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Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:16 PM

"They are fearful that if the Greeks pull it off, the disease will spread." Chris Hedges/Tariq Ali

I highly recommend reading Hedges' full article, this is just an excerpt. There's a whole lot more than meets the eye with Greece, which makes this article (3 pages) a must read.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/category/hedges/P0

Tariq Ali: The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution

Posted on Mar 1, 2015


By Chris Hedges


The cost of open defiance, which, Ali pointed out, is our only escape route from corporate tyranny, will at least at first be painful. Our corporate masters do not intend to release their death grip without a brutal fight.

Ali recalled that even his late friend Hugo Chavez, the firebrand socialist president of Venezuela, was not untouched by intimidation from Establishment forces. “I remember talking to Chavez many times and saying, ‘Comandante, why do you stop there?’ ” Ali said. “He said it is not realistic to do it at the present time. We can regulate them, make life difficult for capitalism, use oil money for the poor, but we can’t topple the system.”

Ali added, “The Greeks and the Spanish are saying the same.”

“I don’t know what Syriza thought,” he said. “If it thought we can divide the European elite, we can make a big propaganda campaign in Europe and they will be forced to make concessions, that was foolish. This European elite, led by the Germans, doesn’t crack easily. They have walked all over the Greeks. The Greek leaders should have said to their own people, ‘We are going to try and get the best possible conditions—if not we will report to you what has happened and what we need to do.’ Instead, they fell into the European trap. The Europeans made virtually no concessions that mattered.”

The clash between the Greeks and the corporate elites that dominate Europe, Ali said, is “not economic.”

The European Union is “prepared to pour billions into fighting Russians in the Ukraine,” he said. “It’s not a question of the money. They can throw away the bloody money, as they are preparing to do and are doing in the Ukraine. With the Greeks they pretend it is economic, but it’s political. They are fearful that if the Greeks pull it off, the disease will spread. There are elections in December in Spain. If Podemos [Spain’s left-wing party] wins with Greece already having won and proceeding, however modestly, on a different path, the Spanish will say the Greeks have done it. And then there is the Irish waiting patiently with their progressive parties, saying, ‘Why can’t we do what Syriza has done? Why can’t we unite and take on our extreme center?’ ”

Ali said he was “shocked and angry about all the hopes that were invested in Obama by the left.” He lambasted what he called the American “obsession with identity.” Barack Obama, he said, “is an imperial president and behaves like one, regardless of the color of his skin.” Ali despaired of the gender politics that are fueling a possible run for the White House by Hillary Clinton, who would be the first woman president.

“My reply is, ‘So bloody what?’ ” he said. “If she is going to bomb countries and put drones over whole continents, what difference does her gender make if her politics are the same? That is the key. The political has been devalued and debased under neoliberalism. People retreat into religion or identity. It’s disastrous. I wonder if it is even possible to create something on a national scale in the United States. I wonder if it would be better to concentrate on big cities and states to develop some movements where they can have an influence in Los Angeles, New York or in states such as Vermont. It may be wiser to concentrate on three or four things to show that it can be done. I can’t see the old way of reproducing a political party of the left, modeled on the Republican and Democratic structures, as working. These people only work with money. They do not even speak with very many ordinary people. It is credit-card democracy. The left cannot and should not emulate this. America is the hardest nut to crack, but unless it is cracked we are doomed.”

Ali said he fears that should Americans become politically conscious and resist, the corporate state will impose naked forms of militarized repression. Government’s reaction to the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon stunned him. Authorities “closed down an entire city with the support of the population.” He said that the virtual declaration of martial law in Boston was “a dress rehearsal.”

“If they can do it in Boston they can do it in other cities,” he said. “They needed to try it on in Boston to see if it would work. That frightened me.”

“The manufacturing of threats manufactures fear,” he said. “It creates sleepwalking citizens. They [officials] never tried to do this on this scale when they were fighting the Soviet Union and the communist enemy, which was supposed to be the worst, most dangerous threat ever. Now they do it over a handful of bloody terrorists.”

Groups such as Black Lives Matter, he said, offer some hope.

