On this week’s Economic Update, Prof. Wolff discusses the following: Denmark’s new taxes on banks and rich people to help workers doing dangerous jobs; West Virginia AG sues Walmart and CVS for complicity in opioid scandal; and US State Department urges universities to sell shares in Chinese corporations. On the second half of the show, Prof. Wolff interviews author and journalist Chris Hedges on signs of the declining US empire.
Woolwich Crown Court is designed to impose the power of the state. Normal courts in this country are public buildings, deliberately placed by our ancestors right in the centre of towns, almost always just up a few steps from a main street. The major purpose of their positioning and of their architecture was to facilitate public access in the belief that it is vital that justice can be seen by the public.
When the imperialists carry out reckless actions like the recent assassination of a top Iranian military official, aren’t they at least partly conscious of the ways this endangers their power structure? Don’t they see that the more resources the American war machine consumes and the worse proletarian living conditions become as a result, the greater the likelihood becomes that a revolution will happen? Don’t they see the obvious and growing signs of the U.S. empire’s collapse? Don’t they see that the more the neoliberal order exacerbates climate change and destabilizes the economy, the more the bourgeois power structure comes under threat?
In her 2017 book No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics And Winning The World We Need, Naomi Klein wrote in reference to her experiences in post-invasion Iraq that:
“There have been times in my reporting from disaster zones when I have had the unsettling feeling that I was seeing not just a crisis in the here and now, but a glimpse of our collective future-a preview of where the road we are all on is headed unless we somehow grab the wheel and swerve.”
US President Donald Trump’s pardon of three military officers who were convicted of committing war crimes has drawn criticism. Former New York Times war correspondent and “On Contact” host Chris Hedges weighs in. He also discusses the Times’ coverage of an alleged leak of Iranian intelligence cables.
The seizure of two million barrels of Iranian crude oil by British commandoes is a blatant act of piracy aimed at provoking Iran into war. Also, confiscation of the supertanker in Britain’s Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar seems aimed at sinking the last chances for the international nuclear accord being upheld.
In my article, Avoiding Assange, a month ago, right after the first US indictment was issued, I addressed two diversionary arguments that I knew would be used by those who want to hide their complicity with American imperialism under leftish cover—that is, those who don’t want to be seen as endorsing the United States government’s prosecution of Assange for, and intimidation of every journalist in the world from, reporting the embarrassing truth about American war crimes, but who also don’t really want to stand in the way of Assange’s extradition to the United States.
The case regarding the possible extradition of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been adjourned until May 30, Reuters reports. It comes after Assange was given 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail in the UK.
International law professor Kevin Jon Heller discusses the report of the UN Human Rights Council, which says Israel must be held accountable for war crimes committed against unarmed civilians and that Israeli courts do not hold them accountable.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 11, 2013
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
SUBJECT: Drawdown Pursuant to Section 552(c)(2)of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 of up to $10 Million in Commodities and Services from any Agency of the United States Government to the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) and the Syrian Opposition’s Supreme Military Council (SMC)
Daddy, can people die of fright?
— Question of a nine year old child in Gaza to her father, 17th November 2012
As I write the lost in Gaza has reached 52, the injured 560. The Al Shifa Hospital has reported being close to running out of generator fuel – thus incubators, life supporting equipment will close down lives. Medical supplies are perilously low.
Israel decides how many calories the people of Gaza deserve and indeed what food (as all else) they can import. They now, again, decide who of the 1.6 million fellow human beings in the tiny Gaza strip can live or die.