#86 Ukraine – Two Nations?

Ukraine is a bilingual and bicultural nation. Politically, culturally, and historically it is two nations struggling to remain as one. Ukraine is attempting to preserve its rule over its eastern Donbas region, the Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast.

Donbas lies along the Ukrainian border with Russia. Donbas culturally and historically has been closely aligned with Russia. Donbas is also one of the most Soviet and alien regions of Ukraine. It is bicultural, the percentage of the population that considered itself Russian is 34.5 percent, but the percentage of Russian speakers is 82.1 percent.

Despite being independent and very Russian, in 1991, 83.9% of voters in Donetsk Oblast and 83.6% in Luhansk Oblast supported Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union. However, they would once again prove their strong desire for sovereignty two years later.

In 1993, Donbas coal miners went on strike. An action described by historian Lewis Siegelbaum as “a struggle between the Donbas region and the rest of the country”. One strike leader said that Donbas people had voted for independence because they wanted “power to be given to the localities, enterprises, cities.” In other words, they opposed just moving the heavily centralized power, under Soviet rule, moved from “Moscow to Kyiv”.

The Donbas region was a region where both Russian and Ukrainian interactions are interchangeable. Donbas region identifies with Russian cosmopolitanism. It has rejected the ethnic nationalism that is popular in Kyiv and western Ukraine. Its Ukrainian identity is Russian in culture and Russian politics.

The Ukrainian constitution does not reflect Russian ethnicity. It reflects more of a Ukrainian nationalistic position. In the constitution, only the Ukrainian language is considered official. However, in the constitution proposed for the rebellious Donetsk People’s Republic, both Russian and Ukrainian are declared official languages.

It is no surprise that Ukrainian political divisions have followed these historical patterns. Voting in Donbas and Crimea stands out as being nearly the converse of those in western Ukraine. In the 2004 National elections, the eastern region of Ukraine supported Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian and former governor of Donetsk Oblast. Yanukovych was initially declared the winner.

Immediately allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation and widespread citizen protests in Kyiv Independence Square, known as the Orange Revolution. In response, the Ukrainian Supreme Court nullified the election and ordered a second runoff. Yanukovych lost this second election to Yushchenko.

In 2010 Yanukovych was elected president of Ukraine. In late 2013, Yanukovych rejected a pending EU association agreement, choosing instead to pursue a Russian loan bail-out. This move would guarantee closer ties with Russia. Protests and the occupation of Kyiv Independence Square ensued. The violent events were labeled the Euromaidan Revolution or Maidan (Maydan).

The Western Press billed this as a protest by proponents of aligning Ukraine with the European Union. In reality, it was a coup inspired and supported by the Obama Regime. This U.S. initiative is made clear in the leaked Victoria Nuland, Asst. Sec. of State for Europe, phone conversation U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine telephone(see Video).

The U.S., unhappy with the Yanukovych relationship with Russia and his rejection of an EU bail-out plan, backed the protesters that included far right-wing nationalist groups. Some of these groups had ties to the Nazi collaborators during WW2 and its Barbarossa Campaign.

In February, Yanukovych fled the country, the next day Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove him from his post. This peremptory removal of president Yanukovych violated the delicate balance of interests forged between Kyiv/Western Ukraine and Donbas.

After Yanukovych was ousted, a shift from a passive rejection to secession occurred. The people of Crimea and Donbas believed that the Maidan Revolt was a direct threat to the interest of Russian Ukrainians.

By mid-April, two-thirds of Donbas residents said they regard the Maidan as an armed overthrow of the government, organized by the opposition assisted by the West. In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution referendums, in Crimea and Donbas were sought to legitimize the establishment of independent republics.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on their status, despite Kyiv’s resistance. The Donetsk referendum outcomes demonstrate the choice made by people. The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, election commission Roman Lyagin told journalists that 89% voted in favor of self-rule, with 10% against, on a turnout of nearly 75%. In the Luhansk Region, votes for independence were higher than in the Donetsk Region.

Many government buildings in towns and cities across Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts became occupied by separatists as the Republic expanded its territorial control. As a result, the Ukrainian government launched a counter-offensive against separatists in some parts of Donetsk Oblast. These sentiments are hardened by thousands of combat and civilian casualties of the Donbas people.

Ukrainian nationalists claim Donbas to be Soviet and alien. Bohdan Chervak, the chairman of Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, calls Donbas “not Ukrainian territory by content.”

Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko recently referred to both Crimea and Donbas as regions “where our language practically does not exist(Ukrainian), where our memory is nonexistent, where our church is absent, where our culture is absent.” Yushchenko concluded it to be an utterly foreign land.

Crimean first deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev best describes the Donbas sentiment; “people in the Donetsk and Lugansk have chosen independence although the self-proclaimed Kyiv authorities tried to thwart the referendum. The residents of Donetsk and Lugansk have confirmed their wish to live in an independent, free, and peaceful republic that is independent of the Kyiv junta.”

In summary, the Ukrainian military campaign has entrenched views on both sides. Western Ukrainians are convinced of a Russian invasion and believe Ukraine should remain a unitary state, with Ukrainian as the only official language.

Eastern Ukrainians, by contrast, are now more convinced that the fault for this crisis lies in Kyiv, that the Russian language ought to have equal status with Ukrainian (at least in their regions), and are more receptive to the idea of separating from Ukraine.

In his interview of 4 March 2014, Putin had two demands for Ukraine: (1) that the population in the East and the South be safe, and (2) that they are part of the political process. The U.S. has been supporting the Ukrainian War in the Donbas region. Putin has stood by his “aggressive” demands.

Statements like; ”the U.S. government is deeply concerned over the situation that is developing near the borders of Ukraine and in every possible way supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” recently made by U.S. Army Colonel collaborates the Putin/Russian aggressor narrative.

The “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine is a regional issue, not an international, U.S., or NATO one. Ukraine and Russia need to negotiate diplomatically to resolve this issue. The Oliver Stone 2016 film Ukraine on Fire provides a fascinating history of the Ukrainian Orange and Maidan revolution.

#85 Ukraine – Who Is Intimidating Who?

Ukraine II

A few years ago, I wrote a blog on Ukraine; Ukraine – Who’s Zooming Who? In it, I reviewed the long history between Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia. In that article, I revisited the 2014 coup of the leading actors involved. The actors included are who is who of personnel in the Biden Administration. 

Today in 2021, Ukraine is a country looking for muscle to do its dirty work. NATO and the U.S. appear to be willing partners in a muscle-flexing contest with Russia. In a February White House statement, Biden reaffirms what he believes to be “a simple truth: Crimea is Ukraine.” 

