Category Archives: North Korea

The US Left: An Autopsy

James Schipper: Dear Robert

There is a real left in the US, the Politically Correct Left. Their darlings are the sexually abnormal, except pedophiles of course, colored people, and immigrants. To promote equality at home and to oppose imperialism abroad, which is traditional Leftism, is not a priority for today’s Leftism. Instead, we have the pursuit of diversity at home and the promotion of human rights abroad.

However, the pursuit of diversity is perfectly compatible with extreme inequality. If a CEO makes 200 times more than the companies lowest paid employee, but half of the CEO’s are female and 1/3 are non-white, then that is fine.

As to the promotion of human rights abroad, it is the modern equivalent of the White man’s burden. In practice, it means that the West will tell the rest what to do.

This is probably about right. The Cultural Left is the Left in the US. My previous post discussed Daily Kos, ground central for the left wing of the Democratic Party.

I talked about how awful they were on Venezuela, but they are just as bad on Syria and Russia. Sure, you can’t discuss the Israeli conflict, but you can sure support Israeli foreign policy in Syria.

I am quite sure that Iran is hated too.

Kos is somewhat sane on North Korea – they think that Trump threatening to attack a nuclear armed state is the height of insanity. Of course they will use their nuclear weapons if attacked. What do you expect them to do?

Well, one thing is for sure, and that’s that the Daily Kos and liberal Democrats in general support the Cultural Left to the hilt. That’s one thing they are quite Left on – culture. There is no species of nonheterosexual orientation or nonbinary gender that they will not shout the praises of to the skies.

And of course there is the continuous cheerleading for the dubious Black Lives Matter group and the Left’s favorite pets, the illegal immigrants.

There is also a lot of promotion of radical or gender feminism.

You don’t see a lot of White bashing or male bashing. Some Black, Brown, and feminist diarists write that sort of thing, but those diaries are not very popular, and the audience is mostly female or Black and Brown liberals. The male Kossacks generally stay off the hardline feminist diaries, and White Kossacks are not seen a lot on the radical Black and Brown diaries. After a while there, I decided that White liberal men were not as cucked as everyone says they are. They didn’t seem very interested in the male-bashing or White-bashing.

There even used to be some liberals on Daily Kos who were very much against illegal immigration. They tended to get shouted down, but they did have a voice. I believe recently Kos made a new policy that opposing illegal immigration on the site would result in a ban. It’s sad.

More liberals or more precisely those on the Left wing of US liberalism seem to have increasingly had it up to here with the Israelis. Even a number of liberal US Jews have finally had it with the Jewish state. Israel’s behavior gets more outrageous, belligerent and murderous by the day, and I would assume that as a liberal, even a Jewish liberal, it gets harder and harder to see these radical ethnic nationalists (the Jewish equivalent of Amrenners or Stormfronters) behave as violently and viciously as they do.

Syria is so much of a tougher sell, as the US Left and US liberalism has been doubling down on overthrowing Assad and even supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS in the process from Day One. However, even on Daily Kos, there are a few commenters who go against the Official Narrative on Syria. Maybe 20% of the total, but they are articulate and quite loud.

Even much of the actual US Left has been badly split on Syria. Alternet has been supporting overthrowing Assad, as has Pacifica radio and some authors on Counterpunch. On Alternet and Counterpunch, the readers are much more pro-Syria than the writers. Pacifica has faced a big backlash for its pro-intervention coverage. It’s more accurate to say that support for Assad’s regime has badly split the US Left than to say they have taken any coherent stand on the matter.

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Hillary Is Still Worse Than Trump on Militarism

From a year ago, but instructive nevertheless.

Sure, Trump is a horrifying hawk, and all of his promises about keeping us out of foreign wars have turned to crap. He has assembled one of the most hawkish cabinets one could imagine, including the terrifyingly insane John Bolton, the scariest man in America. Pompeo isn’t much better. Haley is catastrophic as UN ambassador.

Trump has already been far worse than Obama on war, especially in Syria. He has been much more bellicose than Obama on North Korea and Iran and even on Venezuela, on which he has threatened to launch an attack. He has also been much more hawkish on Russia, sending lethal military aid to Ukraine and attacking Russian forces a number of times in Syria.

His nominee for Secretary of State, Pompeo, recently bragged that the US had killed 200 Russians. It’s not true, and more about that later, but it’s a chilling thing to say.

In addition, since Trump came in, the rebels have made a number of miraculously precise artillery attacks on Russian forces and the Russian Embassy. A number of Russian soldiers, including some high ranking officers and even a general, were killed. A number of these Russia-killing attacks were by ISIS, and US advisers were known to be in the direct vicinity at the time. In fact, ISIS forces had just driven a convoy past US forces, and US forces had not done anything. A lot of people are saying that there is no way the rebels could have pulled such accurate high profile attacks on Russians that they did, and that the US must have helped them target these Russians.

So the US has already killed a number of Russians in Syria. Obama hadn’t killed one Russian. Trump, instead of being Putin’s pet, should instead by named The Russian Killer.

Trump removed all of the Rules of Engagement that Obama had put in for air strikes against ISIS. These rules had been quite strict and reasonable, but they had resulted in a number of civilian casualties. After removing the ROI’s, civilian casualties due to US strikes rose by 5-10 times. Trump killed a lot of Syrian civilians for no good reason.

However, Hillary’s comments about destroying Syria’s airfields go far beyond anything that Trump has even done so far, so as horrific as Trump has been on military matters, Hillary still probably would have been worse.

War Psychosis runs deep in US society, infecting all US elites across the spectrum and much of the clinically insane US population. We are simply a people who love war and get off on killing as many people as possible. We are a nation of bloodthirsty killers.

