likelihood that such powerful technology will be sufficiently “compact” for democratic circulation in the future makes the act of leaking these technologies to weaker nations for moral and ethical reasons a very real option. Such “hard-leak” actions, no doubt, would be met with criticism from the powerful, but the vast majority of the world would praise those actions as heroic just as they have praised the leaking of controversial government data.” WE HAVE SEEN POWER IN THE DNA OF OUR TECHNOLOGY
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20 October 2020

No, Google is Not a Monopoly

On October 20, the US Department of Justice — joined by 11 Republican state attorneys general — filed a civil lawsuit against Google, with the stated goal of stopping it from  “unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets.” The lawsuit is meritless on its face. Google is … Continue reading No, Google is Not a Monopoly → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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A Dialogue on Lockdowns

Two front line doctors and an expert health writer discuss whether there are other options Continue reading on BeingWell » - Hesham Hassaballa
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India Rebuked by World Media on Kashmir

India Rebuked by World Media on Kashmir By Dr. Maqsood Jafri India has intensified the reign of terror in Indian Occupied Kashmir and Indian uncouthContinue reading - Voice of East
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19 October 2020

Interview: Guatemala Coup & Dirty War

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18 October 2020

COVID-19: Two Things About “The Science”

On October 4, three scientists published “The Great Barrington Declaration,” a statement named for the Massachusetts town in which they met. Infectious disease epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School call for a “focused protection” approach … Continue reading COVID-19: Two Things About “The Science” → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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This Year’s Wellness Exam

For our flu shots, my wife and I drive eight familiar miles, basically the route to a school where she taught, and the placid, ordinary neighborhoods and business locales we’ve passed through a thousand times are no longer friendly. The habit of isolation colors what we see. It dims the glare of familiarity and reveals […] The post This Year's Wellness Exam first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Labour’s support for Rashford is a sham. Here’s why.

If there’s a bandwagon to be jumped on, you can be sure that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party will be first in the queue. But … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Catalyst in detail: Sun, 18 Oct 2020 07:10:16

Selected for you is the following: “current 3D printers must be laughably crude compared with what is going to arrive in coming decades. Maybe democratic technological explosions will not totally eliminate global inequality, but they can certainly lessen it more than anything else can. Strides in nanotechnology and the highly consequential synthetic biology (#synbio) of Craig Venter could potentially move the world away from the monopoly-driven economic system to the true free market predicted by Immanuel Wallerstein as the successor to this system. It is not outrageous to suggest nano machines and bio machines may someday be household appliances that shrink the whole production process to be in the hands of the people. With enough sharing, our capacity to help ourselves and our friends will be so great that economics will become the primitive shadow of a word. Freely available tools, however complex and advanced they are when first engineered, may in future be the only things needed to raise all the means of construction and trade right down to the finest circuitry. Such an analysis does not even go into the potential of synthetic biology to effortlessly assemble chemical products like fuel and fertilizers from materials useless in the present day. Unlimited resources may go to the machines building our future.” Our total commitment to technology-powered liberation and networks of sharing is the answer. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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17 October 2020

Operation Rooster 1956 – Egypt Vs Israel

Operation Rooster 1956 – Egypt Vs Israel Sources: Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman  Continue reading - Voice of East
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Please Don’t Learn The Hard Way

Please don’t go the way of Gov Chris Christie Continue reading on BeingWell » - Hesham Hassaballa
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Violence, instability to spread in the US - election result won’t matter

In 2016, the late leading US sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein wrote of a problem of growing instability in the US

We are used to thinking of instability in states as being located primarily in the global South. It is about those regions that pundits and politicians in the global North speak of “failed states” in which there are “civil wars.”

The late sociologist noted the “golden era of U.S. dominance of the world-system began to come undone circa 1970 and has been unraveling ever since, and increasingly.”

On protests and the formation of anti-government forces in the US, Wallerstein’s commentary tells us:

The problem is that both the federal and local governments are unsure what to do. They “negotiate” for fear that asserting their authority will not be popular. But when the negotiations fail, the government finally uses its force. This more extreme version of action may soon spread. It is not a question of moving to the right but of moving towards more violent protest, towards a civil war.

All this time, the United States has been truly losing its authority in the rest of the world. It is indeed no longer hegemonic. The protestors and their candidates have been noting this but consider it reversible, which it is not. The United States is now considered a weak and unsure global partner.

It should be noted that this commentary from 2016 was authored before Donald Trump was elected as president. Even during Obama’s years in office, the US was in a steep decline, falling out of favor with its allies.

The US may not be faced with civil war as a result of some specific crisis following the election this year, as suggested by many. However, there should be no doubt that the social conditions leading political violence and disintegration are growing in the United States and unlikely to be affected by any election.

In an earlier commentary in 2015, Wallerstein had concluded that the prevailing policies of a state do not change even if radicals or outsiders are elected. Referencing seemingly disruptive election results in Europe, he stated, “in the end neither the geopolitics of the country nor the middle-run economic options of the country seems to have changed”.

This does not mean people should refrain from voting, but it does mean no-one should expect real change as a result of just casting a ballot. The same pig putting different-colored lipstick on doesn’t bring about fundamental change. – ClubOfInfo
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16 October 2020

Pakistan’s NSA impresses with his first interview on Indian media, upholds rights of Kashmiris

Pakistan’s NSA impresses with his first interview on Indian media, upholds rights of Kashmiris By News Desk In first interview by a senior Pak officialContinue reading - Voice of East
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15 October 2020

Dropped Prosecutions: The Afghan Files, Public Interest Journalism and Dan Oakes

In July 2017, two journalists working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, wrote of a stash of incriminating documents, running into hundreds of pages.  They were “secret defence force documents leaked to the ABC”.  These documents gave “an unprecedented insight into the clandestine operations in Australia’s elite special forces in Afghanistan, […] The post Dropped Prosecutions: The Afghan Files, Public Interest Journalism and Dan Oakes first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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Систематическая глупость иерархий.

Насильственное вторжение государственной власти в человеческие взаимоотношения создаёт иррациональность и систематическую глупость. Роберт Энтони Уилсон в “Тринадцати стихах Божественному Маркизу” убеждает нас в этом: Цивилизация, основанная на власти и повиновении — это цивилизация, лишённая средств самоисправления. Эффективная коммуникация протекает только в одном направлении – в направлении от правящей группы в сторону подчиненной группы. Любой кибернетик... - Kevin Carson
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Facebook, Twitter use censorship to protect Biden

Facebook and Twitter have made headlines by using censorship to back up US presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The decisions of Facebook and Twitter revolve around a suppressed New York Post story that won't be discussed here, for reasons of avoiding the wrath of the censors. One way or another, you're going to hear about it anyway - as a result of what's called the Streisand effect.

