Glen Ford: The Democratic Party Verses the Real Left (Left Forum 2018)

This is Glen Ford’s talk from the Black Agenda Report panel discussion held at the Left Forum this year. In this talk he tries to explain BAR’s role in identifying and calling out the fake left. Though I am not with BAR, much of my work is centered on this very task as it is our duty and obligation to do this as best we can.

Glen Ford – Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

by Glen Ford, BAR

There is no mystery to the ideological collapse of U.S. ruling class politics under late stage capitalism and imperial decline. Simply put, the corporate duopoly parties have nothing to offer the masses of people except unrelenting austerity at home and endless wars abroad. A shrunken and privatized Detroit serves as the model for U.S. urban policy; Libya and Syria are the scorched-earth footprints of a demented and dying empire. The lengthening shadow of economic eclipse by the East leaves the U.S. Lords of Capital with no cards left to play but the threat of Armageddon.

As China reclaims its historic place at the center of the earth, alongside the huge and heavily armed landmass of Russia, Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions, hoping to somehow preserve its doomed hegemony. But the “exceptional” superpower has no Marshall Plan to rescue itself from the throes of systemic decay, and all that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation. Its own people tire of the “Great Game,” finally realizing that they are the ones who have been played.

George Bush drawled the “last hurrah” of empire with his declaration of “Mission Accomplished,” 15 years ago — and was quickly contradicted. With the failure in Iraq, the pretense of “spreading democracy” came ingloriously undone. A refurbishing of the imperial brand was attempted, with a bright and shiny new face – a Black-ish one — plus a new logo to justify invasion and regime-change: “humanitarian” intervention. But Obama’s assault on Syria revealed that the U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror. The architects of the War on Terror were, in fact, the godfathers of al Qaida.

“Do you realize now what you’ve done?” Vladimir Putin demanded of the Americans, at the United Nations, in 2015. “It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one’s service in order to achieve one’s own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.”

Washington’s jihadist strategy has rapidly unraveled ever since. The empire was unmasked in the world’s most public forum, revealing the utter depravity of U.S. policy and, more importantly, the weakness of Washington’s position in the region. The mighty fortress of global capital, the self-appointed defender of the world economic “order,” was revealed as, not just in collusion with head-chopping, women-enslaving, sectarian mass-murdering terrorists, but militarily dependent on the very forces it claims to wage a twilight, “generational” battle to destroy. The U.S. has been spouting The Mother of All Lies, and most of humanity knows it. Deep down, most Americans suspect as much, too…

[read more here]

The Real Goal of “Russiagate” is to Prepare for Endless Austerity and War

by Glen Ford, BAR

“The ruling circles of the imperial superpower set out to destabilize and call into disrepute the government of the home country.”

Robert Mueller, the former head of the national political police (FBI), has indicted 13 Russian nationals for the crime of sowing “discord in the U.S. political system” and encouraging “U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.” The defendants’ nationality makes their acts of political speech a crime, in Mueller’s legal view, but “at least 20 Americans” are embedded in the document as unindicted co-conspirators “ because they interacted in various ways with the Russian team’s activities during the 2016 presidential campaign.

These U.S. citizens “were just engaging in politics,” said independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, on Democracy Now! “They were putting together campaign events. They were engaging in online speech. That’s like, you know, the most sacred part of being an American citizen. And yet, they were unknowingly interacting with Russians….”

The Russians will never face trial in the U.S., and it is highly unlikely that the unindicted Americans will be criminally charged — but that is not the purpose of Mueller’s indictment. The political crime has been defined, for the broad purpose of repressing dissent in the United States. The witch hunt has found a legalistic vocabulary…

…The cabal has flipped the factual script. It was the Democrats and their allies in corporate media and the national security state that devised a calculated campaign to sow “discord” and “distrust towards the political system in general,” such as not seen in living memory. The initial goal was to depose or discipline the unpredictable, racist billionaire who in 2016 crushed the establishment leaders of the Republican Party — potentially destabilizing the duopoly system of corporate governance — rhetorically rejected the dogma of “free trade,” and spoke as if he would not maintain the momentum of his predecessor’s global military offensive. With the “intelligence community” on point, the political offensive could not help but take on the characteristics of a profoundly destabilizing regime change and psychological operations mission.