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Are There Any Americans Who Don’t Engage in Pure Black and White Thinking?

Alex: Robert, thanks for the warm welcome.

I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I would say that your views defy categorization, which I find refreshing. Of course, you’re free to apply any label you like to yourself. I personally have been exposed to enough narrow ideologies to find most such labels distasteful. I would rather people apply labels like ‘open-minded’, ‘numerate’, or ‘principled’ to themselves instead of an ideological designator which is as much about tribal affiliation as it is about personal philosophy. If people were really honest, they could even apply terms like ‘selfish’, or ‘biased towards short-term outcomes’ and nobody could fault them because we’re all that way to some extent.

Of course I am a man of the Left and I always have been. I am a liberal, progressive, socialist, whatever you want to call it. Exactly.

And the problem is that in the US, you pretty much have to define yourself as liberal or conservative. I suppose it is possible to be a Centrist, but I don’t hear many folks identifying that way.

Of course I am a man of the Left and I always have been. I am a liberal, progressive, socialist, whatever you want to call it.

However, once you designate yourself on the left of the spectrum like that, you are given a checklist of 1,000 different issues, and you have to check the “liberal” position on every single damn one of them. If you fail to check even one, everyone on the Left flips out, says you are not a liberal/progressive/socialist/whatever, and instead you are a reactionary/conservative/fascist/Nazi/Republican. Well, I am not any of the latter. I have examined all of those philosophies in great detail, and I despise those people. I do not fit in with them at all. However, only conservatives have been friendly to me, even though their philosophy is crap. Everyone on the Left by and large hates my guts.

So I am a man without a country, so to speak.

Really if you gave me a list of Left positions, I might check most of them. More importantly, if you gave me a list of rightwing opinions, I would not check too many of them. But I would check a few. But you can’t even check a few, you see. You can’t even check one.

Let me give you another example. I think a $15 minimum wage is a terrible idea. But I am very much pro-worker. I just don’t think that is the way to deal with working class problems in the US. That would cause more problems then it would cure. When I say that, everyone on the Left gets outraged and says, “I thought you were for the workers!” As in, if you are  pro-worker, you have to support a $15/hr wage. Well, I am pro-worker, and I think that wage is a terrible idea.

Everything is black and white here. I like a lot of what Putin does, but I agree that he does some bad things, and I will gladly rattle them off. When I do this, Putin-haters (everyone) is outraged and yells, “I thought you were pro-Putin! See, even you admit he’s bad.”

You see in the US you have to take positions. If you hate Putin, nothing he does is good. Same with Trump, Assad, Kim Jong Il, or other bogeymen. Most everyone on the Left in the US says all of these men are pure evil. If you point out that these people are good or correct in some certain way, everyone flips out. “You support Kim Jong Il!” Well, no I don’t, but he has the right to defend his country.

People who are pro-Democrat or anti-Assad or whatever will never admit that there is one bad thing about Democrats or one good thing about Assad. You can’t.

If you say one bad thing about Democrats, they’re not “good” anymore. If you say one good thing about Assad, he’s not “bad” anymore.

Let’s say we are talking Putin. My conversation partner is a Putin-hater. Literally everything Putin does is pure evil. I am taking the opposite point and supporting Putin on a number of issues. But if I concede Putin is bad in one way, my partner starts jumping up down and yelling, “Even you say he’s bad!”

If you concede one point, if you say you’re guy is bad in even one way, in the US, you just lost the argument. Because the other guy never concedes a point. In the US, the way people think is that the person who never concedes on anything wins, and the person who concedes a point or two loses.

Literally almost everyone I meet in this country is exactly like this. Most people I have known in my life are like this. I know several people with 140+ IQ’s, and they are complete black and white thinkers, so it’s not down to intelligence.

Humans just can’t seem to handle cognitive dissonance. They can’t deal with gray areas. Gray areas make people nuts. A gray area means the good guy’s not good anymore, and the bad guy’s not bad anymore. We can’t have that.

Ever since I appeared on the Net, people have been screaming that my politics is utterly irrational and insane. That is simply because I am Left on some things and Right on others. In America, apparently that is the definition of insanity. Recently someone commented that I am “all over the place.” That’s right. If you live in a permanent gray area, you will always be all over the place.

Which brings me to my original question: Just how many Americans are not black and white thinkers? I would also like to ask if it is a human characteristic rather than an American one. Will you generally find the same black and white thinking everywhere you go in the world?

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Just Got a Lifetime Ban from Daily Kos

Daily Kos is Ground Zero for the Base of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party’s Base is more leftwing than the party itself in the same way that the Republican Base is more rightwing than the party itself. Party Bases tend to be like that. The Base of the Democratic Party would best be called the Left Wing of the Democratic Party. Now granted, there are some decent people on there. There are actually a fair number of Marxists and socialists hanging out in the Democratic Party Base.  After all, they have nowhere else to go. But this is a quite small percentage of the Base.

I have been banned for life from Daily Kos, and honestly it is a blessing because I absolutely despise most Democratic Party liberal types. The problem with them is that there’s nothing liberal about them. In any sane system, they would be something like what used to be called a Liberal Republican. They just flat out suck!

Their foreign policy is horrific. Almost all liberal Democrats are ((neocon)) fanatics. The whole left wing of the Democratic Party is completely overrun with a ((certain type of people)). As usual, they destroy that wing of the party as a result. They love Israel! The Democratic Party can’t get enough of wonderful Israel. Wonderful Israel is the greatest country on Earth.