Censorship doesn't work, it just makes the people doing it look scared.

As stated by journalist Glenn Greenwald, the act of censorship to prop up Biden is a major historic event, far more significant than whatever story was being suppressed.

Being the candidate of censorship is far worse than anything the suppressed New York Post story could possibly have contained. Facebook and Twitter should just have allowed the damage to be done, rather than going out of their own way to make Biden look bad by tagging him with censorship warnings.

When Americans vote in November, they should remember: picking Biden is less like picking a leader and more like picking to be gagged and blindfolded. It's a vote for a party that does not value freedom of speech, the free flow of information or transparency in any form and intends to close down all public discussion of anything.

Quick! Look away! Pretend you haven't read this! Vote for Biden before it's too late and you get convinced not to!

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14 October 2020

In Peacock’s ‘Brave New World,’ Everyone Is Very Happy… or So It Seems

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Annual Alpine Crucifixions

Morgen in Riesengebirge, by Caspar David Friedrich Sometimes it can be useful to be brief. Last year, the wave of worry, promoted by the Swedish Alberich, without at least the artistic virtue of her deceased compatriot, Birgit Nilsson, stimulated predictions of imminent Götterdämmerung. This virtually Wagnerian kitsch was further dramatised by the pretensious performers of troupes apocalyptical […] The post Annual Alpine Crucifixions first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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The DWP boss was just trashed live on TV

The boss of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) got a rude awakening on Wednesday 14 October. Because she was demolished live on … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Tucker Carlson and the Cult of the Court

“The Supreme Court,” said Tucker Carlson on the October 12 edition of his Fox talk show, “exists only to determine whether the laws that our politicians write are consistent with the Constitution of the United States. That’s why we have a Supreme Court. It’s the only reason we have it.” Perhaps Tucker should keep a … Continue reading Tucker Carlson and the Cult of the Court → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Tripartite dialogue over Kashmir: Only Way out

Tripartite dialogue over Kashmir: Only Way out By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan on National SecurityContinue reading - Voice of East
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13 October 2020

In Memoriam: David Graeber, 1961-2020

É convencional iniciar um artigo de obituário com um breve resumo biográfico, cá vai ele. Uma das irritações favoritas de David era referirem-se a ele como antropólogo anarquista, como tal direi que David Graeber, anarquista e antropólogo, faleceu aos 59 anos na quarta-feira 3 de Setembro em Veneza de causas ainda não conhecidas. Foi activista... - Kevin Carson
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12 October 2020

We Cannot Succumb to “Pandemic Fatigue”

SARS CoV-2 is not taking a break, and we need to remain vigilant Continue reading on BeingWell » - Hesham Hassaballa
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11 October 2020

Why You Probably Won’t See More “COVID-19 Relief” in October

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” President Donald Trump announced (via tweet) on October 6. “[I]mmediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill …” Trump reversed himself three days later, but House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) isn’t having any of it. On October 10, she … Continue reading Why You Probably Won’t See More “COVID-19 Relief” in October → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Twitter is hiding content from YOU on behalf of the US government

This very year, Twitter shadowbanned influential foreign "state-affiliated" media as part of the US regime's repressive campaign to silence other points of view and filter out unfavorable coverage.

The shadowban can be observed by searching for influential accounts "@RT_com" and "@CCTV", both foreign information sources that the US government dislikes. In an effort to please the regime and avoid its anger, Twitter is hiding these news networks' profiles from search suggestions as if they don't exist. The only way around it is to follow the accounts directly after locating them.

Even while labelling accounts as "state-affiliated", Twitter forgot to label itself as US government-affiliated and disclose its relationship to the US regime. In trying to filter out non-US sources of information, Twitter's staff are interrupting the free flow of information and are acting as authoritarian sycophants.

Filtering out critical information is censorship, designed to degrade the public's access to accurate information on world events, and an attack on Twitter's users. If you use Twitter, make sure you use this opportunity to directly follow the accounts they don't want you to follow.

- ClubOfInfo

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Disabled people tell Hancock where to stick his coronavirus laws

The Coronavirus Act is once again under the spotlight. This time it’s disabled people who are challenging the changes it made to parts of … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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10 October 2020

A Must Read Dystopian Book List

Banned books, dystopian books and books that help you to survive. This is the original list. - Aral Bereux
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9 October 2020

“Totalitarian” Anti-Communism: Loaded Language Straight Out of CIA, Neo-Con Playbook

ORIENTATION Forms of language manipulation As most of us know, verbal language is both a tool and a weapon. Verbal language allows our species to talk about the past and the future. It allows us to label mental and physical illnesses and provides us with diagnosis and prognosis. It allows us to communicate more precisely […] The post “Totalitarian" Anti-Communism: Loaded Language Straight Out of CIA, Neo-Con Playbook first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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8 October 2020

The United Nations and the Neglected Conflict of Kashmir

The United Nations and the Neglected Conflict of Kashmir By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai The principle of ‘right of self-determination’ and its applicability to theContinue reading - Voice of East
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How Long Does SARS CoV-2 Survive on Human Skin?

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Napalm itself is quite easy to make.

Napalm itself is quite easy to make. When I was at school in the 1960s I whipped up a batch using the original recipe from Encyclopedia Britannia. And took it to school in a jam-jar. Impressed both teachers and my fellow pupils - Dirk Bruere
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7 October 2020

Beware Google’s Dystopian COVID-19(84) Surveillance. It’s Straight Out of Orwell-And You’re Lapping It Up.

We’re straight out of 1984 and into 2020 with one giant leap forward (hehe *sigh*). Orwell must be growing restless in his slumber as the Internet giants track and share our surveillance data with governments that ask. The COVID-19 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China after a 6-week cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party, has […] - Aral Bereux
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Guatemala War and Revolution Part 1

