In general I have ignored the questions about punching Nazis. But if you are walking around with a Nazi armband a beat down is well deserved. I have seen many stories about this incident which took place in Seattle. The Root has the best and funniest report.Unfortunately the video is no longer available but the photo is worth 1,000 words.
My column in this week's Black Agenda Report is entitled "Assad is Winning." The recent Syrian Arab Army victory in Deir Ezzor was just the latest indicator that the United States backed jihadists are on the run and that is very good news indeed. The people of Deir Ezzor certainly think so as they celebrate their government's victory.
Why are there suddenly stories about rapes committed in Syrian jails? Because Assad is winning. Why does the United Nations say that the Syrian government committed chemical weapons attacks? Because Assad is winning. And why does the Intercept suddenly claim that president Assad is beloved by American white nationalists? Because Assad is winning.
The story of sexual assault bears further inspection. It strikes me as being similar to tales of Iraqi soldiers tossing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators or Gaddafi giving his soldiers viagra. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one man living in the U.K., is a part of this story as are others among the usual suspects supportive of U.S. backed regime change.
As for the Intercept, the story is is particularly disappointing. Essentially a couple of American crackers said they like Assad and presto! We have proof that the Syrian government is a hotbed of redneckdom. Moon of Alabama discusses mistranslation of an Assad speech which is used to bolster an anti-Syrian screed.
It is quite shameful that even those allegedly on the left support American imperialism. The regime change plot failed but the U.S. won't give up easily. So sad that there are willing helpers to a crime committed against an entire nation. But don't be surprised. This sorry spectacle won't end anytime soon.
A travel delay prevented me from speaking on one of the Saturday morning panels, The Many Faces of War Militarism and Neo-Fascism. My remarks addressed the plight of people of color in the United States and made the case that there is nothing "neo" about American fascism and that Donald Trump is no aberration. He provides more continuity than most people want to admit. I'm the first speaker on the video below but please listen to the rest of the panelists too. They were kind enough to make room for me on their panel Geography of Struggle - Wars of Aggression and Peoples' Struggles. They discussed Egypt, the Korean peninsula, Palestine, Europe, the state of the U.S. anti-war movement and the local struggle in Toronto. Enjoy and learn.
I was also a participant in the workshop, The Role of the Media in Movement-Building. I'll post video when it is available.
The conference brought people together from all over the world who are struggling and working on a wide variety of issues. You can see posts, photos and video on the event Facebook page here. All the information is well worth your time.
The capitalists and imperialists want us to be isolated and to feel alone. That is why it is so vital to join with comrades and friends from around the world. We experience our power every time we work together in this way.
"A New York Times reporter [Kurt Eichenwald] not only gave money to a child pornographer, but did business with him and even signed on to an illegal porn website as a member and administrator, documents unsealed yesterday in a federal criminal proceeding in Nashville reveal. He claims in one court document, he only 'posed' as a pedophile." Counterpunch 2007
Just when I begin to think that my web surfing and social media usage are time sucking addictions, I sometimes find out something very useful from these activities. Hence the addiction. Bear with me as I weave a tale of privilege and how white people can get away with doing terrible things without risk to their lives or careers.
First, let's observe how black people are treated when they do things they should not. Janet Cooke was a Washington Post reporter who fabricated a story about a child drug addict in 1981. Unfortunately for Cooke, the story won a Pulitzer prize. She was fired and never worked as a journalist again. Jayson Blair was a New York Times reporter. He fabricated stories and was fired in 2003. He has not worked as a journalist since that time. As I said, Cooke and Blair are both black.
Kurt Eichenwald was a New York Times reporter. In 2007 it was discovered that he administered a child porn website and paid an 18-year old who appeared on that site $2,000. Debbie Nathan reported the story in Counterpunch 2007. But others like New York Magazine excused Eichenwald and repeated his claim of wanting to save a child from the porn industry.
Eichenwald was forced to leave the Times but he went on to Newsweek and to Vanity Fair. He has also been a contributor to MSNBC. The child sex scandal was a bump in an otherwise successful career.
In 2016 Eichenwald libeled Bill Moran, then a reporter at Sputnik News. Moran was reporting on the DNC email hack and mistakenly attributed an Eichenwald quote to Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal. He realized his mistake within 20 minutes and deleted his post. But in the fast world of the internet it was still too late. Donald Trump quoted the incorrect information at a rally that very day. Eichenwald and Newsweek claimed that Moran's error proved a link between Trump and the Kremlin. Eichenwald retweeted what Moran himself admitted was a mistake more than 37 times. Newsweek and Eichenwald continued to use Moran's mistake as proof of a Trump/Kremlin connection even though they knew the story was reported as false almost immediately.
Moran lost his job at Sputnik. In a series of emails Eichenwald threatened Moran if he went public but sweetened the deal with an offer to help him find another gig. As I said, the child sex scandal didn't hurt Eichenwald. He still had connections to offer up.
Unfortunately for Eichenwald, Moran is also an attorney. He represented himself in court and succeeded in getting a settlement from Newsweek.
I also discovered that Eichenwald's porn interest continues. He took a photo of his computer which showed he had accessed something called tentacle porn. I have no idea what that is. I don't want to know. Don't tell me what it is. It isn't my business but Eichenwald revealed it himself and then used his wife and kids as his excuse. For real.
So what does any of this have to do with white privilege? I started out by saying that Cooke and Blair never worked again. Ever. Eichenwald administered a child porn site and kept working as a journalist. Newsweek knew he lied in libeling another journalist and assisted him in telling what they all knew to be a lie.
It appears that Eichenwald is no longer at Newsweek. He doesn't mention it on his twitter profile. He still lists himself as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair however.
So I'll just cut to the chase. White people can get away with a lot and never pay a price. Eichenwald has apparently departed Newsweek but I'm guessing he didn't leave empty handed.
Eichenwald had powerful defenders and friends who helped him keep working whether he paid for child porn or libeled a fellow journalist. Cooke and Blair can't get arrested all these years after their mistakes.
And that my friends is what white privilege is all about.
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