Almost 100% of them support the war against the Syrian people we are waging with our Al Qaeda and ISIS allies. They hate Russia! They love the Ukrainian Nazis! Yeah, I know, makes no sense. They love Israel and they also love Al Qaeda, ISIS and real actual Nazis in the Ukraine. But that’s the exact geopolitics of (((certain people))) in the US, and as (((these people))) control this wing of the party, (((their))) values become everyone’s values. The love NATO! They hate North Korea, and some of them want to attack North Korea! They love US imperialism! They love the Pentagon! They love the CIA! They love the FBI!

Everyone on Kos loved this maniac named “Mad Dog” Maddis, the new general heading  up the Pentagon under Trump. Personally, I think he’s psycho, and he’s just another War Pig. Actually he’s worse than your ordinary War Pig. He’s a particularly belligerent type of militarist War Pig. A very frightening man.

And of course that whole wing of the party has been taken over by some time now by the most insane of the SJW’s.

They love free trade agreements! I would say 85% of Kossacks love the TPP, all because their hero Hitlery was pushing it. Kossacks suck! They love globalization!

They are all for Open Borders and Amnesty! As a matter of fact, I believe it has been a bannable offense on there for some time now to oppose illegal immigration.

I will say though that there are now some anti-Israel and anti-Zionist types on there. There are a few who support Syria and even some who support Russia. These might be 20% of Kossacks. However, Israel has become such a divisive hot button issue that I believe all discussion of the Israel-Palestinian Question has been banned. It’s nice to see that the Israel-Palestine Question has become incendiary at all in the Democratic Base though. Things are slowly changing.

There was actually a huge Bernie Sanders movement on Daily Kos, and there was a near civil war between Killary and Sanders supporters on there. Mods were continually having to wade in and sort out wild shouting matches and near virtual fistfights on the site. I did enjoy seeing the emergence of a Bernie wing. The one redeeming feature of the Base right now is this Bernie wing. Hope springs eternal!

On most economic type issues, Kossacks are generally very good. Of course they’re correct that this current crop of Republicans is worse than cancer. I agree. In fact, these Kossacks are the closest thing to “my people” anywhere on the Web. Which is partly why the ban was so painful.

OK, now for the ban story.

A Kossack wrote a typical article on there about one of the many false flags the (((US))) and Al Qaeda have been staging in Syria. This one was one of the many fake chemical weapons false flags. Unbelievably, there have been ~40-50 chemical weapons false flag attacks in Syria so far. The (((US government))) helped to propagandize every single one of them, and we were apparently directly involved in others.

I know that the DIA was directly involved in the famous Fake Sarin Gas Attack in Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs a few years ago. As has been the case in a number of these attacks, not only did Assad not shoot any Sarin or any other chemical weapons that day, even more bizarrely than that is the fact there was no Sarin of chemical weapons attack by anyone, Syria or the rebels, in Ghouta that day. The Fake Sarin Attack was like the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and all sorts of staged false flag bullshit the US engages in.

This was an attack that, incredibly, never even happened! We are talking about an event that never even occurred! Isn’t that incredible? The recent “Sarin” attack in Khan Sheikoun was similar. Once again, not only did Assad not shoot Sarin or any other chemical weapons (he has none to shoot), but the rebels didn’t either. Once again we are talking about an attack that never even happened. What happened instead, as in Ghouta, was a fake staged phony attack which was meant to portray the real one.

Anyway, this (((good goy))) on ((Kos)) was going on about the evil Assad, how he launches chemical weapons on his people and how we need to send our close allies ISIS and Al Qaeda in to finish him off. The usual Zionist jerkoff on (((Kos))). The place is swarming with Zionists. They are practically crawling all of the walls and even up on the ceiling of the place.

So I posted a comment where I said something like:

“What’s the name of your hometown? Tel Aviv?”

Basically questioning his loyalty to America and suggesting that he was guilty of dual loyalty.

Well, the other (((Kossacks))) absolutely flipped out and called in some (((moderators))). I was immediately labeled a Republican Trump-supporting troll. The (((commenters))) were beside themselves about my “outrageous, bizarre and appallingly anti-Semitic remark.” On the contrary, I was quite proud of that remark. Hey, if you are running interference for Israel, we have a right to check you out to make sure you do not have dual loyalty as so many of those types do.

So now I have a lifetime ban at ((Daily Kos)) for “anti-Semitism.”

Fuck ((Daily Kos)). Fuck the ((Democratic Party)). Fuck ((liberal Democrats)).

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Suicide: The Ultimate Enigma

Becoming suicidal is often but not always indicative of mental illness. Philosophically, it simply means that you do not want to live anymore, and you don’t have to be nuts to feel way. Life’s hard for everyone, and at some point, a lot of people just can’t take it anymore and want to bail out or end the pain. Indeed, a person certainly feels no more pain after suicide.

People kill themselves for all sorts of reasons. Only 70% of suicides are clinically depressed. A lot of people commit suicide simply out of boredom, believe it or not. Some people seem to do it for absolutely no reason at all. It’s as if they did it for shits and giggles or as a way of trolling the human race. I suppose in a way, suicide is the ultimate troll. Suicides are trolling the whole damn world, every one of us.

Suicide is a mystery.

We have been studying it forever, and we still hardly know a thing about it. A man wrote a big book on suicide a while back, and at the end of the book he said he didn’t understand suicide any better at the end than when he had started.

Some countries have high suicide rates, and no one seems to know why. Other countries have low suicide rates, and no one knows why.

Hungary had high suicide rates under feudalism, monarchy, fascism, communism and now democracy. People killed themselves at the same rate in all systems.

The Japanese have always had a high suicide rate, and no one knows why. Impoverished North Korea has an extremely low suicide rate while next door ultra-wealthy Japan has a very high rate. There is no good explanation for the difference.