In other words, the ruling circles of the imperial superpower set out to destabilize and call into disrepute the sitting government of the home country. They have inflicted great trauma and anxiety among the public in the process, but thanks to the corporate media component of the cabal, most of the blame has accrued to the targets of the campaign: Trump, “the Russians” and those defamed as “dupes” and “co-conspirators” with the fictitious Putin-Trump axis.

It is quite evident that this campaign of self-inflicted chaos is a project of the global corporate class, manifesting elsewhere in the “West” in remarkably similar fashion, but with local characteristics. Russia is, thus, charged with attempting to subvert governments around the world through minions like the St. Petersburg outfit. Through their servants in the Democratic Party, the corporate media, and the intelligence agencies, multinational capital has used Trump’s election to inflict a kind of shock treatment on their domestic polities — a very dangerous gambit, especially in the United States, with its weak social contract and immense capacity for civil violence…

[read more here]

Black-Hating Negroes and Their Uses: David Clarke at Homeland Security

by Glen Ford, BAR

David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County who appears slated for a top post at the Department of Homeland Security, has made himself valuable to the White Man’s Party through ostentatious display of hatred and contempt for his fellow Blacks. Clarke is the go-to Negro for denunciations of Black Lives Matter (“Black Lies Matter,” in his words) as Islamic State sympathizers who should be “scooped” up, charged with treason and detained “indefinitely at Gitmo.” Clarke shares his repugnant political specialty with a debased cast of domestic and international characters, including presidents Yoweri Museveni and Salva Kiir, of Uganda and South Sudan, respectively, and Roy Innis, the late former leader of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality.

All three of the living professional Black-hating-Negroes make themselves readily identifiable as eager allies of American-style white supremacy by wearing huge black cowboy hats. Yoweri Museveni, Ronald Reagan’s favorite African since seizing power in Uganda in 1986, turned his country’s army into a central African military appendage of U.S. imperialism. Under Washington’s direction, Museveni incorporated minority Tutsis from neighboring Rwanda into his armed forces, then supported their 1990 invasion of Rwanda, which led to mass tribal slaughter and the overthrow of the majority Hutu government, followed by the invasion and occupation of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Rwandan Tutsi forces under Paul Kagame, resulting in the death of more than six million Congolese, and still counting. (Kagame should also wear a cowboy hat, but prefers the military beret.) As mercenaries of U.S. Empire, both Museveni and Kagame contribute troops to virtually every western-funded “peace keeping” operation on the continent…

[read more here]

Obama’s New Job: Guardian of Official Lies

(If you heard the discussion last night between Tom Kiely, Gilad Atzmon and myself, this idea from Glen Ford might sound a little familiar because we discussed a similar topic quite extensively.)

by Glen Ford, BAR

The ruling class is seriously rattled over its loss of control over the national political narrative — a consequence of capitalism’s terminal decay and U.S. imperialism’s slipping grip on global hegemony. When the Lords of Capital get rattled, their servants in the political class are tasked with rearranging the picture and reframing the national conversation. In other words, Papa Imperialism needs a new set of lies, or renewed respect for the old ones. Former president Barack Obama, the cool operator who put the U.S. back on the multiple wars track after a forced lull in the wake of George Bush’s defeat in Iraq, has eagerly accepted his new assignment as Esteemed Guardian of Official Lies.