 Guatemala: War and Revolution Part One            Guatemala could have become a beacon of hope for Latin America and the third world. In 1944 fascist dictator Jorge Ubico was forced to resign and his hand picked successor was overthrown by a popular mass movement backed by a reformist coup. The coup was carried out by Major Francisco Arana and Captain Jacobo Arbenz and the new Junta promised to restore democracy and carry out land reform. For the first time the people of Guatemala hoped that a new age had dawned. The masses of Guatemala had existed in a state of legalized slavery under Ubico and the dictators who preceded him. Now they were to be empowered to fight for a better world, free to organize to take back the lands that had been stolen from them during the 19th century. Unfortunately their dream of being lifted out of poverty conflicted with the interests of the United Fruit company which owned huge tracts of Guatemalan land, controlled the railways, the port, the telephone and telegraph, all obtained through bribes paid to Ubico and his predecessors. United Fruit Company born of the merger of corporate and mafia power had been able to install and remove Central American governments for decades through bribery and coups. Worse still for Guatemala the United States was secretly preparing for World War 3 (The Cold War) even before the end of World War 2 and would soon openly commit itself to destroying any movement seeking national liberation or socialism. The CIA would soon be created to carry out a secret war on the world and Guatemala would become one of its earliest victims. Instead of a beacon of hope Guatemala would become a nightmare of mass murder, genocide, rape and torture for decades to come. Even today on a smaller scale the dirty war on the people of Guatemala continues.        Before the coming of the Spanish, Mexico and Central America were home to the wealthiest and most sophisticated civilizations in the Americas. One could spend a lifetime studying the Maya and the Aztecs their art, their complex religions, languages, medicines, agriculture and worldviews. Their cities were unrivalled by anything their conquerors had back in Europe. In 1524 the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado arrived in Guatemala bringing disease, war, slavery and untold destruction and misery. On the ruins was created the Captaincy General or Kingdom of Guatemala which included all of Central America as well as Chiapas Mexico and would last nearly 300 years until independence. At first the encomienda system made the surviving Indians into virtual serfs of the new landed elite. However to reduce the need to send more troops to constantly put down Indian revolts, in 1542 a reform package, called the new laws, was passed and later implemented by Guatemala’s second Governor Alonso Lopez Cerrato who ruled from 1548-54. Indians were still part of a system of forced labour but now in the new repartimiento system received a tiny payment. More importantly Indian communities were granted self-rule as long as they paid their tribute, and performed their forced labour quota. They also retained control of their communal lands. They appointed their own alcades (mayors) and police.  For the next 300 years there were sporadic localized Indian revolts provoked either by raising the tribute or arresting local leaders. The Guatemalan army began as city militias that could be sent out to crush these revolts, wreak a brief revenge murdering Indians and burning houses, and then withdrawing. The Guatemalan military would continue for centuries in its role of terrorizing the countryside into submission. After the fall of Arbenz and its retraining by American counterinsurgency advisers it would be used to wage a genocidal scorched earth campaign that would claim 200,000 lives.     Guatemala declared independence in 1821 and was replaced briefly by the United Provinces of Central America, which dissolved in 1838. It was dominated by Liberal warlords until 1838. Independence brought little change in the lives of the majority of the population who were still subject to forced labour. The Maya had managed to preserve their language and culture. Central America was divided between the Liberal and Conservative parties. The Liberals were anti-clerical and wanted to transform the economy into an export based cash crop system. The Conservatives were pro-church and wanted to maintain the old colonial system. As far as the interests of the Indian majority were concerned the conservatives were the lesser evil since the liberal economic reforms meant the theft of Indian communal lands, and the Indians being turned into debt slaves of the plantations, and eventually of foreign corporations. Guatemala managed to delay this fate when in 1837 a cholera epidemic was blamed by the church on liberal politicians. This led to an Indian revolt that propelled the rise of the conservative General Rafael Carrera, an illiterate Indian military genius, who would rule Guatemala after defeating Honduran Liberal General Francisco. Carrera would rule as dictator until his death in 1865 serving the interests of the church and the big landowners.     In 1871 two Liberal generals would defeat the conservative forces and seize power. Liberal general Miguel Garcia Granados would rule from 1871-1873 and Liberal general Justo Rufino Barrios would rule from 1873-1885. They would create a modern national army (trained by a Spanish military mission), a modern police force (trained by Sergeant Pratt of the NYPD) and completely restructure the economy towards coffee exports. They would expropriate Indian and church lands to create a class of wealthy coffee growers. A new more exploitive and profitable form of slavery was created for the peasants. An 1877 law on farm workers created a system of debt slavery all peasants were required to carry a passbook with their debts and were forced to stay on the plantations until they were paid off which was never. An 1878 vagrancy law forced peasants to prove they were employed on plantations or face prison. The plantation owners had total power over their workers they could whip or imprison their workers and were free to rape any peasant woman on their estates. The military was used to enforce the new order. The police had actually been created initially more for show. President Rufino Barrios would die in battle while attempting to reunify Central America in 1885. His nephew Jose Reina Barrios became President in 1892 but was assassinated in 1898 bringing to an end the period of liberal “reform.”     In 1898 dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera came to power and would rule ruthlessly the country until 1920. The new police became absorbed by the secret police and became a major tool of oppression. His vast network of secret police terrorized the entire nation. Cabrera halted attempts at military modernization. He was paranoid that young officers might attempt to overthrow him. In 1908 he was the target of a bomb plot, which he blamed on the military academy the Escuela Politecnica. He imprisoned, exiled, and in some cases tortured and killed the cadets. In 1919 he forbade the newly arrived French military advisers from conducting any actual training. However he still managed to expand the military role in enforcing the new economic order in the countryside, crushing any revolts or labour unrest. It was Cabrera who laid the groundwork for the United Fruit Company (UFCO) takeover of the country. In 1902 he passed a tax exemption for bananas. In 1906 he signed his first agreement with the United Fruit Company giving it 170,000 acres in Bananera. In 1912 he granted control of all Guatemalan railways to IRCA Intercontinental Railways of Central America, which was run by UFCO co-founder Minor Keith and was to become a subsidiary of United Fruit in a merger masterminded by future US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. In 1920 President Cabrera’s poor relations with the military led to his overthrow in a military coup.     Jorge Ubico Castaneda the future dictator played a major role in the coup and was rewarded with the position of Minister of War. General Jose M. Orellana became the new President.  