 

It may be cultural. Some societies may be more pro-suicide than others.

Anti-socialists like to say that Swedes have a high suicide rate. They claim that Swedish socialism gives people everything they need and maybe want, but it leaves them bored and unmotivated and hopeless to improve their lot, so they end it all. But all places on Earth at that latitude have a high suicide rate. It is so dark half the year that the sun only comes out for a few hours a day, and it is cold all the time. There are high suicide rates in Norway, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Russia (especially Siberia), Alaska, Northern Canada, and Greenland. Anyway, the Swedes had a high suicide rate even before socialism. Other countries have an identical system to Swedish socialism, and they have low suicide rates.

Actually, the suicide rate was comparatively low in the USSR and Eastern Europe under communism. However, with the transition to capitalism in 1990, suicide rates skyrocketed over the next 10-15 years as did forms of slow suicide such as drinking oneself to death. So the Communism/socialism causes suicide theory seems to be washed up. If anything, suicide seems to be linked to capitalism a lot more than it is linked to socialism or Communism.

Nigeria is one of the most hellish and nightmarish places on Earth at least from my perspective, and from any point of view, it’s basically a shithole. In fact, it is probably one of the foulest shitholes on Earth. Yet Nigerians typically among the happiest people on Earth. They’re smiling amid the stinking, crime-infested, ultraviolent ruins, while the Swedes and Japs are blowing their brains out in lavish apartments drowning in luxury.

Go figure.

Bottom line is that a lot of human behavior is either not easily explained or simply doesn’t seem to make much sense at all. People feel however they do for whatever reasons they do, and it’s often hard to figure out why.

At the end of the day, human behavior is largely a mystery.

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Fake News: North Korea Has an ICBM that Can Hit the US

Here.

Bottom line – the whole thing is a massive lie, apparently based on false analysis of the rockets fired. The rockets fired were “fake ICBM’s” – made to seem like ICBM’s but not real ICBM’s because the only way they got their extreme altitude and possible range was by putting a very light dummy warhead on the tip. With a normal 600-1,000 pound atom bomb warhead that would be needed for such a flight, the missile would not have gone as far as it did. And even if they were able to get a warhead of the 600-1,000 pounds needed to hit the US, the Hwangsong-14 could not have carried it – they would need to build a new and better rocket.

However, they could certainly hit South Korea, Japan and Guam with a nuclear missile. That’s not even under debate.

You must understand that the government always lies to us about the capabilities of the states it deems enemies.

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Never Trust Any Promise America Makes about Anything Ever

  • 2002: If Qaddafi disarms, he can stay.
  • 2002: If Saddam disarms, he can stay.
  • 2014: If Assad disarms, he can stay.
  • 2017: If Kim disarms, he can stay.

Mr. Kim is a very smart man. He doesn’t trust one damn thing we see because any promise America gives to any other nation is obviously completely worthless.

Are we ripping up treaties yet? We’ve been backstabbers forever. If I led a foreign nation, I would never sign any agreement with the US about anything ever. We simply cannot be trusted to keep our word about anything.

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Donald Trump – The Penultimate Neoconservative President and the Most Warmongering Maniac President since Teddy Roosevelt

Any sort of conventional attack on North Korea would be sheer lunacy.

Trump has already attacked Syria a number of times. That is Nazi like aggressive war and is banned by the Geneva Conventions. He has ramped up the war in Yemen. He has urged on Saudis in their war against the Shia of Arabia, now a full-blown insurgency. Trump has been menacingly threatening Iran. Trump is now threatening to invade and conquer Venezuela.

Trump cannot attack North Korea in any way, shape or form unless or until they launch an attack on us.

Preventive war is always illegal in all contexts. Preventive war is what the Nazis and Japanese engaged in. All wars of aggression are staged as preventive wars. Preventive war is outlawed at the Geneva Conventions. Many Germans and Japanese were executed for waging preventive war.

Pre-emptive war is legal, but you have to have excellent evidence that the other country is going to attack you and is about ready to do so in the very near future. The pre-emptive war championed by the US is almost never the actual pre-emptive war that is actually legal.

There is no sense in saying anymore that Trump is never going to attack anyone.

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“Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story,” by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story

May 23, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran just completed their presidential election, but this article will not discuss the candidates, the result or the political consequences.

I work for Iran’s Press TV, which essentially makes me a civil servant, and I think it is correct for me to not reveal who I voted for in order to preserve my independence within the government. I’m quite happy to work for “the people” instead of “a person” – as in private media – and I will support which ever candidate the people choose.

Why will I support Iran’s government, whoever is in charge? Truly, it is not for my paycheck.

I support Iran because I support socialism where ever I can find it, and Iran has socialism in abundance.

Iranian Socialism has been so successful at redistributing wealth to the average person; has safeguarded the nation’s security despite being ringed by US military bases and repeated threats; has grown the economy despite an international blockade; has produced a foreign policy motivated on political principles; and has fought against the divisive identity politics which undermine human solidarity.

I have actually seen Iran over the decades, unlike 99% of the journalists who claim to understand Iran, so you can’t dissuade me.

And I’m not even going to try to persuade you. This is not that article, either.

This article is to lay out for left-wing readers and supporters of socialism what should be crystal clear: Iran is a socialist nation. Even more than that: Iran is a socialist success story.

Iran, like all nations, has had its unique developmental history; of course we have been reading Marx just as long as anyone else, as well.

But the most convincing and simplest way I can put it to non-Iranians is this: Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs. The ends are the same, and that is all that should matter to anyone who is truly trying to promote socialism for the benefits it brings to the average person.

The Problem Is Not Us, It Is You

I repeat: The problem is not us, it is you…when it comes to looking at Iran’s contributions to socialism.