The Biden statement is a lie, not a simple truth. The official result from the 2014 Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 97 percent vote to integrate their region into the Russian Federation. The overwhelming outcome was the result of an 83 percent voter turnout.

Biden then proceeded to make a promise that resembles Article 5 of the NATO membership alliance. The article commits each member state to consider an armed attack against one member state, in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all, to go to war on behalf of other member States.

Biden continued, “the United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts.” Wait, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, or is it?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been referring to a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP). Zelensky says that they are in the final stage of full membership. “We are committed to reforming our army and the defense sector, but reforms alone cannot stop Russia. NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbas. The MAP will be a real signal for Russia.” Could it be that this bellicose behavior a gang membership initiation?

Let the Flexing Begin

On March 15, 2021, U.S. Army Europe and Africa announced the iteration of its annual large-scale multinational war games in Europe, DEFENDER-Europe 21. The war games have begun and will continue through June. DefenderEurope 2021 

With its best cold war rhetoric, the Pentagon explained: “DEFENDER-Europe 21 is evidence of the ironclad U.S. commitment to NATO, is a prime example of our collective capabilities, and demonstrates that NATO allies and partners stand stronger together.” 

In other words: stand together for a war against an adversary. Russia is the only adversary that the Pentagon and NATO have identified on the European continent. By applying the transitive property of logic, this exercise is targeting Russia.

Ukrainian advisor Aleksey Arestovich described the purpose of DefenderEurope 2021 much clearer, stating; “a large-scale NATO exercise has begun” being conducted, “from the waters of the Baltic to the Black Sea, to put it bluntly, [for] armed confrontation with Russia.”

The commanding general of United States Army Europe and Africa, General Christopher Cavoli, confirmed this by emphasizing that DefenderEurope 2021 was building warfighting interoperability with “allies and partners in the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea region.” A quick look at a map shows that “strategically important” area to be in the Russian neighborhood and on the border.

Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg “express[ed] serious concern about Russia’s military activities in and around Ukraine & ongoing ceasefire violations,” adding that “NATO firmly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity.”

Russian Intimidation 

The Pentagon warns of Russian troop movements, in Russia, on or near the Donbas border. I repeat, warns of Russian troop movement inside Russia. While DEFENDER-Europe 21 will include 31,000 troops from 27 nations, an increase of over 50% increase of troops, and a 50% increased member involvement. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has informed reporters that “we have had contact with the U.S. administration on the situation in the Donbas, and we have exhaustively explained to their side what is happening.” 

Minister Ryabkov reflected grave concerns on the Russian side over what he deemed increasingly belligerent rhetoric from the U.S. and its NATO allies over Ukraine, warning that “Washington should be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that any Moscow effort to intimidate Ukraine would be concerning to Washington. Price went on to indicate whether it occurred on Russian territory or within Ukraine. 

I asked again, Who Is Intimidating Who?

#84 – Ralph Nader – Raider of The Ark

Ralph Nader

I recently listened to an interview with Ralph Nader. I respect his focus on customer issues and his influence in changing the way we look at corporations and their responsibility to the public. In this interview, he lets his opinions and beliefs be known.

Nader Raiders

Since the 1960s, Ralph Nader has been a leading advocate for consumer rights. Everything from seatbelts in cars to the military budget and the failure to deal with a pandemic. In 1968, Nader recruited seven volunteer law students, dubbed the Nader Raiders by the Washington press corps. The Nader Raiders helped establish many advocacy organizations, most notably Public Citizen. Nader Raiders became involved with issues, such as nuclear safety, international trade, regulation of insecticides, meat processing, pension reform, land use, the Federal Trade Commission, and banking.

Nader won victories in Washington without ever electing anybody in Congress. If truth is known, his groups were grassroots lobbyists. In the sixties and seventies, “between elections, we put great pressure on key members of Congress who had leverage with other members of Congress.” His Raiders worked with influential members in Congress to adopt their regulation bills. Their tactics assured approval both in the House and in the Senate. 

Grassroots 

Nader appears to reflect on those days with bittersweet imagery. He points out that even though his advocacy groups beat back corporate crime, fraud, abuse, and corporate control over Congress. Eventually, his star waned. He believes that they were ill-prepared for the corporate counterattack. 

“After the battles were won the people went back home and the people that benefited from these health and safety regulations and some economic regulations, took too much for granted became satisfied and complacent. They didn’t do their homework on who they voted for or voted against. They didn’t strengthen the civic movements back in their own grassroots neighborhood. 

At the same time, the corporations watched the process play out and learned from it. “They beefed up their lobbying in Washington and vastly increased their political action committee contributions; they fielded their own candidates; they challenged good incumbents in the primary; they developed their own mass media right out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” He argues this is part of the system that we now live in, thanks to both political parties selling out to corporate interests.

The Duopoly

The interviewer asked Mr. Nader to assess his 60 years of being a consumer advocate and a public intellectual. Nader started with the ruling Democratic Party. “Well, one thing I’ve learned is that the Democratic Party is on an infinite journey of cowardliness. Because now they’re getting credit for a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, one hundred percent financed on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren, without a single effort–never mind success–to restore the gigantic Trump tax cuts.” 

“The Democrats now are so weak and cowardly that they can’t even protect what’s left of Medicare … they’re too busy catering to the corporate state. They’re too busy marginalizing progressive Democrats. They’re too busy destroying any kind of alternative political electoral competition. They’re too busy to clean up campaign finance corruption, which they benefit from just like the Republicans.” 

“When they gain the presidency and the Congress, they can’t seem to roll back enough of what the Republicans have done. In 2009 under Obama, they hardly rolled back anything. They expanded Bush and Cheney’s empire with more drone attacks and more lawlessness.”

Corporate Capitalism

Nader confirms that Washington is in a “stage that I would call a corporate state, that is exactly the definition of fascism conveyed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a 1938 message to the U.S. Congress. He said when private power takes over the government, that is fascism.” 

He continued by noting a very “important distinction: corporate capitalism is not capitalism. Capitalism is your ma and pa store on Main Street; corporate capitalism is basic corporate socialism. Because without socialism in Washington bailing out capitalism, capitalism would have collapsed a long time ago.”

Nader points out that Washington has a history of corporate bailouts. “Every time Wall Street gets in trouble, every time the banks overreach and speculate, Washington bails them out. Every time there is a major industry deep in trouble, like the auto industry, General Motors, Washington socialism bails them out.” 