The Rockefellers had brought Ubico to prominence when he was put in charge of an anti-malaria campaign. This campaign had the dual purpose of increasing labour productivity by eliminating malaria and secretly to quarantine Guatemala from any influence of the Mexican revolution. It also gave Ubico an excuse to burn down Indian villages. Ubico had been trained in the United States and as Minister of War turned to America to provide training for the Guatemalan military. In 1925 the National Police and Judicial police would be created both destined to become brutal tools of oppression.     Jorge Ubico became president in 1931 ruling the country as a dictator until June 1944. According to Peter Dale Scott behind the scenes United Fruit may have maneuvered to install Ubico and other dictators like the brutal General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez in El Salvador around this time because of its merger with the rival Cuyamel Banana Company run by future UFCO president Sam “The Banana man” Zemurray. In any case UFCO’s control of Guatemala would expand even further under Ubico. The Guatemalan military backed Ubico because they believed he would modernize the army but ironically by 1941 he had adopted Cabrera’s distrust of the army (with good reason). It was once again as poorly trained and equipped as in Cabrera’s time. In 1932 in neighbouring El Salvador a brief peasant uprising lead the dictator Martinez to conduct a bloody massacre of 32,000 Indians and labour organizers known as the Matanza. Ubico seized the opportunity to launch his own red scare crushing the new communist party, executing ten union leaders and arresting hundreds of people. In 1934 he passed a new vagrancy law that reaffirmed the system of forced labour on plantations. He also revived a law forcing Indians to do 2 weeks forced labour on roadbuilding. In 1935 he passed a new municipal law that made all local government positions appointed by the central government. Mayors were replaced by Intendentes who reported to political chiefs. That same year he passed a military law making the military responsible for law and order in the countryside, appointing military commissioners who also worked as labour recruiters on plantations and had the power to draft peasants into the army if they refused to work for the plantations or attempted to organize. He granted large landowners full police powers to crush their workers. He greatly expanded the role of the national police and the secret police keeping the entire country under constant surveillance. The National Police read every piece of mail in the country before it was delivered. He had his initials stamped into every government bullet so that “malcontents would carry his personal emblem into eternity”. The G2, American military intelligence,wrote admiringly of the tight control he exercised over Guatemala predicting that communism would never be allowed to enter the country.  Politically Ubico was pro-American and pro-fascist. An admirer of Hitler and Franco, he allowed the Spanish Falange and the Hitler Youth to operate. In 1930 Ubico made a deal granting United Fruit huge tracts of land in exchange for the promise to build a port on the Pacific. He let them keep the land even though they never built the port. United Fruit owned 555,000 acres, 85% of it uncultivated. Meanwhile most Guatemalans had to make do with tiny plots of land provided by plantations in exchange for unpaid plantation work. Standards of living continued to decline throughout his time in office. Ubico became one of the biggest landownersin the country.        1944-1946 would see the fall of many dictatorships in Latin America. Although historians tend to view this as the last gasp of “New Deal” idealism in American foreign policy, I suspect it had more to do with giving Latin America a democratic facade ahead of the creation of the UN in 1945. The US control over the Latin American voting bloc would be a key weapon in the diplomatic warfare of the early cold war. The US had also made a deal with the Soviet Union to bar pro-axis governments from joining the UN a promise it would soon break. By 1946 the surviving dictatorships like Somoza in Nicaragua and Trujillo in the Dominican Republic would be in the minority. This trend would soon be completely reversed as the US reinstalled dictators throughout Latin America training their military and police to carry out tortures massacres and “disappearances” on an industrial scale. Guatemala would become a textbook example.       Ubico had failed to modernize his army and his pro-fascist views were an embarrassment. In addition Ubico had turned down Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American affairs Nelson Rockefeller’s offer of development loans a scheme to further increase the economic dependency of Latin America. Rockefeller was allowed to run Latin America as his own private fiefdom during World War 2. It was for these reasons that Ubico had outlived his usefulness to the US. In El Salvador the dictator Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez was overthrown in May 1944 leading to a brief relaxation of repression. This sparked hope in Guatemala for Ubico’s overthrow. Ironically it was Nelson Rockefellers massive Latin American propaganda apparatus the Council on Inter-American Affairs  (CIAA) which helped pave the way by blanketing the country in FDR’s speeches about the four freedoms, the new deal and the fight against fascism. Guatemalan’s were also inspired by the example of President Cardenas in Mexico who had empowered unions and nationalized the property of Standard Oil.     It was returning exiles and middle class teachers, lawyers, doctors, and small businessmen who made up the movement to overthrow Ubico. Protests began in May 1944. The teachers sparked off events by announcing in advance that they would refuse to march in an upcoming Teachers’ Day parade scheduled for 30 June 1944. What began as a series of small protests had grown by 29 June into the most massive rally in Guatemalan history to date in Guatemala City. Ubico responded by sending in the cavalry, which killed or injured 200 protestors. A few days later 311 teachers, lawyers, doctors and small businessmen signed a petition in support of the protests that became known as the Petition of 311. Shocked that the middle class had turned on him and probably secretly under pressure from the US embassy, Ubico decided to resign on 1 July 1944. However he appointed a handpicked successor General Federico Ponce as the new President. Ponce would last only 108 days.       Ponce believed that Guatemalans merely wanted a new strongman and that things would soon return to normal. He raised teachers’ salaries and instituted modest reforms to placate the protestors. At the same time, he tightened control, increasing political surveillance and banning private meetings and public demonstrations. However in late summer-early fall journalist and politician Alejandro Cordova began to write a series of articles attacking Ponce that electrified the nation. Then Cordova made a fiery speech in the National Assembly attacking Ponce and was assassinated days later in early October, infuriating the nation. Earlier in the year Ponce had promised to hold a free election. The opposition decided to pick Dr Juan Jose Arevalo as their candidate. Arevalo had been living in exile in Argentina for 14 years as a professor of philosophy but was well known in Guatemala as the author of a number of textbooks. He was a familiar name to the teachers that had launched the protests. He was surprised to be chosen and didn’t even have the money for a ticket to return. His supporters wired him the money for the ticket and assured him that they had already organized a political movement that could elect him. Arevalo returned on 2 September 1944 to a hero’s welcome as massive crowds showed up to greet him. However Arevalo immediately had to go into hiding as Ponce ordered his arrest. What the results would have been of a “fair” election where one candidate was a wanted man would never be known. On 20 October 1944 Major Francisco Arana and Captain Jacobo Arbenz launched a military uprising at Fort Matamoros, executed their superior officers and armed the cadets. They launched attacks on police stations and soon much of the army was revolting in support and civilians were also rising up. Ponce begged the American embassy to supply bombs for his air force but they refused. Instead on 22 October 1944 the embassy mediated his resignation with the rebels and Ponce fled to the Mexican Embassy. As he headed into exile $16,000 dollars was confiscated from his luggage. Ubico, who had hoped to seize power again, was forced to flee to the British Embassy. This was Guatemala’s “October Revolution” in which less the 100 people died. The new Junta was run by Major Arana, Captain Arbenz, and businessman Jorge Toriello and it announced its support for Arevalo.       