PEPE ESCOBAR—As for Russia’s resolve, everything one needs to know is part of Putin’s detailed intervention at the Valdai Economic Forum. Essentially, Putin did not offer any breaking news – but a stark reminder that Moscow will strike back at any provocation configured as a threat to the future of Russia. Russians, in this case, would “die like martyrs” and the response to an attack would be so swift and brutal that the attackers would “die like dogs”. The harsh language may not be exactly diplomatic. What it does is reflect plenty of exasperation towards the US conservatives who peddle the absurd notion of a “limited” nuclear war.READ ON
JAY JANSON—At the end of the war, when ghastly, spine-chilling photos of the internment and murder of Jews in concentration camps were revealed, the public was shocked into some self-awareness. The most violent persecution, brutal arrests and internment had been done openly in a world basically owned and run by the “democratically’ elected legislatures of white industrialized nations, nations that had earlier used their edge in arms manufacture to conquer, colonize and exploit the whole non white population of the world.
When the difficult to behold newsreels and newspaper photos of the indescribably inhuman conditions inside the camps and of the cremation ovens, shame, guilt and agonized sympathy finally replaced a good deal of the long standing, pervasive, fierce antipathy and prejudice toward Jews.READ ON
ROSTILAV ISHCHENKO—So the question that interests us most sounds as follows: “Why did the president of Russia start talking about the threat of a nuclear catastrophe right now, when we are not passing through the most dangerous points of the Syrian and Ukrainian crises, and on the Korean peninsula Seoul and Pyongyang show an unprecedented level of friendliness, seriously discussing the denuclearisation of the peninsula within the framework of the development of inter-Korean dialogue and economic cooperation between the North and the South?”READ ON
ANDREW LEVINE—For the sake of those goals, now is a time too to insist that our elected representatives support unions – not just in words, the way Democrats always do, but in deeds.
Decades ago, when the labor movement was flourishing, unions provided some workers a semblance of real democracy. Democrats worth supporting should be, at the very least, democrats to that extent. Obama and Clinton were not; Sanders almost certainly is.
But if only because, in 2016, he came up far short in another crucial respect, and probably still would, he is no paragon even for a social democrat. The same holds for Elizabeth Warren and other major figures in what politically illiterate media pundits call “the Democratic left.” It is too soon to tell where the newcomers stand, but it is worrisome that not one of them, so far, has been eager to tell.READ ON