At this stage of his career, Obama must dedicate much of his time to the maintenance of Official Lies, since they are central to his own “legacy.” With the frenzied assistance of his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, Obama launched a massive military offensive – a rush job to put the New American Century back on schedule. Pivoting to all corners of the planet, and with the general aim of isolating and intimidating Russia and China, the salient feature of Obama’s offensive was the naked deployment of Islamic jihadists as foot soldiers of U.S. imperialism in Libya and Syria. It is a strategy that is morally and politically indefensible — unspeakable! — the truth of which would shatter the prevailing order in the imperial heartland, itself…

[read more here]

Maxine Waters Loses Her Mind to “Anti-Russia Dementia” – Like the Rest of the Black Caucus

by Glen Ford, from BAR

When Maxine Waters goes gung-ho crazy for the War Party, it tells us that the Black political class — overwhelmingly Democrats — are utterly useless to any movement for peace and social justice. In the throes of a terminal case of “Anti-Russia Dementia,” otherwise known as “Putin Derangement Syndrome,” the California congresswoman told a Tax March crowd in front of the U.S. Capitol that President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin somehow conspired to arrange both the chemical event that killed dozens in northern Syria and the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian military airfield that followed. In a interview with a Huffington Post reporter, Waters said:

“I don’t believe there’s any real tension” between Trump and Putin. “I think they’re putting on a show. And I think Putin is gonna come back and make it look as if he’s gonna hold the line somewhat on Syria now, and then want something in exchange for that — and that exchange is, lift the sanctions.”

Waters has clearly lost her mind, her brain operating at the cartoon level. But, her mental and moral disintegration differs only in degree from that of the Congressional Black Caucus as a body, which has been drifting to the dark side on war ever since the First Black President got his hands on the nuclear button. Even Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, appears to accept the manifestly false allegation that the Syrian military used chemical weapons in al-Qaida controlled Idlib province. She demands only that the U.S. Congress be allowed to play its part in the aggression…

[read more here]

Hillary Stuffs Entire U.S. Ruling Class Into Her Big, Nasty Tent

by Glen Ford, BAR

Hillary Clinton is celebrating in the bloated expanse of the “Big Tent” Democratic Party she and Bill have dreamed of building since their days in the backwaters of Arkansas. Slick Willie and his wife have succeeded in assembling under one party roof nearly the whole of the U.S. ruling class and their hordes of attendants and goons. The scam that undergirded the duopoly system that has served the Lords of Capital so well for so long, has come undone. Thanks to a white nationalist billionaire who was too spoiled to play by the corporate rules, the two parties of the ruling class have become one.

It’s a funky place to be – especially for the traditional Black, brown and labor “base” of the party, now squished into a remote and malodorous corner of the tent, near the latrine, clutching the pages of a party platform that was never meant to bind anyone. These Democratic stalwarts appear intoxicated, high on the idea that they are part of a united front against the “fascist” Donald Trump and his imaginary storm troopers. The brass sound of martial music is heard, far off in the catered center of the tent. The generals have arrived, barking strategies to make Syria safe for “our” jihadists, re-bomb Libya, re-re-re-bomb Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, and teach Russia and China the full meaning of geopolitical strangulation. Hillary’s cackle rings out above the bombast. She is pleased with her uniformed recruits.

Wall Street is also in the house, too big to jail and definitely too fat for this tent. Michael Bloomberg, the 7th richest man in the country; Warren Buffet, who could buy and sell Bloomberg; and lesser plutocrats Meg Whitman and Mark Cuban, are part of Clinton’s “bipartisan cadre of billionaires.” Billionaires are, by nature, bipartisan, since they have no loyalties to country or party – only to their class. They are in Hillary’s Big Tent to trash one of their own, Trump, who has betrayed his class by raging against the free flow of money and jobs across borders, a heresy of the first order that is at the heart of Capital’s flight from the GOP, this year. Clinton claims she opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal, but only the fools squeezed into the corner near the latrine feel compelled believe her. The Democratic Party platform they clutch so tightly says the opposite.

[read more here]