Arevalo was elected with 85% of the vote in Guatemala’s first democratic election that December. The country adopted a new constitution, which included term limits, equal pay for women, a 40-hourworkweek, a minimum of one day off a week, free speech and the right to organize but only in the cities. Arevalo was a “Spiritual Socialist” which basically meant a mild form of social democracy modelled on Roosevelt’s “New Deal”. He denounced communism and was pro-American. When he was inaugurated on 15 March 1945, Roosevelt’s special envoy Spruille Braden initially praised him in the press. Braden would later be hired as a lobbyist for United Fruit, becoming one of Guatemala’s loudest critics. Arevalo appointed Major Arana as Army Chief of Staff and Captain Arbenz as his defence minister.      When Arevalo became president the richest 2% of Guatemalans owned 72% of the land while 90% of Guatemalans owned only 15% of the land. 75% of Guatemalans were illiterate and 95% of Indians were illiterate. Life expectancy was only 50 years for Ladinos and only 40 years for Indians. The average peasant made between 2 and 5 cents a day. The country was in desperate need of economic reforms. Arevalo was under constant pressure from the right and especially in danger of coup plots and threats by Major Arana. Thus he was able to carry out only minor economicreforms. He created a social security system in 1946. In 1947 he passed a new labour law that set a minimum wage and allowed for unions and strikes in the cities while still banning unions in the countryside except on very large plantations like those owned by United Fruit. However with Ubico’s repression lifted peasants formed labour confederations and syndicates anyways. Even under Ubico local Indian leaders had used patronage networks and informal legal knowledge to resist the plantation owners’ forced labour and conscription. Now under Arevalo some Indian leaders were joining in alliance with the labour movement to demand reform. The new labour code enraged United Fruit who claimed it was being unfairly singled out. The Truman administration had the State Department begin to pressure Guatemala and in 1948 put Guatemala under an arms embargo for failure to sign the Rio Pact. The seeds of the coup were being planted with United Fruit launching a massive PR campaign demonizing Guatemala, lobbying congress, and launching a number of failed coup attempts. In 1948 Arevalo created a National Production Institute to supply credit, expertise, and supplies to small farmers. In 1949 he passed a law of forced rental allowing landless peasants to petition for the right to rent unused land from plantations at low prices. Arevalo also redistributed some lands that had been seized during the war from German planters. During the 19th century, while busy dispossessing the Indians, the liberals also tried to lure in white immigrants from Europe with cheap deals on the stolen land and for a time German planters had dominated the coffee business, ruling over the Indians like feudal lords. During World War 2 the US pressured Ubico into seizing their lands, as they were rabidly pro-Nazi. On the topic of fascists, Arevalo the spiritual socialists lifted restrictions on foreign priests, which Archbishop Mariano Rossell Arellano used to open up a Guatemalan ratline for fascistpriests fleeing socialist countries, who would play a minor role in the coup against Arbenz. Arellano would play a major role.      Arevalo would survive over two dozen coup attempts thanks to Arbenz. Major Arana was suspected to be involved in many of them, as he had become the favoured candidate of the rich who opposed reform. He openly threatened President Arevalo and the congress with a coup. Arevalo complained that in Guatemala there were two presidents and one (Arana) was always threatening the other with a machine gun. Arana had more influence in the military than Arbenz and was a better public speaker. Arbenz’s wife Maria Vilanova was the daughter of wealthy Salvadoran planters who rebelled, horrified at the inequality in Central America and flirted with communism. She turned the Arbenz home into a left wing salon. She was slowly radicalizing her husband. She was the unsung hero of the October Revolution having urged Arbenz to take part in the coup and plotting his rise to power. What role she and her husband played in the fate of Arana is still unknown but her chauffeur was widely believed to have killed him. Arbenz’s supporters had decided to arrest and exile Arana when he was inspecting an arms cache that had been discovered. As he left the town of Amatitlan he was stopped at a checkpoint set up by Arbenz supporters. Instead of surrendering he pulled his gun and died in the ensuing shoot out. There was a military uprising in Guatemala City for 3 days after they learned of Arana’s death. However, it was eventually put down. His death became a favourite rallying point for right wing Guatemalans. Arevalo declined to investigate his death. Arbenz would run in the 1950 election against Ubico supporter Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes and win by a wide majority. To flash forward briefly to part two: in order to appreciate the irony of the 1950 election. After the coup of 1954 Ydigoras would later come to power in the late 50’s and provoke a military uprising by supplying bases to the CIA for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. To quell the uprising the CIA bombed the rebels who after fleeing and returning became the leaders of a guerrilla movement. Ydigoras would be overthrown in a coup to prevent the possible re-election of Arevalo by a US-backed, counterinsurgency trained, military junta. It would be betterable to carry out the dirty war that would claim 200,000 lives.      Arbenz was inaugurated 15 March 1951. He immediately began trying to pass some ambitious reforms. He wanted to create a highway that would break the transportation strangle hold United Fruit had over the railways. He wanted to build a port on the Atlantic to compete with United Fruit’s port at Puerto Barrios. He also wanted to build a dam to supply electricity to compete with the American-owned electric company. Most importantly he spent the first year getting a land reform program passed. On 27 June1952, his land reform was passed. It was less extreme then the land reform that Mexico and the US had already carried out. Arbenz’s law expropriated uncultivated lands of farms larger then 670 acres. Farms that were at least two thirds cultivated and were between 223-670 acres were exempted as were all farms of less then 223 acres. The owners were compensated with bonds at the tax value of the lands. Since United Fruit had lied about the value of the lands for tax purposes it had in effect cheated itself. Arbenz gave the expropriated lands to 100,000 families who each received a maximum of 42.5 acres. Arbenz expropriated 1,700 acres of his own lands in the process as well as the lands of his Foreign Minister Guillermo Torriello. For the first time October Revolution reforms truly benefited the poor majority in the countryside. Local peasant labourleaders were often put in charge of implementing the land reform as they were recruited to head up land reform commissions. Two rival communist parties, one the Communist Party of Guatemala led by Jose Manuel Fortuny and the Revolutionary Party of Guatemalan workers led by Manuel Gutierrez merged to form the PGT the Party of Guatemalan workers. They were energetic organizers and were one of the four parties in Arbenz’s coalition Government. Unions largely banned under Ubico exploded in membership under Arevalo and the number of unions greatly expanded under Arbenz. In the countryside and the city radical forces demanding change were uniting behind Arbenz. The seeds of the “Mayan Marxism” of the 70’s and 80’s were being planted. The Arbenz years provided a brief period of prosperity for the people of Guatemala that sadly they would never achieve again. Standards of living would be lower in the 1980’s then in the 1950’s, and even today Guatemalans were arguably better off under Arbenz. This is of course putting aside the issue of the decades long dirty war and the nightmarish horror it brought to Guatemalans.      