I believe that around 99% of Westerners have no idea at all what Iran is really like. Unfortunately, this total ignorance about Iran and the Muslim world is the historical norm in the West.

The greatest contribution of Middle East scholar Edward Said was that his book, “Orientalism”, definitively proved through historical scholarship that the West has never, ever, ever been favorable towards the Muslim world.

Not in the 8th century, when Muslims were occupiers of the Iberian Peninsula, not in the following centuries when Islam was an ideological competitor to Christianity; not in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire occupied the Balkans; not in the 19th century, when the Europeans occupied the Middle East & North Africa; not in 1916, when they redrew the borders for the West’s benefit; not in 1945, when they bombed countries like Syria which had fought on their side against the Germans and the Italians; not in the 1960’s, when their reaction to independence was neocolonialism; not in 1979, when they created the forerunner of the Taliban; not during 2 wars in Iraq, a war in Syria today, etc.

Said’s point was: Never has the West viewed or treated the Muslim world as equals, much less intellectual equals.

Given this history, why should us Iranians expect the reality of our high-achieving modernity to be accepted and admired?

LOL, believe me, I am over it! I write this to enlighten you, not me! I humbly hope that it works.

I will address the elephant in the room, and quickly: Yes, I assume that a large part of this prejudice is religious. Some Christians cannot accept that Islam promotes the most recent prophet of the monotheism which they both share.

Such religious prejudices are not my problem, and they do not blind my analysis of 2017 Iran.

No socialist believes in a “clash of civilizations” or “religious war”, anyway.

My point is not to criticize Europe for a lack of brotherhood with their fellow Abrahamic religion: My point is to criticize them in 2017 because most Westerners believe that that even the most leftist Iranian cannot even qualify as merely a “conservative social democrat”!

Can There Never Be a Muslim “Democrat” or an Iranian “Republican”?

The proof of this bias is the decades of Western support for the oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution and any Muslim attempt to allow their religion into their politics. This is even though Christian Democratic parties governed Europe for decades after WWII, and it is absurd to think that the Christian dogma is not upheld and promoted in European politics today.

So, if Iranians cannot even be allowed to fulfill 19th century notions, why would the West accept that 2017 Iran can be even more truly leftist than the merely centrist ideology of European social democracy?

Of course, the average European cannot accept this, and this is why Western Socialists are aghast at my idea that Iran is an “ignored Socialist success story”.

The radical left of European Socialism, which seeks to destroy organized religion, is especially aghast, but they are a tiny minority and on the way out, thankfully. They do not realize that they have already been drastically tempered, if not ousted, in the still-Socialist countries they purportedly admire: Cuba is full of Santeria and Pope pictures, yin-yangy Confucianism is being promoted in China, etc.

But these Western radicals are a minority who simply cannot accept that spirituality cannot be rubbed out, largely because they see it as a choice or a social conditioning instead of a part of many people’s intrinsic nature (if not theirs). A modern Socialist must accept that this fight has already been fought and decided. The capitalists certainly advance as we chase our tails….

Even if leftist detractors can get past religion, they immediately will talk about Iran’s human rights faults.

I respond: Yawn yawn yawn African-Americans fill US jails; Muslims fill France’s jails; this is the centenary of the British-orchestrated Persian Famine, which killed 8-10 million people and actually made Iran the biggest victim of WWI, that is just one Western/capitalist inspired famine/death/human rights violation yawn yawn yawn.

I am not here to say Iran is perfect – only God can be – I am saying that Iran is absolutely no worse than the West. It is an undeniable fact that the current Islamic Republic of Iran has far less blood on its hands than most – and Iran has not invaded a country in 300 years!

Religion, human rights – these are all classic diversions from the facts presented against socialist societies, and Iran certainly is one.

Iran Checks All the Boxes as a Socialist Nation and as Revolutionary Socialist

What are the key components of socialism? Let’s clarify our terms.

The first is leadership by an avant-garde party committed to defending the revolution: Iran certainly has this, and it crosses over Principlist/Reformist party lines.

The second is central planning of the economy: Whoever had won, they would be largely implementing the 6th Five-year plan (2016-2021). And there is also the “Resistance Economy” approach promoted by many, which is certainly anti-globalization.

The third is control over the media: This is mixed – I would say Iran does not really have this in the traditionally Socialist sense. Cuba has no private media, for example, while Iran has dozens of private newspapers and innumerable TV satellites. But Iran does have limitations, so let’s check this box.

The fourth is support for foreign liberation movements: When the history of Palestinian liberation is finally written, just as a now-free South Africa thanks Cuba for sending troops to Angola, will not Palestinians do the same for Iran’s decades of support? The same with Lebanon and now Syria, correct?

The fifth is democratically devolving as much democracy as possible in order to empower the average person: There is no doubt that Iran is the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, and by a huge margin. The difference between Iran’s social-democratic procedures and guarantees in 2017 when compared with 1978 is obviously laughable. I write this from Paris, a nation in an 18-month state of emergency with no end in sight….

If your country has these five crucial components: Congratulations! You are in a socialist country!

A little bit more on each for the naysayers….

An Avant-Garde Party

Iran is a one-party system – that party defends the 1979 Revolution. China is a one-party system – promoting Chinese communism. Many would say that the US is a one-party system – promoting imperialist capitalism.

The difference between Iran & China and the US is that in the former their one-party systems are formalized, explicit and well-known; in the US it is informal, but just as strong, and maybe even stronger.

I don’t think this needs much further explanation but, for example, you cannot propose to end the Iranian Revolution and run for office. In France a presidential candidate in their recent election (Jean-Luc Melenchon) won 20% of the first-round vote by proposing to abolish France’s current 5th Republic.