“The big drug companies demand advance payment in the billions for producing drugs that make them a colossal profit with no price regulation. All over, they want bailouts everywhere, bailouts, handouts, giveaways, subsidies. It’s half of what Washington does every day, shovel out more of the money, the guarantees, the overblown contracts, to the military contractors. And it just keeps going. Boeing crashed a 737 MAX and got a huge bailout from Washington in a variety of ways.” 

Nader claims this government bailout money is wasted. Pointing out that the “money is used to buy back their stock, which is the closest to burning trillions of dollars over the last ten years to increase the metrics for their executive compensation. Doesn’t create a single job or create a single business.“

Congress

Nader believes that our corporate state is growing and getting more dominant with every four years of presidential election, and every two years of Congressional election. He marvels at the arrogance that some Congressmen displayed after January 6 when elected officials referred to the Capital as their house and elevated it to the symbol of democracy. Then virtuous signaling pondered how dare these rioters to desecrate this symbol, the core of democracy. 

But Nader appears to scoff at this assertion claiming that the symbol of democracy is actually “an institution run as a consummate autocracy, run by four people: the Democratic and Republican heads in the House, and the Democratic and Republican heads in the Senate.” With Nancy Pelosi as the commander in chief. “She is running a one-person rule in the House of Representatives, just the way McConnell was running a one-person rule, until he was displaced, in the Senate.” 

Pentagon

Nader points out that the U.S. has two revenue factors. One is the cost of the public infrastructure investments, the second being the military budget. At the expense of the aging and decaying infrastructure, the U.S. empire is blowing up other countries abroad with the military budget. The congressional priority is on guns and not butter.

Nader points at a Congressional taboo on the military budget. “There was a time when people like Senator Proxmire would hold hearings on military waste, fraud, and abuse. Now the largest operating budget in the federal government is not debated and not audited.”

“The Pentagon is violating a 1992 federal statute requiring them to submit an audited budget to the General Accounting Office, or Government Accountability Office as it’s now called, of the U.S. Congress.” This unaccountability has done nothing but continued to send funds for the empire to blow up other countries and kill innocent civilians.

Younger Generation

Ralph expressed his view of the younger generation directly. He contends that the young generation is unaware of what Washington is perpetrating. Nader states, “this young generation that calls themselves progressive and changed, or change agent, they just don’t have a clue. They don’t read. You don’t read, you don’t think. You don’t think, you don’t read. You don’t do those things, you don’t set the stage for social justice movements. We all know this, over the years.” 

They have been distracted enough not to know “of the corporate supremacists controlling our political economy, strategically planning every conceivable nook and corner. They’re commercializing childhood, they’re strategically planning higher education, they’ve planned our tax system, they’re strategically planning our electoral and political system, our public budgets, our military foreign policy. They’re strategically planning the public land and its disposition daily, one-third of America.” 

Giants of Tech

Nader continued with the distraction theme. “The necessities of life are not treated by Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and Microsoft and Apple. They don’t provide food. They don’t provide shelter. They don’t provide the mechanics of transportation. They don’t provide healthcare. They don’t provide children’s support services. They don’t provide for retirement income, based on productive factories that used to give pensions to their workers. What they do is control our time and shovel before us ways to shift around and search and look for information, which they make sure is never connected to power. “ 

“They provide the illusion. They provide a community in the internet, virtual reality, that has all kinds of corrosive dimensions to it, in terms of nastiness, slander, viciousness, intimidation. They don’t provide anything new here.”

Nader Remains Optimistic 

Nader remains hopeful about a resurgence of the power that real people can generate. He believes that people still have the opportunity to harness a government gone corporate. “Here’s the rub,” explains Nader, “it has never taken more than 1% active citizens scattered throughout the country representing [or building] the majority public opinion to change Congress on any number of agendas throughout history.”

Back a few years Nader wrote an article, “Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think.” In it, he points out how little it takes to make a change. “It took about one percent, active citizens, distributed throughout the country, representing majority public opinion, or building to majority public opinion, to change Congress on any number of agendas. You name it, throughout history. Even the Civil Rights Movement never had more than two and a half million active citizens all over the country. That’s about one percent of the adults in 435 Congressional districts.”

So, he asks, “why in the world aren’t all these demonstrators and marchers focusing on 535 men and women who put their shoes on every day the way we do?” Nader continues, “it defies credulity how all this effort–marches, demonstrations, protests–the energy goes into the ether instead of latching on to a laser beam focusing right on Capitol hill. It’s Congress that should be the focus. Congress is the only Constitutional authority that can control runaway corporate power, discipline it, break it up, challenge it, displace it with cooperatives and other economic institutions, and render it subordinate to the power of sovereign human beings.”

Nader’s Displacement Plan – Avoiding Serfdom 

“So you look at the future, and you see serfdom everywhere. Contract, fine-print contract serfdom, the courts being blocked by tort reform–wounded people can’t even get their day in court. And everywhere the doors are closing. So you say, OK, what door is still open?” The open door that Nader points to is Congress as one and consumerism as the second.

Nader calls for Congress to be subordinated Constitutionally to the supremacy of real people. Nader explains, “Members of Congress want to get reelected. They don’t get elected by corporations. They get funded by corporations to intimidate potential opponents. But we’ve seen that they can’t do a complete job of that. That you can pry open Congress in a whole variety of techniques and ways, from civic strategies to primary challenges, et cetera, to using the leverage of your hardcore supporters in Congress more effectively, and on and on.” Nader points to the Constitution as the only tool we have to turn this around.  

Nader states, “to turn around the federal government by the smallest but most Constitutionally strongest branch of government, the U.S. Congress–a branch whose names we know, unlike the judiciary or the executive branch?” 

“And unless we seize our sovereign power and then control Congress, which has a huge leverage effect on state, local, and national government, we will continue to be driven into the ground with over half the people in the country impoverished already, and with more and more corporations deciding that they are going to make money from money. Instead of investing trillions of dollars into productive enterprise and employment”

The second is consumerism. Real people choosing other economic institutions will displace the giant artificial entities. “Starting with consumers who don’t buy from Amazon, if they can avoid it. Who doesn’t buy from all these giant Walmarts and McDonald’s and so on, and start supporting local economies that are now in the tens of billions of dollars of operation? And they’re all around, and they’re much more accountable because you can highball them.”

