‘There is no terrible regime – Columbia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile during the time of the colonels, Burma, Taiwan, Zaire, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone – there is not one that does not have a major military connection to Israel.’ – Jeff Halper, 2003 If the details in this court report were allowed to be made public, it would no doubt be extremely embarrassing to the state of Israel, who relies on maintaining the status of eternal ‘victim’ in order to side-step dozens of UN resolutions regarding its illegal land annexations and human rights abuses against the native Palestinian population who have been under violent Israeli military occupation for over 50 years. Question: why have the Israeli Courts ruled to cover-up these important details about Israel own role in helping to facilitate a genocide in Africa? Their answer: ‘The release of information would undermine state security and international relations.’ According to reports, Israel’s arms exports to Rwanda were in violation of international law. Israel has also been caught numerous times before, including recently being exposed in a UN report after supplying Israeli weapons in the Sudan conflict, and again, with the US protecting the rogue state, Israel continues to act with impunity. Similar reports have also emerged about Israeli arms and other Israeli military equipment. And this is what US politicians continuously refer to as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’
In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has. *** Among the most enduring political images of the 20th century was the military junta. It was a group of grim-faced officers – usually three – who rose to control a state. The junta would tolerate civilian institutions that agreed to remain subservient, but in the end enforced its own will. As recently as a few decades ago, military juntas ruled important countries including Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and Greece. These days the junta system is making a comeback in, of all places, Washington. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Another veil is dropping.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… It’s no longer any secret that the US have planned and orchestrated ‘regime change’ in dozens of developing countries over the last century. Washington’s primary tool is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which has ousted democratically elected governments like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1982), Haiti (2006), Honduras (2009), Libya (2011), Ukraine (2014) and still working on Syria (2011-present), to name only a few. Next is Venezuela.
So why is this level of ‘meddling’ justified by the US media and most of its public? This month sees some significant anniversaries in the struggle against old-style colonialism. The trouble is that colonialism didn’t go away after countries in the developing world formally achieved their independence from Europe’s ‘Great Powers.’ It was replaced by a new form which proved to be more destructive and immeasurably more dishonest than what went before. At least the British Empire – which at its peak covered almost a quarter of the world’s land surface, acknowledged it was an Empire. Today’s more shadowy Empire of Globalized Monopoly Finance-Capital does no such thing. Entire countries, such as Yugoslavia, Libya, and Iraq, are destroyed for not toeing the line, while those which continue to defy the neocon/neoliberal elites, such as Venezuela, are under a state of permanent siege.
Reporters without Borders just published its annual World Press Freedom Index rankings, and the results for both the U. S. and UK are not impressive. Both countries declined two spots from last year, with the UK at 41, and the greatest and most free nation on earth, America, down to 43. Here’s The Guardian reporting on the UK’s decline: Journalists in the UK are less free to hold power to account than those working in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to an index of press freedom around the world. Laws permitting generalised surveillance, as well as a proposal for a new espionage act that could criminalise journalists and whistleblowers as spies, were cited by Reporters Without Borders as it knocked the UK down two places from last year, to 40th out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index. In the past five years, the UK has slipped 12 places down the index. Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s UK bureau director, said this year’s ranking would have been worse were it not for a general decline in press freedom around the world, making journalists in Britain comparatively better off than those in countries such as Turkey and Syria.
If the world seems like its falling apart, then perhaps it is time to figure out where you could go to avoid the worst of it. With so many factors building up to global turmoil, and a number of trigger points for civil unrest and economic collapse inside the United States, where would you go? While every place has its problems, and no place is guaranteed to remain calm, certain pockets of relative safety like Scandinavia, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile or New Zealand could prove to be a bit more prone to stability, than to collapse. Compared to other hot spots, these places could be a harbor. With that said, the global economic collapse will not spare any region from fallout, and there will be great damage to all countries lined up in the chain of dominoes. Moreover, there are few, if any, places that are immune from natural disasters and other major problems.
This post was published at shtfplan on April 12th, 2017.