Like all socialist countries, Iran is criticized for not having democracy but they do: it is simply within their own particular structure. Just as in the USSR, there was lively debate about how to advance their own system – should we following the right-wing model of socialism of Bukharin/Khrushchev or the left-wing model socialism of Lenin/Trotsky? – but there was no debate about deviating from their chosen national system, i.e. communism. When they did allow such debates under Gorbachev, Soviet Socialism was almost immediately subverted by capitalist reactionaries and consigned to oblivion.

Again, please examine the repression of communism in the US, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Chile, etc. for historical examples of capitalist “one-party systems”, which are definitely NOT avant-garde and promoting socialism….

The idea that Iran has no avant-garde party but is some sort of totalitarian structure governed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is only expressed by those who are supremely ignorant about Iran. For the second presidential election in a row Hassan Rouhani won despite not seeming to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, after all.

Central Planning of the Economy

I think I can illustrate Iran’s state of economic socialism with this anecdote: Back in 2013 all 8 presidential candidates were pushing for more privatization…not to promote capitalism, but because everything has already been nationalized for so long, LOL!

So Iran has already done the nationalizing, and maybe they need to do more? However, socialist countries have increasingly agreed that some revenue-producing businesses are needed to meet some of the basic needs of their people: North Korea has the Kaesong Industrial area, Cuba’s Port Mariel is giving some space to completely foreign-owned businesses, Vietnam and China have plenty of state-run capitalist enterprises, etc. The reality is that even producing things as simple as soap need some expertise, and very often only capitalist corporations can have that expertise.

That’s why the Iranian government went on a spending spree in 2016, but it was decidedly not your typical capitalism. (I do not want to appear to credit only the Rouhani administration because economic policy is produced by the entire government in 5-year development plans, as already noted.)

Iran was feted like a king in places like France and Italy because they were prepared to spend dozens of billions of euros. But what pleased me was how Iran spent: They demanded equal partnerships, joint ventures and technology transfers.

These are the ways in which foreign investment can be mutually beneficial and not exploitative – this was good for France too. I am not a dogmatic person who is absolutely against all capitalism, but I am against all exploitative capitalism.

My point is: It was a socialist spending spree, not a capitalist one. Iran did not just give money away; they did not waste money on vanity projects; this was not one billionaire dealing with another for their own benefit; they invested in Iran via long-term central planning, i.e. the socialist view of economic management.

This is not like France’s ruling “Socialist Party” recently selling off national industrial jewel Alstom to the United States’ General Electric: The French people got nothing for that. That was capitalism; that was globalization

Iran is not in favor of globalization – they are not even a member of the World Trade Organization, unlike 164 other countries. Some will say this is solely due to the opposition of the United States, but it is not: As many in Iran said during the election: membership in the WTO is against Iran’s principles…and these are socialist principles regarding the economy – there is nothing about the WTO in the Koran.

Control over the Media

It’s true you can’t have Charlie Hebdo in Iran – hardly a major loss –but Iran is certainly no Cuba.

Iran’s refusal to crack down on TV satellites which permit reactionary, anti-revolutionary channels like BBC Persian and VOA Persian (UK and US government-funded respectively) appears to be a dangerous fire which Havana will not tolerate. This tolerance does give Iran “human rights” credibility with the West – well it doesn’t, but it should!

I would suggest that Iran is simply confident that foreign propaganda cannot overwhelm the obvious successes of the 1979 Revolution. I imagine that Cuba feels that they cannot take chances, being just 100 kilometers from the USA.

Of course, Cubans simply laugh at Western propaganda channels like the US government’s pathetic Radio Marti. Cubans are supremely intelligent politically and, after all, their education programs are decades older than Iran’s.

Iran, like Cuba and China, bans pornography. I note that such respect for sexuality and for women is a very basic tenet of Socialism. If your utopia includes unfettered access to porn I suggest that you are a libertarian, and not a socialist.

I remind again that the media glasnost implemented by Gorbachev was a major driver in the catastrophic implosion of the Russian Revolution. To privatize media means, necessarily, that you are giving those few people rich enough to actually start newspapers the chance to promote their obviously capitalist worldviews.

I, for one, am not about to cry over the lack of published capitalist, imperialist, sexist, racist, regressive anti-revolutionary nonsense, and neither are most Iranians. As sad as the Dutch may be about it – Iran is not Amsterdam!

Support of Foreign Liberation Movements

Some will say that Palestine is just a “distraction” from Iran’s own problems. Nonsense – this is a point of pride to all Iranians. This is a point of admiration for Iran from the entire Muslim world, just as it is a negative point for much of the Western world.

This is another way Iran is revolutionary Socialist country: they support oppressed countries on the basis of ideology. Perhaps Iran is not the “Mecca of Revolutionaries” which Algeria was in the 1960’s, but let’s agree that the rate and scope of revolutionary movements worldwide are at a much lower level today, sadly.

Russia may support Syria, for example, but it appears more for Moscow’s self-interest and the idea of national sovereignty – which is the idea of national self-interest – rather than a moral-based ideology.

Call Iran the same as Russia – no insult there – but you cannot deny that Iran supports Palestine for reasons which are clearly to the detriment of their own success, i.e., they do it out of solidarity and morality. Were Iran to recognize Israel they would surely have the international dogs called off them…but Iran is a revolutionary Socialist society, as you are hopefully agreeing with by now.

Iran is also an anti-racist society, like all modern socialist societies.