“When you go to legitimate credit unions, you weaken Bank of America. When you improve your health with diet and exercise, you weaken the drug companies and the health so-called care companies. When you develop solar energy you weaken ExxonMobil. These are all displacements. It’s two things. Subordination under the Constitution of the artificial entities called the corporate entity, to real human beings. Corporations were originally chartered in the 1800s in Massachusetts to be our servants, not our masters; they were on a short lease they had to renew themselves. And now they’re our masters and we’re their servants.“

Local Community

“We have the community back in our neighborhoods, which we can displace whatever narcissistic fulfillment comes from desperate people who use Facebook to connect with other human beings in an ethereal manner. So what I’m trying to show the utter trivial but disastrous distraction and control of people’s time and minds by these Silicon Valley companies, whose basic research was almost entirely funded by the U.S. government.” 

“There are certain clinics in this country that are working very effectively on prevention, smoking cessation, obesity reduction, diet improvement. So we ought to work on those kinds of things that don’t need Congressional power. They need neighborhood organization, the rebuilding of community in ways that are favorable to the survival and prosperity of human beings, regardless of the labels they give themselves politically.” 

Corporatism 

“Expansion of local economies, which I describe as displacement of giant corporations. And the spread of food coops–that’s hardly a news item. Food coops are spreading around the country, where the consumers decide what they want to sell themselves. You know, and therefore they’re going to have a higher emphasis on nutrition. They’re not going to be so seduced by exciting packaging and special sales in these giant food supermarkets.” 

“What I’m saying is, we need to divide this economy into two parts: the internet virtual reality, and the necessity economy. We’ve been distracted by these illusionists. These corporations are illusionists. What is Facebook, in terms of economic history? What does Facebook do, in terms of any of the necessities of life? Nothing.”

“And these corporations, as we all know, are artificial entities; they have no sovereignty under the Constitution; they’re not even mentioned in the Constitution, the word company or corporation. The Preamble starts with, “We the people,” not “We the Congress” or “We the corporations.” 

Ralph Nader is an 87-year-old with a lot to say. His voice may have faded over the years his message remains clear. I am not a big fan of regulatory legislation. I support grassroots community-based actions. Ralph asks for the people to explore empowerment. Will we listen? Will we respond? Serfdom is at stake!

#83 – It’s Not About The Vaccine!

It’s Not About The Vaccine

In a January executive order, President Joe Biden directed federal agencies to “assess the feasibility” of linking a digital verification of vaccine to the existing international paper certificate.

IBM responded with a new blockchain-based vaccine management system that appears as friendly as the Uber app. “We’re at a time with vaccines that are a bit like hailing a cab a few years ago,” Chris Moose, a partner in the Healthcare and Life Sciences group at IBM Services, said in a recent interview with Industrious. “You used to just call a cab and know it was going to show up eventually. With all the apps, suddenly you knew how long it would be, who was coming, where from, you could communicate along the way. With COVID, that’s what we’ve needed, an execution engine.”

Exactly when you call for a vaccine passport app suddenly your data is openly distributed; height, weight, religion, political party, medical history, political ideology, along with vaccine information, not to mention the tracking abilities that are “communicate along the way.”

In December, IBM proposed an open-source vaccine management system built on the existing blockchain framework. Dr. William Kassler, chief medical officer of Watson Health, “We are challenged by not only the complexities of the cold chain, of multiple doses, of a mass vaccination campaign that has never been attempted. We are likewise challenged by an atmosphere of distrust and vaccine hesitancy, some of which has been building for years.”

Yah, an experimental substance, m-RNA protein, technically not a vaccine, injected into our body to reduce the symptoms of a viral infection with a pre-vaccine recovery rate between 97% and 99.75%. (Reported Aug 7, 2020) Yes, there may be some “distrust and vaccine hesitancy.”

“We can identify those populations where they live and what messages are likely to resonate with them,” Dr. Kassler said. “Do they trust doctors? Their peers? Their leaders and institutions? We can craft our outreach around that.” Thus empowering these agents to abuse trust, a human weakness, to deceive and manipulate.

“If we learned our lesson, if we make investments in technology and procedures and changes in practice, it can leave us stronger…for future emergencies and future pandemics, which will inevitably come,” Dr. Kassler said.

Lesson I


In 2001 investigative journalist Edwin Black in his book, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and one of America’s Most Powerful Corporation, details the business dealings between the American-based multinational corporation IBM and the German government of Adolf Hitler. In the book, published in 2001, Black outlined the IBM technology that helped facilitate Nazi genocide through the generation and tabulation of punch cards based upon national census data.

The 1933 German census, with design help and tabulation services provided by IBM through its German subsidiary, proved to be pivotal to the Nazis in their efforts to identify, isolate, and ultimately destroy the German Jewish minority. The IBM Machine-tabulated census data greatly expanded the estimated number of Jews in Germany by identifying individuals with Jewish ancestors of past generations.

Lesson II


The United States Census Bureau, another data collection industry, also guaranteed confidentiality. It was their data that assisted the internment efforts by providing specific individual census data on Japanese Americans.

During World War II, the United States Census Bureau assisted the Japanese American internment efforts by providing confidential neighborhood information on Japanese-Americans. IBM subcontractor collected “standard demographic information” about age, sex, education, occupation, family size, medical history, criminal record, and other data.

The other data included categories that linked individuals to Japan, such as years of residence and education in Japan. In other words, data to make it easy for the War Relocation Authority to track and round up US-Japanese for internment camps.

Lesson III


How about a lesson on the political usage of the Census Bureau data? In 1918, the Census Bureau released individual information regarding several hundred young men to the Justice Department and Selective Service system for prosecutions for draft evasion.

A New York State of Mind


I am guessing that Governor Herr Cuomo is not a student of history. Cuomo and New York State are piloting a smartphone app called Excelsior Pass to verify vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test for entry into events at the Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden. The “Excelsior Pass” has been a partnership between New York State and IBM.

Excelsior Pass is herald as the next step toward a thoughtful, science-based reopening. What could go wrong? It’s “voluntary,” but New York State officials are making it clear that not participating in the program will result in an individual exclusion from societal events.

The “Excelsior Pass” mobile application will display a green checkmark if the person received a vaccination or tested negative for COVID-19. A red “x” means they have not met this standard. The app permits a user to download the confirmation of their vaccination or test collected from a network of providers.

The plan is that the digital card/passport gets scanned upon entry into a stadium, business, country, etc. Color coding and visuals have proven helpful when rounding up the misfortunate in society or shutting them out. Scarlet letters and the yellow star of David come to mind.