“Just as the traditional left parties have been wiped out all over the world, so has the radical segment of the African-American population and their organizations,” he said. “They were physically wiped out. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, some of the most gifted leaders, were assassinated. The Black Panthers were destroyed. Areas where blacks lived on the West Coast were flooded with drugs. It was a well-planned assault. But the young people who came out in Black Lives Matter have this older spirit. When Jesse Jackson went to Ferguson and engaged in demagogy he was heckled. They did the same on the East Coast with [Al] Sharpton. These black leaders, bought off, are being seen for what they are.”

36 replies, 3079 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply "They are fearful that if the Greeks pull it off, the disease will spread." Chris Hedges/Tariq Ali (Original post)
mother earth Mar 2015 OP
octoberlib Mar 2015 #1
merrily Mar 2015 #2
mother earth Mar 2015 #4
merrily Mar 2015 #5
mother earth Mar 2015 #6
merrily Mar 2015 #9
ybbor Mar 2015 #8
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2015 #3
djean111 Mar 2015 #7
daleanime Mar 2015 #10
LineReply ,
blkmusclmachine Mar 2015 #11
Doctor_J Mar 2015 #12
midnight Mar 2015 #13
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2015 #14
forest444 Mar 2015 #15
Yallow Mar 2015 #16
forest444 Mar 2015 #17
uhnope Mar 2015 #18
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #19
TheKentuckian Mar 2015 #23
randome Mar 2015 #20
uhnope Mar 2015 #21
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #25
uhnope Mar 2015 #34
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #24
uhnope Mar 2015 #35
mother earth Mar 2015 #22
2naSalit Mar 2015 #26
mother earth Mar 2015 #27
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #28
mother earth Mar 2015 #29
2naSalit Mar 2015 #30
mother earth Mar 2015 #31
woo me with science Mar 2015 #32
woo me with science Mar 2015 #33
FLPanhandle Mar 2015 #36

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:22 PM

1. Good. They need to be afraid.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:24 PM

2. Let's enjoy that thought because the 1% has ways of dealing with its fears in a way

that tends to work out great for them and not so great for everyone else.

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Response to merrily (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:29 PM

4. Yes, and this article is full on truth about just that. I found the description of what we, in the

US are up against very interesting.

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Response to mother earth (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:38 PM

5. I posted without reading the article. (Mea culpa.) However, my guess was based

on long history.

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Response to merrily (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:44 PM

6. We know the game, merrily, is all...do read it tho, it is a good one. :) nt

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Response to mother earth (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 11:22 PM

9. I believe you, but I'll bookmark. For me, tonight, there will be no more reading of anything

requiring thought.

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Response to merrily (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 11:07 PM

8. Me too

I love the thumbing of their nose at the big banks, or IMF, or both, whatever. Way to have the cajones to stand up to them!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:27 PM

3. A Big K&R!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 10:55 PM

7. Great article. Thank you so much.

 

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 11:29 PM

10. K&R....

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 11:32 PM

11. ,

 

,

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 12:02 AM

12. The entire apparatus of the 1% will be brought to bear against the Greeks

 

There is zero chance this experiment will be allowed to succeed. Eta thanks for the post

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 12:03 AM

13. I'm sure I will love this read. I'm so sure I'm going to rec. and read..

"Open defiance" Woo Woo….

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 12:41 AM

14. Those bastards are still fighting the Cold War. This is classic "domino theory" crap.

 

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 12:51 AM

15. This was the same paranoid attitude they had toward Argentina.

The country, as many remember, was bankrupt both socially and financially 12 years ago. Unemployment was 25% (4 times the historical average), income poverty was 55% (twice the historical average), and real GDP per person had fallen to its 1968 levels, with $82 billion in defaulted bonds. Much like Greece today, no one thought they had a future.

Enter Néstor Kirchner. Elected to office because his (U.S. backed) opponent in the April 2003 runoff dropped out on account of bad poll numbers, Kirchner began by raising minimum wages and pensions, setting up a Wage Council with real teeth, renationalizing derelict privatized services, and promoting collective bargaining and productive bank lending. After two years of 9% growth. he restructured defaulted bonds in 2005 with a 2/3 haircut (principal reduction) - in short, a good number of reforms frowned on by conservatives in both Argentina and abroad.

By 2011, 92% of bondholders had accepted the new terms. Payments to them had been resumed and religiously met, and the value of their bonds had jumped 90%. The economy, meanwhile, had doubled from its 2002 lows; unemployment was down to 7%, and income poverty -even by unofficial estimates- down to 20-25% (normal figures by Argentine historical standards again). Social programs and renationalization efforts were expanded further under Cristina Kirchner (elected 2007), with among other new benefits: public assistance, college grants, universal pension and medicare coverage, and low-interest mortgages - all while making $200 billion in bond payments over the last decade(!).

