by James Corbett
November 16, 2019
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is on fire right now. From protests and riots to bloodshed and coups d’état, it seems that every corner of the globe is being rocked by an explosion of unrest . . . and no, I’m not talking about the Great Popeyes Chicken Freakouts of 2019.
So, in case you’re looking to get up to speed, here’s your handy-dandy guide to what’s happening around the world today. (In alphabetical order, no less!)
Here’s a riddle for you: When is a foreign-backed, militarily imposed coup d’état not a foreign-backed, militarily imposed coup d’état? I’m sure you already know the answer: When the US wants it to happen.
Just ask the people of Bolivia. If you read the MSM headlies . . . errr, headlines . . . you’d be given to believe that “Bolivian Leader Evo Morales [Has] Step[ped] Down.” According to this New York Times-approved mockingbird repeater narrative, the long-time Bolivian president “stepped down” this week amid “unrelenting protests by an infuriated population that accused him of undermining democracy to extend his rule.”
If you suspect there may be more to this story than the NYT and its MSM cohorts are letting on, then give yourself a cookie. You’re exactly correct.
The first thing to note is that this is not a spontaneous, populist uprising against an unpopular autocrat so much as a coup d’etat by the military and police on behalf of their foreign backers and paymasters. And (wouldn’t you know it?) the military and police leading the charge just happen to be Washington-connected insiders.
Secondly, the “disputed election” which has supposedly set off this chain of events was the result of a “damning audit” by the Organization of American States (OAS) . . . that was immediately debunked as wet hot garbage completely devoid of basis in fact. Later, a thorough statistical analysis of the electoral results exposed the OAS’ evidence-free assertions of foul play as the coup-supporting propaganda it is.
And, if all that wasn’t enough, leaked audio has just emerged showing the country’s foreign-backed opposition leaders plotting to use the US Embassy to coordinate an effort to destabilize the country and create a “civil-military transitional government” if Morales won the election. The audio specifically names US senators Ted Cruz, Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio as being on board with this agenda.
But even if we were to believe the bot army of newly created zero-follower Twitter accounts that are all tweeting the exact same thing about how “there was NO COUP,” the latest developments prove that this entire affair has nothing to do with “the will of the people” or “democracy in action” or any other twaddle. Opposition lawmaker Senator Jeanine Añez Chavez has simply assumed the title of president, despite not even having run for the office in last month’s election. And, just like what we saw earlier this year in Venezuela, the fact that this “spontaneous people’s uprising” is culminating with a non-candidate trying to take over the country will be heralded as a step forward for freedom and democracy by the democracy-spreaders at the US State Department and their adjuncts in the compliant corporate media.
Make no mistake: This is what a coup d’état looks like. The only question is whether, like last year’s coup attempt in Venezuela, this putsch, too, will fail in spectacular fashion.
Of all the protests, coups and chaos sweeping Latin America right now, arguably the most surprising flare up is taking place in Chile. Safe, stable Chile. Chile of the rising living standards and growing middle class. You know, the country that produced the so-called Miracle of Chile. Yes, that Chile.
Well, it turns out that all it took to derail that miracle was a 30-peso Metro fare hike and some activist high school students. At least that’s the narrative being propounded in the pages of journalistic titans like The Toronto Sun. But if you want to find out what all of this means you can click on Bloom(Bilder)berg for their hot take on how this effects the people that really matter: foreign investors. Or you can always go to Rothschild Reuters for a transcription of the latest government press release telling us how this unrest will lead to job losses and fuel hikes.
Whatever you do, don’t listen to those conspiracy theorists whispering that the unrest might have something to do with the fact that scandal after scandal after scandal has engulfed Chile’s government, military and national police in recent years. Or the fact that literally dozens of other scandals have lowered trust in public institutions to all-time lows. Or the fact that that government has responded to the protests by declaring a state of emergency, imposing a curfew, and empowering the military to shoot, beat and/or hospitalize hundreds of the protesters.
Yeah, it’s better to go with the MSM on this one. It’s probably a bunch of high school students upset about a 30 peso Metro fare hike.
Remember the yellow vest protests? Yeah, that’s still a thing.
The French protest movement that kicked off almost exactly one year ago—named for the gilets jaunes or “yellow vest” safety jackets that each French car owner is required to have by law—is still around today, even if the numbers taking to the streets each weekend have dwindled.