IBM – A New Leaf


Matt A.V. Chaban Content Producer, at IBM Industries, clarifies their mission, “And as data grows on who is getting the vaccine, it can be fed back into the system. Using cloud-based AI analysis, an organization could then determine the communities that are either missing out on the vaccine or resisting it.”

The word resisting indicates a push back on a required proposition or force. The word choosing refers to having options, also known as liberty. Mr. Chaban verbiage calls for unmasking and identifying those that are “missing out” or “resisting.” Unfortunately, Chaban’s view is the prevailing narrative heard from the federal and state governments, medical, media and general indoctrinated population.

The Tin-Hat Explanation


Naomi Wolf is an American liberal, feminist, author, and journalist. Wolf is considered a conspiracy theorist by multiple mainstream media sources. For my standard, that is good enough to listen to her ideas. She says what she believes, not what the “cathedral” preaches.

Wolf claims, “they’re trying to roll it out around the world. It is so much more than a vaccine pass. I can’t stress this enough. It has the power to turn off your life. Or turn on your life. To let you engage in civil society or be marginalized. It’s catastrophic. It cannot be allowed to continue.”

Medical passports would be another tool for governmental authority and surveillance. Requiring electronic proof of vaccination for everyday life functions, traveling, or admission is tyrannical. Disparities between those vaccinated and those choosing not will create a new threat to privacy and the liberty to participate in ordinary activities.

Wolf explains, “vaccine passports sound like a fine thing if you don’t know what those platforms can do. I’m CEO of a tech company, I understand what this platform does. It’s not about the vaccine it’s not about the virus it’s about data. And once this rolls out you don’t have a choice about being part of the system. What people have to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all.”

Previous data collection/verification campaigns have proven disastrous for human rights. Data collection campaigns of 1918, 1943, and 1933 Germany precipitated imprisonment, relocation, and death. Las Vegas, odds are heavily stacked against liberty and freedom. I am still rooting for the underdog. It’s Not About The Vaccine!

# 82 – Highway 61 Revisited 

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”

Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”

God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”

God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but

The next time you see me comin’ you better run”

Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”

God says, “Out on Highway 61.”

Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited 

Washington Revisited

In March, the U.S. Congress summoned; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to appear before them. (3rd time in 5 months) A House committee and two subcommittees badgered the tech CEOs, repeatedly demanding that they censor more political content from their platforms and vowing legislative retaliation if they fail to comply.

Zuckerberg and Pichai appeared eager to comply with the Congressional demands. Zuckerberg managed to meekly push back when he suggested that excessive content moderation can cripple free political discourse. However, Dorsey expressed a more open impatience for Twitter to do more to remove disinformation. He stated: “I don’t think we should be the arbiters of truth and I don’t think the government should be either.”

Not to worry, he too will comply because it is a good trade-off. The tech three giants get to maintain their Silicon Valley monopoly power in exchange for being the unofficial Congress and Executive Branch censorship police. 

It is appalling that arrogant government officials, for hours, can publicly demand censorship of political speech and then threaten punishment for failures to obey. It’s despotic!  

The public has become accustomed to governmental bullying. We allow political leaders to demand that social media companies censor the internet in accordance with their whims. Why do we allow these authoritarians are allowed to get away with this?

Where are journalists? Do they have something to say? No, because the corporate journalist is too busy, they have a different Congressional initiative to follow. Their mission it searches, destroy or deplatform all outlets that express an anti-establishment ideology. 

Today, the mainstream journalists have become a bunch of tattlers, a citizen surveillance corp. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations of those that go over to the dark side. They censor independent journalists they cannot control and police the unfettered discussions on the new conversation apps. 

Their tactics work to intimidated many into silence and conformity. They know if they attempt to express their views, the agents will destroy their reputation. So they remain silent or pliant out of necessity. The result of their tactics is the repression of honest and open discourse.

The repression of rival thought has empowered them to control the flow of information. The corporate media does it for the hubris of an ideology. They believe their worldview is so indisputably that all dissent is inherently dangerous disinformation. They enroll for fun and vindictiveness because it appears they get aroused by destroying reputations and lives, no matter how powerless. 

The U.S. journalist is no longer the defender of free speech because their actions are destroying it. Whether they enroll for power, hubris, or just for fun, the journalist in our corporate media are the primary activists against a free and open internet and the core values of free thought. 

There are a few journalists that have remained free and true to their profession. They need to become more vocal and use what is left of their influence and power to expose these abuses of power, in Washington and in corporate media.  

#81 – Don’t Poke The Dragon

FEAR

Fear is a powerful weapon. When the fear of a coronavirus can shut down the world, there is little wonder that our opportunistic diplomats will embellish Chinese threats to strike fear in the hearts and minds of the NATO nations. (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

To continue the confrontation approach of the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations is foolish. To increase U.S. Navy patrols in waters near China, sanctioning Chinese leaders, and issuing public demands will only provoke obstinate and retaliatory behavior from China.

Secretary of State Blinken just recently continued this foolish confrontational approach. At the recent March 2021 NATO Headquarters Summit, he warned of the global threats that we face. He included climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality, and an increasingly assertive China. 

GLOBAL THREATS

Blinken categorized the three global threats as; 1) Military, 2) Technology, Economic and Information Threat, and 3) Environmental. Blinken specifically identified China as the culprit in two of the three threats and indirectly indicate them in the third. Leaving little doubt that the Biden Administration considers China to be the #1 Global Threat. 

According to the Secretary, China has threatened freedom of navigation, militarized the South China Sea, and has increased its military capabilities. Blinken claims that the Beijing military ambitions are growing by the year with new military capabilities and strategies. And that its modernized technology challenge that once seemed half a world away is no longer remote.

Blinken targets China and Russia as the primary perpetrators of the Technology, Economic, and Information threat. He claims they conduct disinformation campaigns to fuel distrust in our democracies and cyberattacks on infrastructure, stealing intellectual property, and blatant economic coercion aimed at Australia.

MORE, MORE, MORE

Most concerning are his more, more and more solution. More modernization to improve our military capabilities and readiness against Beijing increased use of resources, markets, and technologies to pressure our allies and drive wedges between us. More help to push back, if necessary, when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way. 

Display more strength in the East and South China Seas to ensure a free, open, inclusive, and healthy Indo-Pacific region, unconstrained by coercion and anchored by democratic values. 

More cooperation with following U.S. sanctions on individuals engaged in the atrocities against Uyghurs in Xinjian China. And more togetherness to stand firm against any retaliatory response by China to send the message against bullying tactics.