Arbenz’s land reforms were the final straw as far as the United Fruit Company and the United States were concerned. They were also outraged by Arbenz’s neutral stance on the Cold War at the very moment the US was trying to impose anti-communism as the guiding principal of its Latin American neo-colonial empire and the rest of the world. They wanted Arbenz to purge all communists in government and arrest all communists in the country. Truman authorized the CIA to carry out a coup behind the State Departments back called PB/FORTUNE a massive shipment of arms was to be sent to Somoza so he could arm a proxy army to overthrow Arbenz. However Undersecretary David Bruce learned of the coup plot and warned Secretary of State Dean Acheson who convinced Truman to cancel it at the last minute. But Truman was soon to be replaced by President Eisenhower. Allen Dulles was promoted to head the CIA. Allen Dulles old boss CIA director Walter Bedell Smith became Undersecretary of State. His brother John Foster Dulles became Secretary of State. The Dulles Brothers had business ties to United Fruit that went back decades through their work for Sullivan and Cromwell. John Foster Dulles had negotiated United Fruit’s deals with Ubico and UFCO’S merger with IRCA (financed by the Nazi Schroder Bank to which the Dulles brothers had close ties.) Allen Dulles had been on United Fruit’s Board. Walter Bedell Smith had made a secret deal with United Fruit’s Lobbyist Thomas “Tommy the Cork” Corcoran. Smith wanted to be appointed United Fruit’s President but had to settle for a position on the board. Corcoran was also the lawyer for the CIA drug smuggling airline Civil Air Transport (CAT) and for T.V. Soong the power behind Chiang Kai Shek and the China Lobby. Corcoran was also UFCO’s liaison to the CIA. Two other figures closely involved with CAT would take part in the coup William Pawley as a “civilian” adviser and State Department Liaison to the Pentagon and CAT co-founder Whiting Willauer who would be appointed Ambassador to Honduras so he could help set up a CIA air force to bomb Guatemala. CAT pilots would bomb and strafe Guatemala piloting the CIA air force.        In Latin America United Fruit had become infamous as El Pulpo “the Octopus” and its tentacles reached not only across Latin America but within the US as well. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, known as the “Senator from United Fruit”, would be appointed UN ambassador prior to the coup. The Eisenhower administration was filled with over a dozen people with close ties to United Fruit. Eisenhower’s personal secretary Anne Whitman was the wife of UFCO’s PR man Edmund S. Whitman. The Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America John Moors Cabot was the brother of former UFCO president Thomas Cabot. UFCO employed Edward Bernays the father of PR to manipulate liberal opinion and the press. It hired John Clements Associates to manipulate the right wing McCarthyite press. The United Fruit Company ran a press bureau and was the media’s main source of information on Central America. Bernays arranged for press tours of Guatemala carefully stage-managed so that they interviewed only American United Fruit managers. He was in close contact with the New York Times owner Arthur Hays Sulzberger who was also close to Allen Dulles and the CIA. Guatemala was portrayed as a Soviet puppet that was the first step towards the Soviet conquest of the Americas. The Arevalo and Arbenz years were the first time Guatemala had any semblance of democracy and civil rights. The media portrayed him as a brutal dictator anyway. The United Fruit Company orchestrated propaganda campaign went on for years paving the way for the CIA coup. During the coup it would use its rail lines to smuggle weapons.      In August of 1953 the National Security Council’s 10/2 committee (Which supervised the covert war on the planet later known as the 5412 committee, the Special group etc.) authorized the CIA to launch the coup in Guatemala code named PB/SUCCESS. Frank Wisner CIA Deputy Director of Plans, the euphemism for covert operations) together with Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith selected Ambassador “Pistol Packing” John Peurifoy “The Butcher of Greece” to be the new ambassador to Guatemala. In Greece Peurifoy had worked closely with the CIA in solidifying a fascist government as it worked to crush the Greek Communists. In Guatemala he would work to pressure the military to overthrow Arbenz while cynically denying any US role in what was unfolding. He became Ambassador in October 1953. To run the coup Frank Wisner recruited Al Haney and his side kick Rip Robertson to who were responsible for running the covert war in Korea sending CIA trained paramilitaries to operate behind North Korean lines. Wisner sent Tracy Barnes to supervise Al Haney. The base of operations was in Opa Locka Florida. The CIA approached Miguel Fuentes Ydigoras the loser of the 1950 election to lead the coup. He turned them down because their terms of complete surrender of sovereignty offended him and because he wanted to protect his image back in Guatemala hoping to become president one day. However he would secretly take part in the coup having made a deal with Armas back in 1952. He suggested Colonel Castillo Armas to lead it. Armas had trained in the US at Ft. Leavenworth. Arevalo appointed Armas to head the military academy. Armas had resigned as head of the Military Academy after Arana was killed. In November of 1950 he lead a failed military uprising, leading 70 men in a disastrous attack on a military base where 16 of them died. Armas was arrested and sentenced to death but escaped or more likely bribed his way out. After seeking asylum in Colombia he ended up in Honduras and got $250,000 in funding from Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo. Trujillo hated Arevalo and Arbenz for allowing his enemies, the Caribbean legion, to operate in Guatemala. Trujillo was a notorious sadist and racist genocidal maniac who slaughtered thousands of black people. After the coup Trujillo would send advisers to Guatemala to help train torturers and killers. Armas was also backed by the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza.       In March of 1954 the 10th Inter-American Conference was held in Caracas Venezuela and John Foster Dulles went down to put in place the diplomatic framework for the coup. He bullied the delegates into adopting his Caracas declaration, which targeted but did not name Guatemala. It declared that any country that threatened to go communist was a threat to the region and that the OAS must unite to turn back the “invasion.” In other words any country John Foster Dulles labelled communist could be overthrown and this would be portrayed not as an offensive violation of the OAS Charter, the UN charter and international law but as defensive measure. Guatemala was still a capitalist country. Arbenz had not seized the UFCO owned railroads, the UFCO owned port, the American electric company. He had not seized the property of the Guatemalan oligarchy. Not a single soviet or Chinese soldier was stationed in Guatemala. But of course facts were and are irrelevant to the State Department and the American press.     