I’ve written before a number of times about the long laundry list of reasons why I base myself and most of my business operations in Chile. I could go on forever about this, but in short the country presents an exceptional mix of business, investment, and lifestyle opportunities that are extremely difficult to find just about anywhere else in the world. But people ask me a lot – if not Chile, where else? Colombia is definitely on my short list. In fact if I weren’t in Chile, I’d almost certainly be either here in Colombia, or in Puerto Rico. Colombia ticks many of the most important boxes. The lifestyle here is just fantastic. In Medellin in particular, the eternal spring-like weather is hard to beat. Colombia is also absurdly cheap. The cost of living is low, as is the price of residential real estate. It’s also a lot of fun. From the city vibes to the laid back coffee culture, there’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a young digital nomad or retiree.
Editor’s Note: Is this really the kind of ‘Papers Please’ police state everyone wants to live in, giving up all of their liberty for a bag of so-called security? Sidd Bikkannavar (above) should not have raised any red flags with Customs and Border Patrol, much less should the U. S.-born scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab have been forced to fork over phone and social media passwords in order to return to the country after a trip to Chile. But thanks to an abrupt, uncoordinated, and overly-broad travel ban implemented with an executive order from President Donald Trump, that’s exactly what happened – and Bikkannavar feels unsettled by the incident. ‘I don’t know what to think about this,’ the scientist with 10 years at JPL told The Verge by phone. ‘… I was caught a little off-guard by the whole thing.’ Bikkannavar traveled to South America on a multi-week vacation to pursue a personal hobby of racing solar-powered cars, and attended a race in Patagonia with a Chilean team he’d recently joined. Departing under the Obama administration, the scientist faced a strikingly different atmosphere upon return to the administration of Trump and the chaos unfolding in the wake of tight restrictions on travel from certain predominantly Muslim nations. Obviously, Chile didn’t make Trump’s ban list – but confusion among alphabet agencies suddenly tasked with interpreting the new law led to questionable detainments, the revocation of some 60,000 visas, and tragic splitting apart of families – even in cases where the long and complex visa screening procedure had been approved.
One of my interesting friends is in town visiting Chile for a few days. His name is Gianni – he’s originally from Croatia but lives in Vancouver, and has spent most of his career in the mining business. Gianni is especially bullish on copper… primarily because he thinks the Age of Big Oil is coming to a rapid close. He believes that conventional gasoline vehicles will be increasingly replaced with electric cars, which simultaneously reduces demand for oil AND increases demand for copper. For investors, this presents an interesting opportunity. Oil and copper prices have been strongly correlated for decades; in other words, as oil prices went up, copper prices went up.
The subject of Augusto Pinochet divides Chileans even today: should he be honored for making Chile more prosperous and desirable than its neighbors, or should he be condemned for human rights abuses? PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Something we should all be aware of. From the LA Times: The CIA has accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails. But critics might point out the U. S. has done similar things. The U. S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U. S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.
Bleary-eyed from the 16 hour flight from Asia, I checked my phone last night once the plane landed to find that riots have broken out across the Land of the Free. It was enough to wake me from my jet lag. All the televisions in the airport terminal were showing footage of the chaos along with occasional interviews with some of the protestors. Naturally there was outcry against racism, sexism, violence, and all the usual anti-Trump arguments. (Which I found ironic given this video of a Trump voter being viciously beaten in Chicago.) But one of the recurring themes from these protestors being interviewed, primarily young people, was that Trump wasn’t going to do anything about student debt. This was a major issue during the election, one that Bernie Sanders grabbed onto with promises of free education and debt reduction. His message resonated with young people. I’ve see this same theme all over the world, from Chile to the United Kingdom – students want free education, underpinned by a fundamental belief that quality education is a basic human right to be provided by the government.
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day. What was the most dangerous nuclear disaster in world history? Most people would say the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but they’d be wrong. In 2011, an earthquake, believed to be an aftershock of the 2010 earthquake in Chile, created a tsunami that caused a meltdown at the TEPCO nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Three nuclear reactors melted down and what happened next was the largest release of radiation into the water in the history of the world. Over the next three months, radioactive chemicals, some in even greater quantities than Chernobyl, leaked into the Pacific Ocean. However, the numbers may actually be much higher as Japanese official estimates have been proven by several scientists to be flawed in recent years. If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed as it is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 2, 2016.