More alliances to ensure that our strategic nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective. Expansion of our ability to address transnational threats, like its 5G surveillance technology. More cooperation is needed to counter the Chinese coercive behavior. And more effort to prevent China from undercutting the rules of the international system. Finally, more values exerting coercive pressure to use its technology and infrastructure.

DIPLOMACY

Diplomacy is not counterproductive muscle flexing with China. Diplomacy is to stop spending money and resources to confront China. If we continue to misuse diplomacy, the U.S. will eventually exhaust itself. Attempting to contain Beijing in its backyard will only increase the risk of direct conflict with a nuclear-armed state.

China is a rival. We must recognize our interests sometimes align, sometimes diverge, and sometimes do not intersect. The U.S. policy should reflect that reality. Washington must be able to compete where necessary while preserving the ability to cooperate in areas of mutual concern.

The U.S. should engage China on the diplomatic and economic fronts to redress intellectual property rights issues, rely on our existing powerful military deterrent, and encourage our regional partners to bolster their defenses. 

THE DRAGON

China has undergone a diplomatic, economic and military modernization that has seen them rise to become the second-largest economy and a potent regional military power. China underwent an economic and diplomatic evolution that has a global reach. But its military development has been local and regional nature. 

China has taken controversial actions; they have militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea, have imposed a restrictive new National Security Law in Hong Kong, and continue threatening force to reunify with Taiwan. The Washington blob argues, these actions have initiated a global military threat that American military power must counter.

The Chinese armed forces focus on; 1) building the capacity to make good on their long-standing threat to reunify Taiwan and 2) deterring the U.S. from intervening militarily in Taiwan.

They are building assault ships, beach landing craft, and missile forces in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan and have engaged in constructing considerable anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) defensive belts to prevent American attacks against the Chinese homeland. 

China shares a land border with 14 countries and sea borders with several more. These include nuclear powers such as Russia, India, North Korea, and Pakistan and potent regional powers like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Beijing is far more concerned with regional security than in launching into territorial conquest elsewhere. The United States borders two vast oceans and two friendly countries. China is in a far more vulnerable position.

The Chinese leadership has its hands full trying to maintain local and regional security. It remains far more interested in developing its economy than in any consideration of threatening to attack other countries around the world, much less the United States.

China has not created the physical ability to project sufficient power abroad for territorial conquest. Chinese warships are not sailing down the East Coast into the Caribbean; Beijing is not filling Latin America with bases and troops; Chinese officials are not attempting to dictate American policy regarding Cuba. China is not demanding aggressive posturing in the Western Hemisphere to contain America. 

FEAR WASHINGTON

Where is the threat? The threat is to the American taxpayer. Those of us that continually finance the latest military expansion. In a security state, the military budgets never get cut. Because when the expenses of one war diminish, another conflict starts. After all, the trick to maintain and expand a government budget is spending all of it.    

The U.S. should not go to war with a nuclear-armed power over worthless rocks, or the sovereignty of Scarborough Shoal, or the Chinese interest in reuniting Taiwan. Washington has to know that NATO will not join an American crusade against China. Blinken is foolish to expect NATO to send a task force to the Indo-Pacific to help drive the Chinese navy back into their territorial waters?

PROMISES

At the 2021 Munich Security Conference, President Biden promised, “the United States is fully committed to our NATO Alliance.” He went on to say, ” we’ll keep faith with Article 5. It’s a guarantee. An attack on one is an attack on all. That is our unshakable vow. “

Then the NATO Summit, Secretary of State Blinken also mentioning the Article 5 clause of NATO, promising to go to war for other countries. Whether these promises are pre-game prep talks or bluster, they are playing with fire. Please don’t poke the Dragon.

#80 The Indo-Pacific Hail, Hail The Gang is All Here!

“Once a gangster, always a gangster,” Julio says. “The only way out from this life is death, so if I can’t stop, all I can do is ask for forgiveness, cleanse and get on with it.”

Julio is a 33-year-old narco commander in the resurgent drug war on Columbia’s Pacific Coast. He runs a local cell for Empresa, the ruling gang. He is known and feared by the locals because his job is to terrorize them. In a war for turf control, gang rivals regularly try to kill Julio. They know that eliminating Julio would leave a very profitable area up for grabs.

The Atlantic Council is a think tank primarily focused on foreign policy. It is influential within the Washington turf management system. They claim to promote constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs and play a central role in meeting global challenges.

Their motto reads:
“The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. The Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world.”

Recently the Atlantic Council published their strategy to create a more secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific by drawing a series of “red lines” backed by the threat to use military force. They write: “any nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons action by China against the U.S. or its allies or by North Korea; any Chinese military attack against Taiwan or its offshore islands, including an economic blockade or major cyberattack against Taiwanese public infrastructure and institutions; any Chinese attack against Japanese forces in their defense of Japanese sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, which China claims as to the Diaoyu, and their surrounding exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea; any major Chinese hostile action in the South China Sea to further reclaim and militarize islands, to deploy force against other claimant states, or to prevent full freedom of navigation operations by the U.S. and allied maritime forces; and any Chinese attack against the sovereign territory or military assets of U.S. treaty allies.”

In Julio’s world, so-called invisible borders define gang turf. Residents can be killed simply for crossing into rival territory. In the Atlantic Council world, crossing “red lines” would require the use of military force. The Atlantic Council has a more refined message with better public relations personnel, but they are surprisingly similar to the Julio narco-drug community message.

In Julio’s lawless, violent neighborhood, there is no opposition or challenge from their constituents. Instead, they nod and smile nervously. The bullies can walk the streets, greet those they meet in a politician-like style. Consequently, the people in these communities watch the bully as he manages his turf through extortion, collecting fees, and his army of hitmen enforce gang rule to protect their turf.

The Atlantic Council appears to be prescribing that Washington adopt the same turf management protocol as Julio. Hegemony is the drug. The Indo-Pacific is the turf. It is scary that the Biden Administration appears to be listening.

Attempting to dominate China in its neighborhood is the recipe for a turf war between two nuclear-armed gangs.

#79 Yemen – The Game Plan – NFL Style

Biden’s Defense Enhances Saudi’s Offense

NFL fans understand defense can score points directly or may even provide the offense with a great scoring opportunity. Recovering a fumble could give the offense a territorial advantage. They may even intercept a pass to stop forward progress. Hell, they may even get a pick-6 and score directly.

Last month President/Coach Joe Biden announced that he would end US support for offensive operations to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. It is a start but comparable to assigning a 5’ slow defensive back to defend a 6’ 6” incredibly fast wide receiver.

