Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (May 6, 2016) on the use of ISIS by the United States as a convenient pretext to further its political agenda. Draitser explains the long, sordid history of US cooperation with terror groups, and its use of terrorism as a weapon both in war and politics. He notes that US policy has directly and indirectly led to the development of ISIS, and that the US bears responsibility for its atrocities.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his analysis (May 1, 2016) of the ongoing destabilization of Latin America by right wing forces and their patrons in the US. Draitser provides the important background on the soft coup in Brazil, and how it is connected to finance capital whose puppet in Argentina, Mauricio Macri, is acting as de facto representative of Wall Street in Latin America. Want to know how Hillary Clinton, Wall Street, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are connected to the developments in Latin America? Listen to Eric’s hour long conversation with broadcaster Don DeBare.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (April 30, 2016) on the intercept of the US aircraft near Russian airspace. Draitser explains that this is only the latest in a series of provocations that should be understood as part of the 25 year project of NATO expansion which seeks to dominate Russia in Eastern Europe. He notes that US policy vis-a-vis Russia is incredibly dangerous as it risks provoking WWIII either intentionally or by mistake.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (April 25, 2016) on the latest talks between the leaders of the US, UK, Germany, Italy, and France, and what this means for the future of Libya. Draitser explains the role of terrorism in the war on Libya, and how it is shaping politics in that country today. He also outlines why the Western powers were so hellbent on removing Gaddafi and bringing regime change to Libya, as well as the larger geopolitical context necessary for understanding US motives today. Lots more is covered in this information-packed 16 minutes.
What is little discussed amid all the talk of impeachment and corruption in Brazil is the larger context: how international finance capital is working with Hillary Clinton and other U.S. political elites to reassert the Washington Consensus in Latin America; how the right wing throughout the region is collaborating in this project; and how this is manifesting in the targeted countries. Though the pieces of this puzzle may be partially concealed, it is time to put them all together to see the big picture.
Brazil and Argentina: Case Studies in Wall Street Meddling
As the world waits for the next episode of the unfolding Brazilian drama, it is critical to note why the spectacle that is this “impeachment” process is happening. Having been elected, and re-elected, four times in the last four elections, Dilma Rousseff and the Workers’ Party are undeniably the single-most popular political formation in Brazil, a country known for its deep divide between a wealthy right-wing elite, and the masses of workers and poor people who predominantly support the left, including the Workers’ Party in recent years.
With this dynamic it is unsurprising to find that the government is being ousted by a coalition of right-wing extremists, from those who unabashedly support theU.S.-installed Brazilian military dictatorship, to those who simply want to see Brazil follow a more neoliberal model of economic development. However, what might be surprising to some is the key role that powerful financial interests have, and will continue to have, over this process, and any future Brazilian government.
In mid-April, just as the impeachment vote was set to take place, Reuters revealed that Brazil’s right-wing Vice President Michel Temer was already preparing the shortlist of his presumptive cabinet once Dilma and the Workers’ Party is removed. Temer tabbed Paulo Leme to serve as either finance minister or head of the Central Bank. Leme is the Chairman of Goldman Sachs’s operations in Brazil, making him perhaps the pre-eminent representative of Wall Street in the country.
Of course, one cannot discount the significant influence companies like Goldman Sachs have beyond just their actual holdings in the country. For instance, Wall Street finance capital is very well connected to Brazil’s richest man, Jorge Paulo Lemann, a multi-billionaire who owns Heinz Ketchup, Burger King, is the majority stockholder of Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, and is a close associate of Warren Buffett. With his pedigree in finance capital, it is no surprise that Lemann, and the interests he represents, has been financially backinggroups involved in the street protests calling for impeachment, including the highly visible VemPraRua (Come to the Streets).
It should be equally unsurprising that other key protest groups have been funded directly by other Wall Street interests, in particular the infamous Koch Brothers.Charles and David Koch are key moneymen behind the Free Brazil Movement (MBL) and Students for Liberty (EPL) via the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and Atlas Leadership Academy, both of which spawned some of the key protest leaders.
For these reasons, it should come as no surprise then that key players in the impeachment push in Brazil seem to be taking their orders directly from, or at the very least collaborating with, officials in the United States. In fact, the day after the impeachment vote was taken, Senator Aloysio Nunes was in Washington for high level meetings with Republican Senator Bob Corker, who is the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, a key supporter of Hillary Clinton. Nunes was also scheduled to meet with Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, the third highest ranking State Department official, and the lead on Latin American affairs, as well as representatives of the lobbyist organization Albright Stonebridge Group, headed by Clinton-backer Madeline Albright.
In effect, these meetings indicate a desire on the part of the coup plotters to collaborate with all sides of the Washington Consensus – Republicans and Democrats, private capital and government agencies – to execute a smooth, U.S.-backed transition in Brazil. In fact, one could be forgiven for thinking that they were watching a re-run of the 2009 coup in Honduras, presided over and sanctioned by Hillary Clinton and her Beltway lobbyist and insider friends.