They constitutionally protect minorities, with parliamentary seats for Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Jews, despite their small numbers. Iran may not promote them, but their tolerance of local languages like Azeri and Kurdish far exceeds that of many minorities in Western Europe. Iran accommodates the 5th-largest number of refugees in the world, while French authorities put up gates and even ‘’anti-migrant boulders’’ to deny refugees even the barest shelter.

When it comes to religion they are extremely tolerant of ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism and all of the pre-Prophet Muhammad Abrahamic religions. Any religion after Prophet Muhammad? Well…it is an “Islamic” Revolution, after all.

This is perhaps a pedantic point but an important one on a verbal, Foucauldian level: Has there been any “revolution” in the world since WWI which was not “socialist”? I can’t think of any, because without a socialism component it cannot be a revolution – it can only be a continuation of the capitalist/feudalist/bourgeois status quo, or a military coup.

Empowering People

The two fundamental tenets of socialism are redistribution of wealth and empowering the average person so that they can reach their full potential. Dismantling the social roadblocks thrown up by capitalism against the non-wealthy has clearly been a major goal of the Islamic Revolution, and I can quite easily prove it has been achieved with a tremendous amount of real-world success.

Since 1990 – when the West’s attack dog of Iraq was beaten off – no country’s Human Development Index has improved more than Iran’s, with the lone exception of South Korea.

Everyone should take notice, especially Socialists, as it is we anti-capitalists who prize human development – not economic development – above all.

That’s why I’m going to leave the Human Development Index as the only proof of success. For me, I have so many other econometrics, anecdotes and personal reflections to prove that Iran has succeeded in creating a new, better, modern society that to do so is quite boring.

Bottom line: It is obvious that I do not have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Despite the tremendous amount of opposition, violence and propaganda, Iran has advanced the most in the past 3+ decades.

I say “the most” because, unlike South Korea, Iran has done this without 30,000 US troops currently on its soil; it was not preceded by decades of brutal dictatorship which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people (mainly leftists); and they did not collaborate with the Americans in the division of their nation which currently causes the greatest possibility of thermonuclear war.

Iran didn’t get to #1 as many others did: by capitalism and imperialism.

Iran’s recent election had a 73% voter turnout rate, ranking it #12 in the world. Unlike many of these other 11 countries, Iran does not compel citizens to vote. There is obviously tremendous support for the Iranian system from the Iranian people because…they are not blind to success, I would say!

The hardest thing to get people to do when it comes to socialism (or Iran) is to think realistically: Nobody can achieve “perfect” socialism. No country has 100% voter turnout. No country has zero human rights violations.

But for Iran you have add on another layer of misconception: Many of the “restrictions” in Iranian society predate 1979 by centuries: women were largely wearing the hejab before then; unmarried people, especially young women, also lived at home before 1979; alcohol could send you to prison then and now.

My point is: Iran is a culturally conservative nation, and it was like that long, long before 1979. You will have to simply trust me that Iranians don’t need a government to make them want to live in a society which appears conservative to modern Western standards.

Again, Iran is not Amsterdam, LOL! Maybe you can talk about the royal court in Shiraz in the 14th century as being a hotbed of drunken poetic reveling, but this is does not reflect the reality of life for the average person.

Only an Iranian will agree quickly with this statement and move on: Take away the 1979 Revolution and you would still have many of the same rules in place – they would just be enforced informally.

I will, lastly, put it this way: Take away the mullahs, and you still have to deal with my grandmother!!!!!

But to believe that the government has not empowered people since 1979…well, back then the average woman had 7 children, was illiterate 70% of the time, and the UN was not calling its health care system “excellent”.

Today, the birthrate is 1.7 children per woman, the overall literacy rate is 93% and the right-wing Washington DC-based think-tank the Brookings Institution runs dumbfounded articles with headlines like “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?”.

All in 30+ years…and have you thought it was capitalism that did it?!

Socialists Who Ignore Iran Are Not Really Socialists At All

Do you still want to think that Iran is a country solely motivated by religious radicalism and not the ideals of socialism? Well, then I place you on the right and the left, and that is the point of this article.

It is bad enough that the right (capitalists, imperialists) not only co-opt Socialist ideas as their own (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, affirmative action programs, welfare, free schooling, free nurseries, etc.), but it is laughable when the left refuses to see the leftism in Iran because it does not fit with their preconceived, totally inflexible notions.

Any true Socialist/Communist should realize that attacking Iran is doing a capitalist’s job for them.

And how can someone who proclaims to be a “leftist” have the exact same interpretation of Iran as a right-wing capitalist does?

Again, it is simply laughable that Iran is “not” what it really is.

But this is what always happens: Chinese communism “is not really communism”…despite having 1-party rule, a state-run economy, control over the media, support for Vietnam and North Korea, and the 2nd highest HDI improvement from 1970-2010.

North Korean communism is just a “cult of personality”…despite expelling the Japanese, resisting the Americans, maintaining their independence, security and high-level of education. Cuba is just the Castro dictatorship and, again, not communism.

This is all anti-socialist propaganda – for capitalism there can never be ANY “Socialist success story”.

You remain adamant that you do not want to implement all the principles of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in your country?

Fine, it is your country to decide for as you like. Like I wrote, no worries – Iran hasn’t invaded in 300 years and it sure seems like our military is necessarily focused on defense.

But just because you disagree with some aspects of the 1979 Revolution I encourage you not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I remind you that I needed only one fact to prove that Iran has been improving at a rate which is essentially the best in the world over the last 3 decades – how far below Iran does your country rank, hmm?

I write this article because practically no media in the English language will ever pursue the links between Iran and socialism. We leftists know this not just anti-Iran bias, but a much larger anti-Socialist bias.