Coach Biden, maybe you should reconsider a politically strategic offense. An offense to attack the Saudis for the blockade denying food and fuel to Yemen’s starving population, to attack the Saudis for bombing civilian targets.

Besides, defending Saudi Arabia as they continue to heave bombs at food warehouses and civilian infrastructure is a losing game plan. To defend Saudi Arabia as they prevent humanitarian supplies and fuel from being received or unloaded in Yemen seaports and airports are grounds for firing.

Statistics

Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people depend on foreign aid as large parts of the country have been devastated by the six years of violence that have resulted in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Newly released data, published by the Yemen Data Project in March 202, has found that the Saudi-led coalition has conducted at least 22,766 air raids in Yemen and up to 65,982 airstrikes since it began its bombing campaign in 2015. Roughly a third of the airstrikes hit non-military sites, including schools, residential areas, and hospitals.

The aerial campaign led to the death of 8,759 civilians and injured another 9,815. While the project found that 29 percent of all air raids hit civilian targets, 47 percent identified hit civilian sites.

Save the Children, reported over a quarter of the casualties have been children. The UN is warning that 400,000 Yemeni children will starve to death this year if conditions don’t change.

The Play-action; Fake the Run – Pass the Ball

News reports that the US-backed Saudi-led coalition has cleared four fuel ships to dock in Yemen’s port of Hodeidah. They report all the supplies on board. They create an illusion that 45,000 tons of gas oil, 5,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas, and 22,700 tons of fuel oil will be soon be delivered to restart the electric grid, sewerage treatment plants, and other vital infrastructure.

The News fails to emphasize that the ships get cleared, but they do not get to the port for unloading. CNN investigations have revealed the Saudis prevent ships from docking in Hodeidah, depriving Yemen’s starving civilian population of the fuel necessary to deliver food.

As of March 23rd, the Saudis were holding 14 tankers from docking in Hodeidah even though the ships had clearance from the UN. a CNN investigation showed food trucks stranded in Hodeidah, unable to make deliveries due to a lack of fuel.

Quarterback Draw; Fake to Pass – Run Instead

Saudi Arabia recently presented a new ceasefire proposal. This plan/play calls for an UN-supervised nation-wide ceasefire without lifting the brutal blockade. The new proposal allows for only certain flights to land at the Sanaa airport.

“We expected that Saudi Arabia would announce an end to the blockade of ports and airports and an initiative to allow in 14 ships that are held by the coalition,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said. He added, “opening the airports and seaports is a humanitarian right and should not be used as a pressure tool.”

The Hail Mary

Despite President Biden’s vows to end all US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian disaster has not stopped. Non-support of offensive operations is not good enough. Last week, a Saudi airstrike in Salif targeted a grain port, warehouse, and the living quarters of a food production company.

Coach, we are in Sudden Death. Time is running out. Throw up the Hail Mary, demand that Riyadh lifts the blockade, and stop their airstrikes on civilian targets.

# 78 Washington – Not A Friend Of Putin

Cold War I

Since the days of Harry Truman, Dean Acheson, George Marshall, and their Post World II crusade against global communisms, the Washington narrative has not changed. It states; the United States is the last superpower, the leader of the free world, the indispensable nation, the architect of the rules-based international order with a mission to save mankind. 

Seventy-five years ago, the United States declared the Soviet Union our enemy in the Cold War. Between 1989 and 1991, the Soviet Union imploded from a bloated economy overextended across the world. During these years, the Berlin Wall came down, the Red Army left eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union split apart into 15 separate nations.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

In the aftermath, Russia became a nation reaching out in friendship to the United States. In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first elected Russian president. Once in power, Yeltsin introduced economic reforms. By January 1992, prices stabilized, queues in stores disappeared, and goods reappeared on Russian shelves. 

Yeltsin began a mass privatization program, transferred shares from the government to private investors. By mid-1994, almost 70 percent of the Russian economy was in private hands. In 1995, with the help of the International Monetary Fund, Russia stabilized the ruble. 

However, the Russian parliament remained mostly unreformed, a well-organized Communist Party entrenched in its industrial interests. They resisted most of the Yeltsin reforms. In 1995, the Communist Party leader, Gennady Zyuganov, challenged Yeltsin. 

Friend Of The Devil(s)

With the 1996 presidential election pending, a desperate Yeltsin agreed to a loans-for-shares program, providing loans for valuable Russian resources. This program consolidated a few well-connected men, the oligarchs. The oligarchs had a political and economic influence across Russia. 

It was the oligarchs and the inner machinations of the Clinton Administration that helped Yeltsin get re-elected. With Hollywood scripted coverage on the television networks and New York Times style journalism in the newspapers, owned by the oligarchs, Yeltsin won the 1996 election. However, the Yeltsin victory did not come cheap. Yeltsin became beholden to a few new masters. 

During this period, he reduced defense procurement by an estimated 90 percent, pursued drastic nuclear arms reduction in co-operation with the United States, accepted the expansion of NATO. Most of the Russian resources became under the control of a few.

By the late 1990s, Yeltsin lacked political and popular support. Political gridlock made it hard for the government to function. As oil prices collapsed in 1997–1998, so did the federal budget, and the financial turmoil spread throughout Russia. The crisis led to a Russian debt default and a sharp depreciation of the ruble. 

Putin – The Russian Friend

Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin. He was appointed Prime Minister by Yeltsin in 1999. On January 1, 2000, Yeltsin resigned, making Putin the acting president, subsequently winning the presidential election in March of that year. 

Over the following four years, the Russian economy rapidly grew. In 2003 the Russian government was able to borrow money, in world markets, at a long-term interest rate of around 7 percent. Investors had confidence in the Putin leadership, and the Russian economic growth forecast had turned highly optimistic. 

Putin saved Russia from becoming another US vassal. He targeted the corrupt oligarchs. Putin immediately becomes an enemy of Washington. However, under Putin, Russia would remain a sovereign state.

Cold War II

Having won the Cold War and unable to find a new mission, Washington started Cold War II. This war moved our front lines from the River Elbe to the borders of Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia. We doubled the number of nations in NATO, obligated to defend 30 countries, moved the alliance deep into Eastern Europe, and adopted a policy of containment of a shrunken Russia. 

Today, Washington continues to target Russia with a sanction initiative best described by The Washington Institute: 

“Sanctions may be imposed on a state to express disapproval (retribution) and/or to change the behavior of the target state (rehabilitation). Retributive sanctions serve the interests of a domestic constituency. The government imposes them as a form of punishment, irrespective of whether they can change the policies of the target states. When imposing retributive sanctions, the “feel good” benefit should be weighed against the possible political and strategic consequences of the measure.”

