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Saturday, August 06, 2016

John Grant: TRASHING NICARAGUA: Hypocrisy, The New York Times Version @ This Can't Be Happening!

The New York Times is the best old-style, broad-sheet newspaper in America; it still covers the world with resourceful and enterprising reporters and commentators. But, then, there’s the other New York Times, the imperial rag that prints editorials like the one on August 5 titled “ ‘Dynasty,’ the Nicaraguan Version.” It’s not that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is a saint or even a model democrat; it’s that the editorial department and the writer who penned this sloppy embarrassment are still playing a version of the Reagan Cold War game of the 1980s. Those days are over; one hopes for something a bit more worldly.

After listing a number of negatives -- the popular President Ortega has appointed judges favorable to his rule and has been able to assure a legislature filled with his allies -- the editorial tells us how well the Nicaraguan economy is doing, how well the Ortega administration works with investors and international business and how safe the place is compared to its three closest neighbors. This safety is, we’re told, due to a sinister “vast police force.” Reading this, one might forget here in the US we have our own “vast” police and criminal justice problems.

Let’s consider for a moment the interesting fact that Nicaragua is notably “safer” than Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. First off, during the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan the United States of America directly supported, and in some cases actually directed, cruel and bloody wars against armed guerrillas (and the poor in whose name they fought) in these three small, poor nations. It was the Cold War, so these wars were couched in East-West (communist-capitalist) terms, when they arguably were more accurately described as North-South struggles: ie. they were about powerlessness versus power, poverty versus wealth.

In the case of Nicaragua, the US Contra War was a proxy war against a sovereign nation. In 1979, the Sandinista rebels had overthrown a dictatorship run by Anastasio Somoza, junior, whose father Anastasio, senior, had been a US ally. Franklin Roosevelt famously said of Somoza, senior, “Somoza’s a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” In 1956, the father was shot dead eating dinner in a Leon restaurant by a patriotic poet working as a busboy. (Many Nicaraguans aspire to be poets.) Anastasio, junior, took over the family business and ruled Nicaragua as a US ally until 1979, when he fled to Paraguay, where in 1980 his Mercedes was blown apart by an RPG as the climax of a seven-member Sandinista plot called “Operation Reptile.” His unidentifiable remains were buried in Miami following a big funeral of fellow tyrants and right-wing fat cats.

In the 1980s Nicaragua was a very different animal than Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Nicaraguans had thrown out the bloody, repressive forces that kept the poor and the disenfranchised living in fear...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3255

Hey readers! We know there are some 1500 of you who come to our site every day, even when we don't post a new article. You come because you value what we're doing, but only a few hundred of you, at most, contribute to helping fund our work. We're all volunteers in this collective, but if you give us support, we can take more time away from our "day jobs" so we can do more for this site -- especially like the kind of nuts and bolts investigative reporting that the corporate media basically have given up on. So those of you who are making donations, thank you! This not is not addressed to you. It is addressed to the rest of you who clearly value us because you're regular readers, but who can't seem to even come up with one $5 or $10 donation in a year. If you were to do that, we'd have $10-15,000 to support our work (like covering the coming Democratic convention protests), and we know that's what you want us to do. So please, send us some money, anything really. A little will go a long way.

Thanks! The TCBH! Collective

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dave Lindorff: Moving Beyond Sanders: 750 Delegates in Convention Walk-Out, Green Party’s Jill Stein Joins Anti-Hillary Protests Outside @ This Can't Be Happening!

Philadelphia -- While former president Bill Clinton last night spun a web of fabrications about his wife Hillary's progressive "accomplishments" as First Lady, senator and secretary of state in a featured speech to an embarrassingly depleted audience in the Wells Fargo Center where the Democratic Convention was being held, an impromptu demonstration outside on Broad Street by protesters from Bernie or Bust and Black Lives Matter was listening to Dr. Jill Stein, the likely presidential candidate of the Green Party, calling for them to continue their movement by backing her third party bid.

The protest action really began in the late afternoon when, at the end of a roll-call vote of delegates from all 57 primary states and territories which formally nominated Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. As Bernie Sanders was completing his surrender to Clinton by having his Vermont delegation offer their votes to Clinton, some 750 of his nearly 1850 delegates were staging a walkout from the convention hall. They headed up to City Hall, where many of them joined Bernie or Bust activists to announce that they were not supporting Clinton.

Some of those delegates then drifted back down toward the Wells Fargo Center and FDR Park, where a loud, energetic protest was held outside the fenced-in and heavily guarded convention site. There was reportedly some police use of teargas to break up the protest outside the gate to the convention, and a few incidents of people trying to climb the fence -- part of a four-mile exclusion perimeter set up by convention organizers, the city and the Secret Service -- the protest morphed into a march up the wide Broad Street roadway towards a waiting line of Phladelphia Police. The cops had been arrayed so as to block marchers from moving further uptown. As the protesters, bearing home-made signs that said things like "Jill not Hill" and "DNC Corrupt," pressed in towards the massed cops, and the scene started becoming increasingly tense, suddenly a second large march, this featuring the Black Lives Matter movement, appeared, marching down Broad street from the north.

The police, finding themselves effectively surrounded by converging marchers coming from in front of and behind their suddenly thin-looking line, fell back, allowing the two groups to merge. After a brief moment of confusion and indecision, the whole combined march opted to proceed in the direction of the Black Lives Matter protesters, heading back down to the outside of the Wells Fargo Center.

When we all arrived back where we had started, blocked by the convention's security fencing (how ironic that Democrats, who have been decrying Donald Trump's call for a "beautiful wall" at the Mexican border, chose to wall off their convention from the public!), we found Green Party presidential hopeful Jill Stein at the entrance giving a press interview...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3246

Hey readers! We know there are some 1500 of you who come to our site every day, even when we don't post a new article. You come because you value what we're doing, but only a few hundred of you, at most, contribute to helping fund our work. We're all volunteers in this collective, but if you give us support, we can take more time away from our "day jobs" so we can do more for this site -- especially like the kind of nuts and bolts investigative reporting that the corporate media basically have given up on. So those of you who are making donations, thank you! This not is not addressed to you. It is addressed to the rest of you who clearly value us because you're regular readers, but who can't seem to even come up with one $5 or $10 donation in a year. If you were to do that, we'd have $10-15,000 to support our work (like covering the coming Democratic convention protests), and we know that's what you want us to do. So please, send us some money, anything really. A little will go a long way.

Thanks! The TCBH! Collective