Its once-defaulted bonds continued to appreciate despite a slowdown that began in 2012, and Argentina's benchmark 2033 bonds just traded above par for the first time in history.

To the psycho ward that passes as the U.S. right wing, this just wouldn't do - hence vulture funds and their paid New York judge, Tom Griesa, who has literally rewritten bond laws to allow the (Cayman Islands-based) funds to demand a 1600% payout from Argentina - something no other courts in the world will entertain. Mind you, buying bonds in order to sue for more later had always been illegal; but no matter. Griesa simply held that it's ok because they're not buying to sue, they're buying to make money - which is like saying: drug traffickers don't do it for the kicks, they do it for the money (hence, it's all good).

But make no mistake: it's not the money, it's the malice; the main plaintiff, Paul Singer (the $7 billion TARP man), collected hundreds of millions in CDS insurance payouts last August, so he's already made his 1600%. The point was to sabotage an Argentine recovery built mostly on contradicting Rapepublican dogma.


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Response to forest444 (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 02:15 AM

16. Rapepublican

 

I like that. Wish I thought of it myself.

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Response to Yallow (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 02:24 AM

17. It is what it is.

And a heartfelt Welcome to DU, Yallow!

I trust you'll find it a fun and, above all, informative place to be; I certainly have.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 03:06 PM

18. funny that Hedges calls it a disease

 

Can someone explain to me why Greece shouldn't pay back its loans?
Why taxpayers in Germany have to pay for Greece's loans while Greece's 1% doesn't pay its taxes?

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 03:17 PM

19. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that The Third Way isn't interested in this subject? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 09:24 PM

23. Oh they are interested, they want to keep up the squeeze on the Greeks

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 03:24 PM

20. What is Greece trying to "pull off"?

 

What is there to negotiate about? Whether or not to be forgiven some of their debt? How long to take? Time usually involves interest. Do they want interest-free conditions? What?
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Don't ever underestimate the long-term effects of a good night's sleep.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 07:35 PM

21. Yeah I'm not getting any answers to my questions either.

 

It just seems like West/IMF/Germany=Bad, Yanis/Syriza=Good

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Response to uhnope (Reply #21)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 09:30 PM

25. So what's your opinion? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #25)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 06:29 PM

34. post #18 nt

 

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Response to randome (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 09:29 PM

24. Questions, questions, questions. The insinuation by question fallacy. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 06:31 PM

35. The questions seem honest and straightforward to me. Why are people avoiding answering them?

 

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 09:02 PM

22. TY you all for your comments. All I can say is stay tuned. The oligarchy is doing their best

to keep nations as slaves to debt. The tide is turning.

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Response to mother earth (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 09:48 PM

26. It's shock doctrine

and tptb are scared because we are hip to the stink on their shit a t this point. The Greeks are tired of the austerity, it has damaged so many people. Now that they have taken a stand against it, tptb are freaking out and trying every sh*tstain application they have in their arsenal to show the rest of us that Greece's uppityness is bad and will hurt and that they must not be treated so badly by the "culprit country" with cajones. So they pump up the propaganda machine... wee.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #26)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 10:21 PM

27. Absolutely. When I look to Greece, I see promise. When

we are all on the same page, change is going to sweep this globe. And the beauty of it is, it will happen, nothing else is sustainable.
NOTHING.


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Response to mother earth (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 10:22 PM

28. Greece may not win but the people will sooner or later. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #28)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 10:26 PM

29. That's right, sooner or later. I'm so looking forward to that day.

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Response to mother earth (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 10:29 PM

30. I am hoping that

Spain and Ireland will do the same as Greece... that's what the current fear is. I do agree that we are near or at the point where the only way to go is upward. If we don't manage to take back our world from the fascists, the whole world goes down, all species.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 4, 2015, 11:04 PM

31. Spain is going to be huge, that situation is volatile, the election is in Dec., and I totally agree.

Let's hope for the best.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 06:51 PM

33. kick

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 06:52 PM

36. What "disease" will spread?

Borrowing money and not paying it back?

There is nothing stopping Greece from bailing on their debts tomorrow and taking the consequences. Nor Spain or anyone else.

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