With friends like Washington, who needs enemies?

#77 – The Biden Plans – A Retrospective (why immigrants flee the Northern Triangle)

Plan Columbia

President Joe Biden has proclaimed himself the architect of Plan Colombia. A plan that transformed Colombia into a hyper-militarized bastion of right-wing rule, enhancing the power and presence of the notoriously brutal armed forces while failing miserably in its anti-narcotic and reformist objectives.

According to Robert White, the former number two at the US embassy in Bogota. The original Plan Colombia, was written in Spanish and had no mention of military action against the FARC rebels. However, in the translated Biden/Washington English version, almost 80 percent of the $7.5 billion plan went to the Colombian military. Five hundred US military personnel were promptly dispatched to Bogota to train Columbian military personnel.

On July 5, 2019, CNN interview Biden explained his Plan Columbia. “We went down and said, okay, and I was one of the architects of Plan Colombia,” Biden continued. “I said, here’s the deal. If you have all these crooked cops, all these federal police, we’re sending our FBI down, you let us put them through a lie detector test, let us tell you who you should fire, and tell you the kind of people you should hire. They did and began to change. We can do so much if we’re committed.”

Six years into the Bill Clinton/Biden Plan Colombia, US drug czar John Walters admitted that the price of cocaine in the US had declined, the flow of the drug into the US had risen, and its purity had increased. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime has reported that in 2018 coca cultivation reached record levels in Colombia.

In the first four months of 2019, more than 50 human rights defenders were killed. While the US remains in control, Colombian coca production has reached record levels. It has been a failed anti-drug policy with billions of wasted dollars and has produced a society in turmoil. Why does Biden remain boastful of his Plan Columbia?

Plan Northern Triangle 

After 15 years of human misery and billions of dollars squandered in Colombia, Biden set out on a personal mission to export his pet program to Central America crime and corruption-ravaged Northern Triangle.

Biden has bragged of imposing Washington policies on the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. His brainchild channeled $750 million through a right-wing government installed by a US-orchestrated military coup to spur mega-development projects and privatize social services.

At that time, the government of Honduras had no capacity or will to resist the Biden plan. Honduras had democratically elected president Juan Manuel Zelaya. In 2009, a coup orchestrated by the United States removed him from office.

Zelaya told Anya Parampil, “the Obama administration was infuriated by his participation in ALBA, a regional economic development program put forward by Venezuela’s then-President Hugo Chavez that provided an alternative to neoliberal formulas like the so-called “Biden Plan.”

Following the military coup, the FBI sent personnel to Honduras to oversee the training of FUSINA, the main operational arm of the Honduran army and the base of the Military Police for Public Order (PMOP) that patrols cities like an occupation force. Then the US embassy created a special forces unit known as the Tigres. Besides arresting activists, they reportedly helped a drug kingpin escape a US investigation.

After the coup, poverty, violent crime, and unemployment surged. The unstable post-coup Honduras was particularly harsh on LGTBI (Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, and Intersex) Hondurans. Since 2009, more than three hundred in their community were killed.

By 2014, the blowback of the Obama administration initiated coup had caused a national emergency. Thousands of Hondurans were being confined in detention camps run by the US Department of Homeland Security. Many of the detainees were not even 16 years old. 

That summer, Obama went to Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to increase border militarization. Deportation of unaccompanied Central American minors was made possible. 

Plan Biden

Biden used that opportunity to rustle up an additional billion dollars, exploiting the crisis to fund a massive neoliberal project that saw Honduras as a base for international financial opportunity. Congress quickly ratified, and the first phase of the Alliance for Prosperity began. The role that Vice President Biden was so central it was known as “Plan Biden.”

Dana Frank, a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of the book, The Long Honduran Night stated; “In reality, the Plan would further enrich and strengthen the political power of the very same elites whose green, deliberate subversion of the rule of law, and destruction of natural resources and of Indigenous and Campesino land rights, were responsible for the dire conditions the proposal ostensibly addressed.”

The Alliance for Progress provided the backdrop for the assassination of the renowned Honduran environmentalist and feminist organizer Berta Cáceres. Cáceres was leading the fight against a local dam project overseen by DESA, a powerful Honduran energy company backed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and run by former military officers. 

A representative from DESA, Sergio Rodríguez, was accused of the masterminding of Cáceres’ murder. In March 2018, the Honduran police arrested DESA’s executive president, Roberto David Castillo Mejía, for “providing logistics and other resources to one of the material authors” of the assassination. 

Plan Democracy?

By 2017, a movement in Honduras against the US and its orchestrated 2009 coup saw an opportunity for political transformation at the ballot box. President Hernández was running for re-election, violating a constitutional provision on term limits. His opponent, Salvador Nasrallah, a popular broadcast personality, provided a consensus choice for those opposed to the coup regime.

When voting ended on November 26, Nasrallah appeared the victor. The exit polls were showing him comfortably ahead by several points. But suddenly, the government announced that a power outage required the suspension of vote counting. Days later, Hernández was declared the victor by about 1 percent.

The fraud was so transparent that the Organization of American States (OAS), an arm of US interests in Latin America, declared “errors, irregularities, and systemic problems,” as well as “extreme statistical improbability,” rendered the election invalid. But the United States recognized the results, leaving Hondurans with protest as their only recourse.

Plan Failure!

Karen Spring, of the Honduras Solidarity Network, explained, “Hondurans wanted to use their votes to change the country and now they’re voting with their feet,” she continued. “So if Biden’s plan really addressed the root causes of the migrant crisis, why aren’t people asking why migration is getting worse? Hondurans are voting on the Biden plan by fleeing and saying your plan didn’t work and it made our situation worse by fleeing to the border.”

Adrienne Pine, professor of anthropology at American University and leading researcher of the social crisis in Honduras, has explained. “Biden’s policies are driving more people out of Central America and making human rights defenders lives more precarious by defending entities that have no interest in human rights.” Pine added, “Biden is taking credit for doing something constructive to stop the migration crisis and blaming the concentration camps [on the US-Mexico border] on Trump. But it’s Biden.” 

As the social chaos continues to crippled the Northern Triangle, migration to the US-Mexico border has surged to catastrophic levels. Unable to make ends meet, Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans send their children alone to the US border, hoping for protection or refugee status.

Mr President these people are dying to hear the details of the next Plan.

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/central-americas-turbulent-northern-triangle

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/07/28/biden-privatization-plan-colombia-honduras-migration/