Tracy Barnes hired E. Howard Hunt to run the propaganda campaign against Guatemala. Hunt brought in David Atlee Philips. They launched a massive psychological warfare campaign. They set up the Voice of Liberation Radio station, which went on the air 1 May 1954, luring listeners with a variety show of pre-recorded clips of Latin American celebrities. Its slogan was “work, bread, and country.” Their strategy was to demoralize and terrify Arbenz supporters into inaction, move neutral listeners into the opposition and motivate the opposition to join the CIA campaign of terrorism and sabotage. A key goal element was to destroy Arbenz’s support in the military by accusing him of planning to disband the army and arm civilian militias. Arming unions and students could have played a decisive role in foiling the coup plot. Transmitters were placed in Nicaragua, Honduras, and even within the American Embassy in Guatemala City. CIA radio operations were even able to falsify military radio traffic which would prove decisive during the coup, fooling the Guatemalan military into believing they were losing when they were winning. The US Information Agency (USIA) also played a key role in the propaganda campaign producing movies, printing 100,000 pamphlets, and planting hundreds of CIA funded stories in the press across Central America. The CIA also turned to Cardinal Spellman in New York (He would play a key role as patron of fascist émigrés and backer of the Diem regime in south Vietnam). Spellman contacted the fascist Guatemalan Archbishop Mariano Rossell Arellano who was already a bitter foe of Arbenz and a key anti-communist Ideologue who had been importing fascist priests to lecture people on the evils of communism. Spellman had the Archbishop write a manifesto demanding Guatemalans rise up to overthrow Arbenz as part of a holy war against godless communism. The CIA then printed his statement on thousands of leaflets and dropped them over the countryside. Within Guatemala city the CIA worked with a right wing student group CEUA one of whose leaders, Mario Sandoval Alarcon,would later become notorious as the “Godfather of the Death Squads” in Central America, mentoring Roberto D’Aubuisson in El Salvador, helping the Nicaraguan Contras regroup, leading Armas’ political party MLN and representing Guatemala in the World Anti-Communist League. During 1954 Sandoval and CEUA led a campaign of propaganda terrorism and sabotage.       Meanwhile the CIA was training Armas tiny army, which was never larger then 400 men, but which the CIA convinced the world was 5,000 strong and recruiting ever more people. Arbenz was under an arms embargo dating back to 1948 and the CIA and US State Department managed to sabotage any of his attempts to buy arms in Latin America and Western Europe. The CIA was busy planting phony Soviet Arms cache in Nicaragua and Guatemala when it learned that a Swedish freighter, the Alfheim, was delivering a Czech arms shipment on May 13 1954. It had been tipped off about the arms deal the year before but despite its massive surveillance had lost track of the ship during its voyage. By 15 May, it had leaked the story to the press and John Foster Dulles warned the media privately that Arbenz was now planning to launch an offensive and seize Panama, an absurd lie. On 16 May, Rip Robertson led a commando team into Guatemala to blow up the rail lines carrying the arms but heavy rains defused the bombs.  Within days Eisenhower had signed a mutual defencepact with Honduras and sent a massive weapons shipment as a cover for arming Armas forces. He sent nuclear bombers down to Nicaragua to intimidate the Guatemalan military. Throughout the coup plot US military forces were put on standby for a possible invasion of Guatemala. On 24 May 1954, Eisenhower ordered the US Navy to search all ships heading into Guatemala. It was illegal under international law and some at the State Department joked about America having fought the war of 1812 to prevent similar treatment at the hands of the British. Now it was the Americans harassing the British and French.   By 26 May, the CIA air force was dropping leaflets and warning of the coming bombing campaign. At the end of May, Arbenz arrested a number of coup plotters while others sought asylum in various embassies. One of Armas’ couriers had defected and revealed the entire plan of PB/Success. Arbenz and his Foreign minister tried to expose the plot. The media mocked their claims as an absurd fabrication.    On 17 June, Armas finally joined his forces and they were flown in CIA cargo planes to the Guatemalan border. On 18 June, Armas forces invaded Guatemala. CIA planes began bombing and strafing targets in Guatemala:small towns, the airport, and military barracks. One of the victims of the airport attack was a three old girl. Arbenz had been forced to ground his tiny air force for lack of parts and to avoid defection. He had no air defences. The CIA had created a secret air force flown by CIA contractors that was the largest in Central America. It was this air superiority along with the threat of an American invasion that would eventually convince the Guatemalan military that the cause was hopeless. Armas took Esquipulas 6 miles from the Honduran border on 19 June. It had enormous symbolic value as the home to the shrine of the black Christ. It was the last victory Armas would win in battle. His next targets were Zacapa and the Porto Barrios where he was soundly beaten and forced to retreat back to Esquipulas. To save face he held a mass of Thanksgiving on 21 June. The day before, the coup had another setback when CIA bombers bombed Southern Guatemala but then ran out of fuel and crash-landed in Mexico. Allen Dulles had to lobby Eisenhower to send down replacements, which arrived on 23 June. The new CIA planes went on a 72-hour rampage including bombing a campus and the barracks at Zacapa. Zacapa would later become the laboratory for the CIA and Special Forces scorched earth strategy.      On 21 June 1954, Arbenz had Foreign Minister Torriello attempt to appeal for help to the UN. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold was sympathetic to Guatemala’s plight and Britain and France wanted to send in UN observers on a fact-finding mission. This enraged Eisenhower, who threatened to withdraw support in Indochina and Egypt. They quickly caved in. The American UN ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge demanded that the case be transferred to the OAS of which Guatemala was not even a member. Thanks to American bullying the UN was powerless to interfere. Dag Hammarskjold considered resigning in disgust. He would later be killed by the CIA for interfering with their plans in the Congo and Indonesia. Attempts by Guatemala to negotiate with the US directly were met with cynical denials from Ambassador Peurifoy. He denied that the interests of United Fruit played any role; instead demanding Arbenz purgethe Communists. Earlier on 3 June, Peurifoy had convinced Arbenz’s military to demand he purge all Communists. When Foreign Minister Toriello mentioned the CIA bombing campaign Peurifoy denied that any bombs had been dropped. He consistently treated any mention of US involvement as a baseless attack and a reason for further hostility.     The bombings, and the false reports of Armas victories threw the Arbenz government into a panic. The CIA had set up a sophisticated psychological warfare campaign that was faking military radio traffic making it appear that Armas forces were much larger and more successfulthen they really were. Fake reports came in reporting imaginary defeats and demanding reinforcements. The American embassy started a rumourcampaign that the US was about to invade. Secretly the CIA was panicking about Armas lack of success. That didn’t stop CIA man E. Howard Hunt from gambling on the success of an audacious “big lie.” Three days of bombing by the replacement air force had completely demoralized the military as soldiers and cadets were blown up in their barracks. Hunt used the Voice of Liberation to fake a massive invasion heading for the capital in Guatemala City on the Weekend of June 26-27 giving a minute-by-minute account of an imaginary invasion.  