As the one year anniversary of the first yellow vest rally takes place this weekend, look for a lot of soul-searching and analysis about what the movement really means and where France is heading. Don’t expect too much introspection about what sparked the demonstrations in the first place, however: A rise in carbon taxes that made it clear that the man-made global warming agenda is less about saving the earth and more about ensuring the technocrats’ monopoly on power.
One thing you will not have to look out for is crowds of tourists on the streets of Paris in 2020. The French government has had to abandon its hopes of luring 100 million foreign visitors next year, as Brexit and the yellow vests are being blamed for a lack of tourists in the country.
The Hong Kong protests—which I wrote about in these pages in August—continue apace, with police now openly firing on protesters. As of press time, protesters are continuing to block roads in the city’s Central business district, causing closures of schools, business and transportation links.
These developments follow a week of escalation in which two people have been killed, Chinese president-for-life Xi Jinping has waded into the issue with calls for a restoration of order, and the Hong Kong government has had to officially deny rumors that a curfew would be imposed this weekend.
Meanwhile, good old Uncle Sam is coming to the rescue with an expedited bill that would require an annual congressional review of Hong Kong’s special trading status. The idea is that if Beijing interferes or tries to take over control of the “Special Administrative Region” then Washington could effectively pull the plug on its economy and eliminate its importance as a regional finance hub. But, as actual Hong Kongers point out, all the bill would actually do is punish the people of Hong Kong for being taken over by China, which seems a bit counterproductive. (It’s almost as if Uncle Sam doesn’t actually care about Hong Kong and is just using it as a convenient proxy battleground for its beef with Beijing.)
But if you’re on the edge of your seat wondering how things will turn out, fret not; the banksters at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have the answer. According to the head of the bank’s China equity strategy, the upshot of the protests is that China will interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs “a lot more” going forward. So there you go. You can take that to the bank.
Although you probably haven’t heard much about it, Iraq is convulsing in riots, demonstrations and bloody protests that make one question whether the Iraq war ever really ended. (Spoiler: it didn’t.) Just check out some of the scenes for yourself.
319 people have so far been killed and 15,000 wounded since the violence erupted on October 1st. The movement may have started as a predominantly Sunni-led revolt that includes heavy doses of anti-Shia and anti-Iran sentiment, but it has since mutated into a wider protest against the corrupt and feckless government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. As Kelly Vlahos notes in a recent article on the subject:
“But it is the Shia in the capital and the south now who are leading the protests, charging that the elites in the government are hoarding the national resources while regular Iraqis cannot seem to climb out of the destitution imposed on them through war, corruption and sectarian conflict.”
So one guess which side of the story the corporate media in the west are pushing? The message is clear: As long as the protests are against Iran or pushing sectarian division, they’re AOK with Uncle Sam. When and if this becomes a more populist movement against corrupt leadership in the shell state that is “post-war” Iraq, however, you can bet your bottom dollar that we will be hearing how these demonstrations are a threat to democracy in the middle east and need to be controlled.
I could go on. And on and on and on. There are the violent anti-austerity protests in Ecuador that are now being blamed on those no good Cubans. There are the street demonstrations in Lebanon which resulted in the death of one of the protesters this week and promises that a new government will be formed within days. Heck, even the infamously polite Canadians are getting in on the act, with westerners disgruntled by the reelection of Justin Trudeau forming a separatist “Wexit” party in my home province of Alberta that is already threatening to metastasize to Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
But the fact that all of these protests and demonstrations are flaring up all around the world at the same time invites us to speculate whether this trend is merely a coincidence or whether the Old World Order of neoliberal globalism under Pax Americana is finally coming apart at the seams. And, if there is something deeper going on here, then that leaves only one question: Where next? Stay tuned . . .
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James Corbett has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. Since then he has written, recorded and edited thousands of hours of audio and video media for the website, including a podcast and several regular online video series. He is the lead editorial writer for The International Forecaster, the e-newsletter created by the late Bob Chapman.
His work has been carried online by a wide variety of websites and his videos have garnered over 40,000,000 views on YouTube alone. His satirical piece on the discrepancies in the official account of September 11th, “9/11: A Conspiracy Theory” was posted to the web on September 11, 2011 and has so far been viewed nearly 3 million times.
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