A photo taken in Santiago, Chile freezes an intense moment between a riot policeman and a protester, capturing the compelling power dynamics at play right in the world at large and revealing how these dynamics will ultimately be defeated. Worldwide resistance to the destructive paradigm of state/corporate dominion over all life on planet earth is taking many forms, simultaneously happening on many battlefields both macro and micro, both outside and inside of the self. Many of us understand how power can be and is derived from violence, and how thoroughly the present paradigm has seized upon this script to relentlessly control us. But do we understand the nature of our own power? Do we understand how violence can be overcome without brute force?
Some readers who read the sample of appreciation expressed for my columns () want to know about the abuse. Why not. Some examples: If I criticize the Israeli government for abusing Palestinians and stealing their country, the Israel Lobby accuses me of being an anti-semite who wants to repeat the holocaust. In the same batch of emails, anti-semites denounce me for being too easy on Israel and covering up for the Jewish conspiracy against mankind. When I write about the One Percent using the government to loot the economy, I receive emails blaming me because I worked for Reagan ‘who started it all by cutting tax rates for the rich.’ These people have no conception of supply-side economics, its purpose, success, and the way it prepared the way for Reagan to negotiate the end of the Cold War. At one point in their lives they read a left-wing screed against Reagan, and that is the extent of their understanding. But they are full of blind hate. When I write about Washington’s crimes against other countries, I receive emails asking me where I was during Iran-Contra and Grenada. Apparently, they think that a Treasury official can run the State Department and Pentagon. Some of the readers are so confused that they think Reagan overthrew Allende in Chile. Alllende was overthrown in 1973. Reagan was inaugurated in 1981. It is dispiriting that there actually are people this ignorant and so proud of it that they will accuse me of helping Reagan to overthrow Allende.
Like a lot of people, I enjoy ‘feeling the burn’ – when it comes to chile peppers and hot pepper sauce. Not from the government, m’kay? I think we’ve all been burned quite well enough by the government. On a scale from bell peppers to Naga Jolokia, the federal government goes well off the scale and is the Trinidad Scorpion in terms of burning you. Not just coming, but going, if you know what I mean. You can learn a lot by walking instead of driving or even riding a bike. I’m a wayfarer. I walk around this place and see these homemade campaign signs for Bernie Sanders. They all have this slogan on them: ‘Feel The Bern!’ Yeah, well, I daresay we’ll ‘feel the bern’ from him in more ways than one, should he get elected. Not that I actually give a rat’s patootie who wins this scam, er, election, but I noticed something else about his campaign. It’s the old Democrat ‘Ab-So-Lute-Lee FREE!’ shinoobie. Oh, you don’t know that one? Allow me to explain. Remember during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign how everyone thought he was promising free health care? And what did we end up with? Obamacare. By now, everyone knows this is far, far from ‘free’. In fact, in two years, then we’ll see how expensive it really is. Ok, so, I see on these handmade Bernie signs this other slogan that says: ‘Free College For All!’ Oh, come on now, you guys! Do you really believe that?! What, after Obamacare, you’re really going to fall for this scam twice in a row?! And here you clowns claim to be so much smarter than Republicans who are falling for the ‘Iran has nuclear weapons’ malarkey after the same was said over Iraq and proven false, some tens of thousands of dead later! Yet, here’s the Democrats falling for the same old Democrat infomercial promising, ‘But wait! There’s more!’
It is being referred to as Cthulhu-geddon. Squid have washed up on Santa Maria Island off Chile this week in what some have described as biblical proportions. Thousands of dead and dying squid are piled up on the shore. While some squid normally do wash up this time of year, it’s never been in this large of a quantity.