Armas’ forces were in reality still just 6 miles into Guatemalan territory. When Arbenz arrived at the National Palace on 27 June, he received news that the Americans had sunk a British freighter. Supposedly the bombing was carried out on Rip Robertson’s orders in defiance of the CIA but at the insistence of Somoza. Arbenz had no way of knowing this, if the Americans were willing to attack a powerful ally like Britain there was no telling how far they might go. Arbenz sent his Foreign Minister Toriello to meet Peurifoy to work out a surrender. The ambassador demanded Arbenz resign before a ceasefire could be worked out. Arbenz’s Chief of Staff of the Army met with the Ambassador to work out a coup plan. He promised to crush the Communists and Peurifoy sent him back to issue an ultimatum to Arbenz from the military to resign. Arbenz surrounded by armed men loyal to Diaz had no choice but to resign. But he got Diaz to promise never to negotiate with Armas. That night a heartbroken Arbenz made his farewell address which the CIA jammed. Diaz the new president made a speech promising to resist Armas and to protect the gains of the October Revolution. This outraged Peurifoy and former Time magazine journalist turned CIA Enno Hobbing decided Diaz had to go. Hobbing went over to tell Diaz to resign. Diaz complained that he had an agreement with Peurifoy. Hobbing warned him there was diplomacy and there was reality and Hobbing represented reality. Diaz demanded to hear it from the Ambassador. At 5 Am Peurifoy demanded Diaz negotiate with Armas and that he begin killing subversives and Diaz refused. Peurifoy wired Opa Locka to restart the bombing campaign and recruited Elfegio Monzon to launch a coup against Diaz. On 29 June 1954, Monzon overthrew Diaz while he was meeting with Peurifoy.  On 30 June, Monzon was flown on Peurifoy’s official plane to meet with Armas in El Salvador. John Foster Dulles ordered Peurifoy to stay behind but then changed his mind when negotiations broke down and Peurifoy arrived in El Salvador “to crack some heads”. Within an hour Monzon had formed a Junta with Armas. By 4 July, they were all back in Guatemala celebrating at the American Embassy. Peurifoy paid Monzon’s supporters 100,000 dollars each to resign from the Junta. On 8 July, the remaining Junta members elected Castillo Armas president. He promised to preserve the gains of the October Revolution. Arbenz meanwhile was publicly strip searched and humiliated at the airport as he went into exile. Even in exile the CIA continued to hound, pressuring countries to deny him asylum. After wandering from Mexico to Switzerland he was forced to seek asylum in the eastern bloc living in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. After the Cuban revolution, he was invited to stay there but grew tired of hearing Fidel promise that Guatemala would not become another Cuba. Most historians claim he died accidentally, drunkenly drowning in a bathtub. More likely he was murdered in Mexico on CIA orders: held under water that was scalding hot covering his body in burns as he drowned.       On 2 August 1954, the cadets at the military academy rebelled in protest of Armas forces being allowed to join the army. They appealed to Monzon for support, but on US advice he refused. On 31 August, Monzon resigned from the Junta. The CIA game of musical chairs was over and Armas was now in charge. He resisted the efforts of John Foster Dulles to force him to arrest the Arbenz supporters and communists that had sought asylum in foreign embassies. Among them was Ernesto “Che” Guevara who had arrived in January of 1954 attempting to join the defence of Guatemala. He would escape to Mexico; befriend Fidel Castro and fight to liberate Cuba from American imperialism. Cuba learned the lesson of Guatemala well. The CIA Bay of Pigs invasion, modelled on the Guatemalan coup of ‘54 and advised by many veterans of that coup plot, would be crushed.     On everything else however Armas was suitably obedient to his Americanmasters. He outlawed trade unions, confiscated the lands Arbenz had given to the peasants and returned them to United Fruit. Seven labourleaders active on United Fruit Plantations were shot in Guatemala City.  Dozens and possibly hundreds of labour leaders and Arbenz supporters were assassinated. Thousands were arrested and tortured. Communism was made illegal. The CIA seized all the labour records to compile a massive list of “subversives” anyone that had joined a peasant confederation was put on a black list. As CIA, military, USAID, and Special Forces advisers transformed the Guatemalan military and police into ruthless tools of counter-insurgency the black list became a death list. Armas brought back Ubico’s ruthless secret police chief, infamous as a sadistic torturer, back from exile. The CIA helped Armas set up the President’s National Security Council a precursor to the infamous Regional Center of the 1970’s and 1980’s that supervised the mass assassination campaign.    Armas restored the privileges the Church had lost in the 19th Century. This would lead ironically to his downfall. United Fruit had helped bring Armas to power now its rival Standard Fruit would eliminate Armas. Standard Fruit was run by Seymour Weiss, who ran New Orleans for the Meyer Lansky syndicate with Carlos Marcello. Weiss was the former bagman for Huey Long and was close to Frank Costello. After the 1954 coup United Fruit used its control of the IRCA railways to make things difficult for Standard Fruit. Guatemalan gambling was controlled by Ted Lewin, a gangster with ties to Standard Fruit, who had worked closely with the CIA in the Philippines. On the advice of the Church, Armas began to crack down on Ted Lewin’s casinos. Gangster and fixer for Standard Fruit John Rosselli, who had made a number of trips to Guatemala the year before, arrived in 1957 and met with the Guatemalan military to plot Armas assassination. On 27 July 1957, Armas was assassinated by his bodyguard. Rosselli’s army contact Lieutenant Colonel Enrique Trinidad Oliva was appointed the new head of the secret police. Rosselli would later be recruited by the CIA to assassinate Castro and would be murdered after testifying about the JFK assassination to the House Committee on Assassinations in 1976. He was one of many like, William Pawley, E. Howard Hunt and David Atlee Philips who would be linked to both Guatemala and the Kennedy assassination.      Unfortunately Armas death would bring no relief to the people of Guatemala. Their nightmare had only just begun. The growing of cotton and the discovery of oil would provide new economic motives to rob the poor of their tiny plots of land massacring them and sending the survivors to Vietnam style model villages. Soon the Cuban revolution and the escalating war in Vietnam would inspire an obsession in Washington to spread the techniques of counter-insurgency across the world. Guatemala would become yet another textbook example this time of how CIA, AID’s Office of Public Safety and military advisers train the military and police to wage a dirty war on. Special Forces and CIA advisers rotated between Guatemala and Vietnam setting up assassination programs and creating death squads. US military planes would napalm the Guatemalan countryside at the same time the US was waging the Vietnam War. As Vietnam was ending the violence in Guatemala was still escalating. The war in Guatemala would continue well into the 1990’s and continues today on a smaller scale. Part two will tell the story of this largely unknown dirty war in Guatemala that claimed 200,000 lives.     Sources   My main source was the classic Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer.   The American Connection: State Terror and Popular Resistance in Guatemala by Michael McClintock covers the evolution of the system of exploitation and repression from the 19th Century through the 1980’s.   The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War by Greg Grandin is a study of the Alta Verapaz region focusing on the lives of Indian labour leaders and revolutionaries.   Deep Politics and the Death of JFK by Peter Dale Scott covers the ties between the fruit companies the CIA and the mafia. It covers the assassination of Castillo Armas.    My article on El Salvador   https://www.globalresearch.ca/el-salvador-war-revolution/5692937   My article on the Dulles brothers law firm Sullivan and Cromwell    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/sullivan-cromwell-the-dulles-brothers-corporate-power-and-the-birth-of-the-cia/   My article on Allen Dulles and the origins of the CIA     https://libya360.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/allen-dulles-and-the-birth-of-the-cia/ - Hugo Turner
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