However, it is truly suicidal to ignore the left-wing successes in Iran because, even if you reject some of them, Iran has clearly found MANY modern solutions to our MANY modern problems: surely some of them can be of use to you, right? Is Iran ALL wrong?

Of course not – only Satan can be all wrong.

Therefore, I advise those fighting against capitalism and imperialism: Please afford Iran a bit more respect and interest than you would afford Satan!

And Now I Take Our Victory lap

I can only laugh at those who say Iran’s revolution has failed!

“Oh really? Who was the puppet that was installed? Who was the king that was restored? What is the name of the popular democratic revolution which replaced the peoples’ one of 1979, because I have not heard of it and I still see many familiar faces from 1979?”

The revolution has succeeded, and I am not sorry to say so.

Not that I care about your opinion – this is for YOUR own benefit: YOU will not win socialism, anti-capitalism or anti-imperialism in your country if you cannot learn from the successes of others.

But sadly, your inability to recognize socialism in Iran imperils all of us, because the people worldwide cannot win in the long term if even like-minded leftists cannot stick together to work against fascism, capitalism and racism.

But Iran, Cuba, China, etc. – we can win enough of these things for ourselves, at least.

We are doing just fine – steady as she goes, eh? All thanks to central planning, as the capitalists veer from crisis to crisis, with the 1% sucking up a greater percentage every time. Our election had huge participation rates, as usual, dwarfing the European cultures who probably want to claim they invented voting, along with everything else. Asia has heard it all before….

For the non-Western readers: I know that the vast majority of you already support Iran. I have talked with too many of you over my life – I know better. I also know that for us “field slaves” we have to give that impression in order to survive, sometimes, or at least to avoid annoyances.

Anyway, many Westerners appear to misunderstand Socialism completely: they don’t realize it is intrinsically a global idea; they think the Franco-German-Russian (European) variety is the only one. More Eurocentrism blinding them to reality, and necessarily limiting them….

But I look across the West and I see nothing but leftist failure after leftist failure: The fall of communism in Russia, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the obvious absorption of “left” parties into the dominant right-wing parties, the rise of austerity, the advance of globalization at the expense of national interests….

So the next time you look at Iran, you should applaud it as a rare socialist success. Iranians will certainly keep living their path of creating modern socialism, Inshallah.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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Taking Apart Some Lies about North Korea

Jason Y: North Korea uses similar logic to explain deaths and other problems in it’s own land. They claim the embargo is to blame.

Nobody’s dying of starvation in North Korea these days. Forget it.

And the North Koreans have never “deliberately starved their own people.” Go out into the countryside at harvest time and the fields will be full of ears of corn. Rural villages look nice and there will be ears of corn spread over every rooftop. And you will see truckloads of happy farmworkers riding in trucks everywhere you go.

Now go to Pyongyang. Everywhere you go, you see men working, often at manual labor. They are working on streets, sidewalks, buildings, everything. And there are trucks full of male workers going here and there every time you look up. The whole place is working all day long.

Yes, the lights go out at night, but some people are still out. You can go out at 9 PM and see groups of teenage girls and young women hanging out in the dark. You walk by a darkened street and there is a 40 year old woman with her stand selling whatever. She is selling it at dark at midnight. The only light is a small light where her little street stand is. The interesting thing is that North Korea is quite safe. Like Japan, pretty young women can walk down the street in the middle of the night and nothing will happen to them.

Nobody’s starving to death, but if you go out to the countryside, you will see some middle-aged men who still look pretty thin.

But keep in mind. North Korea is locked out of the whole world banking system.

They have all these great products, like mineral reserves, and they cannot really sell them anywhere on Earth. They do sell them to the Chinese, but the Chinese are breaking sanctions to do that.

We have locked them out of the whole world banking system. We have made it so almost no one on Earth can buy their stuff. Then we scream and yell about how poor and starving they are.

It’s really messed up. One thing I assure you: North Korea does not “starve its own people on purpose.”

One argument was, “They spend all their money on their military, so their people starve!”

Now whether that is true or not, look at how we just threatened to attack them the other day. You don’t think it is pretty damn smart of them to spend all their money on their military? If they didn’t, we would have attacked them. We are forcing them to spend all their money on their military. Has that ever occurred to anyone? If they spent less on their military, we would attack, invade and conquer them.

That regime just wants to survive, first and foremost. Everything else is secondary. Yes, they are terribly brutal, but on the other hand, they sure have that place locked down good, don’t they?

And look at how hostile we are. We have come out and said that North Korea is enemy #1. OK, don’t you think they should lock their country down to keep out any American spies? They have that place locked down so good that we cannot even get spies in there. It’s either too risky or once they get in, they get caught fast and executed immediately. North Korea is a black hole. We have no idea what is going on with that regime. They have ~15 usable nuclear weapons already fastened as warheads to medium range missiles. These missiles are deep underground and almost impossible to get at. Yet we have no idea where on Earth those missiles even are. All we know is that they are hidden far deep under mountains somewhere. That’s pretty smart of them to lock that place down like that, isn’t it?

One more thing. Kim Jong Un is not a lunatic at all. He is a very smart man. He is shrewd. He had to be wicked smart and extremely sane to rise to power in that brutal system of theirs. He has killed some of the opposition, including his own brother. This is given as a sign that he is that is insane. But it’s not a symptom of insanity. Un is a murderous dictator, brutal as Hell. Un is as nuts as Stalin or Mao. Was Stalin nuts? Was Mao a lunatic? Kim is no different. He is a brutal dictator. Kim, Stalin and Mao were all amazingly sane.

There’s sane and insane and good and evil. People mix them up all the time. Some very bad people are rock-solid sane. Some very good people are pretty damn crazy.

These are two different axes were are discussing here.

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