Lately when I talk to my friends around the world, I get the distinct sense that there’s a dark cloud hanging in the air. I feel it particularly from those in North America and Europe. Terrorism is on everyone’s mind. All the headlines have to do with ISIS, who’s been killed in police raids, new threats to cities like Washington D. C. and New York, etc. It goes without saying that this has led to a pretty serious level anxiety. And with good reason. There’s a laundry list of major problems in the world. Terrorism is an unfortunate reality. So are bankrupt governments, insolvent financial systems, underfunded pension programs, and giant police and surveillance states. But it’s become easy to forget that there’s actually a lot of great news in the world, and plenty of reasons to be excited. Here in Chile they have a program called Startup Chile, where entrepreneurs from all over the world receive funding for their businesses and a community of other entrepreneurs to learn from. There have been some very successful companies to come out of it.
Something strange is happening to our planet. Over the past 30 days, there seems to have been much more ‘shaking’ than normal, and this is particularly true along the Ring of Fire. This afternoon I visited the official website of the U. S. Geological Survey, and I discovered that Chile had been hit with 12 major earthquakes within the last 24 hours alone. The smallest was of magnitude 4.4, and the two largest both measured magnitude 6.9. We have also seen dozens of volcanoes erupt recently, including the incredibly dangerous Mt. Popocatepetl in Mexico. Fortunately we have not seen a major disaster that kills thousands of people yet, but many believe that all of this shaking is leading up to one. In addition, the weather all over the world continues to get freakier and freakier. Just today, Yemen was hit by a second major tropical cyclone in less than a week. Any one of these strange disasters in isolation may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you start putting all of the pieces together it starts to become clear that something really significant is taking place. So why are all of these things happening? Well, some experts point to the sun. In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of hype about ‘global warming’, but the truth is that evidence is starting to emerge that indicates that our sun might be heading into a period of ‘hibernation’… The sun will go into ‘hibernation’ mode around 2030, and it has already started to get sleepy. At the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in July, Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in the UK confirmed it – the sun will begin its Maunder Minimum (Grand Solar Minimum) in 15 years. Other scientists had suggested years ago that this change was imminent, but Zharkova’s model is said to have near-perfect accuracy. And what did we see last winter? It was a very cold, bitter winter that set new all-time records all over the planet. Here is more from that same article…
Have you noticed that seismic activity along the Ring of Fire appears to be dramatically increasing? According to Volcano Discovery, 39 volcanoes around the world have recently erupted, and 32 of them are associated with the Ring of Fire. This includes Mt. Popocatepetl which sits only about 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million inhabitants. If you are not familiar with the Ring of Fire, it is an area roughly shaped like a horseshoe that runs along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire. Just within the last 24 hours, we have witnessed a 4.4, a 5.4 and a 5.7 earthquake in Alaska, a 6.8 earthquake in Chile and 20 earthquakes in Indonesia of at least magnitude 4.3. And as you will see below, this violent shaking along the Ring of Fire seems to continue a progression of major disasters that began back during the month of September. For whatever reason, our planet suddenly seems to be waking up. Unfortunately, the west coast of the United States is one of the areas where this is being felt the most. The little city of San Ramon, California is about 45 miles east of San Francisco, and over the past several weeks it has experienced a record-breaking 583 earthquakes… A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates.
Everyone But China? The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not yet fully alive: the agreement has been signed but still needs to be ratified by the governments of its signatory nations. Nonetheless, the corporatocracy’s unborn baby is growing at a startling rate. Last week, the agreement boasted a grand total of 12 signatories (the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore) with a combined population of 800 million people. This week that number rose to 13 after Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo told U. S. President Barack Obama that the country he represents also wants a piece of the action. ‘Indonesia is an open economy and with a population of 250 million, we are the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Indonesia intends to join the TPP,’ Widodo said on Monday after meeting Obama in the White House. If Indonesia does sign the agreement, it will bring the combined population of the TPP-bloc to over one billion people, not far off the population of the country the trade agreement was originally devised to encircle and corral – i.e., China (pop: 1.357 billion). The TPP bloc will also represent over 40% of the global economy. Everyone But China? The basic proposition behind TPP is disarmingly simple: either China joins or it will be isolated. This isolation would progress: first from its own back yard through the TPP and the Pentagon’s ‘Asian Pivot,’ then from the West (through the TTIP and TISA), and ultimately from the rest of the global economy.
This post was published at Wolf Street on October 28, 2015.