Pinochet ‘sold cocaine to Europe and US’

Jonathan Franklin

The Guardian

Augusto Pinochet’s $26m (£14m) fortune was amassed through cocaine sales to Europe and the US, the general’s former top aide for intelligence has alleged.
In testimony sent to Chilean Judge Claudio Pavez, Manuel Contreras alleges that Pinochet and his son Marco Antonio organised a massive production and distribution network, selling cocaine to Europe and the US in the mid-1980s.

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Hezbollah and the Workers

Hezbollah’s record shows that the party’s interests are more aligned with elites than with workers.

by Joseph Daher

Though its reputation has waned in recent years, Hezbollah has long earned plaudits from the Left for its military resistance to Israel. Many, too, have pointed to its provision of social services as a sign of the organization’s progressive hue.

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Identity Politics vs. Populist Economics? It’s a False Choice—Liberals Need to Look in the Mirror

Economic justice and civil rights are not separate; the issue isn’t “identity politics” but liberalism’s failures.

By Conor Lynch / Salon

For many Democrats, the fact that the Obama years have ended with one of the biggest party implosions in American history — and not the implosion of the Republican Party, as most had anticipated — remains a difficult reality to accept. Thanks to the Democratic Party’s historic collapse, Republicans will soon have complete control of all levels of government in the United States: All three branches of federal government, a large majority of state legislatures and an even larger majority of state governorships.

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What Bernie Sanders Gets Right About Identity Politics

By Eric Levitz
Daily Intelligencer
New York Magazine

Last week, Bernie Sanders argued that the Democratic Party must work to diversify America’s political class, while fighting to advance the rights of African-Americans, women, LGBT individuals, immigrants, and other marginalized groups.

He then stipulated that those fights cannot be won without advancing the material interests of the working class, because “our rights and economic lives are intertwined.”

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Nationalism, Internationalism and New Politics

By George Friedman

Geopolitical Futures

A new political dichotomy is replacing the old left vs. right divide.

The world is experiencing a shift from the old liberal-conservative model to an internationalist-nationalist model. Nationalist challenges against the internationalist model have moved from the margins of the political system to the center, winning victories in the United States and the United Kingdom, and rising in strength in other countries. The rise of nationalism is the decisive character of the day. Internationalism is on the defensive. Whatever the ultimate outcome, this struggle will politically define at least the next decade.

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by Umberto Eco
New York Review of Books, June 22, 1995 Issue

In 1942, at the age of ten, I received the First Provincial Award of Ludi Juveniles (a voluntary, compulsory competition for young Italian Fascists—that is, for every young Italian). I elaborated with rhetorical skill on the subject “Should we die for the glory of Mussolini and the immortal destiny of Italy?” My answer was positive. I was a smart boy.

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What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done for India?



When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But, some 25 years later, what we have seen is almost 400,000 farmers committing suicide, one of the greatest levels of inequality out of all ‘emerging’ economies, a trend towards jobless ‘growth’, an accelerating and massive illegal outflow of wealth by the rich, and, as if that were not enough, now we have the sequestration of ordinary people’s money under the euphemism ‘demonetization’.

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By Adrian Chen
The New Yorker

In late October, I received an e-mail from “The PropOrNot Team,” which described itself as a “newly-formed independent team of computer scientists, statisticians, national security professionals, journalists and political activists, dedicated to identifying propaganda—particularly Russian propaganda targeting a U.S. audience.” PropOrNot said that it had identified two hundred Web sites that “qualify as Russian propaganda outlets.” The sites’ reach was wide—they are read by at least fifteen million Americans. PropOrNot said that it had “drafted a preliminary report about this for the office of Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and after reviewing our report they urged us to get in touch with you and see about making it a story.”

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New York Times vents Washington’s rage over debacle in Syria

By Bill Van Auken

The stunning military defeats suffered by US-backed “rebels” in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo since the weekend have touched off a wave of demoralized recriminations within Washington’s political establishment, the military and intelligence apparatus and the corporate media, which together instigated and defended the bloody five-and-a-half-year war for regime-change against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian troops, backed by Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and Shia militias from Iraq, have succeeded in overrunning close to half of the eastern section of Aleppo, which the “rebels,” a collection of militias dominated by the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, had held for over four years.

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The ‘Washington Post’ ‘Blacklist’ Story Is Shameful and Disgusting

The capital’s paper of record crashes legacy media on an iceberg

Matt Taibbi

Last week, a technology reporter for the Washington Post named Craig Timberg ran an incredible story. It has no analog that I can think of in modern times. Headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” the piece promotes the work of a shadowy group that smears some 200 alternative news outlets as either knowing or unwitting agents of a foreign power, including popular sites like Truthdig and Naked Capitalism.

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How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’

The Interpreter


WASHINGTON — Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.
His research suggests something quite different: that liberal democracies around the world may be at serious risk of decline.

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Not Us, Me

By Jodi Dean

Since Donald Trump’s electoral defeat of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, liberal commentary has fixated on the problem of identity politics. Like the incessant tonguing of a sore tooth, this fixation locates a problem but doesn’t address it. It doesn’t even analyze it. It tells us nothing about the appeal of identity, attachments to it, investments in it. At best, liberal commentary (such as has appeared in the New York Times) repeats conservative criticisms of political correctness, glossing them with erudite condescension.

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The elite’s Marie Antoinette moment

Right response is to focus on the financial sector and inequality

Wolfgang Münchau
Financial Times

Some revolutions could have been avoided if the old guard had only refrained from provocation. There is no proof of a “let them eat cake” incident. But this is the kind of thing Marie Antoinette could have said. It rings true. The Bourbons were hard to beat as the quintessential out-of-touch establishment.

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Maneuvering a new reality for US journalism

Nic Dawes

Columbia Journalism Review


Ordinarily, it is you who offer the rest of the world advice about press freedom, and the accountability architecture of democratic societies, so I understand that it may be strange to hear it coming back at you, but this will not be the last inversion that the election of Donald Trump delivers.

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All Aboard the Post-TPP World

OPINION – Strategic Culture Foundation

A half-hearted near handshake between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin before and after they spoke «for about four minutes», standing up, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru, captured to perfection the melancholic dwindling of the Obama era.

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