Law and Disorder Radio – James Petras on Ukraine – Palestine Legal and Palestine Solidarity Activism on University Campuses – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

President Barack Obama Lies About NSA Bulk Collection and Retention of Personal Metadata

Der Spiegel Reports on U.S. Spying on Huawei Telecommunications in China

New York Times Reports That U.S. Spying on China is in Retaliation for China Spying

Michael Ratner: New York Times Spin is Ridiculous in Justifying Spying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions and the Boomerang Effect

The unfolding of the US-EU-Russian conflict over the Ukraine will have far reaching consequences and will ultimately define the global configuration of power. While the Western power grab was largely ignored, the US-EU propaganda machine kicked into gear, focusing on Russia’s defensive action in the autonomous region of Crimea. The citizens of Crimea organized a self-defense militia and pressured the Putin administration to help protect them from armed incursions by the NATO-backed coup regime in Kiev. We’re joined today by returning guest Professor James Petras who has written several articles on the crisis in Ukraine. He identifies it as the most recent cycle of US empire-building in a 3-phase system including Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Professor James Petras:

  • The U.S., according to UN Sub-secretary of Foreign Affairs, stated it very clearly. We’ve poured $5 billion into Ukraine building up organizations and politicians who are favorable to NATO and the European Union and hostile to Russia and eager to oust it from the bases in the Black Sea.
  • I think it was a long-term project in building client organizations there, mainly in terms of electoral politics in the beginning.
  • So you have a target of a vassal state building and encircling Russia in line with what happened through the Baltics, through central Europe and into the soft underbelly of Russia.
  • At the same time this is going on, Russia is cooperating with the U.S. in many spheres, including the over-flight caper in Libya, supporting the sanctions in Iran.
  • You have, on one hand, Washington aggressively encircling Russia, Russia essentially cooperating with the U.S. to gain good merit points, hopefully to get accepted in the G8.
  • Two thirds of the so-called Ukraine Army decided to stay in Crimea as an annex state of Russia. This is a fact that tells you something about the hostility they feel to the people that grabbed power in Kiev.
  • The Russian threat that’s been manufactured has to do with the fact that in southern Ukraine there have been massive demonstrations against the coup makers.
  • What they’re doing is reenforcing repressive authority against the internal opposition which is hostile to the coup.
  • The internal opposition now doesn’t want to join Crimea but do want a federal structure in which they elect their own governors and legislators, not to be forced to accept oligarchs in line with the EU policies.
  • I think it’s clear it’s to encircle Russia and return Russia to the status of the 1990s.
  • With the rise of Putin you have a semblance of a state once more. You have a political economic order which is functioning which has raised living standards which allows Russia to play a modicum of political role in world politics in particular the border area.
  • Venezuela: Democratic protesters don’t burn down 500 businesses and installations administering social welfare programs.
  • Democratic protesters don’t assassinate 7 national guard and policemen trying to maintain order.
  • Democratic protesters don’t blow up electrical grids and light up the national forests in a 360-degree circumference.
  • Kerry is lying, the U.S. is supporting violent terrorists. Those people that are engaged in this activity are engaged in trying to overthrow the government by force and violence. They resorted to this because they lost the last 10 elections in Venezuela, including a resounding defeat this last December.
  • They’re going for a civilian-based terrorist operation which the U.S. hopes will precipitate a military coup.
  • The New York Times is a propaganda organ for the U.S. government whenever there is a serious conflict, particularly from a left-wing or progressive government.
  • The New York Times has not shown any of the charred buildings that the so-called democratic protesters have burned down.
  • They haven’t shown the experimental school that was blown up in Tachira, Venezuela.
  • Let’s be clear, these are the targets of the terrorists. Not a single U.S. business has been affected. Not a single major bank has been affected.
  • This is profoundly a class war directed against anti-imperialist communities.
  • China holds $3 trillion in U.S. Treasury notes. All the major Fortune 500 U.S. corporations are involved with China. It’s very much linked into the production chain of goods that go from Asia to China to the U.S. Wal-Marts, etc.
  • On the other hand, Washington is very concerned with not being able to compete with China in world markets.
  • The Chinese have displaced the U.S. in Latin America, in the Asian field.

Guest – Professor James Petras, author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2,000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

Boycott Divestment Sanctions Awareness Gains Traction on University Campuses

Members of the group Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University in Boston were disciplined and banned from serving on the inaugural board of the new organization, plus their members must attend a university-sanctioned “training.” This is one of 50 cases of repression SJP has documented across the country in universities since 2013. As SJP gains momentum, it faces aggressive campaigns to shield Israel from public scrutiny. The repression campaigns are driven by organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, StandWithUs, the Amcha Initiative, American for Peace and Tolerance and the Brandeis Center. Recently the Northeastern University School of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild publicly declared support for the Northeastern chapter of the SJP and formally opposed the administration’s decision to suspend the group and sanction its members.

Attorney Dima Khalidi:

  • We started Palestine Legal a little over a year ago.
  • The major backlash has been on campuses because that’s where the activism is most vigorous and spirited.
  • What we’re seeing is a lot of effort by students, even academics to raise awareness about the Israel/Palestine issue.
  • There’s also a lot of movement around Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The BDS movement is really growing and I think that’s been the case since 2008-2009 with Operation Cast Lead.
  • We’re seeing students doing a lot of awareness-raising, unique and creative things.
  • We’re seeing things like mock walls to illustrate what the apartheid wall is doing.
  • We’re seeing things like mock eviction notices being distributed in dorms to illustrate the way Israel demolishes Palestinian civilian homes.
  • We’ve working with Northeastern students since last year. This year when students, some affiliated with SJP, distributed mock eviction notices under dorm room doors, the university, right away, suspended the entire group.
  • The reaction is typical but it’s unique in the type of pressure that’s been put on this university.
  • The reaction was disproportionate and inappropriate.
  • They sent university police to student’s homes, they interrogated a couple of students. They filed disciplinary charges against 2 students for allegedly allowing students to enter the dorms.
  • Title IV of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin and color by educational institutions.
  • This has been used by Jewish groups to allege that universities are discriminating against Jewish students by tolerating a hostile anti-semitic environment.
  • Accusations of antisemitism underlie this backlash. We saw this with mock eviction notices in several places, at Florida Atlantic University last year. The ADL accused the SJP of targeting Jewish students with these notices saying they only put them under Jewish student’s doors.
  • We saw the same accusations at Rutgers, that Jewish students were targeted.
  • The burden has fallen on those advocating for Palestinian rights.
  • What sustains us is really the activists themselves, who are really inspirational in their dedication to this issue.
  • There are number of student groups that are trying to pass divestment actions at their schools and there’s a sustained attack, and we know that Netanyahu himself has said this is a prime threat to the state of Israel.

Guest – Attorney Dima Khalidi, founder and Director of Palestine Legal, and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Her work includes providing legal advice to activists, engaging in advocacy to protect their rights to speak out for Palestinian rights, and educating activists and the public about their rights.